By Josh Brown
GRANVILLE — Turns out Lane White had one last encore in him before heading off to college.
The Covington High School senior sprinter — state champion sprinter, that is — followed up his victory in the 400 in Columbus with another 400 win, this time at the Midwest Meet of Champions all-star track and field meet June 14 at Granville High School.
The Midwest Meet of Champions is an all-star meet for the best seniors in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.
White ran a time of 48.03 seconds — better than his winning time at the Division III state meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium the week before — defeating two other Ohio runners, Trevhan Berry (48.63 seconds) and Austin Nieman (48.89 seconds).
“It’s a meet for seniors only, and Ohio brought way more talent than either Michigan or Indiana so the team scores were kind of out of hand,” Covington boys coach Kyle Moore said. Ohio won the boys meet with 264 points to Indiana’s 111 and Michigan’s 100. “But the caliber of athlete is still very high. The quality of competition was high, even just among the Ohio kids.
“Up to that point, his 48.04 seconds at the regional final was his best. He was a little bummed out because he wanted to get into the 47s so bad, but he was still just happy to win.”
White’s winning time at the state meet was 48.24 seconds, where he handily defeated West Liberty-Salem’s Conner Karg (48.9 seconds). And later in the day, he ran a time of 21.95 seconds in the 200, finishing runner-up to Lima Central Catholic’s Jamir Coleman — who also represented Ohio at the Midwest Meet of Champions by winning the ling jump.
“At the state prelims, Lane ran high 48s in the 400, and I don’t think anyone expected him to even qualify for the finals in the 200,” Moore said. “He was running the 200 in lane eight and hadn’t been recovering all that well after running a hard 400, so no one expected him to qualify, much less run the fastest qualifying time. So that gave him a decision to make the next day — to either go for the 47s in the 400 and let whatever happens happen in the 200, or to run the 400 just to win and try to double in the 200.
“He decided to run the 400 to win and try to hammer the 200, that’s why he was a little slower in the 400 that day. But he still had one more chance to get into the 47s at the Meet of Champions and just missed it.”
Still, White’s accomplishments are made all the more impressive by the way he came back after an injury in his junior season.
“Obviously, we’re all excited for him — and relieved is another word we’d use, too,” Moore said. “Relieved that we were able, as a staff, to do things the right way and get him back in good shape. It was a team effort keeping him healthy.”
Now White is preparing to begin his college career at Hillsdale, a Division II school in Michigan.
“He probably had offers from some bigger schools, but I know he liked his visit to Hillsdale and the way they pursued him,” Moore said. “And he really liked that they would let him run the 400. A lot of places wanted to turn him into an 800 runner. As a freshman (in high school), he was pretty skinny, but he made the decision and went to work, and he turned himself into a sprinter body-wise.”
And Ohio’s best 400 runner, at that.
Troy High School’s Nathan Fleischer also represented Ohio at the Midwest Meet of Champions. The D-I runner-up in the pole vault at the state meet, Fleischer finished sixth at the Midwest Meet of Champions by clearing 14-2.
And Bradford’s Shay LaFollette was the lone Miami County representative on the girls’ side, no-heighting in the high jump. Ohio won the girls meet with 214 points, Michigan was second with 158 and Indiana had 101.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 440-5251 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.