Covington’s Long has fitting finish to impressive career at D-III state track; Covington’s Garrett, Newton’s Coker make podium


DAYTON — It was a ftting end to the impressive distance running high school career of Covington senior Asher Long.

And Bucc sophomore and Newton junior Seth Coket showed their bright future as well at the D-III state track and field meet Friday night at Welcome Stadium.

Asher Long

Long has rewritten Covington distance record books and almost added a state championship to his resume in his final high school race.

After finishing third at the state cross country meet in the fall, Long finished second in the 3,200 Friday. He joined Ryan Stover as the only Buccs to finish second in the 3,200 and improved on his fifth-place finish from a year ago.

Landon Eyre of Whiteoak won in 9:10.07, Long was clocked in 9:14.85 and Blake Rodgers of Belpre was third in 9:17.0.

That time gave Long a new school record.

“I didn’t think that was possible,” Long said. “Looking back to my freshman year when I was seventh at the regional, I don’t think I could have expected all this. I couldn’t have asked for much more in my final race.”

And Long set the pace for the race, with Eyere and Rodgers close behind.

He took the lead on the third lap and didn’t give it up until there was less than 800 meters to go.

“I knew those guys would go out slow,” Long said. “They both have good kicks. So, I wanted to go out fast and run my race.”

Long fell back to third on lap seven momentarily, but passed Rodgers on the final lap to take second.

“Landon (Eyre) is a mile runner too,” Long said. “He has that mile speed. But, I am really happy with the race I ran.”

Day’Lynn Garrett

The Covington sophomore was determined to make an impact in his sophomore season and it finished with him on the podium after a sixth-place finish in 40.28.

“I am only a sophomore, so my goal was to get on the podium,” Garrett said.

And he was happy with his race.

“It feels good (to get on the podium), but the race was tiring,” he said. “I think I was probably more nervous at regionals, because tonight I was already here.”

And he smile when asked about his goal for next year.

“I want to come back and win it,” he said.

Seth Coker

After missing qualifying for state by less than a second at regionals a year ago in the 800, Coker took a different path to state a junior.

He took seventh in the 400 in 49.66.

“After coming so close to getting to state last year in the 800, it feels good to get up on the podium,” Coker said.

He is not really sure when the 400 became his race.

“That’s a good question,” he said. “I think I ran a sub-50 split in the 4×4 (1,600 relay) and it just kind of went from there. It would have been nice to have run a PR, but I was on the podium, so I can’t complain.”

Just like Long and Garett.

Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]

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