Behind O’Neal’s heroics, East captures Seymour Invitational

SEYMOUR — T.C. O’Neal won three individual events and anchored the winning 4×400-meter relay team to spark Columbus East to the title in the annual Seymour Boys Track and Field Invitational on Tuesday.

The Olympians scored 150 points. Seymour was second with 115, and Jennings County placed third in the six-team field with 110.

O’Neal won the high jump at 6 feet, 7½ inches, the long jump at 21-1, the 400 with a time of 52.0, and he anchored the 4×400 team to a time of 3:34.5.

East coach David Miller said his team had a solid, all-around performance in its first invitational of the season.

“It was nice to see the kids come out and compete,” he said. “T.C. did a great job. He set a (personal record) in the high jump, he had a great long jump, did a good job on the open 400 and as the relay anchor, so yes, he definitely had a good night. The good thing is, other kids fed off that and kind of stepped up their times and distances also.”

Brothers Zach and Jared Clark went 1-2 in the weights for the Olympians. Zack won the shot put at 48-11, and Jared Clark was second at 45-11 3/4. Jared took the discus at 135-7, and Zach threw 121-5.

“They’ve been getting better every meet, so I think they were pretty much right on their PRs,” Miller said. “I know they weren’t seeded 1-2 in the shot put, but ended up going 1-2, so they had a great night, also.

The Olympians also won the 4×100 relay in 44.2.

“This is exactly where we want to be as a group,” Miller said. “It was a great night, and we’re getting better every meet.”

Jennings got off to a great start when Ryan Gasper, Alex Hendrix, Franklin Sanders and Dalton Craig teamed up to win the 4×800 relay in 8:30.5.

“The 4×800 was solid,” Panthers coach Bill Ludwig said. “We kind of backed off to try save a little for the other races. That was a good win there.”

Jennings’ Ryan Gasper won the 800 in 2:04.7, and Carter Leak took the 3,200 in 10:14.1.