The spring season is winding down, with several athletes already having taken part in their final athletic contest of the school year.
But for Jenny and Matt Seas of Peebles, there’s still one event left.
The two will head to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at The Ohio State University this weekend for the OHSAA Boys and Girls State Track and Field Tournaments. The action begins Friday morning, but they won’t be competing until Saturday in the 3,200-meter run in Division III. The girls’ race is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m., while the boys’ will get going after.
Jenny Seas is among the favorites to win the girls’ race. The junior posted the best time in the regional meets at 11:02, while Minster’s Emma Watcke’s time of 11:13 was the second-best. Seas finished first at the Region 11 meet at Fairfield Union, beating the second place finisher by over 50 seconds.
“We’ve looked at times and [winning’s] 100 percent the goal,” said Peebles coach Tyler Wilson. “We want her to win. It looks like she’ll have some good competition. One or two other girls are running similar times and at the state meet anything can happen.”
Seas won the 1,600-meter run at the district meet, along with the 3,200, but only ran the two-mile race at the regional meet.
Seas’ best time in the 3,200-meter race is 10:42.28, coming at the Eastern Relays in Louisville, while Watcke’s is 10:42.45, according to oh.milesplit.com. Watcke also qualified for the state meet in the 1,600-meter run, scheduled for 10:05 a.m. on Saturday, as well as the 4×800-meter relay, set for 9:30 a.m. on Friday.
“The mile and 3,200 are run in same day,” said Wilson. “It makes it harder trying to win one event, but they’ve kind of used all the events as training throughout the year.
“She will be competing to win it,” added Wilson. “That was more important to us – to give her a shot to win one instead of maybe not winning either one because of that.”
Seas finished third in Division III in the 3,200 as a sophomore with a time of 10:57. As a freshman, she placed second at 11:09.
In the fall, Seas finished first in the Southeast District cross country meet, beating the rest of the field by over a minute with a time of 18:54, before an injury ended her season. She won the 5,000-meter race at the Southern Hills Athletic Conference meet this fall with a time of 18:04. Watcke ended up claiming the state title in 2017 with a time of 18:38. Seas placed sixth in the state cross country meet as a sophomore and 10th as a freshman.
“I think for sure she was let down she couldn’t run in that because she had a shot at winning,” said Wilson. “Really, her and her brother and all her sibling, even the ones I didn’t coach at Peebles, are all highly motivated. You’ve got to be highly motivated to run that many miles each week, and that’s somewhat instilled from her mom and dad and family.”
Matthew Seas finished fourth at the Region 11 meet in the 3,200 with a time of 9:43. The top time among the state qualifiers at regional meets came from North Robinson Colonel Crawford’s Chad Johnson at 9:29. Johnson won the event last year with a time of 9:20, while Seas finished eighth at 9:50.
“The Chad Johnson kid was at a couple of meets Matt was running in this year. Chad’s a phenomenal runner and probably too far out to catch, but I’d love Matt to make the podium and top five would be phenomenal,” said Wilson.
Johnson was second in the event as a sophomore in 2016, while Daniel Seas – older brother of Matthew and Jenny – was third. Daniel Seas is now running at Ohio University.
“Their work ethic – it’s unmatched by most kids that I see,” said Wilson. “Very rarely do I look at them and say, ‘I need you to pick it up a little bit.’ They’re already running at the pace they need to be running.”
The Peebles’ senior was second at the district meet in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 10:05. His best time, according to oh.milesplit.com, is 9:33, coming at the Eastern Relays, when Johnson ran a personal best 8:52 and finished third.
Like his sister, he’s also competed in other events this season, including the 1,600-meter run and the 800-meter run at the SHAC Meet, where he finished first and third, respectively. He’s coming off a cross country season where he finished 29th in Division III, and plans on continuing to run in college at Case Western Reserve University.