Mount Union college hosted an indoor track meet Friday night that featured the return of Brian Hartline of Canton GlenOak to competitive action. Hartline, who broke his leg playing football in the fall, competed in the 55 meter sprint.
Hartline, who will play football for Ohio State next season, is one of the top hurdlers in the state, but competed in the sprint event only.
"I'm not looking to put up a great time," Hartline said. "I just want to get out here and test my leg against some other great athletes. I'm just glad to be competing against other people. I'm tired of running the halls at GlenOak."
In the sprint event, Hartline was matched with some of the top football players in the state according to Ohio High magazine. Canton McKinley's Brad Jones, who signed to play football at Cincinnati next fall and is one of the top track athletes in Ohio, also ran in the sprint. Other notables were Alliance Marlington junior Troy Pascley, Canton South sophomore Devon Torrence, and Massillon freshman K.J. Herring, all among the top football players in Ohio in their respective classes.
Brian Hartline won his semifinal heat, but failed to qualify for the finals. In the 55 meter sprint, knowing how to get out of the blocks and maintaining proper form are keys to success. It was clear that Brian had not run this event much, but it was just as evident that he can fly. He showed no effects of his injury, and his performance was impressive to everybody watching him. There's no doubt he'll be ready to go this fall when practice starts at Ohio State. Hartline, who will play in the Big-33 All Star game in July, will be looked at as one of the top hurdlers in Ohio this spring.
Brad Jones showed why Cincinnati is counting on him to crack the two-deep this fall. He won the sprint final with a time of 6.32. Jones, now at 200 pounds, helped lead McKinley to the championship game last fall. There are no plans to redshirt at Cincinnati.
"The coaches want to see me play right away. There is a great opportunity at safety if I work hard and pick up their schemes right away. My goal is to make the traveling squad," Jones said. "I was thinking of enrolling early but I decided against it. I'll be going to Cincinnati early this summer to start working out."
Devon Torrence might have been the most impressive athlete at the meet. Torrence plays baseball in the spring, so he wasn't used to getting off to a great start, nor did he have great technique, but he has speed to burn. He won his semifinal heat and advanced to the final round. In the final, his lack of technique caught up to him and he finished an impressive fourth -- impressive to all but Torrence. Without proper training and coaching, this flyer still ran a credible 6.6. He was so disappointed in not winning the final, he asked his older brother to take him to work out at 10:00 that evening. While most of the athletes were headed for pizza, Torrence was looking to get better.
Torrence is hoping to be able to run track on the nights there is no baseball. Devon is one of the top rated football players in the state, being one of the only sophomores invited to a game by Ohio State last season. Torrence is working out four nights a week and should have a huge season next year for the Wildcats.
Pascley was also disappointed in his showing and not making the finals. Troy was invited to Ohio State's Junior Day and will be going to Wisconsin to visit the campus in two weeks. He also competed in the long jump at Mount Union and is a super looking athlete.
Freshman K. J. Herring is a name many football fans might not be aware of. He is hoping to get varsity time next year at Massillon. In his heat in the 55 meter sprint, he ran stride for stride with Troy Pascley, an impressive feat. While he didn't qualify for the finals, this youngster showed tremendous burst and has a great frame. At 5' 11" and 180 pounds, he is someone to keep an eye on. His father, Keith Herring, is a former star athlete with the Tigers.
Another impressive performer was junior Mike Hartline of GlenOak, one of the top quarterbacks in Ohio. Hartline finished third in the 55 meter hurdles, running a time of 7.8. Mike also competed in the high jump, where last year he jumped 6' 6" for GlenOak. At 6-6, you might not think of him as an athlete, but that would be a mistake. Mike is a tremendous athlete, exhibiting great speed, quickness and jumping ability.
When asked how football recruiting is going, Mike replied, "It's going great. I'm going to Purdue on Saturday and over to Notre Dame on Sunday. I was up at Michigan last weekend, and I've spent a lot of time at Ohio State. I'm enjoying all the visits, and my top three schools are Ohio State, Purdue and Michigan, in no particular order.
"I'm planning to see Michigan State at some point. Their coaches told me they're offering me a scholarship now. They said my offer, in writing, was being mailed to my house. I've also been offered by Kent State."