Friday, September 22, 2023

Hawken breaks 41-year-old record in state championship run

COLUMBUS—It almost seemed destined to happen, yet breaking the longest-standing record at the OHSAA State Track & Field Championships is never a given.

Hawken’s 4×100-meter relay team of Dominic Johnson, Christian Anderson, Andrew Bukovnik, and Jordan Harrison capped off a remarkable postseason by winning the Division II state title on Saturday with a time of 41.66 seconds and broke Dayton Jefferson’s 41-year-old record in the process.

“It feels ecstatic to break the record,” said Anderson, a junior. “I feel very proud of us to be able to do it here.”

Hawken’s Fab-Four first ran the event at the Gilmour Invitational back on April 30.

The Hawks won that competition with a meet-record time of 42.25 seconds, kicking off a dominant run that resulted in school, district, regional, and state records falling along the way.

“I’ve always known we were going to do this from the start,” said Johnson, a junior. “I’m happy that we pulled through. That was our first time as that four running in the 4×1 and we broke it and qualified for nationals in the very first time, so we knew it was going to be something special.”

Hawken nearly broke the record during Friday’s prelims.

The Hawks finished with a time of 41.98, just 19/100 of a second behind Jefferson’s 1986 mark.

“I was pretty excited to break that state meet record because we were so close in prelims,” said Bukovnik, a senior. “It felt amazing but we still have a lot to improve upon before nationals.”

After receiving their medals, one member of Jefferson’s 4×100-meter relay team posed for a picture with the Hawks and congratulated them on their accomplishment.

“Honestly, it shocked me,” Anderson said. “I was really happy to see him. It made me feel even better about breaking the record.”

Harrison was unavailable for the post-race interview as he was preparing to run the 200-meter dash. He finished fourth in that event and he also finished as the state runner-up in the 100.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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