Indoor Track Places Fourth at State Tournament


Bison Athletics

The indoor track team with their medals after the March 3 tournament.

The indoor track team competed in the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches State Championship meet at Spire Institute in Geneva on March 3.

In order to qualify for the state championship, athletes must rank top 24 in their event statewide. Beachwood athletes have qualified, competed and placed every year since 2020. 

There was great improvement this year as the Bison placed 4th compared to 7th in 2022. 

Juniors Dakota Houston placed 3rd in the long jump and Kylie Walters placed 7th.

Senior David Steckner placed 4th in the 400m dash and the 200m dash, senior Braylen Eaton placed 2nd in the long jump and Vincent Crenshaw placed 9th in the 800m dash. The boys 4x200m relay placed 4th and the 4×400 relay placed 3rd.

Senior David Steckner was proud to have placed in all four of his events. He explained the positive impact teammates have on one another.

“The best part of the team is the environment of success and dedication around you,” he wrote in an email. “Everyone on the team can look up to someone.” 

This year marks the second year senior Vincent Crenshaw competed at indoor states. He placed 9th individually in the 800m and 3rd in the 4×400 relay.

“I really love the culture we have on the team,” he wrote in an email. “It’s a bunch of hardworking individuals who also care a lot about the team. We really hold each other accountable and support one another.”  

The best part of the team is the environment of success and dedication around you. Everyone on the team can look up to someone.

— Senior David Steckner

Leadership and effective coaching is also important in holding the team together and staying focused. 

Coach Willie Smith has been head track coach in Beachwood since 1999. 

“Coach Smith is a fantastic motivator and really helps push me to get the best out of myself,” Crenshaw wrote. “He helps us set our reasonable goals and… race strategy, which is important for big meets.”  

The influence Smith has on student athletes is especially visible to Junior Dakota Houston, who placed 3rd in the long jump, 9th for the 60m, and 10th for the 200m this year.

Houston hopes to continue her progress into the outdoor track season.

 “[I’m] trying to beat the 100 record here…I’m either going to try to beat it this year or next year,” she said.

Although the team is losing a strong group of seniors this year, there is a solid group of underclassmen ready to fill their shoes and take on leadership roles. 

“There are plenty of kids ranging from the middle school to our juniors who … have the dedication to keep Beachwood one of the premiere track teams in the state of Ohio,” Steckner wrote.