Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — It seems like every time you turned around this spring, Southeastern’s Lane Ruby was breaking another record.
The junior spent his entire season taking no prisoners in, really, whatever event he decided to compete in before ending his year at the OHSAA Track and Field State Championships.
While in Columbus, he proved he belonged with the best of the best.
In the Division III long jump event, Ruby posted a mark of 23-feet-2.5 before finishing the 100-meter dash in 11.16 seconds. Those marks handed him two podium finishes as he took second and third, respectively.
For those efforts, and a season’s worth of leaving his opponents in the dust, Ruby has been selected as Southern Ohio Sports Authority’s Boys Track Athlete of the Year.
“I think this year went great,” Ruby said. “My favorite moment was probably making it to state in two events because all the hard work I put it from this year to last year paid off. My sprinting improved tremendously. I went from running a 11.25 [in the 100 dash] to a 10.85, which is a really big jump for sprinting.”
“Really big jumps” is what we’ve all become accustomed to seeing from Ruby.
Back on April 22, Ruby took down three Huntington Invitational records as the previous marks in the 100 dash, 200 dash and long jump all fell on the same evening. Ruby did so with finish times of 11.13 and 22.64 seconds, as well as a leap of 21-7.25.
But he didn’t stop there.
On May 6, competing at the Scioto Valley Conference Meet, Ruby broke a 30-year-old record in the long jump, posting a 22-10.25 and beating Bud Thacker’s previous best of 22-0.75.
To put that in perspective, Thacker’s mark had stood for 30 years. Ruby beat it by 9 ½ inches.
But he didn’t stop there.
After winning individual SVC titles in the long jump and 200 dash, Ruby won individual district crowns in the 100 (11.22), 200 (22.29) and long jump (21-10.25), and individual regional championships in the 100 (10.95) and long jump (21-6).
He then, of course, represented Southeastern at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
But if you’ve been paying close attention to Ruby’s career, this year’s accomplishments should come as no surprise. He’s been classified as a “gym rat” before, a title he wears with pride.
“My favorite part about track is watching my hard work pay off and seeing the results I’ve worked for,” Ruby said.
There’s no doubt Ruby has earned everything he’s been given. But there’s more to come on that front. His Twitter profile reads “humble and hungry.” If that’s any indication of what’s in store, his senior year will be one you want to follow closely.
“The future is looking good,” Ruby said. “I’m going to continue to work hard and train hard to better myself and my athletic abilities. I’ll be back [at the state meet] next year. I just have to work towards next year and build up stamina.”