Saturday, May 26th, 2007
By Bruce Monnin
Redskin boys capture Piqua regional
Versailles, St. Henry lead off top five MAC sweep of girls
  PIQUA - It was a good night to be a fan of the Midwest Athletic Conference Friday at the Division III regional track meet.
Of the 21 individual events contested, MAC athletes claimed first place in nine of them, as well as winning four of the six relay races on the night. Meanwhile, eight other MAC relay teams and 22 other individuals also qualified for the state track meet by finishing in the top four of their events.
All this success in the events translated into team success. The St. Henry boys won the team championship, scoring 60 points to outdistance second place Dayton Christian (52 points), third place Arcanum (42) and fourth place New Bremen (39).
"We stepped it up," stated a very pleased St. Henry coach Michael Eyink, who judging from his popularity with the Redskin fans should be asking for a contract extension. "That's what those boys have been doing all year. Huwer winning the 200 was big. Nobody else expected our 4x200 boys to come out of lane eight and finish second. Doug Ranly got three points in the 1,600 run and we didn't think that would happen. We would have been tickled pink if Pat Reichert had gotten fourth in the 110 hurdles and he got second. We just can't be prouder of these kids."
On the girls' side, domination was the word of the day for the MAC, who claimed the top five places. Versailles ran away with the title with 81 points, followed by St. Henry with 54, Delphos St. John's with 46, New Bremen with 421/2 and Minster with 42.
Coach Eyink was equally pleased with his girls' squad.
"Catie Evers is phenomenal, and Carmen Moorman is running real well right now, as is the 4x100 and 4x200," said Eyink. "Coming in we thought we had a chance to finish second, but we knew we couldn't beat Versailles. They are too solid."
The evening started with the field events, and Minster's Andrew Meyer got things off to a roaring start as he set the new meet record with a toss of 59 feet, 7 inches. It was the third week in a row he broke a 25-year old record held by Marion Local's Gary Moeller.
It is not just raw ability, but preparation that helped Meyer to the record.
"I came over here yesterday because the circle was not what I am used to," revealed Meyer.
From this practice he decided to try throwing in tennis shoes instead of his usual shot put shoes.
"My first throw was 53 feet, and I knew that would be good enough to get me to state," added Meyer. "I then put on my shot shoes, and that didn't work, so I put my tennis shoes back on again and threw over 59 feet. I had never thrown in my tennis shoes in my life."
At the other end of the stadium, Parkway's Marian Bevington was winning the long jump, her leap of 16 feet, 91/2 inches, a six-inch improvement from districts last week.
"I probably could have done better," noted Bevington, "But I was happy with my result."
Marian later also advanced
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to the state meet with a second place finish in the 100 hurdles.
"I was hoping for first, but second was good. It was the fastest I had ever run the event and I broke the school record," said the Parkway sophomore.
Coldwater's Maria Wermert finished in a second place tie to advance to state in the pole vault. She ended up two feet short of first place, which was claimed by Versailles' Amanda Barlage, who broke her own previous meet record by clearing 12 feet. New Bremen's Scott Schnelle finished second in the high jump and Fort Recovery's Holly Stein fourth in the discus to also earn trips to Columbus.
The boys' hurdles events showed the strength of the Minster district. Patrick Reichert (St. Henry), Bryce Bergman (New Bremen) and Jacob Fox (Parkway) finished second, third and fourth in the 110 hurdles, then Bergman went on to win the 300 hurdles with Fox finishing third.
Bryce was elated after his victory and at least partially attributed it to the competition he faced all season.
"It felt great. I eliminated two steps in the race, which helped my time a substantial amount," explained Bergman. "Our district advanced seven out of the eight places in the hurdles events, and I get to compete against them every week."
St. Henry's Ryan Huwer picked up a victory of his own in the 200 dash.
"That was a good feeling," proclaimed Huwer. "I ran my PR (personal record) by four tenths of a second, so I'm real happy about that."
Ryan had a busy and successful evening, also finishing third in the 100 meter dash, while running the anchor legs of the second place 4x200 relay and the fifth place 4x100 relay.
For Marion Local, Greg Gehret and Dale Bruns each finished fourth in the 400 meter dash and the 800 meter run. They were also both part of the second place 4x400 relay team, an event which also saw St. Henry's squad qualify for Columbus by finishing fourth.
There was even more local success in the girls' events. The St. Henry girls showed the potential to score well at the state meet by earning three first place finishes and another three second place results.
Catie Evers and Carmen Moorman performed what is becoming their usual one-two finish in the 200 and 400 meter dashes. Catie was dominant in the 400 meter dash, getting a huge early jump on the field and ultimately breaking the regional record in the event. But there was still some tension in the race as the first attempt to start was aborted, leaving the fans and runners to fear someone had been disqualified.
"I thought I had false started," admitted Evers. "I was so nervous after that."
The St. Henry girls also won the 4x200 relay over second place Delphos St. John's and fourth place New Bremen. Evers and Moorman attempted to complete the four event sweep with their team in the 4x400 relay, and broke the meet record in the race. Unfortunately for them, the New Bremen girls were 3/10 of a second ahead, setting the new meet record.
The Cardinal squad of Christine Schwartz, Amber Niekamp, Lori Timmerman and Taylor Jones lowered their best time on the year by four seconds. With 400 meter record holder Evers running the anchor leg for St. Henry, the first three New Bremen runners knew they had to have a fast start.
"We knew we had to give her a lead," stated senior Niekamp, "so we gave our all."
Having already finished third behind Evers and Moorman in the 400 dash, Jones was asked if she felt especially motivated to hold off Evers for the win. "Yeah, definitely!" Jones emphatically admitted.
Four MAC teams took the top five spots in the 4x100 relay. Delphos St. John's won the event, while Versailles and Minster finished fourth and fifth, respectively. But the most spirited performance came from the second place Marion Local girls, who not only finished second but were immediately eager to talk about it afterwards.
Senior Hillary Hartings got the team out to a fast start.
"My first leg was my strongest one all year," stated Hartings. "I just got out of the blocks and started wailing my legs."
Elizabeth Reichert and Allison Bruns kept the team close, then senior Megan Bruns passed several competitors to secure the second place finish.
"We had perfect handoffs. We whipped it," proclaimed Bruns. "It was our best time all year."
The most successful event of the night for MAC athletes was the 3,200 run. In fact, a new term was invented among the press to describe the result, the "Quadruple MAC". Minster's Bernadette Burke and Lei Bornhorst took the top two spots, with third place going to St. John's Erin Calvelage and fourth to Versailles' Kristen Schulte.
Burke and Bornhorst took an early lead on the field, and then ran together throughout the race to the finish, as if that had been the plan from the start. Not so, claimed the Minster runners.
"We just run," said Burke, "And if we run together then we push each other."
"We both set personal records," added Bornhorst, "so we are excited."
All the athletes who finished in the top four in their events will advance to the state track meet in Columbus next weekend. The 4x800 relays and the preliminary running events will be on Friday evening, with the field events Saturday morning and afternoon and the running finals on Saturday evening.
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