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Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

Busy Saturday ahead for Grand Lake area

By Bruce Monnin

New Bremen's Taylor Jones, front on far left, Minster's Bernadette Burke, third. . .

COLUMBUS - The only finals contested Friday at the Division III state track meet were the boys and girls 3200-meter relays.
However, there was plenty of action for the shorter distance runners as they tried to survive the preliminaries in their events to be one of the eight participants in their events finals on Saturday.
Joining these qualifiers in Saturday's action will be those athletes who are competing in the field events and the distance running events.

Girls 3200-Meter Relay
Three was the magic number in this race. There were three area teams competing, all three teams reached the podium last year, all three teams returned to the podium this year and all three teams featured three runners who returned from last year's team.
Versailles held the lead through the first two legs by Mary Prakel and Caitlin Liette, but the final two legs from Kristen Smith and Mindy Henry were unable to hold off the on-rushing train from Gilmour Academy, who passed the Lady Tigers en route to smashing a 20-year-old state record in the event by almost seven seconds.
It was a second-place performance that would have been good enough to win in many years, and it represented a 20-second improvement on the squad's time from last year's sixth-place finish.
For the Minster Lady Wildcats, consistency was the theme as they started off in fourth place and remained there to the end of the race. Freshman Jessica Albers joined veterans Bernadette Burke, Brigitte Sherman and Jenna Fausey in slicing six seconds off their regional time and three seconds off of last year's state performance.
"We didn't place as high as we wanted to, but just being able to cut six seconds off what we had previously run this year was good," stated senior Fausey. "I just wanted to go out and give everything for the good of the team."
Fausey was uplifted by the knowledge they had improved on last year's time. "That's good to know," added Fausey. "Even though we finished one place worse than last year, knowing we had a better time is definitely encouraging."
For the New Bremen girls, freshman Melissa Sharp joined second-year runner Taylor Jones and two runners in their third attempt at this event at the state meet in Lori Timmerman and Amber Niekamp.
The Cardinals continually ran on the edge of contention for one of the eight podium spots, finishing in seventh place.
While not finishing as high as they hoped, the team was happy to shave five seconds off their regional time and nine seconds off their time at last year's state meet.
"We were hoping to get in the top five," admitted Jones. "But we were all excited with our time."
The third leg was crucial in obtaining a podium spot, as Lori Timmerman was able to move up from ninth place to fifth during her time with the baton.
"I felt pretty strong. I knew I had to get into decent position for Amber," recounted Timmerman.

St. Henry
Ryan Huwer qualified with the fifth-best time in the 200 dash, then helped the Redskins' 4x200 relay to the seventh-best time in the field.
Catie Evers and Carmen Moorman were extremely busy. They helped the St. Henry 4x200 relay to a second-best qualifying time, and the 4x400 relay to a fifth-best time.   
Evers and Moorman both also competed in the 400-meter dash, where Evers posted the top time on the day while Moorman missed the cut by one position. Things were reversed in the 200-meter dash, as Moorman qualified with the seventh-best time and Evers missed the cut by one place.
The 200-meter dash demonstrated the potential peculiarities in the qualifying system. The top four runners in each of the two heats advance to the finals on Saturday. In this race, Evers placed fifth in her heat (losing to Delphos St. John's representative Lindsey Looser in a photo finish), but her time was better than the third- and fourth-place runners in the other heat. So even though Evers had a lower time than her teammate, Moorman will be the one competing Saturday afternoon.

New Bremen
Bryce Bergman had a good day for the New Bremen boys, posting the fourth-best time in the 110 hurdles, then followed that performance with the second-best time in the 300 hurdles.
The Lady Cardinals' 1600 meter relay also advanced to the finals, finishing with the fourth-best time in the field.

Jacob Fox continued his season-long duel with New Bremen's Bergman, and his results on Friday ensured there will be two final battles on Saturday.
Fox posted the second-best time in the 110 hurdles and also advanced in the 300 hurdles with the sixth-best time of the field.
Marian Bevington also qualified in the 100-meter hurdles for the Parkway girls, looking impressive with the third-best time.

Marion Local
The only preliminary event for Marion Local was the girls' 400-meter relay, which unfortunately suffered a disqualification result.

Team Standings
1. Gates Mills Gilmour Academy 10; 2. Versailles 8; 3. Warren JFK 6; 4. Minster 5; 5. Bellaire St. John Central 4; 6. Liberty-Benton 3; 7. New Bremen 2; 8. Attica Seneca East 1.

Individual Results (Top eight and local):
3200 Relay - 1. Gates Mills Gilmour Academy 9:13.89 (New State Record); 2. Versailles (Prakel, Liette, Smith, Henry) 9:26.95; 3. Warren JFK 9:28.08; 4. Minster (Burke, Fausey, Albers, Sherman) 9:32.37; 5. Bellaire St. John Central 9:33.29; 6. Liberty-Benton 9:33.50; 7. New Bremen (Sharp, Timmerman, Jones, Niekamp) 9:35.60; 8. Attica Seneca East 9:39.64.

Team Standings
1. Yellow Springs 10; 2. Dayton Christian 8; 3. East Canton 6; 4. Gates Mills Gilmour Academy 5; 5. Cortland Maplewood 4; 6. Delta 3; 7. Cincinnati Country Day 2; 8. McDonald 1.

Individual Results (Top eight and local):
3200 Relay - 1. Yellow Springs 7:48.39 (New State Record); 2. Dayton Christian 7:52.20; 3. East Canton 7:57.41; 4. Gates Mills Gilmour Academy 7:59.68; 5. Cortland Mapleton 8:03.93; 6. Delta 8:04.70; 7. Cincinnati Country Day 8:05.33; 8. McDonald 8:06.56.
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