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Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Minster sweeps its district meet

By Bruce Monnin

New Bremen's Scott Schnelle, shown here leaping over the bar during high jump co. . .

MINSTER - After a four-year absence, the Minster boys regained the title of district track champions in a tight 99.5-97 victory over New Bremen.
The Minster girls completed the Wildcat sweep in dominating fashion, outpointing the runners-up from Marion Local 128-72 to win their 27th title in the 29 years the Minster District Meet has been held.
The Wildcat boys won the trophy without the benefit of a single win by an individual in an event. However, they did exceptionally well in the team events, winning two of the relays and finishing in second place in the other two relays.
Their first win was in the 3,200-meter relay Thursday. The team kept its undefeated mark on the season intact and they hope to keep it that way for two more weeks at regionals and at state.
"We're all improving," said senior Matt Brackman. "If we keep on improving we should be able to pull it off."
Brackman was also part of three winning 800-meter relay team, which had dropped the baton at last week's Midwest Athletic Conference meet but bounced back to set a new school record Saturday.
"There were a few people a little nervous about the hand-offs," admitted Brackman. "But we nailed them today when it mattered."
In the final relay of the day, the Wildcats finished second behind a strong Cardinal squad, as they have all season long.
"I think we have a shot to beat them in the next couple of weeks," confided Brackman. "We about got them today."
Minster also benefited from strong performances by Ty Whitford (third in the 100, second in the 200 and part of the 400 and 800 relays), David McGowan's second in the 800, Kregg Olding's second in the 1,600 and third in the 3,200, and Joby Stechschulte's third in the 1,600.
New Bremen kept the outcome in doubt until long after the meet was supposed to end. A disqualification in the 300-meter hurdles caused the event to be rerun an hour after the rest of the meet was completed. The Cardinals needed to claim both first and second in the event to take the team title.
Minster fans held their breath as Bryce Bergman claimed first place in the event, but Zach Speckman's excellent fourth-place effort was not quite enough to snag the team trophy.
Besides Bergman's win in the 300-meter hurdles, New Bremen also received wins from Scott Schnelle, who tied his personal best in the high jump, Jeff Kremer in the 400 dash and also from the 1,600-meter relay team.
Kremer had to run that same 400 meters in both that race and the relay near the end of the meet. Of the two wins, he seemed more pleased being able to help the relay team.
"I have a lot of confidence in that relay," declared Kremer. "We just keep working hard. You get good results when you work hard."
The Minster girls once again used their traditional dominance of the distance events as the foundation of their team win, earning victories in the 3,200- and 1,600-meter relays. Lei Bornhorst and Averie Bornhorst finished first and third in the 3,200-meter run, Jessica Albers and Bernadette Burke swept the top two places in the 1,600-meter run, and Albers and Katie Dahlinghaus finished second and third in the 800-meter run.
Minster also picked up a victory from an event that seems an unusual source for Wildcat fans, with Alyssa Kemper winning the 200-meter dash. Kemper thinks the sprinters as a group have been stronger for Minster this season.
"I think we've trained a lot better this year," offered Kemper. "I think I've worked out better and become stronger."
Kemper was also part of the winning 1,600-meter relay as well as the third place 400- and 800-meter relays.
The foundation for Marion Local's second-place finish had been laid in the field events on Thursday, but a win in the 800-meter relay and Abby Schmitmeyer's third place in the pole vault helped the Flyers hold off the rest of the field.
Fort Recovery's fifth-place finish came without any victories other than Holly Brunswick's in the high jump on Thursday. However, one of the more inspiring performances on the day was turned in by Tina Roessner in the 3,200-meter run. She set her career best time by nine seconds, passed one Minster runner and challenged the other for a second-place finish.
"I was disappointed in my last few races," explained Roessner. "Today we had great weather and I had lots of people here to support me."
Marian Bevington helped pace Parkway to sixth place with a win in the 100-meter hurdles. Combined with her win in the long jump Thursday, she was one of the few double event winners at the meet.
New Bremen's Caitlin Chaney tied her season's best performance as she won the 800-meter run. She came in with times very similar to the two Minster runners and was able to best them. This was not the case at the beginning of the season.
"It took until halfway through the season until I was able to start beating them," confirmed Chaney. "That was my goal."
One other area winner was St. Henry's Carmen Moorman.
Moorman suffered a shoulder injury earlier in the season and is just starting to round into peak form in time for tournament action.
"Since being out those two weeks (with the injury), I've been trying to get back to where I was last year," explained Moorman.
Her posting of a career-best time in winning the 400-meter run shows she is almost all the way back.
The top four qualifiers in each event will advance to regional competition at Dayton's Welcome Stadium. Some field events will begin Tuesday at 4 p.m with running preliminaries beginning at 4:30 p.m. The remaining field events and the running finals will be held on Saturday beginning at 1:30 p.m.
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