Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
By Bruce Monnin
New Bremen boys and Minster girls win titles
MINSTER - Before the running finals began at the Division III district track meet in Minster on Saturday, two final field events were contested.
These events set the tone for the day, as the New Bremen boys finished first and second in the high jump while the Minster girls did the same in the pole vault. Both teams went on from there to capture their respective team district titles.
The Cardinal boys scored a narrow victory over the Wildcats, 145-132. To demonstrate these two teams' dominance over the field, the third-place team from Waynesfield-Goshen scored just 56 points. Boding well for next week's regional meet, New Bremen scored first place in five events on Saturday and were also the runners-up in five events.
Their first win was in high jump. Matt Sindelar tied his season best by clearing 6-4, then just missed his attempt to jump 6-6.
"It was so close," agonized Sindelar. "I hit it with the back part of my shoe. The bar wobbled and then it fell."
Teammate Justin Eilerman finished second, but did not seem disappointed when he said, "All that matters is I qualified for regionals."
Eilerman earned his second runner-up finish of the night when he and teammate Jeff Kremer finished over 12 seconds ahead of their nearest competition in the 1,600-meter run. They looked at the finish as if they were on a training run together.
"During the last 100 meters we met up and we decided to finish together," confirmed Eilerman.
But Eilerman eventually earned a win of his own when he won the 3,200-meter run. LCC's Jim Heider had a sizable lead all race long, until Eilerman turned on the juice in the last lap, passing Heider and winning by three seconds.
"I started to pick it up a bit on the last lap and closed in on him," said Eilerman. "With 250 meters to go I knew I had him."
The other New Bremen wins came from Jeff Kremer in the 800-meter run and from the Cardinals' 1,600-meter relay team. Kremer anchored that team to be part of his third win on the day and his fourth of the meet.
New Bremen also benefited from strong performances by Zach Speckman (second in the 110-meter hurdles and third in the 300-meter hurdles), Michael Travis (third in the 400-meter dash and fourth in the 200-meter dash), a second-place finish by the 800-meter relay team and a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter relay.
Minster kept the score close in this two-way battle for the district title with four event wins of its own. Albert Barga and Ty Whitford placed first and third in the 100-meter dash, then Barga turned in a repeat performance in the 400-meter dash. It appeared Barga had an easy victory until Allen East's Jacob Cook challenged late, but Barga sped up and held on for the win.
"I've seen him (Cook) run before and I was expecting him to come up, just not that fast," admitted Barga. "It was one of the toughest finishes I've ever had to give."
The other two Wildcats wins were in the 400- and 800-meter relays, with Ty Whitford, Bryan Phlipot and Jordan Boeke participating in both relays. Whitford was quick to point out that the 800-meter relay ran a faster time than they did when finishing in fifth place at the state track meet last year.
Minster also received a second-place finish from its 1,600-meter relay team and a third-place from Jake Kaiser in the long jump. But Wildcat coach Larry Topp was quick to point out the 800-meter run as an example of the effort put forth by his team Saturday. While Joby Stechschulte was finishing second, Oliver Barga was well back in the pack. Entering the homestretch, he passed several competitors to move into sixth place, then accelerated by three others just before the finish line to earn third place with a personal best time.
"I finally ran a smart 800," explained Oliver. "I kept my speed up on the second lap this time."
Besides the team competition, others were just struggling to finish in the top four so they could move on to the regional meet in Troy next week.
St. Henry advanced several boys in the hurdles and the distance events. Michael Goettemoeller placed third in the 110-meter hurdles and then repeated last week's win at the Midwest Athletic Conference meet in the 300-meter hurdles. Goettemoeller credits the great competition for his improved performance the last two weeks.
"It will probably be these same guys fighting it out at regionals," guessed Goettemoeller. "Especially since the hurdles in our district always show so well at regionals."
The St. Henry 1,600-meter relay team also qualified by finishing fourth, while Dillon Schulze and Doug Ranly each moved on by finishing third and fourth in the 3,200-meter run.
Other area regional qualifiers included Marion Local's Ben Fortkamp who finished fourth in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, Parkway's Michael Nuttle (fourth in the 800-meter run) and New Knoxville's Adam Wierwille (fourth in the 1,600-meter run).
The Minster girls won their half of the meet handily, scoring 50 more points than runner-up Delphos Jefferson, 132-82. In what is also a good sign for the regional meet, the Lady Wildcats took five first-place finishes of their own.
Minster got a quick start in the pole vault, where Sarah Huelsman set a new meet record in clearing 10-3 for the win over teammate Kayla Wuebker, who jumped 10-0. It was the first time Huelsman had beaten Wuebker all year and she went seven inches higher than her previous best. With only one other person who will be at regionals next week clearing 10 foot at their districts, the girls are hoping to advance next Friday.
"Hopefully both of us can go on to state," said Huelsman. "Then we could keep practicing together. That would be awesome."
Setting their best time of the season for the Wildcats was their 1,600-meter relay team. Samantha Hoelscher started the race off, then Sophia Richard ran the second leg with her best split time of the year. Maria Dahlinghaus (who also won the 800-meter run) took the handoff for the third leg in a tight pack.
"I was in the fourth lane when I took the baton," said Dahlinghaus. "It was insane."
Alyssa Kemper (who also won the 200-meter dash) stretched out a lead early in the last leg. New Bremen's Taylor Jones closed the gap and attempted to pass just before the third turn, but Kemper increased her speed and forced Jones to the outside lane before pulling away in the homestretch.
"I saw her coming," admitted Kemper. "There was no way I wanted her to beat me."
Minster got its final event win when Jessica Albers and Bernadette Burke finished first and second in the 1,600-meter run. Albers also finished third in the 800-meter run. Other regional qualifiers for the Wildcats were Averie Bornhorst finishing second in the 3,200-meter run and Minster's 800-meter relay team finishing fourth.
New Bremen ended up fourth in the team standings despite not winning any events Saturday. The 1,600-meter relay team and Caitlin Chaney in the 800-meter run came closest, each finishing second. Emily Rutschilling also moves on to Troy with a third place in the pole vault along with Alexis Niekamp with her fourth place in the 3,200-meter run.
Carmen Moorman was the sole regional qualifier on the day from the St. Henry girls team, but she will be plenty busy in Troy next week. Moorman finished fourth in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, but her best event was a victory in the 400-meter dash. Moorman had the lead early, then was passed briefly by another runner.
"I saw the other girl just in the final 10 meters, so I put in a final push and thankfully beat her," said Moorman.
It was Moorman's best time of the year. "It's all just starting to come together now," she grinned.
Fort Recovery also had just one qualifier, but she was also an event winner. Tina Roessner finished third early in the day in the 1,600-meter run, then finished 18 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor in winning the 3,200-meter run.
"It was a huge goal of mine to finish the season strong," said Roessner.
A final local winner was Parkway's Marian Bevington, who continued her dominance of the 100-meter hurdles. Her winning time of 15.48 was well ahead of the second best finisher's time of 16.77. Joining Bevington at regionals will be fellow Panther Tara Luth who finished fourth in the 800-meter run.
Marion Local was unable to advance any individuals to regionals, but two of its relay teams moved on. The 400-meter relay finished in fourth place, while the 800-meter relay ran a time fast enough to break the old meet record, but unfortunately not fast enough to beat out the team from Delphos Jefferson, which can now claim the meet record.
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