Saturday, May 8th, 2010
By Gary R. Rasberry
Bulldogs get big wins to sweep county team titles
Mercer County Knights of Columbus Track Meet
  COLDWATER - The racing was so exciting at the annual Mercer County Knights of Columbus Track and Field Meet that the lights went out as the race wrapped up, although stormy weather was the true culrpit.
Fortunately, it was still light enough to final the final race, but the Celina boys and girls track teams had already turned out the lights in clinching the team titles at the battle of Mercer County track teams.
Both divisions were competitive, with the Runnin' Women of Celina taking first by 18 points over Marion Local, who gave Celina fits with solid sprint efforts.
In the boys division, Celina had a little more of a cusion out the Flyers 149-113 with Parkway over 50 points back of the Bulldogs in third place.
"Girls was a battle. Hopefully we learned something," said Celina coach Dan Otten. "Marion is good. Some good kids from a lot of teams, and we squiggled through somehow.
"Boys, we had some good stuff. Obviously, with Andrew (Goodwin) and Caleb Fickert. They did their thing."
That would be an understatement.
Fickert, one of the area's best at the 200 and 400-meter dashes, pulled off the hat trick in sweeping all three sprint events. In the 100, Coldwater's Kurt Westerheide gave Fickert a battle, with Fickert crossing the line in 11.95 seconds, 0.18 seconds ahead of Westerheide.
In the 400, it was St. Henry's Ryan Goettemoeller giving chase, with Fickert finishing 2/3 of a second ahead with a time of 51.50. Westerheide and Parkway's Shawn Miller provided the biggest challenge, with Fickert winning in 23.18 seconds. Second through third fourth places - Miler, Westerheide and Goettemoeller - were all within 0.35 seconds of each other at the tape.
"It's been a pretty good day," said Fickert. "Been a solid year so far. We've been doing well as a team and I learned a lot from last year," said Fickert. "Last year, I didn't run the 200 at all. This year, I've turned into a sprinter."
Then there was Goodwin, who defended his 1,600 and 3,200 titles in style. Although a strong headwind at the start/finish line slowed things a little, Goodwin was not threatened. In the 1,600, Goodwin finished nearly 15 seconds ahead of runner-up and teammate Derek Pease. In the 3,200, which was combined with the girls race to try and keep ahead of the stormy weather coming in, Goodwin was nearly a minute ahead of Dillan Schulze of St. Henry, crossing the line in 9:47.71.
"The wind was pretty tough. I was hoping for a fast time, maybe a PR (personal record)," said the Kent State-bound Goodwin. "The wind took that out of the factor. Still a good day overall."
The other big winner was Hank Bevington of Parkway, who dueled with Marion Local's Ben Fortkamp in the 110 and 300 hurdles, beating Fortkamp by 0.11 seconds in the 110, then holding off Fortkamp, who took third, and runner-up Logan Laux of Celina in the 300.
"They were close finishes," said Bevington. "All of us MAC hurdlers are good friends. We never talk bad about each other. We're always saying good luck to each other."
Pacing the Celina girls was Hannah Fleck, who helped the 3,200 set a meet record on Thursday before taking wins of her own in the 400 and 800. The chance for a Friday hat trick stooped as Coldwater held off the Celina 1,600 relay team by 0.07 seconds in the final.
"I knew I had a lot of competition," said Fleck. "This would be good conditioning for the WBL. I just came out here and worked as hard as I could."
Marion Local challenged the Celina girls with speed. Brianna Hess took the 100 dash with Allison Bruns taking the 200. Both ran legs as the Flyers swept the 400 and 800 relays.
Fort Recovery's Holly Brunswick added the high jump title to her Thursday win in the long jump, but finished fourth in the 100 hurdles to deny the chance for three wins.
Parkway and St. Henry split the women's hurdles events. Bailey King edged out Celina's Lizz Carr by 0.02 seconds in the 100 hurdles while Danielle Speck paced the Redskins on the day with a win in the 300 hurdles.
Coldwater swept the junior high events in dominating fashion.
For the high school athletes, league meets take place next week. The MAC heads to Fort Recovery on Tuesday and Friday while Celina heads to Shawnee for the WBL on Wednesday and Friday.
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