Saturday, May 5th, 2012
By Gary R. Rasberry
Kanney, Seas among record breakers on Friday
Mercer County Knights of Columbus Track Meet
  COLDWATER - The rain and nasty weather held off until after the conclusion of the 2012 Mercer County Knights of Columbus Track Meet in Coldwater on Friday night.
That doesn't mean there was some rumbling out there as several records dropped in competition.
While the host Cavalier boys and Celina girls dominated in the points standings to claim team titles, there were plenty of individual highlights.
The most impressive came from Coldwater freshman Sarah Kanney.
Kanney shattered two records that were set almost 30 years ago in dominating the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs. In the 1,600, Kanney dueled with Celina's Hannah Fleck before crossing the finish line in 5:05.16, taking 0.44 seconds off the mark set by Celina's Jill Weber back in 1984.
Kanney was not done yet, running the 3,200, which was run at the same time as the boys to beat the impending rain, Kanney chopped of an astounding 34 seconds off the mark that Weber also set in 1984, Kanney finished in 10:56.31, which would have allowed her to finish seventh in the boys' 3,200.
"It felt good tonight," said Kanney. "We've had wind (at earlier meets). This was the first pretty-fair weather meet for us. It was fun to run in."
  Coldwater's Mike Seas made his last meet at Cavalier Stadium shine. The University of Wyoming-bound Seas got out to a good start after Parkway's Cameron Strunk led the pace early, then pulled away from St. Henry's Aaren Hemmelgarn to win the 1,600 in 4:23.15, taking 0.83 seconds off the mark shared by the Celina tandem of Andrew Goodwin and Mitch Williams when the pair had a photo-finish at the 2009 Meet.
The chance to take down Goodwin's 3,200 mark of 9:38.38 did not come to pass, however, as Seas won the two-miler in 9:49 flat.
"It was a good day. I was out here doing the best I could," said Seas. "I knew I wanted to try and get a quick 1,600 time and wanted to do well in the 3,200. I just tried to do my best."
The other record on Friday was unique as Marion Local's Olivia Hemmelgarn dueled with Celina's Kacy Stachler in the pole vault. The pair both broke the meet mark of 10 feet - shared by Hemmelgarn and Coldwater's Brittanie Niekamp - with an effort of 10-4. While each got the record, Hemmelgarn earned first place based on fewer attempts, but gave Stachler her due as well.
"She's a senior, so I think it's great she gets a part of it for now," said Hemmelgarn. "Maybe I could claim it (outright) next year.""
Among other big wins on Friday at the meet were Celina's Lexi Mills sweeping the hurdles events, finishing 1-2 with teammate Lizz Carr in both events. Marion Local's Allie Thobe missed out on the hat trick after qualifying fastest in the 100, 200 and 400 dashes. Celina's Gina Strable edged out Thobe by 0.18 seconds in the 100, but the Flyers' freshman took firsts in the 200 and 400. Fleck would win her marquee event, the 800-meter run, missing setting a meet record of her own by 0.02 seconds in running in 2:20.32, then ran a leg of the winning 1,600 relay to go with Thursday's record-breaking effort in the 3,200 relay.
On the boys' side, Jake Kramer made it a sweep of the throws as the Cavalier won the discus with an effort of 127-5. Celina's Chad Temple won the 200 to go with running legs of the Bulldogs' winning 800 and 400 relays.
In the junior high meet, it was the Celina girls and Coldwater boys matching their high school counterparts' claiming of the team titles. It came down to the final race in the girls, where Celina won the 1,600 relay as Coldwater finished in third. Marion Local's Emily Mescher secured the lone record-breaking performance in the junior high meet, setting a new shot put mark with a top effort of 37-7 1/2, bettering the old mark of 37 feet even held by former Coldwater standout Betsy Dues in 1996.
Conference meets take the stage next week. Celina heads to Wapakoneta next Wednesday and Friday for the Western Buckeye League meet, while the rest of the county teams travel to New Bremen for the Midwest Athletic Conference meet.
SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS - The four local Councils of the Knights of Columbus continued its tradition of presenting $100 book scholarships to a senior from each of the six county teams. This year's recipients are Lexi Mills (Celina), Rachel Schmitz (Coldwater), Mikayla Westgerdes (Fort Recovery), Mindy Hartings (Marion Local), Morgan Fisher (Parkway) and Cathy Delzeith (St. Henry).
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