Saturday, May 11th, 2013
Celina girls and Coldwater boys claim team titles
Mercer County Knights of Columbus Track Meet
By Bruce Monnin
Celina's Michaela Wenning helped the Lady Bulldogs win the team title at the Mer. . .
COLDWATER - The final day of competition in the Mercer County Knights of Columbus track meet on Friday provided a combination of contrasting team strengths, record-breaking individual performances and a dramatic finish under threatening but cooperative skies.
When it was over, it was the Celina girls and the Coldwater boys celebrating while holding high their trophies as the champions of Mercer County.
The girls portion of the meet saw Celina total 174 points and the Bulldogs distanced themselves from runners-up Marion Local and Coldwater, who tied for second place with 139 points. The Bulldogs' strength came in the sprint events, as they won all six races of 400 meters or less in length. Celina also had three individuals win multiple events.
The boys team competition was much closer. Coldwater entered the night with a 19-point lead and eventually held off Celina 168-163. The Cavs won with depth as they took first in just five events, compared to six wins for Celina and five for third-place St. Henry.
Katie Sutter started the day for Celina's girls by winning the shot put with a top effort of 35-2 1/4.
"I've been hitting my throws really well in warmups, but I'm not quite there in meets yet," said Sutter. "I can do better."
Sutter's win allowed her to sweep the throwing events after winning the discus on Thursday. Katie's sister Paige made it a family affair when she won both throwing events in the junior high portion of the meet. But, unusually for a thrower, Katie was not finished. She was also part of the winning 400- and 800-meter relay teams, with the 400 team setting a new meet record with a time of 1:51.66.
Gina Strable was also part of the winning 400 relay and she also went on to win the 100 and 200. Her time of 26.39 in the 200 set another meet record.
"I went back to talk to my coach, and he was thinking more about the record than I was," said Strable, who says she was happier about being part of the record setting 400 relay team. "Being part of a team has more pressure because if you mess up, you ruin it for the team."
The other multiple winner for Celina was Michaela Wenning, who took first place in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles races to go along with a second-place effort in the high jump. Though she failed in her goal to set a personal record in one of the races, she was impressive while winning the 300-meter hurdles by almost three seconds.
"I was just going for my personal-best time," said Wenning. "I knew (Parkway's Emilie) Baker was pretty fast, so I had to go fast myself."
Celina also had a win from Bekah Carr in the 400, while Kendra Fennig and Megan Imwalle were part of the winning 400 and 800 relay teams.
Marion Local's strength came from the field events. Besides Allie Thobe's win in Thursday's long jump, Olivia Hemmelgarn won the pole vault for the third consecutive year with a top effort of 10-6. This tied Hemmelgarn's top mark and broke her own 2012 meet record.
Gina Kramer won the high jump by matching her season-best when she cleared 5-4. This led to the Flyers' own version of the sister act, as Jessie Kramer also won the junior high event.
During the last event of the night, Hemmelgarn, along with Alyssa Homan, Rose Berning and Molly Berning, won the 1,600 relay in exciting fashion. The Flyers lost the lead during the anchor leg only to regain it just in time to finish a quarter of a second ahead of Coldwater. This provided the points needed to move the Flyers into a second-place tie with the Cavaliers.
Coldwater dominated the distance events. Sarah Kanney, Lauren Seas and Jill Kanney finished in the top three spots in the 1,600. Later in the meet, they did it again in the 800, with Sarah Kanney and Seas again finishing first and second, while Kiersten Siefring took third place.
They couldn't quite pull off the trifecta, but Christina Seas set a personal record while winning the 3,200, while Jill Kanney finished second. The four distance events produced 76 of the Cavaliers' 139 total points.
Coldwater's boys extended their lead early when Mike Rios and Jake Kramer finished first and second in the discus. Thursday night the duo also took the top two spots in the shot put, with Kramer coming out on top.
Rios was happier with his second-place effort in the shot put than his win in the discus, because he set a personal record by a couple of inches while his winning discus throw was 15-feet shorter than his personal best.
"I had a bad day throwing," said Rios. "Hopefully I'll get back mentally next week."
The Cavaliers' 400 relay team of Caleb Siefring, Tony Rammel, Nick Clune and Seth Dippold also picked up an important win to go along with eight second- place finishes by the Cavs.
Celina inched closer to Coldwater after winning six events. Jack Hinders began the rally with a win in the long jump. Wyatt Jackson soon followed with a victory in the 110-meter hurdles. Collen Byer added points from the sprints when he won the 200 and finished second in the 100.
The rest of the Bulldog victories involved Braelen Bader. His favorite race is the 400 relay, where the team finished in third place. He was also part of the winning 800 relay, along with Nick Marks, Kyle Snider and Caleb Green. Bader's one individual event was the 300-meter hurdles, where he just missed his personal record.
But Bader's best effort came in the last race of the night. Celina's team of Marks, Cole Stephens and Jacob Gilstrap finished the first three legs just behind Marion Local before Bader took the baton and followed the Flyers' anchor man most of the lap before pulling alongside during the sprint to the finish. Just as it appeared Marion Local would gain the narrow victory, Bader dove forward Superman-style at the finish to give the Bulldogs the victory by a mere two-hundredths of a second.
St. Henry finished in third place in the team standings with 97 points, over half of which came from their five event wins in the distance events. The Redskins set the tone Thursday night with their win in the 3,200 relay and Jacob Rindler then earned two individual wins in the 400 and 800.
Aaren Hemmelgarn began Friday by winning the 1.600 with a time of 4:26.92, setting a new St. Henry record in the process. Hemmelgarn then returned later in the evening to win the 3,200 with a time of 9:50.12, another St. Henry record.
Parkway finished fourth with 58 points and had the only other event win when Cody Carmean won the closest race of the night. He nipped Celina's Collen Byer by one-hundredth of a second in the 100, with Coldwater's Seth Dippold another two-hundredths of a second back.