Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
Minster sweeps boys and girls team titles
Division III District Track Meet
By Bruce Monnin
Marion Local's Allie Thobe, left foreground, leads Minster's Hannah Barga and Ma. . .
SPENCERVILLE - Consistency is the mark of a good program, and the Minster boys and girls once again demonstrated that they have two of the best track programs around.
The two Wildcat teams swept both halves of the Division III district track meet for the fourth consecutive year Saturday.
The Minster boys cruised to a 142-97 win over runner-up Lima Central Catholic, with fellow MAC team Coldwater (77 points) finishing third in the standings.
The girls' portion of the meet saw the Wildcats win by a somewhat closer margin, outdistancing the runners-up from Marion Local by a score of 149-109. Spencerville was close behind in third place with 106 points. For the Minster girls, it was the 18th consecutive year they won their district title and the 32nd time they had done so in the last 34 years.
The Wildcat boys were victorious in three events Saturday, complimenting their two event wins from Thursday. They also added five second place finishes, two thirds and a fourth, ensuring a large contingent of Wildcats will be competing next week in Piqua.
The Minster boys advanced to regional competition in all their relay races, finishing fourth in the 4x100 meter relay, second in the 4x200 meter relay and winning the 4x400 meter relay. The time of 3:26.45 posted by Troy Kaufmann, Paul Dues, Alan Tebbe and Korey Schultz was almost six seconds better than their winning time from last year's meet and set a new season best.
Schultz also contributed with a win in the 400 meter dash. Though he did not match his time from the MAC meet the week before, Korey is hopeful of better times in the future.
"There is definitely improvement to be made," admitted Schultz. "Our region is very good, but I am hoping for the best next week."
The final Minster event winner was Dues in the high jump. Paul cleared six feet along with Coldwater's Kyle Bergman and New Knoxville's Andrew Mackie and Isaac Kuntz. Dues and Mackie needed to compete in a jump off for the district championship, but Mackie preferred to accept second place and rest for his coming running events.
Other qualifiers for the Wildcats included Dominic Slonkosky, who finished second in the 800 and 1,600 meter runs, Wes Hegemann (who set a personal best in finishing second in the discus) and Andrew Fausey (third in the 800 meter run).
One last Minster qualifier came in the most record setting race of the day. The old record in the 3,200 meter run had been set the year before by St. Henry's Aaren Hemmelgarn, but he was not on his best form this year after tearing two ligaments in his thumb the day before. Aaren was still able to set a fast early pace, which helped five other participants of the race to break Aaren's year old record of 10:00.03. Minster's Eric Dahlinghaus finished second with a time of 9:51.02, followed by Coldwater's Dan Seas at 9:51.44 and St. Henry's Spencer Schulze at 9:52.89.
Coldwater finished third in the team standings, with five athletes finishing in the top four of an event. Besides Seas' and Bergman's third places, Mike Rios claimed fourth place in the discus, as did Seth Dippold in the 100 meter dash and Landon Schlater in the 300 meter hurdles.
Eighth place New Bremen was paced by Garrett Westerbeck, who continued the proud Cardinal tradition in the 300 meter hurdles. He was involved in a tight race with Delphos Jefferson's Cody Biglow from the start, edging him at the line by seven hundredths of a second.
"I just tried to attack the first few hurldes," explained Westerbeck. "At 100 meters to go, I knew it was going to be close so I just had to push it."
Garrett will be joined by fellow Cardinal Jared Kremer who finished fourth in the 400 meter dash.
Tenth place St. Henry also had two regional qualifiers. Besides Spencer Schulze's fourth place in the 3,200 meter run, Jacob Rindler repeated last year's win in the 800 meter run. The win let Jacob keep alive his undefeated mark against other division three athletes in the event this season. It was also the next step towards Rindler's two goals of winning the state championship and also setting a new state record.
The Parkway boys earned three more regional spots Saturday. Individually, Cody Carmean repeated last year's third place finish in the 200 meter dash. Cody was also joined by Jacob Stein, Dakota Hucke and Adam Carr in finishing third in the 4x100 meter relay. Kris Gangwer teamed with Stein, Carr and Carmean to finish fourth in the 4x200 meter relay.
The champion Minster girls earned five event wins on Saturday, three of which were in individual events. Olivia Enneking finished first in the 300 meter hurdles, an event where her freshman teammate, Maggie Meiring place third. Two other freshman, Katherine Burke and Kaci Bornhorst, took the top two spots in the 3,200 meter run. The Wildcat youth movement continued in the 800 meter run, which was won by freshman Julia Slonkosky.
I'm still trying to figure it all out. It is all new to me," said Slonkosky about tournament competition. "I am trying to get to the state meet, but I am learning to take it race by race."
The Minster girls also won two relay races. First, the 4x100 meter relay team of Enneking, Chelsea Stewart, Sara Dahlinghaus and Hannah Barga edged out the second place Marion Local team of Brianna Hess, Olivia Hemmelgarn, Alyssa Homan and Haley Habodasz.
Hannah, who also finished fourth in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, ran the winning anchor leg. She was slightly behind when she received the baton but pulled ahead for the win.
"It is always a really close race, so if I am a little behind it doesn't scare me much," described Barga. "It makes it a more interesting race. I enjoyed it."
The Wildcat 4x400 team of Gabrielle Barga, Slonkosky, Natalie Fausey and Enneking also managed to edge out the Flyer team of Hemmelgarn, Gina Kramer, Rose Berning and Allie Thobe. The team from Fort Jennings led going into the anchor leg. Minster's Enneking steadily caught up and moved outside to pass on the home stretch. Meanwhile, Marion Local's Allie Thobe had also used the first 300 meters to close the gap and made her bid for victory at the end. Enneking appeared to lead for the last 50 meters when she was caught by Thobe. It was impossible to tell the winner in real time, but Minster was awarded the win by one-hundredth of a second.
Other Minster girls advancing to the regional meet include Cassie Jutte (second in the long jump), Natalie Fausey (second in the 1600 meter run), Maria Heckman (third in the pole vault) and the two Barga girls, Dahlinghaus and Enneking who placed third in the 4x200 meter relay.
Marion Local was able to finish second in the team standings with two event wins, six second place finishes and a third place on the day. Olivia Hemmelgarn set a new personal record in winning the pole vault with a height of 11-0. Allie Thobe secured the other win in the long jump, reaching a length of 16-6 on her jumps.
"I could tell I was feeling pretty good," said Thobe after her early jumps.
Teammate Gina Kramer also placed third in the event.
Thobe also finished second in the 200 meter dash, as did Emily Mescher in the shot put and Brianna Hess in the 100 meter dash. Finally, the 4x200 relay team of Hess, Kramer, Hemmelgarn and Thobe finished second to earn their opportunity to compete again next week.
New Bremen finished eighth as a team and advanced athletes in two events. Aly Elking placed fourth in the 1,600 meter run while Makenna Brackman also qualified for the regional meet with a fourth place in the 800 meter run.
Three other area athletes will be moving on to regional competition. Fort Recovery's Elle Sutter finished third in the 3,200 meter run, while St. Henry's Courtney Kink finished fourth in the same race. Parkway's Emilie Baker will be joining the local contingent thanks to a fourth place finish in the 300 meter hurdles.
The top four qualifiers in each event will advance to regional competition at Piqua. Some field events will begin Wednesday at 4 p.m. with running preliminaries beginning at 4:30 p.m. The remaining field events will be held on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. with the running finals starting at 2:30 p.m.