DAYTON — Welcome Stadium in Dayton was the site of the Division III Southwest District Track and Field preliminaries on a gloomy, wet and windy afternoon Tuesday, May 17, and several county athletes advanced to either the district finals or next week’s regional.
The top eight in each prelim advance to the district finals on Saturday, May 21, at 10 a.m.
Finals were held in four boys’ events and three girls’ events, with Twin Valley South boys leading the field with 36 points, followed by Mechanicsburg and Tri-County North. Twin Valley South’s girls team is currently second behind Arcanum with 17 points, while Tri-County North was fourth with 10 points. The top four in each final advance to the regional meet next week at Troy Memorial Stadium.
District team and individual champions will be crowned Saturday.
Twin Valley South made a strong performance on the opening day of the meet, winning both the boys and girls 4×800-meter relays, and Aaron Deaton winning the boys discus throw to qualify for the regional meet.
A large number of relay teams and individuals will participate in the finals at Welcome Stadium.
“Overall, I am pleased with our preliminary performances. We did what we needed to do in most of our events,” said South boys coach Richie Faber after the event. “I was definitely happy about having six guys qualify for the regional meet next week including two first place finishes from the 4×800 relay team of JJ Utz, Sammy Shockey, Ethan Wells and Matt Hemmelgarn, and Aaron Deaton winning the discus. It is also nice leading the team standings after the first day. I think we are positioned well to have a high finish in the team standings and possibly win the district championship.”
Junior Abby Beneke earned second in the 100-meter high hurdles and second in the 300-meter low hurdles, while Luke Stoner and Josh Chapman made it in the boys high hurdles.
Chase Sochacki ran a 11.86 seconds in the 100-meter dash for sixth place. Matt Hemmelgarn narrowly qualified for the final spot in the boys 1600-meter run by a second in front off Tri-County’s Bailey Hilt.
Abby Creech took fifth in the 400-meter dash, and sixth in the girls high jump.
Sammy Shockey won his heat of the 400-meter dash and has the second fastest time overall, edged out by Mechanicsburg’s Jared Butcher. Shockey also managed to take seventh in the 200-meter dash.
Luke Stoner managed to finish seventh in the 300-meter hurdles.
Madison Wright and Rylie Gearhart were able to qualify in the 800-meter run, finishing second and seventh respectively. J.J. Utz and Andrew Augsuprger were among the qualifiers in the boys race.
Mylan Crews finished second in the 200-meter dash, blazing ahead of the pack in her heat.
In field events, Haily Keener and Taryn Haynes placed in the top eight in the girls discus, placing sixth and eighth respectively.
Deaton, the defending state shot put champion, won discus while teammate Tony Turner was fifth.
Payton Gates and Jared Kirkpatrick finished fourth and sixth in the long jump, with Gates qualifying to the regional with his performance.
Troy Bowers placed fifth in the pole vault.
The boys and girls qualified in all four relay races.
Tri-County North coach Jim Conway expressed his satisfaction on the performance by his girls and boys team.
“Heck of a job by all of our kids today,” he said. “We had a lot of personal records exceeded today. We’ve been very balanced in all our events today with our jumps, throws and runs. We had Brett Booso who made a new personal best in the pole vault and won, Haylee Thies did well in the high jump by winning as well. We had a couple of guys qualify in the long jump. I am really excited about our prospects for this Saturday, and I think we are looking in pretty good shape.”
For the North Panthers, Thies was a district champion by winning the high jump, and she also qualified to the finals in the 100 hurdles with the fastest qualifying time.
Drake Coleman finished fourth in both the 100-meter high hurdles and the 300-meter low hurdles.
Jason Wood squeaked past Cedarville’s Mitchell Wood by 1/1000 of a second to place seventh in the boys 100-meter dash to advance to the finals. Aidan Tomlin earned a trip to Saturday’s finals with a seventh place finish in the 1600-meter run.
Rachael Dempsey competed in a very tight girls 300-meter hurdles race, with less than two full seconds separating the second thru eighth place finishers.
Sophomore Lauren Koenig ran well enough in the 800-meter race to qualify. Sean Tomlin threw a 134 feet, 10 inches in the discus to place second for the boys and advance to next week’s regional competition.
Jason Wood jumped into fifth in the boys long jump, just missing qualifying to the regional.
The boys and girls qualified for both the 4×100 and 4×200-meter relays respectively.
National Trail also participated in the district tournament. The Blazers qualified their boys 4×800-meter relay team with a fourth place finish. Josh Bishop managed to make the finals in the 1600-meter run by placing sixth. Freshman Ian Miller ran for sixth in the 300-meter low hurdles. Josh Cook and Adam Eyler each managed to finish high enough for Saturday’s finals.
Preble Shawnee girls competed as a Division III team this year. Elise Walker finished a strong third in the high jump. The 4×100 relay team, crewed by Alivia Reek, Sidney Hacker, Jane Feck and Elise Walker, placed fifth. The 4×400-meter Arrows team, run by Kaylie Campbell, Mackenzie Howard, Brooke Tatum, and Elise Walker, finished eighth.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or at Twitter@osanders_RH