|Lady Musketeers win first-ever invitational at St. John’s meet|
|Monday, April 29, 2013 1:56 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
DELPHOS — The Fort Jennings track and field teams have been around for 15 years and had never won an invitational.
The Lady Musketeers got that 800-pound gorilla off their back as they nipped host St. John’s by 2.5 points in the 13th annual Delphos St. John’s Track and Field Invitational on a pleasant Saturday morning/afternoon at the Arnold Scott Memorial Track.
“This feels good. We’d never done this well before,” Musketeer coach Kevin Horstman acknowledged. “We have four very special seniors that are leaders in example; they work really hard and the other girls follow. Because of the weather this spring — everyone has had to deal with it — we really hadn’t been able to go all out. Today, we did; we showed what we’re capable of doing and I hope this is a springboard into even better things.”
The Lady Blue Jays were nipped at the end by Fort Jennings.
“The girls did really well overall. For example, our 4x4 relay couldn’t have run any better, beating their personal record by over two seconds; they just lost to a very good Fort Jennings team,” acting head coach Jeff Martin said. “There were four or five meet records set today. Sam Bonifas set her PR in the 300 hurdles, as did Anna Mueller in the distance runs. We’re starting to turn the corner. Outside of Megan Joseph, who sat out with an injury, we’re relatively healthy. We got DQ’d in the 4x1 and didn’t run a 4-8 relay, so we did well in the events we had people.”
The boys counterpart, Dr. Jay DeWitt, was also very pleased with his unit’s efforts, finishing only behind Lima Central Catholic.
“Finally, we had a good day to run today. We had a good day as far as the weather and as far as our performance,” he explained. “Our 4x8 surprised me as well as they did. Our 4x4 is all seniors and they finished first; I knew they always had it in them. This was the first meet when we really felt we could let it go. It’s also the time of season when you really need to get serious in terms of preparing for the league and the post-season.”
The Lincolnview track and field teams finished third.
“Our girls were only four points out of second and seven out of third. We came pretty close to winning and we had good e4fforts all day,” Lincolnview coach Matt Langdon said. “We didn’t leave any points out there; we got all the points we could and even overachieved. In the end, the thing that hurt us most was depth; we had to have more girls in more events than we’d have liked and we just ran out of gas.
“The boys were in the same boat; we didn’t leave any points out there. We had two meets earlier this week and I was worried we might be a little fatigued. I think we were a bit tired physically but with this nice weather, I think that gave us a boost mentally. We finally didn’t have to fight bad weather and could just go out and run.”
Jefferson was fourth on the boys side and fifth on the girls.
“It was good to finally see what the guys could do. I am pleased with the progress of Cody Biglow in the hurdles; it’s a very technical event and he just keeps getting better,” Jefferson coach Bub Lindeman acknowledged. “Our relays did strong overall. We’ve been battling some minor injuries and we had a chance to see what some younger guys could do. We competed hard and well.”
Lady Wildcat coach Ryan Carder agreed.
“It was the first meet we felt we could really go hard and the results showed. Brooke Gallmeier was second in the high jump and this was only the second time she jumped it in a meet,” he added. “What we did today we can definitely build on; this should give us confidence as we move on and hopefully, the weather will help us keep growing. For example, we know what we have to work on in our handoffs; you really can’t work on them in a gymnasium.”
Ottoville’s girls unit finish fifth.
Senior Tammy Wannemacher swept the shot put and discus events, while junior Taylor Mangas won the 300-meter hurdles and came in third in the 100-meter hurdles to lead the way for the Lady Green.
The Ottoville boys were eighth of the 10 teams.
Dylan Klima was the sole champion, taking first in the pole vault, while Anthony Eickholt was second in the event and third in the 110-meter hurdles. Lucas Maag was also third in the long jump.
The Musketeer boys finished last with eight points.
“We’re a work in progress. We’re in a numbers game with the boys,” Horstman added. “We also have baseball here and with such a limited supply of boys to begin with, we’re struggling to build a solid program, especially with the numbers; we don’t have softball here, so track is it for the girls. At the same time, I am pleased with our progress. We’ve adopted an attitude of really trying to enjoy the sport as we get better, which we did today.”
Jefferson hosts Bath and New Bremen at 4:30 p.m. today (newly-scheduled meet).
St. John’s hosts a tri-meet 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, while Fort Jennings is in a Bluffton tri and Lincolnview is in the Van Wert County Invitational at Van Wert.
Ottoville heads to the Edgerton Invitational 4 p.m. Friday.