|Lady Bearcats run away with NWC track title, Grove boys edge LCC|
|Sunday, May 19, 2013 11:57 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
SPENCERVILLE — The Spencerville girls track and field team ran away from the field in the Northwest Conference Championships held Thursday and Saturday at Charles Moeller Memorial Track.
The Lady Bearcats — who also won last year’s meet — outdistanced runner-up Columbus Grove 166-116, with Lincolnview in fourth (54.5), Jefferson eighth (43) and Crestview 10th (15).
On the boys side, Columbus Grove also repeated its title from a year ago, edging Lima Central Catholic 127-108, with the Bearcats third (89.5), the Lancers sixth (62.5), the Knights seventh (51) and the Wildcats eighth (38).
Sophomore Kacie Mulholland — the 2013 NWC Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year — led the Lady Bearcats by winning four events: three solos — 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter (meet record) dashes — and as part of the 4x400-meter relay (Kennedy Sharp, Purdy, Caitlin Wurst).
“We don’t have a lot of numbers this year but the ones we have are talented. We lost some talented girls from last year but we brought back a lot, too,” Spencerville head coach Bruce McConnell — the NWC Girls Coach of the Year — noted. “Kacie in particular really did well today; she didn’t play basketball this past winter and she got much stronger; you are starting to see the results of her hard work. It’s not just her; this is the result of a lot of hard work.
“The girls really stepped up today as a group. You want to do well at your league meet, so we had girls doing other events that they might not normally do to try and get as many points as possible. Next week, we’ll review our strategy and focus on getting as many girls to advance. We’ll focus a lot of the relays; it’s just a matter of who will be in them.”
Lady Bulldog coach Tim Staley knew what his unit was in for.
“I knew it would be tough for us to get first place. Spencerville is pretty good in all events; they may not have at least two good girls in each event but they had at least one,” he noted. “We didn’t run as well as I thought we would on Thursday and lost a few girls. The field events really stepped up. We did well in the high jump with Cassie Stechschulte going 5-2, then we had a sweep in the discus and the shot took second and third. We had some good performances in the field events but we had a couple of bobbles in the running events that hurt us but for the most part, I’m sure it’s a washout. You have those things that go good and those things that go bad. They ran well and give credit to Spencerville.”
Lincolnview head man Matt Langdon was extremely happy with his Lady Lancers’ effort.
“The girls came in fourth and that was even better than I could have hoped, especially since you look at the numbers we had today,” he explained. “Haley McAbee really did well in winning the long jump, even though she hasn’t been doing it for long, and our 4x1 (Taylor Miller, Sarah Harris, Kaylee Thatcher and McAbee) also won. I liked how well we did today as a group.”
Lady Wildcat head coach Ryan Carder sees the same thing.
“We’re getting to where we want to be. We’re getting the girls in the right events that best fit them and the times are coming down as a result; I expect they will continue to do so in the next couple of weeks,” he said. “I really like how our youngsters stepped up today. Before, we’d just kind of do our own thing — which was OK as we were trying to figure things out — but we elevated our efforts to match the competition we faced today. We knew coming in Spencerville and Grove would be strong but we competed with them. Brooke Gallmeier, a freshman, in particular really did well; our girls 4x4 took 12 seconds on their previous best and she had an incredible leg.”
Noah Stratton of Bluffton was voted NWC Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Columbus Grove’s Chris Grothaus was voted the Coach of the Year.
“We had to make some adjustments and put guys in different events today. Jake Graham had to sacrifice a little bit; he obviously wanted to run the open 3,200 but we knew he could score us points in the 1,600 and 800,” Grothaus explained. “That was 18 points, so that helped, and we had two senior hurdlers go 1-2 in the 300, so that was big — kind of the key race. Once we did, that we felt pretty good. Our seniors did what they were supposed to do. If you ask them, they’d tell you it’s what we were supposed to do — ‘we’ve been here four years and we were asked to run like this so we did what was expected.’ I was proud of them; these kids put in a lot of time. It shows how much they have done for our program with their effort and gratitude.
“This was a good conference meet top to bottom. It’s the best it’s been in a while, so we are proud to win this as it was our goal at the beginning of the season.”
McConnell also knows where his boys team stands.
“The boys also performed well. We know that we’re not as talented in the boys as in the girls but those work really hard,” he added. “Everyone knows the weather has been terrible this year and has hurt us a bit in our development but we’re starting to see what we can really do; these kids have had a great attitude through it.
“We’ll do the same thing with them as far as look at our strategy for the districts and try to get as many as we can to move on.”
Langdon was also pleased with his Lancer boys.
“They did pretty well. Bayley (Tow) won the 2-mile, just missing out on the meet record and our school record; he was also a second off the school mark in the mile,” he added. “The weather didn’t really bother us this year; we worked them hard all through it — the same as we would if it had been nice — and I believe it has been an advantage for us. I feel we’re in better shape than a lot of our opponents; we’re peaking at the right moment and I think part of that has been the work we’ve put in.”
Jefferson boys coach Bub Lindeman could not be reached for comment.
The top finishers for the Wildcat boys were senior Cody Biglow, second in the 110-meter hurdles and fourth in the 300-meter hurdles; the 4x100-meter relay of Biglow, junior Tyler Mox and seniors Chris Truesdale and Nick Gallmeier, second; and the 4x2 relay of Biglow, Mox, Truesdale and Gallmeier, fourth.
Jefferson and Lincolnview are in the Spencerville District starting 4 p.m. Thursday, while Columbus Grove is in the Liberty-Benton District.
|Last Updated on Monday, May 20, 2013 12:03 AM|