By Ben Stroup
Liberty’s boys and girls won district championships in Division I and Buckeye Valley’s girls nabbed runner-up honors in D-II to highlight what was a solid week for area track and field standouts.
Division I District 1
The Patriot boys took top honors in the Division I District 1 showcase which wrapped up Saturday at Hilliard Darby, compiling 87 points.
Liberty was led by its 4×100 relay team (Noah Meeker, Ben Rinsma, Daniel Blaine and Trevor Collins), which won a district title with a 43.85-second effort; Mitchell Towne, who won the 800 (1:54.10); Canaan Cook, who won the pole vault (14-06); Marcus Pride, who finished second in the shot put (48-03); Collins, who nabbed runner-up honors in the 100- and 200-meter dashes (11.06 and 22.20 seconds, respectively); the 4×800 relay team (Luke Wojciechowski, Joseph Johnson, Ryan Milligan and Towne), which finished third in 8:00.34; the 4×400 relay team (Andrew Lorence, Towne, Jonathan Mace and Milligan), which crossed the finish line fourth in 3:27.68; and Ryan Jones, who finished fourth in the pole vault (13-0).
Orange’s boys were also in action. The Pioneers finished seventh with 52 points. Regional qualifiers included the 4×400 relay team (T.J. Coates, Tyler King, Christian Wright and Zach Harrison), which nabbed a district title in 3:24.03; Zach Skidmore, who finished third in the shot put (47-02.75); Jayden Rodgers, who finished fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.30 seconds); and the 4×200 relay team (Joel Sarponjg, Coates, Sam Ansong and Harrison), which closed third in 1:31.60;
Orange and Big Walnut’s girls also competed in District 1, finishing fifth and eighth with respective point totals of 71.50 and 42.
Regional qualifiers among the two squad’s included Big Walnut’s Kaley Rammelsberg and Ellie Jindra, who finished first and second in the high jump with respective marks of 5-06 and 5-04; the Pioneers’ Anna Watson, who won a district crown in the pole vault (12-06); Orange’s Allison Guagenti, who finished second in the 800 and 1,600 (2:17.91 and 5:05.54, respectively); the Pioneers’ Zoe Bond, who finished third in the 3,200 (11:35.28); BW’s Sara Althauser, who finished third in the 300 hurdles (47.27 seconds); the Golden Eagles’ Anna Vrancken, who finished third in the discus (113-0); Rammelsberg, who finished fourth in the 100 hurdles (15.74 seconds); Orange’s 4×200 relay team (Hannah Dieker, Brynna Johnson, Grace Frye and Angel Frye), which finished fourth (1:46.95); Angel Frye, who finished fourth in the 200 (26.41 seconds); and Orange’s 4×400 relay team (Johnson, Grace Frye, Guagenti, Angel Frye), which finished fourth in 4:02.16.
Division I District 2
Liberty’s girls equaled the effort of the boys, winning a district championship in District 2, which was also held at Hilliard Darby.
The Patriots won with 76.50 points, edging runner-up Reynoldsburg and Hilliard Davidson, which finished with totals of 76 and 75, respectively.
Standouts included Claire Linn, who earned runner-up honors in the 800 (2:17.99); Abby Summers, who finished second in the 200 (25.22 seconds); Gracie Sprankle, who was third in the 3,200 (11:12.40); the 4×200 relay team (Sienna Sakich, Sydney Englehart, Kelsey Mockler and Summers), which finished fourth in 1:44.29; the 4×800 relay team (Sprankle, Linn, Emily Matta and Madeline Ailes), which finished fourth in 9:34.45; Englehart, who finished third in the 400 (58.60 seconds); and Lauren Hofer, who finished fourth in the shot put (35-05).
Olentangy’s boys and girls were also in action in District 2, finishing seventh and eighth in their respective divisions.
The Braves’ boys were boosted Kyle Brookeshire, who won the pole vault by clearing 13-06; and the 4×800 relay team (Zach Balthaser, Jeremy Kendle, Grant Maddox and Anthony Sasso), which finished third in 8:10.79. Sasso and Balthaser qualified for regionals as individuals in the 1,600-meter run, crossing the finish line third and fourth in respective times of 4:23.93 and 4:25.31, while Sasso advanced in the 800 thanks to another third-place finish (1:59.43).
Olentangy’s girls were led by Siobhan Szerencsits and Madeline Barnes, who finished second and third in the pole vault with respective efforts of 11-06 and 11-0; Abigail Toops, who finished fourth in the long jump (16-06); and Holly Nation, who finished fourth in the high jump (5-02).
Division 1 District 3
In District 3 action at Darby, Hayes’ girls finished fifth while the boys closed seventh.
Regional qualifiers for the girls included the 4×100 relay team (Brooke Glesenkamp, Ashley Smiley, Macie Wright and Tori Young), which finished third in 50.62 seconds; Madeline Hayes, who finished third in the pole vault (10-0); and Smiley, who finished third in the long jump (15-08.25).
The boys were led by the 4×100 relay team (Elijah Harrell, Jacob Protheroe, Blain McCormick and Deven Ward), which picked up first-place points in 43.57 seconds; Justin Hernan, who closed second in the 1,600 (4:29.56); and Ward, who finished third in the 100- and 200-meter dashes (11.06 and 22.63 seconds, respectively).
Division I District 4
Big Walnut’s boys finished fifth and Buckeye Valley’s closed 13th when the Division I District 4 showcase wrapped up Saturday afternoon at Westerville South.
Buckeye Valley’s Zach Kreft was BV’s lone regional qualifier, but he punched his ticket in style. The sophomore won the 3,2oo-meter run, breaking his own school record with an effort of 9:24.29.
The Golden Eagles were boosted by Abe Myers, who finished second in the discus (157-08); Brandon Mosher, who was fourth in the shot put (53-10.50); Zach MacDonald, who finished fourth in the 400 (51.58 seconds); and Noah McKinney, who closed fourth in the pole vault (12-06).
Buckeye Valley’s girls, the county’s lone D-II squad competing over the weekend, earned runner-up honors thanks to a 67-point performance at Westerville South.
Nina Hilt led the way, winning a trio of district titles while breaking a school record in the process. She won the 100 hurdles in 15.57 seconds before taking top honors in the 300 hurdles in a school-record time of 46.83 seconds. She also picked up first-place points in the long jump thanks to a leap of 16-08.50.
Other BV regional qualifiers included Emily Hilt, who won the high jump (5-0) and finished third in the long jump (16-02); and Raquel Warner, who was third in the 100 (12.66 seconds), third in the 200 (26.01 seconds) and fourth in the 400 (1:00.40).
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.