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State Track Meet Has Local Flavor

May 30, 2012 - Al Stephenson
I am heading to Columbus on Friday to watch several local athletes compete at the State Track Meet. I've been attending the state meet since my high school days. I recall Leonard Dale (mile) and Mike Grant (long jump) from Thompson High School winning state titles. Same goes for Mike Magers (hurdles) from Old Fort. I fervently remember being the personal assistant for my classmate Wayne Leddick as he captured the 220 yard dash at Ohio Stadium during our senior year at Attica. I'm not sure which of us was more excited.

When local athletes "make the show" I gravitate to our state capital to see how they fare. This year there is no shortage of local athletes to root for and that's exactly what I intend to do.

Tiffin Columbian is sending five female athletes to the meet in Division II. Autumn Nichols will run the 100 meter hurdles at 2:00 followed by the 300 meter hurdles at 3:20. In between I will get to watch Michaela Sharlow, McKenna Theis, Annie Demith and Tori Stephens compete in the 4 by 200 meter relay prelims. Hopefully all five will be running again on Saturday.

Two local females will vie for a podium finish in Division III. Olivia Smith from Calvert will be in the 800 meter run. Seneca East's Ashton Daniel will compete in the shot put. Daniel throws at 4:00 on Friday while Smith will run at 10:55 on Saturday.

There will be a plethora of local tracksters participating in the boys Division III competition. Tiffin Calvert is sending 4 (that's right all four!) relay teams to Columbus. In the 4 by 100 Austin Kontak, Ren Boehler, Nate Ritzler and Shane Boehler will take to the track. Steve Smith, Ren Boehler, Nate Ritzler and Shane Boehler will run the 4 by 200. The final event of the meet is always the 4 by 400 relay and Calvert will have Steve Smith, Dan Reineke, Ren Boehler and Shane Boehler running. Seneca East will join the Senecas in the 4 by 400 as Jordan Phillips, Brad McConnell, Kevin Moore and Jamie Schaffer will give me two teams to root for.

The first relay race will be the 4 by 800 and there will be no preliminary heat. All 16 teams race together and the winner will be the first champions crowned. Calvert will have Jared Thompson, Ren Boehler, Joe Brodman and Steve Smith participating and if you noticed Ren Boehler's name on all four teams give yourself a pat on the back. Seneca East has Brad McConnell, Jason Willman, Jeff Briggs and Karl Burgderfer going and Old Fort has Marcus Meyers, Luke Edgar, Zach Alexander and Brad Bannister running. Three local squads out of the 16 - that's awesome.

Kevin Moore and Nick Hughes will be representing Seneca East in the 110 meter hurdles. Jamie Schaffer will run the 400 meter dash for the Tigers. Old Fort's Zach Alexander will run the 1600 meters. New Riegel's Tim Reinhart will run the 300 meter hurdles. Aaron Lucius from Hopewell Loudon runs in the 3200 meter race.

Last but certainly not least is Old Fort's Nathan Alexander who cleared 15' in the pole vault in the Tiffin regional last week. No one has a better regional height so hopes are high for a great placement.

The view from my seat suggests that I am going to have a lot of fun on Friday watching these local kids. Almost as much fun as they will competing!


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