Calvert cruises in qualifying

COLUMBUS – So many things went according to plan for Calvert’s boys at the Division III State Track and Field Championships Friday in Columbus.

* The 4×100 and 4×200 teams (which consist of the same four runners) each advanced out of the preliminaries with the top times in their respective events.

* Ren Boehler advanced to the finals in each of the hurdles.

* Shane Boehler coasted to the finals in the 100.

And yet, after his squad’s performance, coach Stewart Behm’s face showed a look not of triumph, but of concern.

That’s because in Shane Boehler’s final race of the day – the 200 preliminaries – the senior cramped up. He finished the prelim in 24.67, but didn’t make finals.

In the moments after the race, Shane Boehler was on the trainer’s table just outside the finish line.

“We’re happy, I’m just a little concerned about Shane right now,” Behm said. “He cramped up in the 200; we’ve still got three big races out of him (today).

“We’ve just got to make sure everybody’s healthy; it’s what I’ve been worried about all season,” he said. “We’ve just got 22 more hours and we’ll see what happens.”

It was Shane who ran the final leg of each relay, gliding past his competitors in the 4×1 and crossing the line in 43.02 seconds.

“I haven’t been pushed this year,” Shane said. “Our first three legs (run by Austin Ball, Tyler Long and Ren), they’ve done a great job just to put me in the lead … I just run as hard as I can for them.”

The Senecas qualified for the 4×2 final by running in 1:28.35, about seven-thousandths of a second ahead of heat-mate Warren JFK.

“We’ve been working really hard this year,” Ren said. “And I think it’s paying off for all four of us, so you’ve got to give everybody a lot of credit for that.”

Shane did his best to quell any concerns about his health for today’s finals.

“We’re gonna be ready (today),” Shane said. “We’ll be ready.”

Behm said he likes the way his team is running.

“Both relays are sitting good,” Behm said. “It’s gonna be tough (today), but again, I think we’ve got a really good possibility.”

Shane also advanced to the finals in the 100 by running 11.07.

“I qualified fifth, last year I qualified sixth,” Shane said. “Came out in finals, got eighth (last year); I didn’t run too great in finals.This year, I’m hoping, top-three is my goal. I ran my PR today.”

Long also ran in the 100 prelims, but didn’t make finals. He finished in 11.34.

“He was in a tough heat, and I don’t know how he felt about it,” Behm said. “Start was a little shaky, but just to be down here is an accomplishment, to qualify to this level. He should be proud of that.”

As for Ren, he advanced in the 110 hurdles by running the ninth-fastest time in the prelims (15.32). The top two from each prelim and the next five fastest overall times advance to the finals.

“My goal was to make it to finals,” Ren said. “I don’t have a specific time or place I want to run. I just want to beat one guy in finals.”

Ren had the fourth-best time in the 300 hurdles, running in 40.03.

“I was trying to finish out the day hard; I was getting a little tired in the heat,” he said. “I just ran as hard as I could.”

Behm said Ren was “looking really good to be standing on the podium at the end of the day.”

Calvert’s 4×800 girls team of Danielle Kontak, Katie Tiell, Morgan Smith and Olivia Smith ran 15th in 10:10.65.

“Obviously, getting down here, they ran the race of their life [in regionals],” Behm said. “I think nerves played a little bit today, and the heat didn’t help.”

Olivia Smith will return today to attempt a title in the 800 for the third-straight year.