|June 5, 2003|
Div. III state track & field finals
Events are scheduled for Friday, June 6, 9:30 a.m., and Saturday, June 7, 9:30 a.m., at Welcome Stadium in Dayton.
athletes will compete at the following times:
Boys and girls track—
YSHS to send eight to state
Senior Travis Dean is proud of the YSHS track teams’ performance at last week’s Division III regional track meet at Piqua High School.
As a team, the boys’ 17 points put them in 13th place out of 39 teams, and the girls tied Waynesfield-Goshen and Covington with 5 points, for 26th place.
But Dean thinks the eight athletes, two boys relay teams and two individual competitors who qualified for the Division III state finals this weekend at Welcome Stadium in Dayton, will support each other enough to go further.
“I believe we’ll do really well at state because we’ve got motivation, we’ve got momentum, and we’ve got people who are really pumped up about it,” he said. “It feels good to have two relay teams going, it brings us up as a team to have more people going.”
Dean was quick to deflect praise for his part on the two relay teams that qualified, saying that he has always focused on the team effort because his father taught him that “no person can stand alone.” Which is partly why before running the 3200-meter relay, Dean, Dylan Borchers, Aaron Cobb and David Warren always huddle up and say a prayer.
Last Wednesday, May 28, was no exception. With both prayer and hard work on their side, the foursome shaved 13 seconds off their best time of the season to take third place in 8:13.58.
One of their coaches, Vince Peters, feels they can get even better. “This is really the first time they’ve been pushed during the year to really run,” he said. “We can change the order and get even faster.”
As a rule, track coach John Gudgel said, the more intense competition tends to improve many of the athletes’ performances. Two of the other three teams and individuals that qualified last week for state also beat their previous personal record.
The 1600-relay team was one of them, even though they started out at what Dean called a “mental disadvantage,” way out in front, in the seventh lane.
“Because you’re so far over and out in front you feel like you’re ahead, but you’re not,” he said. “It’s a big mind game.”
Cobb led off the race and passed the baton to Brent Robinson, who jumped out ahead on fire with a 49.5 second split. Dean held the lead for most of the third leg before getting caught on the back straight by two other runners. The team was in fourth when Andrew Richlen took the anchor leg. Richlen was able to hold that position at the finish line.
The 1600 has been the Bulldogs’ signature event at the state level, Gudgel said. This year’s team has the ability to do well this weekend, he said, if they can stay tough mentally. “When you get to the state meet, it becomes more mental than physical,” Gudgel said.
Mental resilience factors in at every level, such as when long jumper Evin Wimberly had to wait an hour at last Friday’s regional to find out if she had qualified for state.
Wimberly scratched her first two tries and jumped 16' on her third to get to the final round. She had three more tries, jumping 16' 21/2", but she had to wait for the other contenders to return from their running events to see if anyone else could jump better than that for fourth place.
“There was a lot of drama there, and it wasn’t easy for her,” Peters said.
But no one was able to best her, so Wimberly will be the only Lady Bulldog to compete on Friday alongside her male teammates.
After joining the track team halfway into the season, junior Rory Hotaling qualified for state in the 3200. Hotaling knocked off five seconds from his best time last week and finished fourth in the running event in 10:09.3.
The top four finishers in each event qualify for state, but other YSHS athletes had notable performances at the regional competition.
The 400 relay team of Brandon Frye, Robinson, Anthony Brandon and Richlen qualified for the regional finals and finished eighth with a time of 45.80. Though sophomore Tina Peters finished 11th in her best event, the 3200-meter run, she improved her best time by 12 seconds. She also faced a state and regional record holder, Sonny Olding of Minster.
“Overall they improved their times by leaps and bounds,” Gudgel said. “Making it to state you’re already one of the 16 best in Ohio, which is, once again, a notable achievement.”
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