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Prep track: Grove sweeps NWC team titles

COLUMBUS GROVE'S Sydney McCluer races to the finish line in the 100-meter intermediate hurdles Saturday at the Northwest Conference championship meet at Spencerville. McCluer won the race in 16.07 seconds. (Photo by Matthias Leguire).

COLUMBUS GROVE’S Sydney McCluer races to the finish line in the 100-meter intermediate hurdles Saturday at the Northwest Conference championship meet at Spencerville. McCluer won the race in 16.07 seconds. (Photo by Matthias Leguire).

By ANDREW WILLIAMS
STAFF WRITER

SPENCERVILLE — Columbus Grove’s girls track and field team was on a mission Saturday at the Northwest Conference championships at Spencerville’s Charles D. Moeller Memorial Stadium.

The Bulldogs wanted the team title back after Spencerville claimed it last season. On the backs of junior Sydney McCluer and senior Julia Wynn — mission accomplished.

McCluer recorded victories in the 100 hurdles (16.07) and 300 hurdles (47.83), Wynn won the 400 (1:01.47) and finished second in the 100 and 200, and the duo helped post the fastest time in the 1,600 relay in 4:17.31 to defeat Spencerville 152-137½.

Bluffton finished third with 87 points and Ada took fourth with 75½ points.

McCluer and Wynn were both scratches in the 400 relay because of a tactical decision made by Bulldogs’ coach Tim Staley to put his team in the best position to win the meet.

The runners rewarded their coach’s move.

“Coach knew it was going to be close between us and Spencerville so he stacked up a 4 x 4 for us,” McCluer said. “We ended up winning it so that was pretty awesome.

“We’ve been talking about it. Our coach knew it was going to be close. This is his biggest meet. He’s always liked NWC and I’m pretty sure he’s just going to be thrilled for us.”

Wynn is a testament to how badly Columbus Grove wanted to win the 2014 team championship.

Now a senior, Wynn said she had not competed in the 400 much since junior high before Saturday’s meet. But on a day when points were at a premium and the conference title was on the line, she was happy to do whatever was necessary for her team.

“I haven’t really run the 400 much this year,” she said. “I don’t mind running it. I’ve run against some of these girls at small meets. It’s definitely harder than the 100 and 200, but I’d take one for the team any day and run the 400 if it means points for us.”

Lynea Diller was also a top finisher for Columbus Grove, recording a toss of 37-2½ to win the shot put, while the Bulldogs’ 800 relay team of Raiya Flores, Kristin Wynn, Linnea Stephens and Haley Roe combined for first with a time of 1:52.53.

Ada’s Brittney Archer was a three-time winner, capturing titles in the 100 (12.82) and 200 (26.91), as well as anchoring the winning 400 relay team in 53.21 seconds.

A state qualifier in the 100 and 200 last season, Archer was pleased with her performance Saturday and said she was glad to return to form after a rocky week physically leading up to the meet.

“It feels good to be back because after the meet last week I had gotten sick,” she said. “I was so upset with myself, so coming back and being able to do this makes me feel good. Made me realize that I still have it in me.”

The senior’s main competition in her two individual sprint events was Wynn, who was less than two-tenths of a second off the winning mark in both races. Archer said having Wynn as a competitor is the reason she is able to raise her own performances when it matters most.

“I’ve gotten so used to meets where in the 200 I’ll pass everybody on the curve and I’ll have nobody to push me,” Archer said. “But I knew she was no more than two, three steps behind me the entire time and I just kept going.”

Not to be outdone by their teammates, Columbus Grove’s boys team threw, vaulted and ran its way to a team title of its own. The Bulldogs topped Bluffton 134-123 to successfully defend the championship they won last season.

Columbus Grove used a finesse approach, winning few events but scoring well in many of the distance races, while Bluffton dominated the sprints and sprint relays en route to its runner-up finish.

Bryce Sharrits (2:03.22) edged teammate Alex Giesige (2:03.49) as the Bulldogs went 1-2 in the 800 and freshman Rece Roney’s heave of 143 feet earned him top honors in the discus.

Though they fell short of the team title, the Pirates had plenty to be happy about Saturday.

Senior Isaac Little was a four-time winner, including an incredible 200 race where he posted a 23.32-second time to edge teammate Noah Stratton by two-hundredths of a second. Little also took the 100 crown in 11.33, while helping Bluffton to titles in the 400 relay (44.77) and 800 relay (1:32.47).

“It’s a really good feeling, especially as a senior, just to put a good showing for my last time out here,” Little said. “Our goals with our sprinter team is we want to go to every meet and just win all the sprints because that’s definitely our strong point.”

“The 100 is something I haven’t run a whole lot in past years but I think taking a season off and lifting last year helped me a lot. And it’s always nice having Noah to push myself with and come after him.”

Stratton finished with titles in the 400 (49.93) and as a member of the 800 relay team, and nearly ran down Allen East’s Matt Shuey in the final leg of the 1,600 relay before fading in the final 100 meters to place second.

BOYS TEAM STANDINGS
1, Columbus Grove 134. 2, Bluffton 123. 3, Spencerville 101. 4, Lincolnview 85. 5, Allen East 62. 6, Convoy Crestview 56. 7, Ada 54. 8, Paulding 48.

DISCUS — 1, Roney (CG) 143-0. 2, Smith (Blu) 141-6. 3, Dumbaugh (Ada) 136-0. 5, Bremer (CG) 128-5. 7, Parkins (Blu) 126-8. LJ — 1, McMichael (Spe) 19-9. 3, Bogart (CG) 19-4½. 5, Jolliff (Ada) 18-9. 110 HH — 1, Schuh (Spe) 14.94. 3, Hughart (Ada) 16.96. 4, Bassitt (Blu) 17.09. 6, Tabler (CG) 17.41. 100 — 1, Little (Blu) 11.33. 2, Ma. Wilcox (Ada) 11.60. 6, Wannemacher (Blu) 11.80. 800 relay — 1, Bluffton (Little, R. Stratton, Alt, N. Stratton) 1:32.47. 3, Columbus Grove (Warnecke, Bogart, Price, Clement) 1:36.75. 4, Ada (Mi. Wilcox, Willeke, Jolliff, Ma. Wilcox) 1:36.91. 1,600 — 1, Tow (Lin) 4:28.48. 2, Grothaus (CG) 4:38.46. 3, Altenburger (CG) 4:39.41. 5, Harnish (Blu) 4:47.15. 400 relay — 1, Bluffton (Wannemacher, Alt, Lee, Little) 44.77. 5, Columbus Grove (Warnecke, Bogart, Gladwell, Price) 46.81. 7, Ada (Francis, Huff, Jolliff, Collins) 47.79. 400 — 1, Stratton (Blu) 49.93. 2, Ma. Wilcox (Ada) 51.38. 5, Demellweek (Blu) 52.70. 7, Brubaker (CG) 55.29. 8, Willeke (Ada) 55.80. 300 ih — 1, Blankemeyer (Lin) 40.96. 3, R. Stratton (Blu) 42.14. 4, Tabler (CG) 43.98. 6, Radabaugh (CG) 45.34. 7, Haines (Blu) 46.25. 800 — 1, Sharrits (CG) 2:03.22. 2, Giesige (CG) 2:03.49. 4, Mi. Wilcox (Ada) 2:06.61. 6, Hoff (Blu) 2:07.76. 200 — 1, Little (Blu) 23.32. 2, Stratton (Blu) 23.34. 4, Clement (CG) 23.62. 6, Ma. Wilcox (Ada) 24.37. 3,200 — 1, Grandstaff (Cre) 9:38.38. 3, Grothaus (CG) 10:16.11. 4, Altenburger (CG) 10:17.13. 6, Harnish (Blu) 10:47.38. 1,600 relay — 1, Allen East (Thomas, Rex, Miller, Shuey) 3:28.61. 2, Bluffton (Demellweek, R. Stratton, Alt, N. Stratton) 3:29.79. 4, Columbus Grove (Clement, Sharrits, Bogart, Giesige) 3:37.25. 8, Ada (Hughart, Secor, Craig, Huff) 4:09.38.

GIRLS TEAM STANDINGS
1, Columbus Grove 152. 2, Spencerville 137½. 3, Bluffton 87. 4, Ada 75½. 5, Allen East 68½. 6, Delphos Jefferson 46. 7, Convoy Crestview 40½. 8, Lincolnview 28. 9, Paulding 27.

SHOT — 1, Diller (CG) 37-2½. 3, Endicott (CG) 30-11½. 5, Edgington (Blu) 30-7½. 7, Nelson (Ada) 29-9½. HJ — 1, McCleery (Lin) 5-01. 2, Walden (Ada) 5-00. 3, Vorhees (CG) 4-10. 3, Oberly (Blu) 4-10. 6, Marshall (Ada) 4-8. 6, Ricker (CG) 4-8. PV — 1, Miller (Spe) 10-4. 5, Roose (CG) 8-0. 7, Langhals (CG) 7-0. 100 IH — 1, S. McCluer (CG) 16.07. 3, Sheehan (Blu) 16.72. 6, Roe (CG) 17.46. 8, Baker (Blu) 17.81. 100 — 1, Archer (Ada) 12.82. 2, J. Wynn (CG) 12.95. 3, Flores (CG) 13.36. 800 relay — 1, Columbus Grove (Flores, K. Wynn, Stephens, Roe) 1:52.53. 3, Ada (Vore, Stuart, Price, Archer) 1:54.08. 6, Bluffton (Oberly, Wright, Monday, Baker) 1:56.18. 1,600 — 1, Hardesty (Spe) 5:36.71. 4, Nisly (Blu) 5:53.96. 6, Sutton (Ada) 6:07.68. 8, Schweyer (Blu) 6:13.88. 400 relay — 1, Ada (Price, Marshall, Stuart, Archer) 53.21. 2, Columbus Grove (Flores, Schroeder, Stephens, Roe) 53.26. 3, Bluffton (Oberly, Wright, Steinmetz, Sheehan) 54.99. 400 — 1, J. Wynn (CG) 1:01.47. 4, K. Wynn (CG) 1:04.54. 7, Theisen (Blu) 1:06.89. 300 Lh — 1, S. McCluer (CG) 47.83. 4, Sheehan (Blu) 50.96. 5, Baker (Blu) 52.31. 7, Clymer (CG) 53.15. 800 — 1, Purdy (Spe) 2:26.92. 2, Steinmetz (Blu) 2:29.27. 3, Sommers (Blu) 2:33.92. 6, Smith (CG) 2:42.88. 7, Bagais (Ada) 2:43.48. 200 — 1, Archer (Ada) 26.91. 2, Wynn (CG) 27.09. 5, Marshall (Ada) 27.99. 6, Flores (CG) 28.28. 3,200 — 1, Hardesty (Spe) 12:40.28. 4, Marshall (Blu) 13:12.77. 5, Nisly (Blu) 13:12.98. 6, M. McCluer (CG) 13:49.16. 7, Myerholtz (CG) 13:50.68. 1,600 relay — 1, Columbus Grove (K. Wynn, McCluer, Stephens, J. Wynn) 4:17.31. 5, Bluffton (Sheehan, Theisen, Monday, Steinmetz) 4:23.32. 7, Ada (Price, Bagais, Hunter, Milks) 4:40.33.

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