Girls District Track: Red-letter day for P-G’s Hovest

staff writer
It’s only fitting that Pandora-Gilboa sports red track and field uniforms, because P-G junior Breana Hovest certainly had a red-letter day Saturday.
Hovest, who had already been part of the Rockets’ first-place 3,200-meter relay on Thursday’s first day of the Division III district track and field meet at Liberty-Benton, swept the distance races on Saturday and set a new record in the process.
Hovest finished the 3,200 in 12:02.41, breaking the old mark of 12:03.37 set last year by Arlington’s Arden McMath.
Hovest also won the 1,600 (5:28.24), with teammate Olivia Velasquez finishing second and McMath third in both races.
Hovest and Columbus Grove’s Sydney McCluer were each triple-winners at the district meet. Riverdale’s Sarah Hunter also eclipsed a meet record, clocking a 58.64 in the 400 to break the previous mark of 59.51 set in 2010 by Bluffton’s Lydia Guagenti.
The top four finishers in each event Saturday advanced to the regional meet next Wednesday and Friday at Tiffin’s Frost-Kalnow Stadium.
Hovest thought she had a chance at the two-mile record.
“I came in with an 11:58, so I knew it was doable,” she said. “But, that was the only time I came close to that time.”
McMath, a two-time state qualifier in the event, and Velasquez joined Hovest at the front of the pack for the first six laps. Gradually, the two Rockets edged ahead and Hovest took the lead for good at the start of the final lap.
“It was a big push. It helped a lot that Arden and Olivia were right there,” Hovest said.
Hovest was equally elated after cutting 10 seconds off her season best to win the 1,600 (5:28.24).
“It was a bit of a surprise,” she said. “I came in sitting third in the mile, and got first. The times I ran today were a lot better than I’ve run all season. After today, I’m very confident. It’s the perfect time to peak.”
P-G’s 3,200 relay won by 11 seconds in an event final held Thursday, and Hovest has high hopes for a quartet that includes Anna Abelsovka, Mary Hroudova and Velasquez.
“We’re still going at it hard every day,” she said. “We think we can get down to state in that.”
Hunter, for her part, set a personal best in winning the 400 by nearly three seconds.
“I’ve improved a lot since last year, so I’m pretty excited to be running these times,” she said.
Hunter, Tiffany Penwell, Breanna Picketta and Aubreah Manns won the 1,600 relay (4:09.31), edging Van Buren by one-hundreth of a second. The same foursome advanced in the 800 relay with a third-place finish.
“I’m really excited about the chance to get to state,” Hunter said. “I haven’t been before. All the work over the past four years is really paying off.”
McCluer is a veteran of the state meet, but that doesn’t take the shine off a solid district meet. Columbus Grove won the team title with 103 points, topping P-G (90) and Arlington (83). Van Buren had 77 points and Bluffton 69 to round out the top five.
McCluer swept the hurdles, winning the 100 intermediates in 16.17 and the 300 lows in 47.23. She teamed with Raiya Flores, Kristin Wynn and Julia Wynn to capture the 400 relay in 50.72.
“I’m very happy for all of us,” McCluer said. “The meet is more about advancing to the next step than winning or not, but we got a lot of girls through (to regional) and winning the team championship is exciting.”
McCluer was a state placer in the 100 hurdles last season, but she knows to take it one race at a time.
“I just have to take it step by step and not look too far ahead,” she said. “My goal next week is just to make finals, and from there get a top four.”
While PRs were dropping in the running events, they were rising in the pole vault. Defending state champion Willow Thompson set a personal best with a 12-1 winning vault, and Hardin Northern’s Mackenzie Shepherd set a new PR and school record with a 10-8.
Shepherd, a junior, is making her second straight regional appearance in the vault. With Thompson and Arlington junior Jessica Beck, also a state vaulter last year, in the regional field, she knows getting out will be a challenge. Saturday’s second-place finish was a solid start to the postseason.
“From the beginning, it went well today,” she said. “My coach said I was spot on; she didn’t have anything to tell me that I was doing wrong.
“It gives me a lot of confidence going into regionals. I’m thinking I can grab one of those spots.”
Several other athletes set season-best marks in winning their events. Cory-Rawson’s Hannah Roebke took the 800 in 2:20.39, and Columbus Grove’s Meghan Verhoff win the discus with a 125-10.
Arlington’s Ashton Beach came up a half-inch shy of her season best and won the long jump (15-111/2). Grove’s Flores, Julia Wynn, Kristin Wynn and Linnea Stephens won the 800 relay in 1:47.06.

GIRLS Team Standings
1, Columbus Grove 103. 2, Pandora-Gilboa 90. 3, Arlington 83. 4, Van Buren 77. 5, Bluffton 69. 6, Riverdale 51. 7, Allen East 50. 8, Ada 46. 9, Upper Scioto Valley 34. 10, Cory-Rawson 25. 11, Waynesfield-Goshen 15. 12 (tie) Hardin Northern & Ridgemont 9.
regional qualifiers and Area Finishes
DISCUS — 1, Verhoff (CG) 125-10. 2, Lingo (Rid) 115-2. 3, Pauley (Riv) 114-4. 4, Swary (P-G) 113-2. 5, Edler (VB) 112-2. 6, Edgington (Blu) 110-7. 7, Diller (CG) 109-4. 8, Fleming (Riv) 103-1.
LJ — 1, Beach (Arl) 15-111/2. 2, Holbrook (USV) 15-101/4. 3, Morman (P-G) 15-101/4. 4, Marshall (Ada) 15-6. 5, Hilvers (P-G) 15-5. 6, Hassan (VB) 15-2. 8, A. Baker (Blu) 14-7.
PV — 1, Thompson (Arl) 12-1. 2, Shepherd (HN) 10-8. 3, Beck (Arl) 10-0. 4, Lutes (AE) 9-4. 6, Badertscher (C-R) 8-6. 7, Linnon (Ada) 8-0. 8, McMillion (HN) 8-0.
100 IH — 1, McCluer (CG) 16.17. 2, Sheehan (Blu) 16.80. 3, Silone (AE) 17.01. 4, Perez (AE) 17.32. 5, A. Baker (Blu) 17.43. 6, Morman (P-G) 17.85. 8, Auchmuty (P-G) 18.27.
100 — 1, Holbrook (USV) 12.77. 2, Archer (Ada) 12.78. 3, Flores (CG) 13.09. 4, Lasley (VB) 13.36. 5, Stoltz (Arl) 13.43. 6, Schroeder (CG) 13.79.
800 relay — 1, Columbus Grove (Flores, K. Wynn, Stephens, J. Wynn) 1:47.06. 2, Arlington (H. Johnson, Stoltz, Beach, M. Johnson) 1:47.87. 3, Riverdale (Penwell, Pickett, Manns, Hunter) 1:47.88. 4, Pandora-Gilboa (Diller, Ko. Basinger, Ke. Basinger, Watkins) 1:49.90. 5, Cory-Rawson (Rettig, vonStein, Scott, Roebke) 1:51.93. 6, Van Buren (Wise, Shroll, Sturgill, Hassan) 1:52.60. 7, Ada (Vore, Stuart, Price, Archer) 1:54.57. 8, Bluffton (Oberly, Theisen, Monday, A. Baker) 1:56.69.
1,600 — 1, Hovest (P-G) 5:28.24. 2, Velasquez (P-G) 5:34.01. 3, McMath 5:36.46. 4, Resnik (VB) 5:423.25. 5, Flanagan (VB) 5:49.70. 6, Nisly (Blu) 5:33.69. 7, Sutton (Ada) 6:07.75. 8, Schweyer (Blu) 6:09.66.
400 relay — 1, Columbus Grove (Flores, J. Wynn, Stephens, McCluer) 50.72. 2, Arlington (H. Johnson, M. Johnson, Beck, Stoltz) 51.02. 3, Van Buren (Wise, Shroll, Sturgill, Lasley) 51.91. 4, Pandora-Gilboa (Diller, Ko. Basinger, Ke. Basinger, Watkins) 51.95. 6, Ada (Price, Marshall, Stuart, Archer) 53.38. 8, Bluffton (Oberly, Wright, Monday, Sheehan) 55.19.
400 — 1, Hunter (Riv) 58.64 (meet record). 2, Woods (AE) 1:01.32. 3, H. Baker (Blu) 1:02.62. 4, Schmelzer (VB) 1:04.28. 5, Ridge (P-G) 1:06.92. 6, Klausing (VB) 1:07.15. 7, Miller (Arl) 1:09.61.
300 Lh — 1, McCluer (CG) 47.23. 2, Silone (AE) 49.43. 3, A. Baker (Blu) 49.65. 4, Sheehan (Blu) 49.73. 5, Endicott (VB) 49.94. 6, Clymer (CG) 51.19. 7, Manley (VB) 51.56.
800 — 1, Roebke (C-R) 2:20.39. 2, Manns (Riv) 2:25.30. 3, Resnik (VB) 2:25.89. 4, Steinmetz (Blu) 2:26.47. 5, Sommers (Blu) 2:27.68. 6, vonStein (C-R) 2:30.80. 7, Abelovska (P-G) 2:31.28.
200 — 1, Holbrook (USV) 26.15. 2, Archer (Ada) 26.37. 3, J. Wynn (CG) 26.94. 4, M. Johnson (Arl) 27.38. 5, Lasley (VB) 27.64. 6, Beach (Arl) 28.14. 7, Marshall (Ada) 28.22. 8, Wise (VB) 28.29.
3,200 — 1, Hovest (P-G) 12:02.41 (meet record). 2, Velasquez (P-G) 12:09.37. 3, McMath (Arl) 12:35.56. 4, Flanagan (VB) 13:03.71. 5, Marshall (Blu) 13:16.92. 6, Nisly (Blu) 13:18.18. 7, M. McCluer (CG) 14:08.33. 8, Myerholtz (CG) 14:13.03.
1,600 relay — 1, Riverdale (Manns, Penwell, Pickett, Hunter) 4:09.31. 2, Van Buren (Wise, Schmelzer, Resnik, Lasley) 4:09.32. 3, Columbus Grove (K. Wynn, McCluer, Stephens, J. Wynn) 4:09.66. 4, Allen East (Silone, Kirkendall, A. Woods, L. Woods) 4:11.23. 5, Pandora-Gilboa (Diller, Ko. Basinger, Ke. Basinger, Watkins) 4:12.87. 6, Bluffton (Sheehan, Monday, Theisen, Steinmetz) 4:21.84.
Radick, 419-427-8405,
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