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Prep track: Myers wins regional title

LIBERTY-BENTON’S DYLAN CORNWELL goes up and over the bar in the pole vault during Wednesday’s Division III regional track meet at Tiffin. He cleared 14-4 to qualify for state for the second straight year. (Photo by Kent Tarbox)

LIBERTY-BENTON’S DYLAN CORNWELL goes up and over the bar in the pole vault during Wednesday’s Division III regional track meet at Tiffin. He cleared 14-4 to qualify for state for the second straight year. (Photo by Kent Tarbox)

By ANDREW WILLIAMS
STAFF WRITER

TIFFIN — It started off as a dreary and rain-filled afternoon on the first night of the Division III regional track and field meet Wednesday at Tiffin’s Frost-Kalnow Stadium.

When the sky cleared and the rain moved out, though, so too did the nervousness Patrick Henry’s Marcus Myers had been feeling up to that point.

After dealing with a wet throwing area during his preliminary tosses, Myers found his groove in the finals. The senior recorded a throw of 159-10 in his second attempt, before uncorking a 170-foot third toss to capture the regional title by more than 10 feet over New London’s Caleb Logan (159-9).

“In the prelims, the ring was wet,” Myers said. “I was sort of holding back. I didn’t want to fall off and go out. The ring finally dried out in the finals. I got that second (throw) in that put me up in the top four and I let loose on that last one.”

Myers will make his second consecutive trip to the state meet in the discus after recording a mark of 132-3 last year to finish 15th. He said his title-clinching toss Wednesday was his second-best of the season and he is looking forward to putting together a better performance in Columbus this time around.

“It feels great going back down to state,” Myers said. “I want to actually show up this year and it’s my last year. I think the nerves will be less and I’ve been down there once this year so I think it’s going to be a little better showing of me and my competition down there.”

Arcadia’s Shae Watkins failed to qualify for the discus finals Wednesday after posting a mark of 132-5 in his preliminary throws. The sophomore entered the competition with the highest qualifying toss of any competitor in the field at 170-11.

Liberty-Benton grabbed the top two spots on the podium in the long jump thanks to seniors B.J. Lawson and Chase Cook.

Lawson won the event with a leap of 21-8, while Cook was second with a mark of 21-4. The pair also teamed with Logan Whitaker and Austin Combs to produce the sixth-fastest 400 relay time (44.34) to qualify for Friday’s finals.

“It feels really good,” Lawson said of the duo finishing 1-2. “Just being together in every meet, it feels really good competing against each other and doing what we can to do our best.”

Lawson, who added the regional crown to the district title he won in the event a week ago, will be competing at his first state meet this season. After being edged by half an inch by Cook at the Blanchard Valley Conference meet, Lawson has put together a pair of performances that give him reason to believe he can compete with the best in the state.

“It definitely builds you up,” he said of his victory. “Coming into it, I wasn’t sure what I was going to be able to do. I had a good district meet and I just came thinking that it’s do or die. Obviously jumping well here builds you up to see what you can do next week.”

Cook, who placed in the long jump (3rd), 200 (4th), 400 relay (4th) and 100 (6th) at last year’s state meet, has been hampered for most of the season by a hamstring injury. Even if he won’t get the chance to compete in as many events this time around, he is looking forward to making another trip to Columbus in his final season.

“The atmosphere there is just amazing,” said Cook, who will run at the University of Akron. “I won’t have to worry about doing as many running events in the prelims so I’ll be a little bit fresher for the finals in the afternoon on Friday.

“It’s just amazing getting back to the state meet. Early in the season after I pulled my hamstring, Coach Quisno sat me down and said he didn’t think I’d ever be able to jump at Liberty-Benton again. And I took that seriously and did some rehab and I’m finally back.”

Liberty-Benton senior Dylan Cornwell will join his teammates in Columbus after tying Bluffton junior Clay Wilson for second in the pole vault. The competitors each cleared 14-4 to finish behind the winning mark of 14-8 set by Seneca East’s Zach Gregg.

Cornwell is a returning state-qualifier in the event and will be looking to improve on his showing from a year ago when he failed to clear his opening height.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “I was feeling really good. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me this year. My top end wasn’t where it needed to be and where I needed to drive I wasn’t getting deep enough. But I can fix it all for next week.

“I think my chances are good. I just need to go in mentally prepared. I think that’s the main thing for me is just mentally be ready for it. I think I can do pretty well down there.”

Wilson will be making his first trip to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium as a competitor and he had a hard time containing the excitement he felt after accomplishing that goal.

“It feels awesome to get to state. I’m so jacked,” Wilson said. “My vaults towards the end, they were feeling really nice. I think I’ll have 14-8 in the bag, maybe 15.”

In the other final of the evening, Columbus Grove’s Alex Giesige, Colton Grothaus, Lee Altenburger and Bryce Sharrits placed second in the 3,200 relay in a time of 8:14.92 to qualify for next week’s state meet.

The Riverdale quartet of Chad Pever, Kyle Evans, Joe Lauck and Jimmy Fox took fourth (8:19.07) to advance in the 3,200 relay as well.

The meet will resume Friday at 5 p.m. with the field events. The remainder of the running events will begin at 6 p.m.

BOYS TEAM STANDINGS
1, Liberty-Benton 25. 2, Patrick Henry 11. 3, New London 10. 3, Seneca East 10. 3, Pettisville 10. 6, Bluffton 9. 7, Riverdale 8. 7. Columbus Grove 8. 9, Waynesfield-Goshen 6. 9, Tinora 6. 9, Archbold 6. 12, Hicksville 5½. 13, Old Fort 5. 13, South Central 5. 15, Collins Western Reserve 4. 14, Montpelier 4. 15, Carey 4. 15, Liberty Center 4. 19, Colonel Crawford 3. 19, Woodmore 3. 19, Pandora-Gilboa 3. 19, Arlington 3. 23, Ashland Crestview 2. 24, Van Buren 1. 25, Hilltop ½.

STATE QUALIFIERS AND AREA FINISHES
DISCUS — 1, Myers (PH) 170-0. 2, Logan (NL) 159-9. 3, Huber (W-G) 159-2. 4, Kinney (SC) 154-1. 5, Swartz (Car) 153-9. 6, Boes (P-G) 152-3. 7, Smith (Blu) 146-10.
HJ — 1, Lawson (L-B) 21-8. 2, Cook (L-B) 21-4. 3, Vogel (Tin) 21-2½. 4, Walters (Hick) 21-2½. 6, Starr (Arl) 20-9. 8, Nye (PH) 20-5½.
PV — 1, Gregg (SE) 14-8. 2, Wilson (Blu) 14-4. 2, Cornwell (L-B) 14-4. 4, Alexander (OF) 14-4. 6, Knoll (Riv) 13-6. 3,200 RELAY — 1, Pettisville (Lantz, Mann, Frey, Dysktra) 8:10.38. 2, Columbus Grove (Giesige, Grohaus, Altenburger, Sharrits) 8:14.92. 3, Archbold (Kinsman, Garrow, Ranzau, Belknap) 8:17.66. 4, Riverdale (Pever, Evans, Lauck, Fox) 8:19.07. 8, Van Buren (Stall, Hiris, Schumacker, Simmons) 8:31.07.

FRIDAY’S LANE ASSIGNMENTS
110 HH — 1, Murriel (Leip) 15.85. 2, Kelsey (SC) 15.60. 3, Snyder (Mon) 15.54. 4, Nye (PH) 14.61. 5, R. Boehler (Cal) 15.27. 6, Parsley (Arch) 15.47. 7, Wheeler (AC) 15.68. 8, Lament (W-G) 15.80.
100 — 1, Robson (CWR) 11.58. 2, Warnimont (C-R) 11.44. 3, Nagel (Tin) 11.50. 4, Wyse (Arch) 11.20. 5, S. Boehler (Cal) 11.37. 6, Long (Cal) 11.36. 7, Fortner (Wyn) 11.50. 8, Wilcox (Ada) 11.53.
800 RELAY — 1, Columbus Grove (Warnecke, Bogart, Price, Clement) 1:34.06. 2, Tinora 1:33.52. 3, Archbold 1:33.44. 4, Tiffin Calvert 1:29.60. 5, Bluffton (Little, R. Stratton, Alt, N. Stratton) 1:31.58. 6, Colonel Crawford 1:32.25. 7, Hopewell-Loudon (Velasquez, Gase, Breidenbach, Tooker) 1:33.59. 8, Cory-Rawson (Moser, Sands, Waltz, Warnimont) 1:33.99.
400 RELAY — 1, Seneca East 45.34. 2, Tinora 44.28. 3, Colonel Crawford 44.28. 4, Tiffin Calvert 43.38. 5, Patrick Henry (Ehlers, Nye, Bonner, Johnson) 43.75. 6, Bluffton (Wannemacher, Alt, Lee, Little) 44.15. 7, Liberty-Benton (Lawson, Cook, Whitaker, Combs) 44.34. 8, Wynford 45.16.
400 — 1, Brown (W) 51.74. 2, Wood (TC) 51.55. 3, Wyse (Arch) 51.42. 4, N. Stratton (Blu) 49.88. 5, Bauer (USV) 50.69. 6, Wilcox (Ada) 50.48. 7, Robson (CWR) 51.68. 8, Breidenbach (H-L) 51.70.
300 IH — 1, Saylor (WT) 41.27. 2, Hout (AC) 40.75. 3, Walters (Hick) 40.72. 4, R. Boehler (Cal) 39.92. 5, Schwarzbek (Fair) 40.66. 6, Norman (TC) 40.68. 7, Parsley (Arch) 40.80. 8, Reineke (Cal) 41.15.
200 — 1, Fortner (Wyn) 23.37. 2, Ball (Cal) 23.03. 3, Bakies (CC) 23.11. 4, Wyse (Arch) 22.52. 5, Wilcox (Ada) 23.04. 6, S. Boehler (Cal) 22.60. 7, Brown (W) 23.13. 8, Little (Blu) 23.26.
1,600 RELAY — 1, Tiffin Calvert 3:32.22. 2, Allen East 3:31.03. 3, Liberty-Benton (Boehme, Garver, Lyberg, Snook) 3:31.81. 4, Bluffton (Demellweek, R. Stratton, Alt, N. Stratton) 3:26.75. 5, Archbold 3:28.70. 6, Woodmore 3:29.63. 7, Sherwood Fairview 3:31.30. 8, Columbus Grove (Clement, Bogart, Sharrits, Giesige) 3:31.90.

Williams, 419-427-8407
Send an E-mail to andrewwilliams

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