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Regional Track: L-B’s Butler sweeps 100, 200 as Eagles finish second

LEXINGTON — Liberty-Benton’s Michaela Butler swept to wins in the 100 and 200 and anchored the Eagles’ state-qualifying 400 relay team to highlight a big day for area athletes at the Division II regional track and field championships at Lexington.
Liberty-Benton brought a little hardware home with them too as they finished second as a team with 55 points, eight points behind champion Orrville (62). Elmwood was 33rd as a team with four points.
The top four finishers in each event qualified for the OHSAA state championships at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Stadium.
Butler, a sophomore, dominated the sprints winning the 100 in 12.21 and taking the 200 in 25.10 topping Bucyrus junior Brittany Parsell for first in both races.
She teamed with Katie Hyre, Kelsey May and Megan Peplinski to advance in the 400 relay by finishing third in a school record time of 49.68 seconds.
A bid for a fourth state meet event came up a little short for Butler though.
She teamed with Peplinski, Leah Recker and Mackenzie Briggs in the 1,600 relay to place sixth in 4:09.63.
Three of Butler’s teammates also qualified for state Saturday in their respective individual races and events.
Senior Samantha Johnson cleared 10-4 to pick up the No. 4 spot in the pole vault. Freshman Leah Recker was fourth in the 800 (2:19.52) with her best time of the season and freshman Megan Bartel qualified in the 1,600 by placing third in a PR of 5:12.53. She also medaled in the 3,200 by finishing eighth in 12:04.83.
Peplinski capped the day for the Eagles by finishing ninth in the long jump (15-10½).
Elmwood had a pair of athletes earn regional medals.
Senior Courtney Emmitt capped her track career for the Royals by clearing a school record 10-0 in the pole vault for seventh place.
Madison Sears was eighth in the 400 (1:00.40) to medal in the event for the second straight year.
Liz Garner was 16th in the long jump (14-3¼) and Katie Dewey added an 11th place effort in the discus (105-3).

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