By TED RADICK
COLUMBUS — For a trio of area seniors, the OHSAA Division II Track and Field Championship were a chance to put an exclamation point on their high school athletic careers.
All three came away happy after placing on podium Saturday at the girls meet at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Stadium.
Ottawa-Glandorf’s Michelle Maag was part of two all-state relays. She joined teammates Megan Siefker, Elissa Ellerbrock and Madison Stechschulte to place sixth in the 800-meter relay (1:44.11), and Ellerbrock, Stechschulte and Anna Bellman for another sixth in the 1,600 relay (4:01.64).
“It’s more than I could ask for. These teammates, they actually do a lot for me. They finish the races. I start them, and sometimes I don’t do great but they always finish strong.
“I couldn’t ask for a better finish and I couldn’t ask for better girls to run with,” Maag said. “These teammates, they actually do a lot for me. They finish the races. I start them, and sometimes I don’t do great but they always finish strong.”
Liberty-Benton seniors Megan Peplinksi and Katie Hyre were also ecstatic after finishing their prep careers on the podium. They teamed with Kelsey May and Michaela Butler to place seventh in the 400 relay (49.84).
“What a great way to end my track career,” Peplinski said.
“It’s bittersweet leaving the girls and an entire great team,” Hyre said. “We definitely left it all on the track.”
The Eagles’ quartet set the school record in the event this season, then broke it several times.
“Our school record was a 50.27, and we couldn’t dream of running that at the beginning of the season,” Peplinksi said. “We’d wait after finishing a race, wondering ‘did we get it?’ Now, if we ran a 50.27, we’d ask what went wrong.”
“It’s incredible what we’ve done in just one season, and even compared to last year,” Hyre said. “Before, we thought qualifying was a huge accomplishment. This year, we weren’t settling for anything.”
L-B’s relay finish helped the Eagles to fifth place as a team in Division II. Liberty-Benton scored 22 points; Meadowdale won with 40 point. O-G tied for 21st with 12 points.
For the Titans, Ellerbrock made it to the podium a third time with a an eighth in the 800 (2:17.41).
OTHER Area Finishes
PV — 9, Sam Johnson (L-B) 10-4. 100 — 9, Madison Stechschulte (O-G) 12.81. 800 — 9, Leah Recker (Liberty-Benton) 2:19.53. 1,600 — 11, Megan Bartel (L-B) 5:25.41. 200 — 9, Stechschulte 25.84.
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