Pandora-Gilboas Alaina Basinger, second from left, edges Vanlues Bethany Smith in the 100-meter dash at Saturdays Division III district meet at Findlay High. Basinger ran 12.83 to Smiths 12.84. Liberty-Bentons Cassie Warner, far left, and Arcadias Olivia Golden, second from right, also advanced to the Tiffin regional. (Photo by Matthias Leguire.)

By TED RADICK

STAFF WRITER

Budding rivalries are a sure way to spice up an athletic competition.

It just seems more fun, though, when those rivalries are based not on disdain but on mutual respect and admiration.

A pair of juniors, Pandora-Gilboa’s Alaina Basinger and Vanlue’s Bethany Smith, went at it in the 100-meter dash for the second time in as many weeks at Saturday’s Division III district meet at Findlay’s Cooper Tire Track and Field Complex.

Smith outleaned Basinger at the finish line to win by three-hundreths of a second at the May 11 Blanchard Valley Conference league meet.

Saturday, it was Basinger’s time to return the favor. Basinger won in 12.83 seconds, edging Smith by a mere one-hundreth.

“She did get me, I think by three-hundreths,” said Basinger, correctly stating Smith’s win at the BVC meet. “That’s really rewarding, I guess, to get that today.

“It’s nice to have equally good runners, because you want to push yourself against them and get that really good time. It’s hard to do that if you don’t have someone beside you, pushing you along the way.”

“She’s a great competitor,” Smith said. “I love running against her. I was really proud of her for getting first; she deserves it.”

Smith got a similar win later in the meet capturing the 200 in 26.28 to win by one-hundreth over Kalida’s Hannah Berheide. Smith also won the 400 in 58.92 to advance to Wednesday’s Tiffin regional in a third event.

The top four finishers in each event moved on to the regional.

Liberty-Benton, paced by a sweep of Saturday’s field events and the third and fourth event victories of the two-day (Thursday and Saturday) meet by senior Lindsey Bishop, won the team championship with 133 points. Kalida, in just its third year of track, was second with 101 points. Arcadia (61), Arlington (54) and Van Buren (42) rounded out the top five.

Bishop, who won Thursday’s high jump and 3,200 relay, captured Saturday’s long jump (16-51/4) and joined Lily Kintner, Alexa Lenhart and Alexis Rickenbacher to win the 1,600 relay (4:04.85).

“I’m happy for her,” Liberty-Benton coach Jack Quisno said. “She needs this confidence. I think she lost a lot last year, when she had tendinitis in her ankle that really affected her. She’s coming back nicely now.

“One of the things you look back on, we never really had opportunities to practice her individual events. Sure, you can work indoors but it’s not the same. You can only do so much indoors. We were forced to do stuff on the gym floor, and that’s not helping at all. Even well into April, we were still doing stuff in the gym.”

Bishop, Pandora-Gilboa’s Kayla Ferguson (400, 400 relay, 800 relay, 1,600 relay) and Basinger (100, long jump, 400 relay, 800 relay) qualified for the regional in four events.

Basinger had an interesting time of it. In Thursday’s 400 relay preliminary heat, an injury to a teammate almost left the Rockets out of the finals. P-G only qualified eighth before advancing to Tiffin in third place, with Ferguson pinch hitting, in the final.

“Our second runner, Amelia Arthur, pulled her hamstring,” Basinger said. “She was 50 meters into her leg, and she started half-limping and running. We were thinking, oh my gosh, we were supposed to get first in this event and now we’re not even going to make it.

“We were really scared about it. I didn’t see Amelia get hurt, but I saw our third runner, Olivia Schulte, was really far back. I’m glad we made it.”

In the long jump, Basinger blew well past the board in her first attempt in the preliminaries.

“I love Findlay’s track, I love their pit, but their board always gets some long jumpers because it is so narrow,” she said. “We’ve been trying to practice in case there’s a narrow board. There’s probably going to be a narrow board for regionals, so you just have to get used to it.”

Basinger advanced in fourth place with a leap of 15-41/4.

Liberty-Benton got field event wins from freshman Rickenbacher in the pole vault (11-7, a school and Cooper Tire Complex record) and Chloe Miller in the discus (139-2). Miller bettered her personal record by nearly 12 feet.

“The 130 she hit on her first throw was a PR, and that 139 was a big hit,” Quisno said. “She works hard, and this was a good result for her.

“Our girls did a nice job today, and our field event kids led the way. It’s fun to have a total team like that. The field events can sometimes kind of stay hidden, and then when the team scores come in you see what kind of effect it can have on a team.”

Arcadia’s Samantha Watkins, second in Thursday’s shot put, also was runnerup in the discus (131-6, a personal record).

Watkins will throw with teammate Emily Peters in the shot put at Tiffin and with teammate Maddie Yaple, who placed third with a 126-5 Saturday, in the discus.

The three Redskins throwers are, for lack of a better term, middleweights in the throwing world. Technique rather than sheer power is the name of the game.

“At the beginning of the year we do a camp with Mike Pendleton, and throughout the year my mom is big on critiquing our technique,” Watkins said.

Pendleton’s daughters, Emily, Erin and Carly, were state discus champs for Woodmore and were all Big Ten throwers. Watkins’ brother, Shae, owns the BVC record of 186-7 and currently throws at Notre Dame.

“Some days we’ll FaceTime my brother, and he’s helped a lot, too,” Watkins said. “He’s home right now, so he also helped on Thursday.”

Watkins was fifth last year at Tiffin in the shot put. While missing state by one spot was a disappointment, it was also a learning experience.

“You have to be on point,” Watkins said. “Everything needs to be perfect. There’s a lot of good girls that are going to be there, and you have to perform as best as you can.”

Area event winners were Kalida’s Abby Maag, Brenna Smith, Kathryn Siebeneck and Berheide in the 800 relay (1:47.14); Kalida’s Taylor Lucke in the 1,600 (5:18.80) and 3,200 (11:58.92); Abby Maag, McKayla Maag, Berheide and Smith in the 400 relay (51.88); and Liberty-Benton’s Taylor Ward in the 800 (2:26.72).

GIRLS TEAM STANDINGS

1, Liberty-Benton 133. 2, Kalida 101. 3, Arcadia 61. 4, Arlington 54. 5, Van Buren 42. 6, Pandora-Gilboa 41. 7, Bluffton 40. 8, Vanlue 36. 9, Riverdale 35. 10, North Baltimore 29. 11, Upper Scioto Valley 28. 12, McComb 20. 13, Cory-Rawson 15. 14, Elmwood 9. 15, (tie) Ada & Allen East 7. 17, Hardin Northern 2.

Winner & AREA GIRLS FINISHES

DISCUS — 1, Miller (L-B) 139-2. 2, Watkins (Arc) 131-6. 3, Yaple (Arc) 126-5. 4, O’Neal (Blu) 124-11. 5, Mock (Kal) 118-9. 6, Powell (NB) 110-8. 7, Mercer (Elm) 105-11, 8, Brooker (NB) 104-0.

LJ — 1, Bishop 1 (L-B) 16-6. 2, Willow (Arl) 16-1. 3, Inbody (Arl) 15-5. 4, Basinger (P-G) 15-4. 5, Ashburn (Riv) 15-3. 6, Mowrey (VB) 14-10. 7, M. Maag (Kal) 14-10. 8, Schroeder (McC) 14-10.

PV — 1, Rickenbacher (L-B) 11-7. 2, Bucher (NB) 9-6. 3, Ponx (L-B) 8-6. 4, Jones (Arl) 8-0. 5, Murray (Elm) & Reinhard (Elm) 7-6. 7, Keck (VB) 7-6. 8, North (NB) 7-0.

100 IH — 1, Carey (USV) 15.58. 2, Rickenbacher (L-B) 16.7. 3, Smith (Kal) 17.05. 4, Mowrey (VB) 17.08. 5, Bish (C-R) 17.46. 6, Willow (Arl) 17.47. 7, Waltz (C-R) 17.58. 8, Gambrell (Blu) 17.95.

100 — 1, Basinger (P-G) 12.83. 2, Smith (Van) 12.84. 3, Golden (Arc) 13.13. 4, Warner (L-B) 13.15. 5, Like (McC) 13.26. 6, A. Maag (Kal) 13.32. 8, Franks (Van) 13.77.

800 RELAY — 1, Kalida (A. Maag, Smith, Siebeneck, Berheide) 1:47.14. 2, Liberty-Benton (Warner, Lenhart, Kintner, Masterlasco) 1:47.97. 3, Van Buren (Conner, Missler, Hoerig, Nessler) 1:50.19. 4, Pandora-Gilboa (Ferguson, A. Diller, Schulte, Basinger) 1:50.76. 5, Arcadia (Golden, Conine, Mock, Watkins) 1:51.55. 6, Riverdale (Martin, Carter, Burd, Ashburn) 1:53.50. 7, Bluffton (Wise, Cartwright, Setzer, Wilson) 1:54.73. 8, North Baltimore (Bucher, Smith, Lanning, Mason) 2:06.78.

1,600 — 1, Lucke (Kal) 5:18.80. 2, Ward (L-B) 5:28.66. 3, Fortman (Kal) 5:32.17. 4, Rickle (L-B) 5:33.40. 5, Mathews (Blu) 5:42.62. 6, Conine (Arc) 5:44.57. 7, J. Collier (Riv) 5:52.21. 8, K. Collier (Riv) 5:55.60 1.

400 RELAY — 1, Kalida (A. Maag, Berheide, M. Maag, Smith) 51.88. 2, Van Buren (Conner, Missler, Hoerig, Nessler) 51.94. 3, Pandora-Gilboa (Ferguson, A. Diller, Schulte, Basinger) 52.18. 4, Riverdale (Martin, Brandon, Burd, Ashburn) 53.05. 5, Arlington (Inbody, Beach, Dempster, Green) 53.38. 6, McComb (Pitz, Riegle, Schroeder, Like) 53.52. 7, Cory-Rawson (Waltz, Shoemaker, Bish, Parkins) 53.74. 8, Bluffton (Wise, Basinger, Setzer, Casemier) 54.27.

400 — 1, Smith (Van) 58.92. 2, Kintner (L-B) 1:00.36. 3, Lenhart (L-B) 1:00.65. 4, Ferguson (P-G) 1:01.41. 5, Franks (Van) 1:01.55. 6, Smith (NB) 1:06.21.

300 LH — 1, Carey (USV) 47.98. 2, Green (Arl) 49.64. 3, Gambrell (Blu) 50.22. 4, Waltz (C-R) 50.33. 5, Smith (Kal) 50.36. 6, Ennis (Ada) 51.14. 7, Mowrey (VB) 52.52.

800 — 1, Ward (L-B) 2:26.72. 2, Conine (Arc) 2:29.48. 3, Kindle (Blu) 2:29.65. 4, M. Diller (P-G) 2:29.87. 5, Fortman (Kal) 2:30.68. 6, Jones (Arl) 2:32.88. 7, Roebke (C-R) 2:33.26. 8, Pisarsky (VB) 2:33.77.

200 — 1, Smith (Van) 26.48. 2, Berheide (Kal) 26.49. 3, Golden (Arc) 26.86. 4, Like (McC) 27.49. 5, Inbody (Arl) 27.86. 6, Beach (Arl) 27.90. 7, Franks (Van) 29.35. 8, Carter (Riv) 29.99.

3,200 — 1, Lucke (Kal) 11:58.92. 2, Rickle (L-B) 12:23.10. 3, Hunt (VB) 12:30.21. 4, Hoff (Blu) 12:32.77. 5, J. Collier (Riv) 12:45.71. 6, Riegle (Arl) 13:24.71. 7, Bejarano (HN) 13:32.10. 8, Murphy (L-B) 13:51.83.

1,600 RELAY — 1, Liberty-Benton (Kintner, Bishop, Lenhart, Rickenbacher) 4:04.85. 2, Kalida (A. Maag, M. Maag, Bockrath, Siebeneck) 4:17.79. 3, Arcadia (Mock, Conine, Pessell, Golden) 4:21.86. 4, Pandora-Gilboa (A. Diller, Schulte, M. Diller, Ferguson) 4:23.35. 5, Riverdale (Borkosky, McKamey, Miller, Benitez) 4:23.98. 6, Bluffton (Wilson, Fett, Mathews, Kindle) 4:25.32. 7, Ada (Ennis, Butterfield, Tanriverdi, Guagenti) 4:33.14. 8, Vanlue (Franks, Czarnecki, Phillips, Smith) 4:35.37.

Radick, 419-427-8405

tedradick@thecurier.com

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