MATTHIAS LEGUIRE / for The Courier
LIBERTY-BENTON’S CHLOE MILLER lets the discus fly on her way to winning the event at Saturday’s L-B Pat Wagner Invitational.

By TED RADICK

Staff Writer

Conference meets are just around the corner, and so is the postseason.

So, a track meet like Saturday’s Pat Wagner Memorial Invitational is a good chance for familiar foes to get together and see where everyone stands.

Columbus Grove’s Rylee Sybert stood out among the rest.

Sybert swept a pair of loaded fields in the 100- and 200-meter dashes to win Most Outstanding Performer honors.

Liberty-Benton won the girls team title with 120 points, besting defending champion Grove’s 94. Kalida (59 points), Ottawa-Glandorf (55) and Arlington (54) rounded out the top five.

Sybert had been looking forward to Saturday’s sprints, which featured four qualifiers from last year’s state meet in the 100 and three in the 200.

“Oh, yeah, I was excited,” Sybert said. “Some of these people will be my teammates (at the University of Findlay) next year, so I knew what was coming up.

“I knew it was going to be fun. You definitely have to mentally prepare yourself for the competition. Before the 100 I’m just thinking of what I have to do, to do my best. I definitely prepared, mentally, for today.”

Sybert won the 100 in 12.71, ahead of L-B’s Cassie Warner (12.96). Vanlue’s Bethany Smith, another future UF runner and a state qualifier last year in the 100, 200 and 400, was third (13.02).

Kalida’s Hannah Berheide, a 200 state qualifier last year, was sixth (13.31) and Pandora-Gilboa’s Alaina Basinger, a state qualifier in the 100 last year, was seventh (13.37).

“(Grove coach Tim) Staley and I were looking at my time last year, and I got fifth, and he asked ‘do you remember that?'” Sybert said.

“I said, ‘kind of.’ I just haven’t always done my best here. It’s been rainy when I’ve run here.

“I’ve been working on my starts a lot, and I felt like I got off to a good start in the 100 and the 200 and that just helped me.”

Sybert won the 200 in 25.86 with Smith second in 25.88. Carey’s Addystin Lykins, a state qualifier in the 400 last year, was third in 26.52, Warner fourth in 26.70 and Berheide fifth in 26.87.

P-G’s Basinger has a good perspective of the sprint races as she competes against Sybert and Berheide in the Putnam County League meet, and against Smith and Warner in the Blanchard Valley Conference.

“Honestly, I think it’s a good thing because you have great competition pushing you throughout the whole season and for those two big meets,” she said. “I think it helps me know where I’m at, and where I need to be.”

So, of all these top runners, who does Basinger feel is her main rival?

“I would probably say, for the 100, it would be Rylee,” she said. “She’s better at that race than Bethany, although Bethany’s obviously very good. I’m friends with both of them, and of course we talk before the race.

“They’re also big competition for me, so it’s kind of a bittersweet relationship I have with them.”

Two more longtime friendly foes hooked up the throws.

Defending Division III state discus champion Chloe Miller of Liberty-Benton won that event with a 135-9. In doing so, she tied Arcadia’s Samantha Watkins as the top Division III discus thrower in Ohio after Watkins had hit that mark in a meet last Tuesday.

Watkins, with a 39-1, won the shot put Saturday with a personal and school record toss.

Miller knows she and Watkins, starting with the BVC meet on May 10, will be throwing in the same meets — and the same flights in those meets — all the way through what both hope is a return to the state meet.

“The thing I love about that is, we’ve thrown against each other for so long,” Miller said. “I think it’s almost created a friendship between us. I think we both realize it’s not always about beating each other; we’re always cheering each other on and motivating each other to throw farther. It’s really fun to do.

“I don’t view it so much as competition, I view it as competing with a friend and being able to share the successes with another person. We definitely push each other.”

Miller had one of several event victories as Liberty-Benton rolled to the team title. Taylor Ward, Alissa Rhodes and Alexis Rickenbacher were triple winners for the Eagles.

Ward won the 800 in 2:28.46 and the 1,600 in 5:26.27. She joined Rickenbacher, Lily Kintner and Alissa Rhodes to win the 1,600 relay in 4:17.75.

Rickenbacher set a meet record in winning the pole vault in 12-1, and teamed with Warner, Rhodes and Olivia Bodie to win the 400 relay (52.70).

L-B’s Kintner, Rhodes, Warner and Izzy Granger won the 800 relay in 1:50.52.

“We’re well balanced. We try to be in there in every event we enter,” Liberty-Benton coach Jack Quisno said. “The relays looked good, I was really impressed with the way the girls handled themselves in those events.”

Columbus Grove’s Alyssa Ellerbrock won two events, taking the 3,200 in 11:46.66 and joining Erin Downing, Addison Schafer and Morgan Deffenbaugh to win the 3,200 relay in 10:36.88.

Leipsic’s Carlee Siefker set a meet record in winning the long jump (18-6) and Vanlue’s Bethany Smith set a fully automatic timing meet record in winning the 400 (58.83).

Kalida’s Brenna Smith won the 100 intermediate hurdles (16.86); Old Fort’s Jenna Clouse won the 300 low hurdles (48.13); and Arlington’s Hannah Willow captured the high jump (5-2).

GIRLS TEAM STANDINGS

1, Liberty-Benton 120. 2, Columbus Grove 94. 3. Kalida 59. 4, Ottawa-Glandorf 55. 5, Arlington 54. 6, Carey 53¼. 7, Van Buren 53. 8, Vanlue 40. 9, Leipsic & Arcadia 37. 11, Old Fort 21. 12, Pandora-Gilboa 16½. 13, Waynesfield-Goshen 7¼. 14, Bluffton 7. 15, McComb 6. 16, Delphos Jefferson 3.

GIRLS FINISHES

SHOT — 1, Samantha Watkins (Arc) 39-1. 2, Hoffman (O-G) 38-7. 3, Flores (CG) 36-6½. 4, Peters (Arc) 36-1½. 5, Miller (L-B) 35-6½. 6, Adkins (Car) 35-5½. 7, Morissey (Kal) 33-9½. 8, Maag (CG) 33-4½.

DISCUS — 1, Miller (L-B) 135-9. 2, Watkins (Arc) 129-10. 3, Maag (CG) 125-6. 4, Hoffman (O-G) 123-6. 5, Granger (L-B) 118-5. 6, Anderson (CG) 114-11. 7, C. Rigel (Leip) 111-4. 8, Mock (Kal) 108-6.

HJ — 1, Willow (Arl) 5-2. 2, Nunez (Leip) 4-10. 3, Cavera (VB) 4-10. 4, Schimmoeller (O-G) 4-10. 5, Griffith (McC) 4-10. 6, Baker (L-B) 4-8. 7, Massie (Arc) 4-8. 8, Kohli (P-G), Lambert (W-G), Schreiner (Car) & Neuenchwander (P-G) 4-6.

LJ — 1, Siefker (Leip) 18-6 (meet record). 2, Willow (Arl) 15-7½. 3, Basinger (P-G) 15-4½. 4, Stackhouse (Blu) 15-½. 5, Wischmeyer (O-G) 14-11¼. 6, Vorst (Kal) 14-8. 7, Heitmeyer (Leip) 14-6½. 8, H. Schroeder (McC) 14-3½.

PV — 1, Rickenbacher (L-B) 12-1 (meet record). 2, Jones (Arl) 9-0. 3, Crawford (Arl) 8-6. 4, Borgerson (L-B) 8-6. 5, Heilman (CG) 8-0. 6, Maag (P-G) 7-6. 7, Wood (Car) 7-6. 8, Closson (CG) 7-0.

3,200 RELAY — 1, Columbus Grove (Downing, Schafer, Deffenbaugh, Ellerbrock) 10:36.88. 2, Van Buren (Hunt, Webster, Potteiger, Jackson) 10:43.86. 3, Leipsic (Henry, Heitmeyer, Wensink, Dulle) 10:50.99. 4, Carey (Bianchi, Wood, Boes, Reinhart) 10:57.31. 5, Liberty-Benton (Deeter, Rickle, Smith, Murphy) 11:09.03. 6, Arlington (Riegle, Lotz, Jones, Green) 11:20.78. 7, Ottawa-Glandorf (Wischmeyer, Siefker, Fonte, Rump) 11:24.11. 8, Bluffton (Hotmire, Mathews, Parker, Schwab) 11:28.08.

100 IH — 1, Smith (Kal) 16.86. 2, Willow (Arl) 17.16. 3, Rickenbacher (L-B) 17.60. 4, Clouse (OF) 17.62. 5, Okuley (O-G) 17.70. 6, Ratliff (Car) 17.84. 7, McGue (DJ) 17.86. 8, Northcutt (VB) 18.11.

100 — 1, Sybert (CG) 12.71. 2, Warner (L-B) 12.96. 3, Smith (Van) 13.02. 4, Siefker (Leip) 13.02. 5, Nessler (VB) 13.16. 6, Berheide (Kal) 13.31. 7, Basinger (P-G) 13.37. 8, Stackhouse (Blu) 13.47.

800 RELAY — 1, Liberty-Benton (Kintner, Rhodes, Warner, Granger) 1:50.52. 2, Kalida (Smith, A. Maag, M. Maag, Berheide) 1:52.95. 3, Carey (Allison, Miller, Rigby, Lykins) 1:53.44. 4, Columbus Grove (Closson, Ridenour, Halker, Sybert) 1:54.09. 5, Arcadia (Brubaker, Watkins, Pessell, Golden) 1:55.11. 6, Van Buren (Cavera, Missler, George, Nessler) 1:55.34. 7, Ottawa-Glandorf (Siefker, Kaufman, Schimmoeller, Rump) 1:55.66. 8, Arlington (Crawford, Beach, Jones, Green) 1:57.87.

1,600 — 1, Ward (L-B) 5:26.27. 2, Ellerbrock (CG) 5:27.10. 3, Fortman (Kal) 5:27.94. 4, Hunt (VB) 5:38.34. 5, Webster (VB) 5:42.77. 6, Downing (CG) 5:44.66. 7, Wensink (Leip) 5:47.61. 8, Boes (Car) 5:57.27.

400 RELAY — 1, Liberty-Benton (Warner, Rickenbacher, Rhodes, Bodie) 52.70. 2, Van Buren (Missler, Northcutt, George, Nessler) 53.64. 3, Ottawa-Glandorf (Shepherd, Siefker, Schimmoeller, Siefker) 53.89. 4, Columbus Grove (Choi, Sybert, Vorst, Ridenour) 54.06. 5, Arlington (Green, Beach, Crawford, Willow) 54.54. 6, Carey (Parsell, Miller, Rigby, Ratliff) 54.84. 7, Pandora-Gilboa (Schulte, Russell, Diller, Basinger) 54.90. 8, Waynesfield-Goshen (Lambert, Barrington, Bigelow, Roof) 56.61.

400 — 1, Smith (Van) 58.83 (meet record). 2, Lykins (Car) 1:00.05. 3, Rump (O-G) 1:00.72. 4, Franks (Van) 1:01.02. 5, Kintner (L-B) 1:02.30. 6, Massie (Arc) 1:05.06. 7, Davidson (OF) 1:06.77. 8, M. Maag (Kal) 1:06.91.

300 LH — 1, Clouse (OF) 48.13. 2, Smith (Kal) 49.23. 3, Green (Arl) 49.62. 4, Okuley (O-G) 51.14. 5, Barrington (W-G) 52.16. 6, Jackson (VB) 53.04. 7, Ratliff (Car) 53.16. 8, Griffith (McC) 54.45.

800 — 1, Ward (L-B) 2:28.46. 2, Fortman (Kal) 2:30.46. 3, Downing (CG) 2:32.98. 4, Webster (VB) 2:34.54. 5, Conine (Arc) 2:40.22. 6, Miller (P-G) 2:41.08. 7, Bianchi (Car) 2:41.18. 8, Dienstberger (DJ) 2:41.53.

200 — 1, Sybert (CG) 25.86. 2, Smith (Van) 25.88. 3, Lykins (Car) 26.52. 4, Warner (L-B) 26.70. 5, Berheide (Kal) 26.87. 6, Franks (Van) 27.16. 7, Siefker (Leip) 27.22. 8, Golden (Arc) 27.51.

3,200 — 1, Ellerbrock (CG) 11:46.66. 2, Reinhart (Car) 12:25.38. 3, Hunt (VB) 12:35.54. 4, Price (CG) 12:42.13. 5, Rickle (L-B) 13:27.26. 6, Murphy (L-B) 13:44.95. 8, Forney (OF) 14:24.73.

1,600 RELAY — 1, Liberty-Benton (Rickenbacher, Ward, Kintner, Rhodes) 4:17.75. 2, Vanlue (Franks, Gerschutz, Sampson, Smith) 4:24.17. 3, Ottawa-Glandorf (Okuley, Wischmeyer, Siefker, Rump) 4:27.07. 4, Kalida (M. Maag, A. Maag, Fortman, Smith) 4:28.44. 5, Carey (Allison, Bianchi, Rigby, Lykins) 4:31.59. 6, Old Fort (Lehner, Davidson, Baker, Clouse) 4:32.89. 7, Waynesfield-Goshen (Barden, Barrington, Bigelow, Roof) 4:37.73. 8, Columbus Grove (Deffenbaugh, Downing, Ridenour, Schafer) 4:38.88.

Radick, 419-427-8405,

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