There’s hitting the ground running.
Then there’s hitting the ground hurdling? Rather than taking things one step at a time, Oak Harbor senior Maria Boers has jumped right into the fray as one of the top hurdlers in the area.
Boers won the 100 hurdles and was second in the 300 hurdles Tuesday as Oak Harbor’s girls track team won the Ottawa County Meet. The Rockets captured their fifth overall title at the meet, which is more than 100 years old.
John McKitrick’s hurdlers with the ability to utilize the three-step technique have been extremely rare but Boers has picked it up despite the fact this is her first season running track.
“This is a confidence thing,” Boers said. “It makes me feel good to beat some kids who have done it for a long time. I’m dropping time so I hope to keep it up. I didn’t even know ho to come out of the blocks. I didn’t know anything but I’ve started fast and hope to get better. I wish I would have started as a freshman.”
Boers, Anne Quisno, Allie Dresser and Trinity Gephart won the 4X800. It seemed fitting for Boers to give track a try as a cross country runner but Boers has acclimated herself to hurdles quickly.
Boers is excited to test herself as the competition heightens.
“My little sister hurdles and said it was fun,” Boers said. “I tried it and I liked it. My legs are really long so that helps. At first it was hard to pick up and you hit the hurdles a lot. Once you get it down, it’s natural and I don’t even think about it.
“I want to place at districts. I want the 4X8 team to go far.”
Sidney Allen won the 200, Athena Eli the 400 and Allie Dombrowski the 300 hurdles for the Rockets’ girls. Andrea Cecil won the high jump and long jump, Allen, Dombrowski, Karis DeWalt and Rebekah Rayburn took the 4X100 relay, and Allie Jett, DeWalt, Allen and Eli won the 4X200 relay.
Jordyn Giesler took the discus while DeWalt, Jett, Dombrowski and Eli won the 4X400 relay.
Cole Weirich won the 100, Tyler Sievert the 800 and Jake Wistinghausen the 3,200 as Oak Harbor’s boys were also first. Chris Tabbert took both hurdle events.
Thomas Loope, Andrew Heberling, Tabbert and Weirich won the 4X100 relay while Heberling, Tabbert, Sievert and Weirich won the 4X400 relay. Austin Apple won the pole vault while Andrew Burnette, Tim Poiry, Zach Seaman and Sievert took the 4X800 relay.
Port Clinton freshman Ashtyn Baney won the 100, Claire Zielinski won the 3,200 and Jessica Lorensen the pole vault as the girls were second. Morrisa Mallory won the shot put.
“She’s met my expectations for her transitioning into high school,” Redskins coach Seth Benner said of Baney.
Justyn Holmes won the 200, Jonathon Youngbar the 400 and long jump, and Logan Hepp the 1,600 as Port Clinton’s boys finished second. Cody Smith won the shot put, Robert Beck established a personal-best at 43-1.5 to finish fifth, and Brandon Moore, Nathan Stubblefield, Youngbar and Holmes won the 4X200.
“It was a good day,” Smith said. “I didn’t PR but I made progress. My technique was good. My opening throw was actually my farthest. I want to make it to state and throw over 60. You have to set (goals) high.”
Genoa’s Carly Gose won the 800 and 1,600 as Genoa’s girls were third.
Trey Fairchild won the high jump and Logan Bryer the discus for Genoa’s boys. Fairchild has dealt with multiple lingering injuries, including a broken tailbone that forced him to miss only one meet high jumping, but has avoided an actual diagnosis for his maladies.
Fairchild’s goals include winning the long jump in the Northern Buckeye Conference and qualifying to regionals for the first time. He also strives to finish in the top five in the 100 and 200.
“I’ve been injured and not at my best,” he said. “I got 6-0 in the high jump and it’s my second straight time winning the meet. (Tuesday) felt good. I’ve never lost because someone jumped higher this season, I’ve only lost because of more misses. So I feel I haven’t been truly beaten this season.
“I don’t want my season to end (because of a doctor’s evaluation). I don’t want my season to be done.”
Danbury’s boys and girls finished fourth Tuesday.