BUCYRUS – The River Valley boys are making themselves right at home on the track at Bucyrus High School.
The Vikings outdistanced Ontario, 104.5-78, to win the 22nd Elks’ 156 Invitational Track Meet at the Bucyrus Sports Complex. It was the third straight win at the meet for River Valley boys.
For the girls, Galion rallied past defending champion Lexington in the final event for a 130-127 win. It was the Tigers’ first-ever victory at the Elks’ Invite.
Galion won five events and had 13 top three finishes to edge Lady Lex by winning the 4 X 400 meter relay with the team of Michaela Slone, M’Lynn Gwinner, Holly Brammer and Lauren Huggins with a time of 4:22.63. Lexington finished fourth.
“We’re really happy,” Galion assistant coach Colby Bright said. “Our sprinters really competed well today.”
Tigers’ other firsts came in the 4 X 200 meter relay (Sydney Hunt, Slone, M’Lynn Gwinner and Marisa Gwinner, 1:52.00), 4 X 100 meter relay (Alasha Williams, Taylor Valentine, Kylie Redman and M’Lynn Gwinner, 53.15), 400 meter dash (Slone, 1:02.55) and high jump, where freshman Marisa Gwinner set a meet record with a leap of 5-06.25.
River Valley got four first-place finishes to cruise to victory. The Vikings won the 4 X 100 meter relay (David Blanton, Greg Perez, Devin Hopkins and Bailey Cole, 45.41), the 400 meter dash (Cole, 52.65), the 4 X 400 meter relay (Blanton, Ben Waterman, Luke Waterman and Cole, 3:30.53) and the pole vault (Ben Waterman, 14-06.00).
“River Valley boys are tough,” Bright said. “They will be tough at the end of the year.”
In addition to the girls’ high jump, two other meet records were set. Brittany Parsell of Bucyrus won the long jump with a leap of 17-01.75, passing Wynford’s Amber Rall’s mark of 16-11.5 set in 2003. Lexington junior Dominique Clairmonte set a new mark in the 1600 meter run with a 5:13.99 effort, to pass Jessica Phillips of Seneca East who ran 5:17.85 in 2009.
“Brittany is starting off well,” Bucyrus coach Carl Rittenour said. “In the long jump, she was less than two inches short of the school record she set last year.”
Parsell also won the 200 meter dash (27.24) and the 100 meter dash (12.81).
Bucyrus girls finished seventh with 44 team points, but only 3.5 points behind fifth-place Ontario. The Redmen boys were 12th with 22 points.
“It’s our first meet of the season,” Rittenour said. “We’re a young team with a lot of freshmen. The kids are getting their feet wet. They’re getting their eyes open to what high school competition is all about. Overall, I’m not too disappointed.”
Colonel Crawford boys finished third with 75 points, despite being less than full strength.
“We had some guys banged up, so we pulled them out,” CC coach Preston Foy said. “It’s too early in the year to take any chances. But we had some surprises. Owen Adams won the long jump with a PR (20-08.50). That’s almost enough to get to state.”
The Eagles had four other top three finishes to secure the third spot.
Besides Clairmonte’s 1600 meter run record, Lexington girls also had firsts in the 4 X 800 meter relay (Clairmonte, Mackenna Curtis-Collins, Keelie Speckert and Whitney wendling, 10:16.68), 100 meter hurdles (Breanne Stichler, 16.97), 800 meter run (Clairmonte, 2:25.26) and pole vault (Sarah Oliver, 8-06.00).
Ellie Richmond of Wynford girls had two second-place finishes, in the 1600 meter run (5:33.77) and the 800 meter run (2:30.17), behind Clairmonte in both. Colonel Crawford girls came in third with 62 points on the strength of a second and third in the pole vault (Alex Carter and Pierce Krassow, both with 7-06.00) and third in the 300 meter hurdles (Kristen Vehres, 53.44).
“I saw some good things today,” Foy said. “There are things we need to get better. This is a good meet to see where we are.”