OAK HARBOR – Boys track coach Andy Augsburger doesn’t insist his Oak Harbor athletes work out before school.
When Augsburger gets to the weight room at 7:30 a.m., however, Cole Weirich, Brandon Schimming, Vince and Thomas Szabo, and Andrew Heberling have likely already been there for about an hour.
The effort has translated to success on the track as the Rockets defeated Huron and St. Mary Central Catholic on Tuesday. Oak Harbor has won the Lakota, Patrick Henry and Upper Sandusky invites this season.
“They don’t have to be there,” Augsburger said, “but they’ve seen the difference.”
Oak Harbor’s overall attitude has changed as it enters meets intent on winning.
“We’re doing very well this year,” Weirich said. “Our guys are coming to compete. Guys are stepping up. We’ve got some underclassmen. Our field events are better than last year.
“A lot of guys PRed (Tuesday) across the board. We have a good team and we can do well. We realize we can compete and we go hard.”
Weirich, Isaiah Jefferson, Thomas Loope and DeShawn Johnson won the 4×100 relay in a season-best 44.55 seconds.
“We’re getting some guys back and we’re trying to put the spring relays together,” Augsburger said. “The 4×1 was a highlight. One area where we struggled last year was the sprint relays, and we’re trying to get things in order for league and districts.”
Cody Pfeiffer and Loope were first and second, respectively, in the 110 hurdles in personal-best times of 15.21 and 15.30.
“To have that back to back … those two have worked like crazy,” Augsurger said. “Cody has been in the weight room since January and Thomas since the beginning of March.”
Pfeiffer also won the 300 hurdles, while Loope took the 100. Tim Poiry won the 800, Austin Tallman the 1,600 and TJ Lawrence the discus.
Weirich, Tyler Sievert, Mark Bodi and Nick Damron won the 4×400 relay while Sievert, Tallman, Bodi and Jake Wistinghausen took the 4×800.
Rockets girls win behind Weis
Alexa Weis won both hurdle events, as Oak Harbor’s girls also were first. Weis, Allie Jett, Rebekah Rayburn and Athena Eli won the 4×100 relay.
Rayburn also won the 100 at 13.
“The one kid who doesn’t get the accolades is Rebekah,” Rockets girls coach John McKitrick said. “She’s as important as anybody else, and it’s incredible the competitor she’s become as a senior. She just gets faster. (Tuesday) was her fastest time ever in the 100.
“She’s a constant, but she doesn’t always get noticed. She shows up every day and does her four events. She’s a coach’s dream.”
Eli won the 200, Abby Dornbusch the 400 and Ally Bloomer the high jump. McKenzie Pluto won the pole vault, Andrea Cecil the long jump and Danielle Street the discus.
Annie Quisno, Carolyne Croy, Makayla Wagner and Sarah Chovanec won the 4×200 relay while Quisno, Paige Priesman, Abby Eoff and Abbie Mizelle took the 4×400.
“We’re getting ready to make the switch to some bigger meets and fine tune for SBCs,” McKitrick said. “We’re trying to find a fourth for the 4×8 and get the hurdlers in sync. This is our last dual meet. It’s a last chance to zero in on some kids. We can still adjust, but it gets harder.”
Oak Harbor’s girls have won five consecutive conference championships and were first at districts last season.