Created on Friday, 17 May 2013 Written by AARON LaBATT
It’s tough to raise the bar when you have won as much as West Liberty-Salem’s track and field program has.
But that is what the Tigers did Thursday at the finals of the Ohio Heritage Conference meet as both WL-Salem’s girls and boys squads came away with league championships.
The Tiger girls pulled away midway through Thursday’s meet to secure their 11th overall OHC championship and second straight with 179 points. The girls won OHC titles in 10 of 17 events and set new league records in four events.
Northeastern was second with 136 points, Greeneview was third with 80 points and Cedarville was fourth with 43 points. Triad finished in eighth with 12 points.
“I was really pleased with how the girls performed,” said WL-Salem girls head coach Ann Vogel. “We started off slow, but the girls kept fighting back and we ended up winning by a comfortable margin. Our seniors were also able to wrap up their careers with an OHC title at home and that is something special for them.”
The Tiger boys also won handily with 136 points, while Cedarville was a distant second with 93 points. Mechanicsburg was third with 83 points and Northeastern was fourth with 72 points. The Cardinals finished in eighth with six points.
“I am so very proud of the performance of my guys,” said WL-Salem boys head coach Bart Zirkle. “So many of them stepped up and ran like champions. The theme of the night for us was ‘we are better together’ and that was certainly the case to wrap the evening up. Tonight was truly one of the best track meets I have been blessed to be part of.”
The dynamic one-two punch of senior star Meghan Vogel and freshman sensation Morgan Freyhof have been a scoring machine for WL-Salem this spring. The duo gave their most impressive performances of the season on Thursday as they were named co-MVPs of the league.
FRONT PAGE PHOTO: West Liberty-Salem’s Conner Karg competes in the boys 400-meter dash during the Ohio Heritage Conference meet Thursday at WL-Salem High School. Karg won the race in 51.4. ABOVE: WL-Salem’s Abigail Rabenstein races against a Northeastern runner toward the finish line during the girls 800 relay. The Tigers won and set a new meet record of 1:52.35. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | AARON LaBATT)
Freyhof won four total OHC titles, two individual and two relay, and set an individual league record and a relay record. Vogel also won four total OHC titles, two individual and two relay, while setting one individual record and was part of a relay record.
“Those two did a great job for us,” said Ann Vogel. “Morgan showed a lot of poise and was not seeded first in any of her races, but she still won all of them. She is a game-day performer. Meghan is coming off mono and has a cold, so we wanted to rest her. We were just going to run her in the 1,600, but she is a team player and fought through it. She had some solid times and did well.”
Freyhof won the 100 in a time of 12.8 and the 200 in a league-record time of 26.89. She was also part of the winning 400 relay that set a record time of 52.75. That relay group also included Abigail Rabenstein, Megan Etgen and Michaela Rausch.
Vogel won the 800 with a record time of 2:22.34 and won the 1,600 in a time of 5:17.93. Vogel and Freyhof were both on the winning 1,600 relay together along with Darby Thomas and Caylee Karg (4:16.4).
Vogel’s fourth title came on Tuesday when she set a new league record with the winning 3,200 relay.
Other OHC titles won on Thursday came from Alyssa Strickland in the 3,200 (12:13.2) and the 800 relay of Savanna Shipp, Thomas, Rabenstein and Rausch (1:52.3).
Earning runner-up finishes were Rabenstein in the 100 hurdles (16.6) and the 300 hurdles (48.1) and Shawnda Henault in the 3,200 (12:14.7).
Maddie Gantz was third in the shot put (33-6 1/2) with fourth-place finishes coming from Megan Etgen in the 100 hurdles (17.7) and the long jump (14-10 1/4), Rausch in the 200 (28.05), Thomas in the 400 (1:03.1), Karg in the 300 hurdles (51.7) and Godwin in the shot put (30-8).
Jasmine Smith added a fifth-place finish in the 1,600 (5:42.4) and a sixth-place effort in the 800 (2:35.8).
Taylor Cordell won two individual league titles to lead the WL-Salem boys performance on Thursday. Cordell took first in the 110 hurdles (15.3) and the 300 hurdles (40.7) and was also finished third in the 100 (11.7).
Other OHC titles were won by Conner Karg in the 400 (51.4), Aaron Scott in the 3,200 (10:18.4), Alex Gardner in the discus (147-4) and the 1,600 relay of Trevor Anderson, Ross Hickenbottom, Kelvin Shank and Karg (45.4).
“Taylor has been a steady rock for us all season and tonight was no different,” said Zirkle. “Alex Gardner threw his personal best in the discus, Conner had a memorable performance in the 400 and had a career-best meet and ran with great determination. The 1,600 relay ended with the last two legs taking us from fifth place to first place in a very exciting race.”
Runner-up finishes came from Shank in the 200 (23.2), Alex Adams in the 1,600 (4:41.01), Joey Adams in the 3,200 (10:22.6), the 400 relay of Anderson, Hickenbottom, Karg and Shank (45.4) and the 800 relay of Hickenbottom, Karg, Shank and Hauke Bruns (1:33.6).
Fifth-place finishes came from Scott in the 1,600 (4:49.7) and Anderson in the pole vault (10-0), while sixth-place finishes came from Alex Adams in the 800 (2:11.8), Jakob Nelson in the 300 hurdles (45.7), Justin Dallas in the discus (110-10) and Maverick Aldo in the pole vault (7-6).
Triad saw a fourth-place finish from the 800 relay of Allyssa Eaton, Shelby Keatley, Lauren Sizemore and Jennifer Chirinos (1:58.6) and a sixth-place finish from the 400 relay of Eaton, Keatley, Sizemore and Allison Ross (57.01).
The Cardinal boys were led by Drew Loveless with a fourth-place finish in the 100 (11.8) and a sixth-place finish in the 200 (24.03). Tanner Stengel added a sixth-place effort in the 110 hurdles (18.4).
Gophers in third at NWCC meet
Ridgemont’s girls are currently tied for third place after one day of action at the Northwest Central Conference meet at Waynesfield-Goshen High School.
The host Tigers lead the girls meet with 55 points, Upper Scioto Valley is sitting in second with 41 points, while the Gophers are tied with Lima Perry for third with 26 points each. Riverside is sixth with nine points.
The Tigers also lead the boys meet with 76 points, Fairbanks is second with 41 points, USV is third with 29 points and the Gophers are fourth with 28 points. The Pirates are currently seventh with one point.
Sydney Lingo led the Ridgemont girls with a runner-up performance in the discus with a toss of 107-7, while third-place finishes came from Toshia Van Buskirk in the long jump with a leap of 15-5 1/2 and the 3,200 relay (13:03.1).
Placing fourth was Meyghan Crates in the pole vault (6-0) and sixth-place efforts were added by Lingo in the shot put (29-4) and Whitney Arseneau in the long jump (14-4 3/4).
The Gopher boys saw Zane Connolly take second in the pole vault (11-6), while placing third were Colin Turner in the discus (133-9) and Cody Ray in the long jump (19-3 3/4).
Also for the Gophers, Daniel Johnson was fourth in the pole vault (11-0), the 3,200 relay was fifth (10:35.2), Turner was sixth in the shot put (37-0 1/2) and Tim Cowan was sixth in the long jump (18-5).
For Riverside’s girls, Kerri Meade was third in the high jump (4-10) and Brooke Hickey was sixth in the high jump (4-6).
The Pirate boys 3,200 relay team took sixth (11:38.7).