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Tigers want to leave mark in Columbus

Enjoying the moment isn’t enough for West Liberty-Salem’s girls track and field team.


West Liberty-Salem’s Michaela Rausch competes at the Division III regional meet last weekend in Piqua. Rausch is part of the 400 relay team that qualified to the state meet in Columbus. (EXAMINER PHOTO | AARON LaBATT)

The Tigers want to seize it.

WL-Salem qualified a school record eight individuals to the Division III state track and field meet in Columbus and are coming off its best regional performance ever.

“We definitely want to capitalize on this opportunity,” said WL-Salem girls head coach Ann Vogel. “I want the girls to enjoy it and take it all in because you never know when you’ll be back. At the same time, though, we had goals we set at the beginning of the season and the girls are really focused on taking care of business.

Senior distance star Meghan Vogel headlines the group as she sets out to defend her state title in the 1,600. She will also compete in the 800.

The 3,200 relay of Vogel and fellow seniors Jasmine Smith and Shawnda Henault and junior Alyssa Strickland earned a return trip to Columbus.

New to the state meet is the 400 relay of senior Megan Etgen, sophomores Abigail Rabenstein and Michaela Rausch and freshman Morgan Freyhof.

“The girls are excited about this weekend,” said Ann Vogel. “We have four girls with state experience and four without. We have a good mix and it’s a fun balance with the girls helping out those that have never been to state before.

“We’re sitting really good in all four of our events that we’re in. Our goal going in is to score in every event.”

The 3,200 relay finals are Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. The 400 relay team races in the semifinals on Friday at 10:50 a.m. The top two in each heat, plus the next five best times advance to Saturday’s state finals.

Vogel competes on Saturday in the finals of both her events. The 1,600 is at 10:15 a.m. and the 800-meter run is at 11:05 a.m.

Vogel on her title defense

The biggest thought in Meghan Vogel’s mind this season has been defending her state championship in the 1,600-meter run.

“I definitely want to repeat,” said Meghan Vogel. “It has been the focus for me all season. I really got down on myself earlier this season and didn’t know if it would happen, I still don’t.

“It will take a really smart race on my part and not getting out in front of the pack. I’ll have to see where the race is towards the end and seeing if I can make things happen.”

Read complete DIVISION III GIRLS PREVIEW in Thursday's Examiner. CLICK HERE to subscribe today!


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