Well known for its distance runners, West Liberty-Salem’s girls track team has another group of standouts heading to the state tournament.
West Liberty-Salem's girls 3,200 relay team placed third at the Division III regional meet in Troy on Wednesday. Team members are, from the left: Katelyn Stapleton, Grace Adams, Madison Bahan and Reghan Bieleski. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
The Tigers’ 3,200 relay team of Reghan Bieleski, Madison Bahan, Grace Adams and Katelyn Stapleton placed third Wednesday at the Division III regional meet in Troy with a school-record time of 9:40.97.
The top four placers in each event qualify to the OHSAA state meet next weekend in Columbus.
The regional meet resumes Friday, with field events starting at 5 p.m. and running event finals beginning at 6 p.m. The top two finishers in each semifinal heat and the next four best times advance to Friday’s running finals.
It is the first time the WLSalem girls 3,200 relay team has qualified for the state meet since 2013. It was also an exceptional effort by the four relay members, who had finished third at last week’s district meet.
The Tigers rebounded to beat Ft. Loramie and Russia, two teams that had finished ahead of the WL-S foursome at last week’s district race.
“Last week was definitely not our best time,” said WL-Salem girls head coach Ann Vogel.
“Grace and Maddie were both sick and did not run their best race. They really stepped up this week and ran well.
“To break the school record in the process of getting to state is also exciting. We had run under 9:45 earlier this year and knew we just had to put ourselves in the race and we would be there at the end. The girls were focused and relaxed.”
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