By Rob Kiser
The Versailles boys track and field team couldn’t have asked for a much better start to the D-II district meet Thursday at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field.
The Tigers won two of the four finals held on the opening day and are in first place with 35 points.
The 3,200-meter relay team (Cole Condon, Mitchell Huelskamp, Brooks Blakeley, Joe Spitzer) won in 8:17.34, while Luke Shellhaas won the pole vault at 13-10 to advance to next week’s regional meet, also at Piqua.
Spitzer was in third when he got the baton for the anchor leg in the 3,200 relay, but by the time he came off the turn in the backstretch, he had passed Oakwood and Dunbar and never gave the lead up.
“Oakwood and Dunbar had the two fastest seed times,” Spitzer said. “The idea was to go out fast and hold on at the end and that worked pretty well. It is a great way to start the meet.”
And he hopes for better things to come.
“With us winning the district, hopefully we can go to regionals and do something good and get to state,” Spitzer said.
Shellhaas didn’t have to do a lot of jumping in the pole vault and that strategy led to a win.
He passed until 12-foot — then after making that on his first attempt, passed again until 13-2.
Shellhaas made that on his second attempt, leaving him and Oakwood’s Jake Schaurer as the only vaulters at 13-10.
When, Shellhaas cleared that on his second attempt, he was taking nothing for granted.
“I know he (Luke Schauer) is a good vaulter,” Shellhaas said. “If he had a good jump, he could have made it.”
That didn’t happen, making Shellhaas the winner.
He then missed three attempts at 14-4.
“I can make that,” Shellhaas said. “But, I was just blowing through heights so fast tonight.”
And he likes the fact the regional is at Piqua as well.
“I am comfortable here after vaulting here once,” Shellhaas said. “I vaulted well here tonight. There is no reason I can’t come back and do it again next week.”
Kyle Jones and Nathan Nelson also advanced to the regionals.
Jones was third in the long jump with a distance of 20-10. He got that jump on his first attempt in the finals.
Nelson was fourth in the discus, with a throw of 133-8.
Versailles boys had a number of qualifiers to Saturday’s finals.
Josh Steinbrunner had the fastest time in the 110 hurdles, 14.79 and 300 hurdles, 40.08.
Spitzer (5:06.20) and Blakeley (5:07.88) both advanced to the final in the 1,600; while Condon had the second fastest time in the 400, 51.53.
The 1,600 relay (Huelskamp, Jones, Steinbrunner, Spitzer) advanced with the fifth fastest time of 3:32.99.
The Versailles girls 3,200 relay also advanced to next week’s regional meet.
The Lady Tigers foursome of Megan Rismiller, Tori Schulze, Maria Mangen and Kenia McEldowney finished third in 10:11.20.
Dana Rose had the second fastest time in the 100 hurdles, 15.65; and third fastest time in the 300 hurdles, 47.51.
She will be joined by Jaden Prenger (17.20) in the 100 hurdles and Ellen Peters (48.61) in the 300 hurdles in Saturday’s finals.
Ava Moran had the second fastest time in the 100, 12.57 and 200, 26.51; and will be joined by Lucy Prakel (13.10) in the 100 finals Saturday.
Liz Watren advanced in the 400 with a time of 63.06.
The 1,600 relay (Watren, Winner, McEldowney, Peters) had the second fastest time of 4:05.84 to advance.
The 400 relay (Prakel, Peters, Moran, Moran) and the 800 relay (Peters, Peters, Watren, Winner) both had the fourth fastest times of 50.94 and 1:48.13 respectively to advance.
Miami East had two regional champions at the Graham D-II district meet.
Blaine Brokschmidt won the pole vault, clearing 14-0 and the 3,200 relay (Eric Austerman, Gavin Horne, Taton Bertsch, Jonah Brautigam) won in 8:27.87.
Aaron Lawrence advanced to the finals in the 110 hurdles, 16.22; while Horne, 5:04.86; and Brautigam, 5:19.80 advanced to the 1,600 finals.
Austerman advanced to the 800 finals with a time of 2:07.40; while Dalton Taynor advanced to the 200 finals with a time of 23.15.
Also advancing were the 400 relay (Baker, Taynor, Weldy, Brokschmidt), 44.49; the 800 relay (Taynor, Baker, Shoemaker, Weldy), 1:34.74; and the 1,600 relay (Baker, Austerman, Bertsch, Weldy), 3:34.87.
For the Miami East girls, Liza Bair advanced to the regionals, finishing third in the high jump with a height of 5-0.
Advancing to Saturday’s finals were Delaney Bourelle, 100, 13.34; Lindsey Yingst, 800, 2:42.21; and 1,600, 6:09.01; Kaitlyn Mack, 300 hurdles, 49.47; and Paige Blauvelt, 800, 2:41.93.
Also advancing were the 400 relay (DesAutels, Bair, Bourelle, Staton), 53.84; the 800 relay (Ondera, Mack, Monnin, Bourelle), 1:55.31; and the 1,600 relay (Mack, Ondera, Yingst, Monnin), 4:22.73.
Matt Blankenship and four Piqua relay teams advanced to tonight’s Piqua D-I district finals.
Blankenship advanced in the 300 hurdles, 42.96.
Also advancing to the finals for the boys were the 800 relay (Roe, Blankenship, Cavender, Bushnell), 1:38.75; and the 1,600 relay (Heidenreich, Schaeffer, Bushnell, Blankenship), 3:44.81.
Advancing to the finals for the girls were the 800 relay (Smith, Sloan, Cox, Dodds), 1:53.71; and the 1,600 relay (Evans, Jones, Cox, Dodds), 4:29.08.