By Rob Kiser
It was a big day for Versailles track and field teams Saturday at the Piqua D-II district track and field meet.
Even a late interruption by Mother Nature didn’t stop both teams from winning hardware.
The boys were runnerup, with the girls winning the district title.
Dunbar won with 110 points, while Versailles was a close second with 104.
Joe Spitzer had another big day, winning the 1,600, 4:32.10; and 3,200, 9:29.51.
“I felt like I ran well,” Spitzer said.
He was joined by teammate Brooks Blakeley in the 1,600, who finished second in 4:33.83.
“Brooks (Blakeley) has worked really hard and improved a lot,” Spitzer said. “It would be great if we could both make it to state.”
A weather delay hit in the middle of the girls 3,200 race — just before Spitzer was scheduled to run in the boys 3,200. Spitzer used that to his advantage, winning in a meet-record time.
“Actually, I was kind of glad,” Spitzer said before going out and winning the race. “If we wouldn’t have had the delay, it would have been pouring when I had to run.”
AJ Ahrens added a win for the Tigers in the shot put, with a distance of 50-10 1-2.
He got that distance on his second put in prelims.
“I figured that would be (good enough to win),” Ahrens said. “I was hoping for the school record, which is 52-something.”
Which is on thing to shoot for next week.
“I want to get it next week,” Ahrens said. “I was at regionals last year. The goal for the last two years has been to get to state.”
Josh Steinbrunner had a big day, advancing in three events.
He finished second in the 110 hurdles, 14.75; 300 hurdles, 40.11; and high jump, 6-2.
Cole Condon also advanced, finishing third in the 400, 51.03.
Versailles girls won with 103.5 points, while Oakwood was second with 87.5 points.
Sophomore Lucy Prakel got the day started right, winning the pole vault with a height of 11-0.
“I didn’t feel like it was a sure thing, but certainly felt like I was capable of winning,” Prakel said.
Prakel changed her early strategy, getting in at 9-foot.
“I wasn’t going to get in until later, but there were only four girls left at nine-feet, so I decided to get in,” Prakel said. “I missed my first attempt, so I was a little nervous, but I was fine after that.”
After clearing 11-0, she elected to move the bar to 11-9.
“I was going for the meet record,” Prakel said. “I had a couple good attempts at it. That, or something close to it, will be the goal at regional.”
She also teamed with Ellen Peters, Ali Moran and Ava Moran to win the 400 relay in 50.20.
“All of our handoffs were nearly perfect,” Prakel said. “To win a sprint relay against this kind of competition, that is an accomplishment.”
Ellen Peters felt like she had something to prove in the 300 hurdles — and the senior did exactly that.
Running in lane seven after having the sixth fastest qualifying time Thursday, Peters won in 46.84.
“I had one of the top times and I just didn’t have a good time Thursday,” Peters said. “It made me mad. I was dealing with a little tightness.”
Lane seven worked to her advantage Saturday, as she set the tone from the start.
“That’s the advantage of being outside (you can’t see anyone),” Peters said. “You don’t have worry about anyone else. You can go out and set the pace. I had no idea where I was until the last hurdle. Hopefully, I can run a good race at regional and maybe even make it to state.”
Senior Kenia McEldowney picked up a win the 800 in 2:20.90.
“It feels really good,” McEldowney said. “I have been working hard every year to get better and I am a senior now.”
She led for most of the race, but Oakwood’s Mary Kidwell passed her at about the 200-meter mark. McEldowney was patient, taking Kidwell in the final 50 meters for the win. Kidwell was second in 2:21.69.
“I thought I would be able to pass her,” McEldowney said. “That was a PR (timewise) for me. I still want to get down in the teens (under 2:20). That will be a goal next week.”
Ava Moran finished second in the 100, 13.19; finished third in the 200, 26.73; and teamed with Cassie Francis, Liz Watren and Lindsey Winner for third in the 800 relay, 1:46.44.
Dana Rose took second in the 100 hurdles, 15.96 and third in the 300 hurdles, 47.06 to advance in both events.
And the 1,600 relay (Watren, Winner, McEldowney, Ellen Peters) was third in 4:02.52.
ST. PARIS — Miami East had a number of regional qualifiers at the Graham D-II district meet Saturday.
Gavin Horne led the Vikings, winning the 1,600 in 4:36.23.
Finishing third were Eric Austerman, 800, 2:202.81; the 400 relay (Daniel Baker, Dalton Taynor, Colten Weldy, Blaine Brokschmidt), 44.33; and the 800 relay (Taynor, Baker, Quentin Shoemaker, Brokschmidt), 1:32.51.
Taking fourth were Aaron Lawrence, 110 hurdles, 15.88; and Taynor, 200, 23.17.
Rachel Ondera finished third in the discus, 119-1; while Kaitlyn Mack finished fourth in the 300 hurdles, 47.99.