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Liberty-Benton sweeps Division III at Spencerville


August 24. 2013 8:20PM
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SPENCERVILLE - It was a good week to break records.



Between Thursday and Saturday, eight records at the Spencerville track were broken at this week's Division III district track and field meet.



Despite claiming just one record, Liberty-Benton was able to sweep the team district titles on Saturday.



The L-B girls won decisively over second-place McComb, 116.5-60. Columbus Grove's girls finished third (56). Ottoville came in fourth (52.5), while Bluffton was fifth (51).



On the boys side, L-B took home the district crown by outscoring Pandora-Gilboa, 132.5-96. Bluffton finished third (84). Spencerville was fourth (61), while Columbus Grove was fifth (48). There were 17 schools in the district meet.



The top four finishers in each event at the district meet will advance to this week's regional meet at Tiffin. The DIII regional at Tiffin will begin on Wednesday with finals slated for Friday. The top four placers at Tiffin will move on to the state meet on June 6 and 7 at Ohio State.



Bluffton's John Guagenti took home two individual district titles, two relay titles and four track records, to help lead the Pirates.



Guagenti shattered the 400-meter record, clocking a time of 48.10 seconds. Guagenti was more than four seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, L-B's Nate Aydt (52.41).



In the 200, Guagenti outraced the field, setting both a track and district record with a winning time of 22.17.



Bluffton's boys set district records in both the 800 relay and 1,600 relay. In the 800 relay, Bluffton's winning time was 1:30.35, while in the 1,600 relay, the team crossed the finish line in 3:25.04. In all three relays, Guagenti teamed up with his younger brother Zach, Rico Pena and Jesse Herr.



Guagenti said despite not having anyone on his heels in the 400, he was still able to remain focused throughout the entire race.



"I just pretend there is someone ahead of me," Guagenti said. "I really tried to pick it up on the back 200 (meters) ... the conditions were really good (Saturday)."



Guagenti said there are several things he wants to accomplish this season. There is one goal, however, he has put at the top of his list.



"I really want to get sub-48 (seconds in the 400)," Guagenti said. "I really would like to get down to the mid-47s."



Bluffton's Bonnie Stratton dominated the field in her two specialties. In the 100, Stratton broke her own meet record, winning in 12.13. In the 200, it was the same story as Stratton pulled away early and won in 25.31. Her performance in the 200 broke her old district record by more than a second.



Stratton also anchored the record-setting 800 relay (1:45.75).



On Thursday, Columbus Grove's Heath Nickles broke his own district record in the pole vault, clearing 15 feet 8 inches. That mark also eclipsed the Spencerville track record of 15-6.



On Saturday, Nickles won the 300 hurdles (39.93).



Ottoville freshman Shayla Siefker gave her team some valuable points on Saturday when she won the 1,600.



Siefker fought off McComb's Katie Borgelt en route to a win and also a personal-best time. Siefker won the race in a time of 5:11.96. Borgelt finished in 5:13.88.



"(Borgelt) had a 5:17 coming in," Siefker said. "I had a 5:22. I knew I probably would have to PR (to win). I could tell she was close, so I knew I had to start going at the 200."



Hardin Northern's Nathan Bame is battling back from an early-season hamstring injury. Bame was runner-up in the 100 at last year's state meet.



On Saturday, Bame looked strong in winning the 100 in a time of 11.08. Bame edged out P-G sophomore sensation Sam Spallinger (11.18).



"He was injured at our (Hardin Northern) Invite and he really hasn't raced since," Castle said. "On Thursday at the preliminaries, he raced well and it gave him some confidence, going into today.



"(Saturday), he ran well. He said he didn't feel sore afterwards ... that's good. Hopefully, if he stays healthy, maybe we can have a state champion this year."





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