Tuesday, July 22, 2014





Mark Altstaetter: Locals shine at indoor track championship


August 25. 2013 6:58AM
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The Ashland University men’s indoor track and field team finished second at this past weekend’s NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico.Former Shawnee standout Thomas Scott, along with Allen East product Jacob Cook, were an integral part of Ashland’s runner-up performance at nationals. Scott, a junior, finished third in the 800-meter run in a time of 1 minute, 52.4 seconds. Cook, a freshman, was part of the 1,600-meter relay team which finished fourth in a school-record time of 3:11.29.Scott was recently named the Midwest Region Track Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.In high school, Scott was a standout on both the track and cross country teams. In track, he was a two-time state qualifier in the 1,600 and was a two-time state qualifier in cross country. Cook won the Division III state title in the 400-meter dash in his senior season at Allen East. The University of Findlay men’s 1,600 relay team finished fifth at the Division II Indoor National Championships. Former Bluffton standout John Guagenti was part of that relay team, which finished right behind Ashland at 3:12.53 (new school record).University of Findlay sophomore Shane Shockey (Bluffton) went into the nationals seeded second in the pole vault. When the competition was over, Shockey came away with a second-place finish with a vault of 16 feet, 10.75 inches. The UF men finished 14th in the final team standings, while the women were 22nd.All top-eight finishers in each event earned All-American status.The Ashland women finished eighth in the final team standings at the national championships. Sophomore Kendra Bassitt (Bluffton) finished 11th overall in the pentathlon for Ashland.NICKLES AT OSUFormer Columbus Grove track and field standout Heath Nickles had another successful indoor season this winter for Ohio State.Nickles, a redshirt sophomore, has been competing in the heptathlon this winter. He finished eighth at the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Feb. 26 and 27. Nickles also finished eighth in the heptathlon at last year’s Big Ten Indoor Championships.During the 2010 outdoor season, Nickles finished sixth in the decathlon at the Big Ten Championships.In high school, Nickles was a two-time Division III state champion in the pole vault, as well as a state champion in the 300-meter hurdles.LOCALS SHINING AT DEFIANCESenior Tasha Stucke (Coldwater) is leading the Defiance softball team in hitting this season with a .462 batting average. Junior Shauna Bowers (Delphos Jefferson) is among the leaders on the Defiance pitching staff. Bowers, a right-hander, has a 1.54 ERA in 13.2 innings pitched. Bowers has struck out nine and walked five with a 1-1 record.Senior Kelly Schnipke (Kalida), a right-hander, is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA. Schnipke has fanned four and walked two in her 11.2 innings of work.Defiance is 3-5 on the season.





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