SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — At Friday’s Shawnee Invitational, area track-and-field athletes finally had an opportunity to compete in ideal weather conditions.
Shawnee junior Asher Roberts was one of those athletes who took full advantage of the warmer, dryer weather.
Roberts anchored three winning relays for the Indians. She also finished second to Bath standout Jocelyn Ayers in the 100-meter dash. Ayers won in a time of 12.60 seconds, while Roberts finished in 12.88.
Roberts led the 800-meter relay (Julia Hardy, Jaden Marlowe, Isabelle Baird) in a time of 1:50.59; the 800 sprint medley (Alivia Adams, Hardy. Marlowe) in 1:53.71 and the 1,600 relay (Kristen Sanchez, Maggie MacDonald, Molly Scott) in 4:11.45.
Shawnee took first place in the overall girls team standings. The Indians won easily over second-place Delphos St. John’s and third-place Lima Senior. Shawnee ended the day with 111.50 points, while St. John’s and Lima Senior scored 72 and 71, respectively. There were eight teams at the invitational.
On the boys side, Lima Central Catholic slipped past Elida 95-89. Lima Senior was a close third (83), while Shawnee was fourth (76).
Last season, Roberts competed at the Division I state meet in the 400 and finished fifth in a personal-best time of 56.51 seconds.
This season, Roberts will be adding another event to her repertoire.
“I just started running the 800, actually,” Roberts said. “So, I think the two (200), four (400) and eight (800) will be my events.
“My coach put me in the four-by-eight (3,200 relay) in another meet, and I ran like a 2:14 split. So, I thought, ‘OK, I’ll run that too.’ We’ve been trying to get stronger for my 400, which was my best event. So, it kind of came with it.”
For the LCC boys, the sprints and sprint relays once again took center stage.
In the 100, LCC’s Mykale Rogers and Darius West went one-two, respectively. They both clocked times of less than 11 seconds. Rogers got across the finish line first in a stellar time of 10.86 seconds, while West was nearly right next to Rogers in 10.95. Lima Senior freshman standout Bryan Mays wasn’t far behind in 11.18.
Rogers also took first in the long jump (21 feet, 4 ½ inches). He also was the anchor of the winning 400 relay (Jon Washington, Nick Taflinger, West) in 43.15 and the 800 relay (Lee Stewart, Taflinger, West) in 1:30.31.
“I’ve never been a block guy, so the 200 gives me plenty of time to get myself together,” Rogers said. “In the 100, you have to be on point in the blocks. I worked this week on blocks and today I shot out really well. But, that (100) had to be the biggest race of my career, so far.”
Elida senior Quentin Poling broke two of his own meet records. In the shot put, Poling’s best toss was 50 feet, 7 inches. In the discus, Poling threw 144-2 to take first place.
Poling is heading to Ohio University next school year to continue his football career. But, at the moment, the future O.U. linebacker is focused on closing out his track career in strong fashion.
“It was a good way to end my favorite meet of the year,” Poling said. “It’s been fun with the senior guys. It’s my senior year, so coach (Kevin) Bowers gives me a little more leniency in the events I want to do in some of the meets.”
However, it’s more than just having fun for Poling. He has his sights set on trying to make it to the state meet this year.
“I’m looking to make it to state in the 300 hurdles and the shot put,” he said. “But, right now it looks like it will take about 53 (feet) in the shot and about 150 (feet) in the discus to make it. We have a pretty tough district and regional in discus this year.”
Poling was the anchor of the winning 1,600 relay for the Bulldogs, which clocked a time of 3:29.61. He was joined by Clark Etzler, Nick Pauff and Brandon Stinson.
This is the first season Poling has competed in the 300 hurdles. However, with his experience at running the 400, he feels confident that his speed will carry over into the 300 hurdles.
“I knew kind of where our districts and regionals were at for the 400,” he said. “In the 300 (hurdles), I ran them once last year at a tri-meet for fun and I thought I could do this.”