BATH TOWNSHIP — Sometimes during an early-season track meet, it’s all about who can endure the unfavorable weather conditions.
At Friday’s Bath Ehresman Invitational, “Mother Nature” had the upper hand as the invite was cut short after the 800-meter races, due to high winds and very frigid temperatures. The 200-meter dash, 3,200-meter run and 1,600-meter relay were not scored Friday night.
Van Wert came out with both the girls and boys first-place trophies in the weather-shortened invite Friday.
In the girls final team standings, Van Wert defeated second-place Ottawa-Glandorf 91-70. Elida (50) finished third, while Shawnee and Bath tied for fourth with 42 points. There were 10 teams.
In the boys final team standings, Van Wert slipped past Elida 84-74. Shawnee (55) finished third, while Bath (42) and Temple Christian (30) rounded out the top five teams. There were 11 teams in the boys competition.
The Van Wert girls were strong in the distance events. The Cougars started the invite with a stellar showing in the 3,200-meter relay, winning in 10 minutes, 47.78 seconds.
In the 800-meter run, Van Wert’s Cassidy Meyers won the race in 2:35.20. Meyers also finished second in the 1,600-meter run in 5:47.06.
On the boys side, Van Wert racked up major points in the distance events as well. The Cougars won the 3,200 relay to start things off. Then in the 800, Van Wert took both first and second, as Holden Riechert won in 2:12.38 and teammate Thane Cowan was close behind in 2:14.19.
In the 1,600, Van Wert went 1-2, as Jacob Wasson crossed the finish line first (4:58.10) and Riechert was hot on his heels (4:58.40).
“We‘re very excited about it,” Van Wert boys coach Mark Collins said. “The kids competed really well, and they handled the weather conditions perfectly. They did what they needed to do to get themselves ready to compete.
“This was our first meet of the year. We definitely don’t have the lineup that we will have toward the end of the season. This is a learning process for us. I was just glad to see our kids compete really well, and handle the weather conditions.”
Lima Central Catholic senior Emily Sreenan won the 1,600 Friday, crossing the finish line in 5:45.66.
Sreenan, a former state champion in cross country and a multiple state-placer in both cross country and track, was pleased at the way she competed Friday night. “It was a pretty nasty wind out there,” the University of Dayton-bound Sreenan said. “I knew that during the warmup, when I was coming around the corner and was barely moving at all. But the thing Coach always tells us is ‘Everybody has the same conditions. So, you have to race smart’.
“I’m coming back from an injury (cross country). I think I’m injury free now. It’s kind of nice to come out to these early meets and work on strategy. I was really nervous today because I haven’t raced competitively since state in cross country. I’ve been running, but I haven’t raced anyone, to see what my times would be like.”
The Elida girls were strong in the sprints and sprint relays Friday. Kylie Lewis won the 100 (12.90), and was also the anchor of both the winning 400- and 800-meter relays. In the 400 relay (54.28), Lewis was joined by Jency Jenkins, Hayleigh Bacome and Baylie Moening. In the 800 relay (1:52.07), Jenkins, Amiah Jones and Jaeanna Hughes joined forces with Lewis.
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