SPENCERVILLE – Waynesfield-Goshen has a rich tradition in track-and-field.
However, there’s one thing that has eluded the W-G program.
And that’s a team district title.
The wait is finally over.
Waynesfield-Goshen notched the boys’ district title Saturday at the Division III district meet at Spencerville.
Waynesfield-Goshen fought off a competitive field in the two-day meet, slipping past Minster for the team title, 101-87.5. Fort Recovery (74) finished third, while Marion Local (71) rounded out the top four squads in the 18-team field.
“We had some great performances today,” longtime W-G coach Jim Epperly said. “Brock (Waitman) threw 167 (feet) in the discus (first place). Brandon (James) beat (Temple Christian’s) Cameron (Worsham) in the 300 hurdles – that’s a huge win for Brandon. Obviously, our sprinters came, and Tyler Eller (first in 400, second in 100, second in 200) did a phenomenal job today. The guys have worked awfully hard to get to this point.”
Eller, who placed third at last year’s Division III state meet in the 400, clocked a winning time of 50.8 seconds in Saturday’s finals. Eller was in control from start to finish.
“If you really want to run those low times, you have to sprint that first 100 (meters),” Eller said, in reference to the 400. “Your body doesn’t build up any lactic acid, so that’s the best time to push and try to maintain.”
Eller is hoping to improve on last year’s performance at the state meet.
“I want to get to the very top (of the awards podium). That’s the goal. Hopefully, I can get below 50 (seconds) again,” he said.
Epperly is looking forward to seeing what his team can do at regionals.
“We’re heading down to Troy (regional). It will be a good experience for us. We haven’t been in Troy since 2009. All regionals are difficult, but it’s nice to see some new teams,” said Epperly.
The top four placers in each event at the Spencerville district meet advance to the Troy regional, which runs Wednesday and Friday at Troy High School. Then, the top four placers in each event at Troy will compete at the state meet at Ohio State on June 1 and 2.
On the girls’ side Saturday, Columbus Grove battled a very deep Minster team, but fell short, finishing second to the Wildcats, 93.5-118. New Bremen (74.5) finished third, while Spencerville (46) came in fourth.
“Our girls performed well today,” Columbus Grove girls coach Tim Staley said. “We kept a short lead on Minster throughout, but we knew their distance girls were really good. … We have some good ones too. We had a great performance by Erin Downing, who didn’t make it out (in the 3,200). (Downing finishing) fifth in the district with an 11:32. … That’s pretty tough.
“It was just the competition we were up against today. Our girls raised their performances today. Carlee McCluer winning the 300 hurdles was big. We ran a great time in our four-by-two (800 relay). So, we’ll take that runner-up trophy at this district.”
Minster sophomore Emma Watcke won both the 1,600 (5:18.65) and 3,200 (11:21.01) Saturday. The 2017 Division III cross country state champion, pulled away from the pack in both races. Watcke has clocked a personal best of 10:42 in the 3,200 this season.
“I trust my kick,” Watcke said. “So, I just go out and see what happens each race.”
Ottoville senior Brendan Siefker continued his dominance on Saturday.
Siefker won the 1,600 (4:29.89), 800 (1:57.85) and then wrapped up his busy afternoon with an uncontested victory in the 3,200 (9:56.6).
Siefker, the 2017 state champion in the 1,600, was especially looking forward to Saturday’s 800 race. Fort Recovery’s Drew Muhlenkamp finished second (2:02.67) and St. Henry’s Devin Huelskamp was third (2:03.13) behind Siefker on Saturday.
“My coach was telling me about the (800) field a little bit,” Siefker said. “I raced against Huelskamp before, and I knew about (sophomore) Muhlenamp coming in this year. I had not raced either of them this year, so I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew that both of those guys had good finishing kicks. So, I wanted to get out the first lap, so I would be in good position in the second lap. I ran a 56 (-second) opening lap, and that worked out pretty well for me.”
Siefker did not plan to conserve energy in the 800, even though the 3,200 was soon to follow.
“It seems like when the gun goes off, that goes away. You just try to win,” he said with a smile.
Temple Christian senior Cameron Worsham scored big on Saturday. Worsham, a state-placer at last year’s state meet in the 110 hurdles, won Saturday’s 110 hurdles (15.21), finished second in the 300 hurdles (41.09), third in the 200 (23.22) and fourth in the 100 (11.54).
“I was pretty solid,” Worsham said. “The 110s, I’m not trying to break any records, or anything. I just wanted to qualify and go on to regionals. In the 300s, I’m just
taking it easy. I’m not trying to push my time or anything. I still want to be in the low 41s, high 40s. We’re just moving on.”
Fort Recovery junior Robby LeFevre won both the 100 (11.28), 200 (22.54) and was the anchor on both the winning 800 relay (Pearson, Jared Timmerman, Schoen – 1:32.21) and 400 relay (Riley Pearson, Jacob Acheson, Brayden Schoen – 44.14) on Saturday.
At last year’s state meet, LeFevre placed fifth in the 200 and was part of the 400 relay that finished eighth.
LeFevre said he was really pushed on Saturday.
“This field was unbelievable. I haven’t raced against a field like this all year. I had a great run today, and we had great conditions. I loved this meet,” he said