SPENCERVILLE — It’s all about peaking at the right time of the season.
At Saturday’s Division III district track meet at Spencerville, Waynesfield-Goshen’s Taylor Spencer and Perry’s Brady Yingst showed they were heading in the right direction, as both set district records.
Spencer had a goal of running under five minutes in the 1,600. On Saturday, the Waynesfield-Goshen sophomore eclipsed the five-minute barrier as she won the 1,600 in 4 minutes, 58.82 seconds, and set a new district record.
Then, later on, Spencer came back to set a new district record in the 3,200, as she won in 11:13.76.
In the 1,600, Spencer broke away from the pack early, and was never challenged. She was especially pleased with her winning time in the 1,600.
“My goal was to qualify (for regionals),” Spencer said with a smile. “It’s a relief. I’ve been trying to go under five (minutes) for over a year. It’s just an amazing accomplishment. I’m just so happy right now.”
In the 3,200, Spencer did not gap the field of competitors until the second half of the race. However, once Spencer made her move, the field of runners fell way back.
“I kind of felt sick after the mile (1,600),” Spencer said. “It (1,600) was really fast, and I really pushed myself. In the two-mile (3,200), my goal was to stay with the pack a little longer, which I think I did pretty good the first three laps. Then I got rejuvenated, got my energy back and said, ‘OK, let’s finish this’.”
Spencer also competed in the 1,600-meter relay, which finished sixth and did not advance to the regional meet at Troy this coming Wednesday and Friday.
The top four placers in each event at the Spencerville district meet, qualified for the regional. Then, the top four placers in each event at the Troy regional will advance to the Division III state meet at Westerville North High School on June 4th and 5th.
Saturday was also a record-breaking day for Perry distance standout Brady Yingst.
Yingst started Saturday by winning the 1,600 in 4:20.98, setting a new district record.
Yingst went on to finish second in the 800 (2:00.77). Minster’s Alex Albers, who finished second to Yingst in the 1,600, defeated the Perry junior in the 800, clocking a winning time of 1:58.38.
“The mile (1,600) was my main focus, coming in today,” Yingst said. “The goal was to come in and break 4:20. I didn’t execute perfectly. But coming in today, it was also about getting the district record. Albers was there pushing me. … He’s an amazing runner. I was able to pull through that last 400 (meters). I was really happy with that. I know there is more in the tank; and I’m so close to breaking 4:20.”
In the 3,200, Yingst helped out a good friend en route to his second win of the day in a time of 10:12.19.
Yingst helped pace Allen East junior Hunter Sidle for a good part of the 3,200, as Sidle managed to finish second in a personal-best time of 10:13.48.
“Hunter and I are really close friends,” Yingst said. “I knew that first lap, I was going to stick to the front and try to pull the guys through at a faster pace. Then, I was planning on trying to get away in that second mile. I started to (pull away), then my Dad (Mark Yingst), who is my coach, said, ‘Hunter is far ahead in second. You can pull back and bring him through for a PR’.”
Sidle said he occasionally trains with Yingst during the offseason.
“When we do our summer training, we like to run together. He’s a lot faster than me. So, it helps me a lot,” Sidle said with a smile.
In the final team standings Saturday, Minster won the girls and boys district titles.
On the girls side, Minster slipped past Coldwater for the team title, 117.5-94. Marion Local (85), Fort Recovery (69) and Spencerville (54.5) rounded out the top five squads in the 18-team field.
For the boys, Minster outscored second-place Marion Local 143.5-110.5 for the team title. Lincolnview (51), Allen East (49.5) and Coldwater (47) rounded out the top five squads.
Minster’s Taylor Roth won the 800 (2:19.11), while teammate Margaret Hemmelgarn was close behind in second place (2:20.21).
“It’s cool to see, because we train together every day,” Roth said about the 800 race. “We push each other. So, that’s exciting for us to come in one and two.”
Temple Christian’s CeCe Worsham won the long jump Saturday (16 feet, 7 inches). She also placed third in the 100-meter hurdles (16.52 seconds) and was part of the 400-meter relay that placed eighth (55.42).
“We’ve really been focusing on the hurdles this year,” Worsham said. “It was kind of a second thought to do long jump. I’m thankful. I’m glad I have the ability to compete (at regionals). I have some higher goals though. I hope I can accomplish those in the years to come.”
On Thursday, the first day of the district meet, Minster swept the 3,200-meter relays. The Minster girls (Taylor Roth, Mason Pohl, Margaret Hemmelgarn, Ella Boate) won in 9:48.61. Their counterparts (Brady Hoelscher, Josh Niekamp, Mathew Droesch, Alex Albers) won in 8:20.54.
Also on Thursday, Spencerville’s Dale Smith won the pole vault (12 feet, 8 inches).
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.