Track & field: Van Wert boys, Celina girls win district team titles


Division II district competitors deal with heavy wind gusts

By Mark Altstaetter - [email protected]



Ottawa-Glandorf’s Alexa Fortman competes in the 400 during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance. See more high school sports photos at LimaScores.com.

Ottawa-Glandorf’s Alexa Fortman competes in the 400 during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance. See more high school sports photos at LimaScores.com.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

St. Marys’ Brandon Bowers competes in the 110 hurdles during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance.

St. Marys’ Brandon Bowers competes in the 110 hurdles during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Bath’s Kyran Johnson competes in the 100 Meter Dash during Friday’s Division II District Track Meet at Defiance High School. Richard Parrish | The Lima News Bath’s Kyran Johnson competes in the 100 during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Celina's Kaylie Dameron competes in the 1600 Meter Run during Friday's Division II District Track Meet at Defiance High School. Richard Parrish | The Lima News


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Van Wert’s Nate Phillips competes in the high jump during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Celina’s Amelia Lutz competes in the shot put during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Van Wert’s Connor Pratt competes in the 400 during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Celina’s Natalie Dross competes in the 100 hurdles during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

DEFIANCE — Just count to four.

With the heavy wind gusts Friday, most runners realized that it was going to be a huge challenge to set personal bests at the Division II district track-and-field meet at Defiance High School.

So, for most athletes, it came down to just placing in the top four spots in each event. The top four placers in each event Friday advance to the Division II regional at Piqua, which takes place Thursday and Saturday.

Ottawa-Glandorf junior standout Alexa Fortman, did not set any personal records Friday. However, she did win the 400, 800, and was part of the 800-meter relay and 1,600 relay Friday.

Fortman’s most impressive victory came in the 800, where she ran away from the field and crossed the finish line first.

The official times were not made available by press time at The Lima News. They will be online, when made available.

“The goal today was just to get into the top four and move on,” Fortman said after notching the victory in the 800.

The windy weather conditions Friday forced the cancellation of the pole vault. That event will take place Monday. So, the point totals might change some after Monday. However, the team champions were determined after Friday’s competition.

In the girls final team standings, Celina won the team title.

On the boys side, Van Wert notched the team title.

The Celina girls team competed well on the track Friday.

Early on, in the 100-meter hurdles, the Bulldogs notched the top two spots.

Sophomore Natalie Dross edged out teammate sophomore Isabel Duenas.

“I thought she got me at first,” Dross said with a grin.

Dross said her time Friday was not even close to her personal best. However, she was happy to win the race and get an opportunity to compete at regionals.

“My best time (100 hurdles) is a 16.19. So, it was definitely a little bit of a drop,” Dross said about Friday’s performance. “But I still won. … It’s pretty cool.

“Last year, I didn’t qualify for the (regional) finals. I kind of had a bad race. My goal this year is to at least get to the finals, and hopefully make it to state.”

In the girls 1,600 Friday, the Dameron sisters scored well for Celina.

Junior Kaylie Dameron won the 1,600, while her sister came in fourth.

Kaylie is attempting to make it to the state meet this season, which would be her first time to the state meet in track. She has competed at state in cross country.

The Dameron sisters do not usually lead the race. Their strategy is to maintain a strong, steady pace, stay in contention and then push hard at the end of the race.

“I like to work on pacing every single lap, and try to push through when it gets really hard,” Kaylie said. “By the last lap, it’s all pushing through at that point.”

On the boys side, Van Wert senior Connor Pratt did not allow the wind to hold him back too much on Friday.

In the 400, Pratt clocked a winning time of (50.1 seconds, unofficially). At last week’s Western Buckeye League Championships, Pratt won the 400 in a personal-best of 49.76 seconds.

“This is one of those days when you really can’t dwell too much on the times,” Pratt said. “You just have to be a competitor and be in that top four, so you can move on to regionals.”

Pratt feels like he has not peaked.

“Ever since I went sub 50 (seconds, at last week’s WBL Championships), I’ve been thinking, if I did that, I might as well keep going lower. So, a low 49 – I would be super happy with that,” he said with a smile.

Bath junior Kyran Johnson had a big day Friday.

Johnson started Friday with a win in the 100 (11.79, unofficially) – his second consecutive victory in the 100 at districts.

Then, Johnson was part of the 800 relay and 400 relay.

Coming in, Johnson felt confident of his chances in the 100.

“I was seeded fourth, coming in. But I just had to run my race. I came out pretty strong,” Johnson said.

On Wednesday, the first day of the Division II district at Defiance, the Van Wert boys 3,200-meter relay (Trey Laudick, Hunter Sherer, Gage Springer, Gage Wannemacher) won in a time of 8:21.14.

On the girls side, Defiance (Mira Horvath, Samantha Hohenberger, Layla Briseno, Emily Wahl) won in 9:54.17. Celina (Emily Schwieterman, Raven Harris, Joscelyn Dameron, Kaylie Dameron) finished second (9:59.40), while Ottawa-Glandorf (Madelyn Hovest, Lily Haselman, Rose Turnwald, Olivia Fenbert) was third (10:01.28).

O-G’s Emma Hoffman won the discus Wednesday with a mark of 134 feet, 5 inches.

In Wednesday’s boys shot put, Bath’s Xavier Griffiths won with a mark of 55-1. Van Wert’s Logan Dotson was second (49-4.5).

Ottawa-Glandorf’s Alexa Fortman competes in the 400 during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance. See more high school sports photos at LimaScores.com.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_D2-Track-RP-02.jpgOttawa-Glandorf’s Alexa Fortman competes in the 400 during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance. See more high school sports photos at LimaScores.com. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
St. Marys’ Brandon Bowers competes in the 110 hurdles during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_D2-Track-RP-06.jpgSt. Marys’ Brandon Bowers competes in the 110 hurdles during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Bath’s Kyran Johnson competes in the 100 Meter Dash during Friday’s Division II District Track Meet at Defiance High School. Richard Parrish | The Lima News Bath’s Kyran Johnson competes in the 100 during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_D2-Track-RP-01.jpgBath’s Kyran Johnson competes in the 100 Meter Dash during Friday’s Division II District Track Meet at Defiance High School. Richard Parrish | The Lima News Bath’s Kyran Johnson competes in the 100 during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Celina's Kaylie Dameron competes in the 1600 Meter Run during Friday's Division II District Track Meet at Defiance High School. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_D2-Track-RP-07.jpgCelina's Kaylie Dameron competes in the 1600 Meter Run during Friday's Division II District Track Meet at Defiance High School. Richard Parrish | The Lima News Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Van Wert’s Nate Phillips competes in the high jump during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_D2-Track-RP-08.jpgVan Wert’s Nate Phillips competes in the high jump during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Celina’s Amelia Lutz competes in the shot put during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_D2-Track-RP-04.jpgCelina’s Amelia Lutz competes in the shot put during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Van Wert’s Connor Pratt competes in the 400 during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_D2-Track-RP-03.jpgVan Wert’s Connor Pratt competes in the 400 during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Celina’s Natalie Dross competes in the 100 hurdles during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/05/web1_D2-Track-RP-05.jpgCelina’s Natalie Dross competes in the 100 hurdles during Friday’s Division II district at Defiance. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Division II district competitors deal with heavy wind gusts

By Mark Altstaetter

[email protected]

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.

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