PIQUA — Ottawa-Glandorf will need a large school bus when it makes the trip next week to the state track and field meet at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
On Saturday, the second and final day of the Division II regional track and field meet at Piqua, the Ottawa-Glandorf girls team finished runner-up in the final team standings.
Bellefontaine edged out Ottawa-Glandorf for the girls team title, 85-68. Oakwood (54), Van Wert (38) and Carroll (37) rounded out the top five teams at Piqua.
On the boys side, Brookville notched the team crown, as it outscored second-place Carroll 49-43. Indian Hill (40), Napoleon (34) and Springfield Shawnee (31) rounded out the top five schools.
The top four placers in each event at the regional meet advances to the state meet, which takes place Friday and Saturday.
Along with the top four placers in each event, provisional state-qualifiers will be named later. Provisional state-qualifiers are the top two performers, outside of the automatic qualifiers (top four placers), in each event in their respective division, statewide.
Leading the way for the O-G girls at this week’s regional meet was senior Alexa Fortman, who brought home four gold medals.
Thursday, Fortman was the anchor of the winning 3,200-meter relay (Madelyn Hovest, Olivia Fenbert, Corinne Closson, Fortman) that clocked a time of 9:30.84. Oakwood was a distant second to the Titans, finishing in 9:38.65.
Saturday, Fortman won the 400 (56.04) and 800 (2:13.48). Fortman anchored the winning 1,600 relay (Fenbert, Closson, Averie Fox, Fortman) that clocked a personal best time of 3:58.22.
“It’s a great way to end regionals, your senior year,” Fortman said. “We get to go down to Jesse Owens and show them what we can do.
“I’m super excited. It’s great that we’re bringing all four relays down there. We have a lot of girls, and we’re hoping to score a lot in those events. It will be a great experience. … A lot of us are coming back (to the state meet). We’ve been there before, and we know what to expect. We’re going in there to see what we can do.”
O-G’s 800 relay (Delaney Duling, Savannah Recker, Averie Fox, Laney Hedrick; third, 1:45.02) and 400 relay (Duling, Recker, Hedrick, Fox; fourth, 50.07) also qualified for the state meet.
“We’re sending a lot of people down to Columbus,” O-G girls head coach Matt Burwell said. “We did what we needed to do with our relays, especially our four-by-one (400 relay) and four-by-two (800 relay). We adjusted the hand-offs a little bit, and we had PRs in both.
“We had some really good field events. Lily Haselman (third, pole vault) helped us out. Savannah (Recker) got seventh place (long jump). Alexa Fortman, was a four-event champion. We season PR’d in the four-by-one (400 relay), four-by-two (800 relay) and the four-by-four (1,600 relay). Corinne Closson ran awesome in the 800 (fourth). The girls competed hard. We’re going to need a big bus, and we’re excited.”
O-G’s Corinne Closson set a personal best in Saturday’s 800 with a time of 2:16.39, finishing fourth.
“I saw them in front of me, and I knew I just needed to pass two more people to make it,” Closson said with a grin. “So, I really pushed myself on the last 100 (meters).”
Closson says Fortman has been very influential to her success this season.
“She (Fortman) definitely pushes me at practice and at the meets,” Closson said. “I always try to stay close to her. She’s been a really good leader for me.”
Added Fortman, “It was awesome to see Corinne get a big personal best. It was great. Coming into every event, (we knew) it was going to be close. We just had to leave it all out there. I think everyone did today.”
Last season, Fortman won the Division II state title in the 400 and 800. Her winning time of 2:08.60 was both a Division II state-meet record and overall Division II state record. She will run for Belmont University, next school year.
O-G senior Lily Haselman placed third in the pole vault Saturday with a height of 11 feet, 4 inches.
“It was definitely a lot of competition (at Piqua),” Haselman said. “But it was fun vaulting with all of those girls.”
Haselman is hoping to make an impact at the state meet.
“Right now, my goal is to hopefully break the school record. I have the school record at 11-6. Hopefully, I can PR and break the school record,” Haselman said.
O-G’s Rosengarten, Van Wert’s Scott battle in the 3,200
In Saturday’s boys 3,200, first place was pretty much determined about 1,600 meters into the race as Mariemont’s Bennett Turan began to pull away from the pack of runners.
That left Van Wert’s Owen Scott and O-G’s Ty Rosengarten in a battle for second.
In the final 100 meters, it became a sprint to the finish as Rosengarten shifted to another gear and slipped past Scott down the stretch for second place.
Rosengarten’s time was (9:45.22), while Scott crossed the finish line in 9:46.12. Turan won the race in 9:40.75.
“He (Scott) has been getting closer and closer to me each week,” Rosengarten said. “This week was close. … We’ll see what happens next week.”
Thursday, the O-G boys 3,200 relay (Masen Vogt, Isaac Macke, Ethan Metzger, Rosengarten) placed second with a time of 8:17.24, to qualify for the state meet.
Van Wert’s Deerhing qualifies in four events
Van Wert sophomore Kendra Deerhing won the 100 (12.46), placed fourth in the 200 (25.64), was on the winning 400 relay (Sofi Houg, Macy Johnson, Danesha Branson, Deerhing; 49.18) and the second-place 800 relay (Deerhing, Johnson, Branson, Houg; 1:44.14).
“I’m thankful, and I relish the girls that we have. … We’re very fast,” Deerhing said. “I think we’re really going to do good at state this year. This year has been awesome. We’ve broken so many records with these girls. It feels great.”
Elida’s Jones advances in both throwing events
After winning Thursday’s discus with a toss of 145 feet, 5 inches, Elida senior DeJuan Jones came back Saturday and placed fourth in the shot put with a mark of 48-7.
“I’m really excited,” Jones said. “It (state meet) is going to be an experience, for sure. Everything was close (at Piqua). I like the competition that I had. I feel like the more competition I have, the better I get. I just thrive off the competition.”
Kenton’s Tatum Miller qualified for state in the girls discus and shot put at the Division II competition.
Miller was third in the discus with a throw of 129-10 and fourth in the shot with a distance of 40-7.25.
Spencerville’s Lanny Oakman will be heading to Columbus next week, finishing second in the 3,200 with a time of 9:48.17.
Kenton’s Parker Rarey also advanced to state with a fourth in the boys discus with a best mark of 163-7.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.