Track and Field: O-G girls win; Grove boys, girls nab second

BENTON RIDGE – Depth will usually win out.

At Saturday’s Liberty-Benton Pat Wagner Invitational, Ottawa-Glandorf’s depth proved to be too much to overcome in the girls competition as the Titans ran away with the girls team title, defeating second-place Columbus Grove 141.50 to 105.50. Bath (95), Liberty-Benton (90) and Oak Harbor (73.50) rounded out the top five teams in a field of 14.

On the boys side, Oak Harbor scored 139 points, compared to second-place Columbus Grove’s 98.50 points to win the team title. Liberty-Benton (79.50), Ottawa-Glandorf (78) and Bath (67) rounded out the top five squads.

The O-G girls team won eight events and scored in nearly all of the rest of the events. O-G

notched the overall combined team win at the Invitational.

“We got first in all four relays, with the four-by-one (400-meter relay) and the four-by-two (800 relay), setting meet records,” O-G girls head coach Matt Burwell said. “In the discus, Emma Hoffman broke the meet record and her own school record (148 feet, 9 inches). Alivia Grothause won the 100 (12.29 seconds). Anna Buddelmeyer won the 800 (2:23.58) and the mile (1,600; 5:22.99) as well. The kids did well. They’re working hard and they’re putting themselves in good positions. It was a lot of fun today.”

In the 800, Buddelmeyer stayed up front the entire race and held off teammate Liana Fortman (second, 2:24.64) for the win.

In the 1,600, Buddelmeyer had a huge lead by the third lap of the race and was never challenged.

“The mile (1,600), I was trying to place and not worry about my time. The whole race I was just trying to focus on staying ahead,” Buddelmeyer said. “I didn’t know at all (how big of a lead she had). Some of the girls told me after the race, that once they came around the corner, they couldn’t see me. But it didn’t feel like I had that much of a lead. I was just trying to focus on my place and scoring points.”

O-G’s 3,200-meter relay was comprised of Madelyn Hovest, Rose Turnwald, Liana Fortman and Corinne Closson. That group of four runners clocked a winning time of 9:55.51.

O-G’s winning 1,600 relay (4:07.10) was made up of Averie Fox, Corinne Closson, Brea Recker and Emma Heringhaus.

O-G’s winning 800 relay consisted of Laney Hedrick, Savannah Recker, Alivia Grothause and Averie Fox. Their winning time of 1:45.57 was good enough for a new meet record.

In the 400 relay, O-G (Laney Hedrick, Delaney Duling, Savannah Recker and Averie Fox) took first in 49.90, which also was a new meet record.

Columbus Grove’s Kendal Palte notched victories in the 100-meter hurdles (16.32) and 300 hurdles (48.46). Teammate Bree Closson finished a close second in the 100 hurdles (16.38).

Columbus Grove’s Lauryn Auchmuty won the pole vault (10 feet, 6 inches) and long jump (16-11.25). Auchmuty also placed third in the 200 (26.27) and was part of the 800 relay (Kendal Palte, Jade Roeder, Allison Thompson and Auchmuty) that finished second to O-G.

Auchmuty, who also excels in soccer and basketball, admits that she does not dedicate a great deal of time to track during the off-season.

“I play three sports, so I don’t do too much (in the off-season) for track. I just stay in shape with the other sports,” Auchmuty said.

Columbus Grove girls coach Abbie Norton said there are plenty of young athletes on this year’s roster.

“We’re graduating one this year, and they just keep on coming,” Norton said. “They’re buying in. They just have to be comfortable (with) being uncomfortable. They’re just like, ‘OK, we’ll do it’. It’s just been a lot of fun seeing them grow. So, we’re definitely on the up right now.”

For the boys, Columbus Grove did not score as well in the field events on Saturday, as it has in the past. However, the Bulldogs scored enough on the track to garner the runner-up spot in the final team standings.

“(It’s a) really competitive meet,” longtime Columbus Grove boys coach Chris Grothaus said. “(There are) a lot of good teams that get after it. There are some bigger schools. It’s just gotten stronger over the years. L-B does a good job of finding teams to come here. It prepares you for the tournament, that’s for sure. We didn’t do our best in the field events today, but the kids got back on the track and did well.”

Columbus Grove’s Luke Ellerbrock led the way on the track.

Ellerbrock won both the 1,600 (4:33.77) and 3,200 (10:07.64). Bath’s Jacob Wireman finished second in the 3,200 (10:12.02).

“The wind was definitely bad,” Ellerbrock said. “I just tried to sit behind guys and let them break the wind for me. I couldn’t do it as much in the mile (1,600).

“I took the lead with about 800 to 1,000 (meters) to go in the mile. So, I wasn’t behind guys as much in that one. But with the 2-mile (3,200), I sat behind Gabe (St. Amour, third in 10:13.58) from Liberty-Benton the whole time. I felt bad, letting him break the wind for me, but it is what it is, I guess. I just wanted to win the race. (With it) being really warm today and really windy, the time wasn’t going to be very pretty. … I just wanted to win.”

O-G boys notch school records

Despite placing third in Saturday’s 200, O-G freshman Deegan Miller broke the school record in 22.35. Oak Harbor’s Tyler Thompson (22.20) and teammate Garry Brooks (22.30) finished first and second, respectively.

In the 400 relay, O-G (Gavin Morman, Dane Duling, Alec Schroeder and Deegan Miller) finished second to Oak Harbor with a school-record time of 43.30.

Bath’s Walsh notches invite honor

Bath’s Tatum Walsh won the 200 (25.10), 400 (59.60), placed second in the 100 (12.39) and was the anchor of the 1600 relay (Hailey Hale, Isabella Bartlett, Gwyneth Foust and Walsh) that finished second (4:08.10).

With her stellar performance on Saturday, Walsh was named Outstanding Female Athlete.

Walsh, a senior, wants to close out her high school career with a league title.

“I ran a 58.6 (in the 400) at O-G (Gold Medal Meet, 4/15). So far, I’ve been around 59,” Walsh said. “Hopefully, I can get a league championship. I’m a senior and I still haven’t gotten that yet. It has been really stacked recently.”

Last year, Walsh was a Division II state qualifier in the 400.

*Complete results of the Liberty-Benton Pat Wagner Invitational can be found on milesplit.oh.