The Archbold girls 4×400- meter relay team of Julia Lambert, Emily Roth, Gwynne Riley, and Dakota Stamm finished second at the Division III State Track and Field Championships, held Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4, at The Ohio State University in Columbus.
The Streaks ran the race in 3 minutes, 57.99 seconds
McDonald won the race in 3:57.58, 0.41 second faster than Archbold.
Minster, which won last year, finished third.
“Our goal for state was to get third or higher on the podium,” said Roth. “We were certainly hoping for first and were pushing as hard as we could to get it, but we’re really happy with ‘2’ as well.”
“We were just looking to run under a four-minute (time),” said Lambert. “That’s what we’ve been trying to do all season.
“We dropped so much time every meet that we’ve ran, and we were just happy that we got under the four minutes here.”
With the school record of 3:56, “we were actually trying to get a school record. It was super close, but not quite,” said Roth.
With two juniors (Roth and Lambert) and two freshmen (Riley and Stamm) back next year, “We’re looking forward to having all our girls back again and able to run the 4×400 again next year,” said Roth, while Lambert added, “definitely get the school record next year.”
Fisher Finishes Third
Jack Fisher finished third in the boys 400-meter dash in 49.54, just two one-hundredths (.02) of a second behind the second-place finisher and six one-hundredths (.06) behind the winning time of 49.48 by Spencer Cole of New London.
“It means a lot, coming from getting eighth last year to third this year,” said the AHS junior, who was the only Archbold athlete in the boys meet.
“It’s just a great accomplishment for me and what we could do for the team.
“I had the support of my team the whole time we were down here, so it was really nice to have them along with me for the ride.
“I felt really good this race. I got out fast, didn’t see anyone until the last 100 (meters), and then they started kicking it in.
“I’m happy with the race.”
Fisher’s best time this year had been in the Friday qualifier when he ran in 49.95.
“So I knocked off another four-tenths of a second,” he said. “That was my goal, so my goals are met for this year, and then one more year ahead of me.”
His goal next year?
“State champ,” he said with a smile.
Stamm Places Fourth
Stamm, a freshman, placed fourth in the girls 400 after running the race in 58 seconds flat.
She first broke the school record of 58.87 set by Jensyn Garrow in 2014 when she ran a 58.77 in the regional finals.
Then she broke the record again in the state finals.
Toledo Christian’s Micah Johnston repeated as state champion, winning in 55.7.
“I’m excited,” said Stamm. “I ran against a great group of girls. It was so much fun!
“It was rough at the beginning, but it always is, and then the end– it’s just so much fun to finish.
Looking to next year, Stamm is looking forward to “improving my time and relays. I’m super excited for the relays.”
PHS Girls 4×800 Finishes Fifth
The Pettisville girls 4×800 team of Elizabeth Sauder, Nichole Foor, Morgan Leppelmeier, and Alexa Leppelmeier finished fifth, improving on its 11th-place finish in 2015.
The Birds set their fourth school record of the year, finishing in 9:37.15.
Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas, which has three sisters on its 4×800 relay, defended its title, setting a Div. III and state meet record of 9:05.84.
The time broke the previous Div. III and state meet record of 9:11.66 set in 2014 set by St. Thomas Aquinas.
The Birds’ goal at the state tournament was to make the podium.
They felt “good, really good,” said A. Leppelmeier. We were ranked seventh (and) got fifth, so that was very impressive for us.”
Their strategy was to “go with everyone around us, because we haven’t been pushed all year,” said the junior.
“This gave us a lot of experience, since we’ll have the same team next year.”
Sauder and Foor are sophomores, while sister Morgan is a freshman.
Other Archbold and Pettisville state competitors who did not make the finals or the podium:
•Lexa Richardson (A), girls 100 hurdles, 16.04, did not make the finals;
•Sydney Ranzau (A), girls pole vault, 9 feet, 6 inches, finished 16th;
•Sauder (P), girls 800, 2:18.17, finished 10th;
•A. Leppelmeier (P), girls 3200, 12:10.41, finished 15th; girls 1600, 5:16.07, finished 10th.
St. Thomas Aquinas defended its girls team title with 60 points.
Archbold finished 16th with 13 points, while Pettisville was 45th with four.
St. Thomas Aquinas also won the boys team title.
Gladieux, Wagner Comment
“I was thrilled with the performance that the kids did at the state meet,” said Dina Gladieux, AHS head coach.
“Throughout the season we have focused on one word… perseverance. These kids have persevered through each of their workouts, and it showed at the state meet by the way they performed.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of any group of athletes,” said Tom Wagner, PHS head coach.
“We knew coming into the Jesse Owens Stadium that we would be facing perhaps the best-ever in the history of Div. III in terms of distance teams.
“St. Thomas had broken their own state record at regionals the previous week. Minster is always tough, no matter what the year.
“In the 4×800, our girls ran with a great deal of heart. Their goal going in was to make the podium this year and to break our school record, again. They accomplished both goals.
“All year we had not been really pushed. We have enjoyed clean handoffs without having to fight for space in the handoff zone. We’ve enjoyed being able to run in Lane 1.
“Going into the state meet, we knew that was going to change with the intense competition. We found ourselves fighting for that space and often running in Lane 2… or 3. We still took three seconds off our time, which is just outstanding.
“Alexa ran a super race in the 1600 and was less than a second off her best time of 5:15.77.
“It took 5:05.49 to make the podium this year. I can remember when 5:05 won the state meet.
“She came back in the 3200 to run a very good time of 12:10.41. Obviously, Alexa was not pleased with it, as her best time was 11:44.61. I think she laid it all on the line in the 1600 and was out of gas in the 3200.
“Elizabeth ran another super race in the 800 with a time of 2:18.17. This is less than a second from her best time of 2:17.20 from regionals. Eighth place and the podium was 2:17.30.
“As Elizabeth gains in confidence and experience, she will be able to go out a little stronger at the start.
“We have everyone back from this distance team for next year, and we know that this experience at the state level is going to be invaluable for 2017.”