The Archbold girls track team started the Division III State Track & Field Tournament with a third-place finish in the 4×800-meter relay on Friday, May 31.
The relay team of Gwynne Riley, Brittney Ramirez, Dakota Stamm, and Kylie Sauder finished in 9 minutes, 33.27 seconds.
West Liberty-Salem won in 9:19.08. Minster took second in 9:30.63.
Usually Stamm runs the last leg, but she and Sauder switched so Stamm ran the third leg and Sauder ran the anchor leg.
“It was a pretty tough race,” said Sauder, who said their goal in the race was to finish in the top three.
“Dakota thought she could run better as third and knew that I was strong at the end.
“Our first runner (Riley) got us to second, and I thought we were doing pretty good. And then we fell back a bit (in the second leg, run by Ramirez), but that’s ok.
“And then our third runner (Stamm) got us back up to third, and I knew I needed to stay there,” said Sauder.
“Thrilled. I am very thrilled,” said Dina Gladieux, AHS head coach.
“These girls have three events (Sauder, Riley); some have four (Stamm).” Iris Pena was in two events, and Ramirez was in just one.
“They ran smart,” said Gladieux. “Yes, they’re always trying to finish first, but coming in, West Liberty was 14 seconds ahead of us and Minster was 12 seconds. That’s a lot of time.
“They still ran a second faster than they did at regionals, so yes, I’m thrilled with what they did.
“They didn’t get the school record, but they were running smart knowing that, right now, we’ll have the 4×200, and then Dakota’s got the 400, and then they’ve got to come back and get the 4×400. (The 800-meter race was run only on Saturday, June 1).
“They did what they had to do to get this.”
Archbold’s first event on the second day of the state meet, Saturday, June 1, was the 4×200, with Iris Pena, Sauder, Riley, and Stamm.
West Liberty-Salem won the event in 1:44.24. Cincinnati Country Day was second in 1:44.25, and the Streaks won third in 1:45.21.
“Our goal was just to do our best and put everything we’ve practiced into action,” said Pena.
“We’re pretty proud of what we have done throughout this season. We’re not disappointed or anything; we’re just proud that we did all we could to place at state.”
Sauder finished fourth in the 800-meter run in 2:16.14, while Riley placed seventh in 2:17.04.
Mount Gilead’s Allison Johnson won in 2:10.53.
“I’m pretty happy,” said Sauder. “I think I was ranked fifth or sixth, and I kinda slowed the first lap a little more and took off the second ‘cause I knew I needed to go.”
“I just got way too excited that first lap and I couldn’t maintain it the second lap,” said Riley later. “It was really a downer for me, but (winning the 4×400) has just made it all up.”
Riley “ran a phenomenal time; she just got boxed in at the wrong time, where Kylie went on the outside and was able to get around it,” said Gladieux.