TIFFIN – A pair of Fulton County girls track and field teams shined on the big stage during the Division III Tiffin Regional which concluded Friday. Both the Pettisville Blackbirds and Archbold Blue Streaks finished with 53 points to tie for the regional title.
In addition, the Swanton girls took 10th with 24 points behind a bevy of fifth place finishes.
“Two teams five miles apart share the regional title. One team extremely strong in the distance (and) the other more so in the sprints,” said Archbold coach Dina Gladieux of her squad tying with Pettisville for the title. “I think it’s awesome for both teams and I feel that both teams will be very successful at that next level in Columbus.”
“It’s wild being tied with a team only four miles away out of the 44 teams scoring points at regionals,” said Blackbird coach Tom Wagner. “Who would have figured.”
The highest finishing boys team in the county was Archbold who placed seventh with 23.5 points. Delta came in at 18th with 15.
Lexa Richardson got the Blue Streak girls off to a nice start with a third place finish in the 100 hurdles, advancing her to state. She had a time of 15.64.
The Streaks had winning relay teams in the 4×200 and 4×400, and also took third to advance in the 4×100 (51.07). Their 4×200 of Macey Rupp, Emily Roth, Gwynne Riley and Dakota Stamm set a new regional record with a time of 1:44.31. The 4×400 of Julia Lambert, Roth, Riley and Stamm finished with a time of 4:02.04.
Shylo Richardson, Roth, Lambert and Rupp made up the Streaks’ 4×100 team.
Stamm had success on the individual side as she won the title in the 400 meter dash. Afterwards, she was really happy with her race.
“I knew at the 300 (meter) mark, that’s when I’d probably start pulling away,” said Stamm. “So I knew if I wasn’t pulling away after that mark, it would be bad. But I started (to pull away) and it was good.”
Archbold’s Sydney Ranzau cleared 10 feet in the girls pole vault but did not advance.
The Pettisville girls were paced by their distance runners as they had qualifiers in the 800m, 1600m and 3200m.
Blackbird senior Alexa Leppelmeier won the 1600 with a quality time of 5:06.07. It was a mark that was a shock to even Alexa Leppelmeier herself.
“I was not expecting that,” she said. “I’m tired, but I’m not like super tired. I was not expecting 5:06.”
“Alexa ran like a beast!,” added Wagner on Leppelmeier’s performance.
Alexa Leppelmeier was a big help to Pettisville on their road to a regional title.
“Our coaches were thinking that we maybe had a chance of winning this meet,” said the senior. “I was in fourth place and I knew I could make it to state. But I was like, I need to go for the team. I can get the team 10 points. So that’s what my motivation was.”
She then finished runner-up to advance in the 3200 (11:23.3). Teammate Nichole Foor, who just missed on advancing in the 1600, qualified with a fourth place finish in the 3200 (11:36.72).
Elizabeth Sauder earned a runner-up finish in the 800 (2:20.17) for the Blackbirds. Riley took sixth (2:22.18) in this event for Archbold.
Sauder, Morgan Leppelmeier, Foor and Alexa Leppelmeier ended a successful day for Pettisville by taking second to Archbold in the 4×400 relay (4:07.59).
In the discus, Katie Hauter of Pettisville finished 12th (106-2). Sidney Taylor of Swanton placed eighth (115-7).
Leading the Swanton girls was Haley Nelson who placed fifth in both the 100 and 200. She recorded a time of 12.72 in the 100, and 26.14 in the 200.
Swanton also nearly advanced with fifth place finishes in the 4×100 and 4×200. Bobbie Oberle, Nelson, Ally Hendricks and Bridget Harlett made up both of those relays.
Those placements, along with Julia Smith taking third in the high jump two days prior helped the Bulldogs finish 10th in the team standings.
Evergreen’s best finish came from Bailie Sutter who took fifth in the 300 hurdles (47.97). The Vikings’ 4×400 relay team of Sutter, Savannah VanOstrand, Amelia Kennedy and Asia Gensch placed sixth with a time of 4:15.66.
Alyssa Noe of Evergreen finished seventh in the 400 (1:00.79) and eighth in the 200 (27.06).
In the boys meet, Jack Fisher will head back to state in the 400 for the Streaks. He took third at the regional with a time of 50.5.
Their 4×400 team of Deven Girdham, Noah Blankenship, Sam Petersen and Fisher placed second with a time of 3:25.84 to advance.
The Streaks’ quartet of Nick Waidelich, L.J. Tijerina, Petersen and Kegan Ott finished fifth in the 4×100 relay (44.44).
Additionally for Archbold, Caden Garrow took 10th in the 800 (2:02.85), Waidelich 10th in the long jump (19-11.25), Levi Carmody 11th in the shot put (44-8), and Isaiah Esquibel tied for seventh in the pole vault (12-6).
Delta’s Peyton Phillips is the regional champion in the high jump for the second straight year as he cleared 6 feet, 5 inches to do it.
“I felt a little shaky because my legs were a little tired coming into it,” said Phillips on his performance. “I just thought to myself, it’s all mental. You just have to think that you can do it.”
It was an achievement that he had doubts he would achieve when the season started.
“That’s amazing,” Phillips said on advancing to state yet again. “At first, I didn’t think I was gonna get it because I wasn’t jumping as well. Then in mid-season, I got my PR (personal record) from last year and just went up from there.”
In that same event, Jaret Rychener of Pettisville finished in a four-way tie for 10th (5-10).
Qualifying for the Panthers in the 1600 was Maverick Wright who placed fourth with a time of 4:27.69.
Hunter Van Wert of Evergreen took fourth to advance in the 100 (11.06).
The OHSAA State Track and Field Meet will be this Friday and Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of the Ohio State University. In Division III, action kicks off Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. with the 4×800 relay for both boys and girls.
Boys (top 10)
1. Eastwood 84; 2. Montpelier 41; 3. Bluffton 38; 4. Liberty Center 29; 5. Patrick Henry 28; 6. Wayne Trace 24; 7. Archbold 23.5; 8. Waynesfield-Goshen 22; 9. Riverdale, Ayersville, Colonel Crawford 21.
1. Pettisville, Archbold 53; 3. Huron 44; 4. Columbus Grove 36; 5. Holgate, Arlington 32; 7. Woodmore 30; 8. Fre. St. Joseph C.C. 29; 9. Wayne Trace 25; 10. Swanton 24.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010