DEFIANCE – Area athletes kept their hopes of standing on the podium at the state track meet alive by advancing out of the Division II district meet which began Wednesday and concluded Friday night at Defiance High School.
In the team standings, the highest local finisher was the Wauseon boys who placed seventh with 48 points. Archbold came behind them at eighth with 43.5 points, then was Swanton with 38 points. Wauseon’s girls took eighth with 45 points.
The Van Wert boys won with 92 points. Coldwater took first in the girls meet with 78.5 points.
Wauseon got a placer in the 200 meter dash as Paige Allison Smith was fourth with a time of 26.74. Next was Samantha Aeschliman who finished runner-up (5:16.97) in the 1600 meter run.
In the field for the Indians, Sydney Zirkle placed fourth in the shot put to advance. She had a best throw of 37 feet, 1 inches.
Also, Wauseon’s 4x800m relay team of Serena Mathews, Aeschliman, Maggie Duden and Hannah Richer advanced with a fourth place finish and time of 10:16.3.
Archbold, Swanton and Wauseon each had multiple individual qualifiers come out of the boys meet.
The Indians were led by Xavier Torres who qualified in both the high jump and long jump. He took fourth (5-10) in the high jump and second (21-8.25) in the long jump.
Braden Vernot of Wauseon took second in the 3200m, finishing the race in 10:07.33. In the 1600m, Michael Cheezan was third with a time of 4:38.85.
The Bulldogs had champions in the 1600m and 3200m. Dylan Gilsdorf won the 1600m with a time of 4:38.23, while Brett Bettinger took home a title in the 3200m at 10:04.45.
Gilsdorf also placed third in the high jump to advance. He went out at 6 feet.
Swanton’s 4x800m relay of Bettinger, Donovan Avalos, Blaine Pawlowicz and Gilsdorf placed third with a time of 8:32.85.
Archbold had qualifiers in running events and on the field.
Trey Theobald garnered fourth place finishes in the 200m and 400m. He staked a time of 22.94 in the 200, then ran the 400 in 51.02.
In the field, Matthew Gladieux and Mason Babcock went third and fourth respectively in the discus. Gladieux had a best throw of 150 feet, 7 inches, while Babcock tossed one 141 feet, 8 inches.
Gladieux added a fourth place finish in the shot put. His best throw was 46 feet, 9 and 1/4 inches.
The athletes will now advance to the Piqua Regional this week. Action begins Thursday at 5 p.m. and wraps up on Saturday starting at 11 a.m.