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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, May 08, 2019 1:00 am

ACAC Track Championship

Starfires, Patriots repeat as champs

South Adams girls, Heritage boys prevail

VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette

BLUFFTON – Just a few weeks ago, Bluffton's Gus Martinez wasn't even the top hurdler on his team.

So when the freshman won the conference title in the 110-meter hurdles in 16.73 seconds at the ACAC Championship meet at Bluffton High School on Tuesday, his grin was a little wider than most of the evening's winners, and the congratulations from teammates and officials even more exuberant.

“My coach told me I was four-stepping it (between hurdles), and if I three-stepped it, I could go faster,” Martinez said. “Now that I'm three-stepping it, it dropped about two seconds (off my time). ... It's crazy.”

Martinez finished fourth in the 300 hurdles, which was won by Woodlan sophomore Max Moore in 42.58.

South Adams' Kallee Patch took a large lead in the girls 3,200-meter relay, and the Starfires outran a late charge by Woodlan to win the first track event of the evening in 10:23.90 and take an early lead in the team standings en route to the title with 149 points. Jay County was second with 123.5 and Woodlan third with 79.5.

Heritage led the boys 3,200 relay wire to wire to win in 8:50.57 and went on to win the team title with 119 points. Woodlan was second with 114 and South Adams third with 93.5. 

The South Adams girls and Heritage boys defended their titles from last season. 

Freshman Alison Smith of South Adams won the girls 100-meter dash in 12.78 seconds, then won the 400 in 1:01.90 and 200 in 26.60. Woodlan senior Addie Bayman took second in the two events.

“I felt like I was going to do pretty good, but I felt like they were a lot better than I thought they were going to be,” Smith said of her competition. “We don't have a lot of girls, so I feel like we did really well for not having that many.”

Jay County senior Caleb Webster won the boys 100 in 11.50.

Freshman Marissa Van De Weg of Adams Central won the girls 1,600-meter run in 5:27.83, but South Adams picked up 14 points in the team standings as Patch finished second and freshman McKenzie Sturwold was third.

Van De Weg, in an unusual mix of events, also won the girls 100 hurdles in 17.15 and 300 hurdles in 48.68.

Patch won the 800 in 2:26.79, beating Abbey Gentz by more than six seconds. Sturwold won the 3,200 in 12:10.17. 

The Heritage boys continued their distance dominance in the 1,600, finishing 1-2 as senior Devin Schmenk took first in 4:51.67 ahead of junior Derek Schaadt. The two swapped places in the 800, pumping fists and embracing after Schaadt crossed the line in 2:08.64. A third Heritage runner, senior Jack Beauchot, won the 3,200 in 10:37.49. 

Woodlan senior Sebastian Wilson won the boys 400 in 52.26, beating Woodlan freshman Aidan Wanner by nearly a second.

Southern Wells senior Coleman Beeks won the 200 in 22.82. 

The Woodlan boys won the final race of the night, the 1,600 relay, in 3:35.11, but Heritage finished third to hold on to their lead in the team standings. 

In the boys high jump, Woodlan junior Colin Hahn and Jay County senior Gavin Randall tied for first with jumps of 6 feet, 3 inches.

Heritage sophomore Gracey Coyne won the girls high jump at 4-10, beating South Adams' Lydia Loshe by 2 inches.

Coyne also won the long jump with a mark of 15-10. Smith finished second to score eight more points for South Adams.

Senior Alec Burton of Heritage won the boys long jump by more than a foot with a mark of 20-3.

Senior Colt Paxson of Southern Wells won the boys discus with a throw of 154-8. Starfires senior Dario Banuelos, who finished third in the discus, won the shot at 48-11.

Zoe Barger, a sophomore from Bluffton, won the shot put with a mark of 34-9. The girls discus, which featured an entirely different group of throwers atop the podium, was won by junior Joann Jones of Bluffton with a throw of 102-0.