Ryan McKibben of Eastwood clears the bar at 14 feet, 6 inches to win the pole vault event yesterday in the Suburban Lakes League track and field championships at Eastwood. McKibben set a new meet record with his effort. The Eagles boys and girls teams have both won six straight league championships.
PEMBERVILLLE - Both the Eastwood boys and girls continued their domination of the Suburban Lakes League yesterday at their rain-soaked home track.
Both Eagle teams won their sixth straight SLL titles and both won by wide margins despite competing in a constant drizzle mixed with occasional downpours.
Genoa's Alex Peters leaps over the finish line to win the 800-meter race yesterday in the SLL meet. The senior also won the 1600.
The Eastwood boys won 10 of 17 events and racked up 188 points, 77.5 more than runner-up Genoa. The Comets (110.5 points) were followed by Lakota (99.5) and Elmwood (78.3).
"We know this is the important part of the year and we want to try to get as fast as we can," said boys coach Gary White. "I thought we were very good today. But I certainly hope we are not done peaking."
On the girls' side, Eastwood outdistanced Woodmore by 73.5 points. The Eagle girls also won 10 events and finished with 193.5 points.
The Wildcats had 120. Lakota was third (93), followed by Otsego (75.5).
Elmwood freshman Kaye Bockbrader has a commanding lead as she finishes to win the 3200-meter race in the SLL championships.
"We performed very well," said Richard Morgan, Eastwood's girls coach. "I was one of the only ones who thought it would be close, but it wasn't. I'm very pleased. Our times were very good today."
Eastwood senior Justin Hoodlebrink won the long jump, the 200-meter dash and was a member of both the 400 and 800 relay teams.
Fellow Eagle senior Mike Gibbons won the 400 in 52.61. Gibbons, who set a personal record by one-tenth of a second, said he did not even make the varsity team two years ago.
"This feels so great," he said. "Coach told me to dig down and get after it and not leave anything out there. You want to be peaking around this part of the season."
While Eastwood has long ruled the running events to capture nine of the last 10 SLL titles, the Eagles also won two field events yesterday.
Senior Ryan McKibben set a meet record in the pole vault with a leap of 14-feet-6 inches. The event was the last to finish and the crowd focused on McKibben's efforts.
"I don't get nervous. I don't worry about the crowd," he said. "This is the best feeling. The coaches really wanted to get the field events to come around. We want to add to our sprints to help at the state meet."
Hoodlebrink won the long jump with a leap of 22-1.
"We knew we needed to step up in the field events," White said.
"The thing I'm most proud of this year is the improvement of our field events."
Hoodlebrink's time of 23.56 in the 200 also was good for first place. Hoodlebrink joined Trey Hunter, Josh Fairbanks and Kory Turnow to post a meet-record time of 1:33.25 in the 800 relay. Hoodlebrink then teamed with Hunter, Fairbanks and Eric Gerwin on the victorious 400 relay team (45.15).
Jack Schemenauer won both hurdle events for the Eagles, taking the 300 in 41 seconds and the 110 in 15.28.
Genoa senior Alex Peters also was a double-event winner. Peters won the 800 in 2:04.6 and 1600 (4:36.66).
"This is nice, but it's a short-term thing," Peters said. "My main goal is Columbus."
In the girls competition, Eastwood senior Danielle Thornton was victorious in the 800
(2:23.81), winning by a full three seconds. Thornton also was a member of three of the Eagles' four winning relay teams to help Eastwood claim its 11th title in the last 12 years.
"All of us seniors are trying to be leaders," Thornton said. "You never want to be part of a team that breaks that streak. It's a relief."
Fellow senior Lindy Donaldson won the 100 in 13.51 seconds and the 200 in 28.25.
Woodmore junior Emily Pendleton "three-peated" in both throwing events. She broke her own record in the discus with a throw of 158-8. Pendleton, who already has broken the state record in the discus (168-0), also had a toss of 39-10.5 that was good for first in the shot put.
Elmwood freshman Kaye Bockbrader won both long-distance events. Bockbrader captured the 1600 in 5:32.11 and the 3200 in 12:02.14.
"I'm really fired up," she said. "This is awesome. I came out just to run and have fun. It's really cool to win both events. I felt ready and I felt really good."
Thornton also said the meet helps her gauge where she is at for the tournament run.
"This is important and it also prepares us [for the postseason]," she said.
"We can try new things out here."
Thornton combined with Breann Pfouts, Andrea Pasquale and Kelsey Lauck to win the 3200 relay (10:18.98). She led off for the first-place 800 team, joining Amy Helm, Charlotte Sexton and Lizzie Lahey to post a time of 1:49.62. Finally, Thornton anchored the victorious 1600 relay team, leading Pfouts, Donaldson and Lahey to a time of 4:15.71.
Donaldson, Leesa Corken, Helm and Sexton also took first in the 400 relay (53.58).
Morgan said he was particularly pleased that some Eagles stepped up unexpectedly at the meet.
Fellow senior Lahey grabbed the title in the 300 hurdles (47.13). Corken, a junior, took first in the 100 hurdles (16.85).
Pfouts, a freshman, posted a time of 1:02.52 to capture the 400.
"It was a great day for us, especially for Thornton," Pfouts said. "Thornton was amazing again."
Lakota won two field events with junior Leslie Eckhart taking the high jump (5-0) and junior Jessie Naderer claiming a meet record in the pole vault (10-8).
Woodmore senior Bridgett Betka won the long jump with a leap of 15-4.
In the boys field events, Lake's Kallin St. John won the shot put (48-6), Lakota's Nick Ewing took the discus title (139-4) and Genoa's Ben Edens captured the high jump (6-1).
Comets freshman Blair Skilliter won the 100 (11.68).
Jordan Kirwen, a sophomore from Gibsonburg, ran a time of 10:13.83 to win the 3200.
White said he is fortunate his boys' team has depth that gives him the luxury to rest more athletes.
The Eagles won the 3200 relay (Nick Katakis, Steve Welling, Ian Zimmerman and Don Russell) in 8:33.49. Schemenauer, Fairbanks, Russell and Gibbons also teamed to win the 1600 relay
"We've won so many years in a row you just want to continue it for the teams that come after you," Gibbons said.
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