Whitmer's Courtney Siebenaller and Bowsher's Aeric Clay didn't allow anything or anyone to get in the way of their goals for the Division I district track and field meet yesterday at St. Francis de Sales.
Siebenaller, who had been battling a cold during the week, willed her way to winning an unmatched three district titles. She won the 100 and 300-meter hurdles and the pole vault. Her winning times and height were 14.82, 45.67 and 10-9.
"I think it was an OK day, but I think I could have done a lot better in the pole vault," Siebenaller said. "I was nervous at first, but then I became relaxed in both hurdles races. I had clean races and I didn't hit any hurdles."
Meanwhile, Clay made it clear who's the fastest sprinter in the area. He easily captured the boys 100 and 200-meter titles with times of 10.73 and 21.77. He also ran the anchor legs on the Rebels' meet record-setting 800 relay team
(1:28.53) and the triumphant 400 relay team (42.81).
"My day has been the greatest day for me in a year," said Clay, who finished second in the 100 at state last season, running for Whitmer.
Clay, who transferred to Bowsher in the fall, teamed with Roshawn Bryson, Princeton Bryson and Dominique Reed on the winning relay runs.
"My teammates and I have worked hard all season and I couldn't have done this without them," Clay said.
However, Clay's former team remained dominant at district. Whitmer captured the boys championship for the fifth straight year, while Anthony Wayne's girls showed plenty of depth to claim a team championship.
Without an individual win yesterday, Whitmer's boys tallied 96.50 points, which held off a Rogers team that finished runner-up with 95 points after Abe Smith, Chris Hair, Myshan Veasley-Pettis and Tony Watkins closed the meet by winning the 1600 relay (3:23.59).
Bowsher placed third with 72 points, followed by St. Francis de Sales 64, Central Catholic 61.50, St. John's Jesuit 59, Anthony Wayne 51, Clay 38, Northview 29, Southview 26, Springfield 26, Start 23, Libbey 10 and Scott 6.
Whitmer sophomores Derek Hopkins and Jeremy Jones recorded the only individual victories for the Panthers - on Thursday - when Hopkins claimed the pole vault (14-6) and Jones posted a personal best in the long jump (22-1 1/4).
All four of the Panthers' relay teams ran well enough to qualify for the regional competition. The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional.
"Five in a row is tough to do," said Whitmer coach Greg Kubicki. "We had to come out and do what we needed to do.
"It's probably the best group we've had. They're hard-working and really committed.
"Rogers really came at us."
The Anthony Wayne girls also put together a strong all-around team effort, winning with 113 points. Ashley Evens' role was prominent as she won the 1600 (5:22.18) and 3200 (11:43.12).
"We'd been working on her form, but today we just told her to go," AW coach Jim Lopez said. "That's a workhorse. You can't ask more of anyone."
AW's Cami Deeds, Megan Marzec, Abbey Hill and Erika Schmidt won the 800 relay in 1:43.59.
"We've really bonded together as a whole team and everyone has supported each other," the AW coach said. "It's a total team, coaches and parents package."
The Bowsher girls, who competed without defending state 200 champion Meshawn Graham (hamstring), finished a distant second with 81.50 points, followed by Central Catholic 76, Southview 61, Whitmer 55, Northview 55, Notre Dame 51, Clay 40, St. Ursula 40, Start 31, Scott 21, Rogers 21, Springfield 10, Woodward 4 and Libbey 2.50.
Notre Dame's Chantell Cargile made the most of her opportunity by sweeping the 100 (12.23) and 200 (24.80). The sprint events would have been more challenging had state finalists Graham and Libbey's Danyelle McGary not been sidelined by injuries for the rest of the season.
"You always have to come in with a positive attitude," Cargile said. "I'm just trying to keep focused so I can go on to state."
Back on the boys side, Rogers' Russell Harris streaked to victory in the 110 hurdles (14.85), holding off Springfield's Dustin Koenig (15.28).
Northview's Austin Hendrix won the 1600 (4:29.11) with St. Francis' Nick Zychowicz placing second (4:29.98). Central's Dane Sanzenbacher ran a strong 400 (48.64). Clay's Josh Boos prevailed in the 300 hurdles (40.11), holding off Whitmer's Mike Hyttenhove (40.18) at the finish.
St. John's Matt Lemon and Chris Lemon finished first (9:31.48) and second (9:43.96) in the 3200. Rogers' Tony Watkins ran a smart race to win the 800 (1:57.98).
AW's Chase Sniadecki, who won the discus Thursday, added a win in the shot put (50-0). Start's Erik Kynard topped the field in the high jump (6-5).
In the girls meet, Bowsher's Maura Carroll, Marrisa Harrison, Cheryce Burton and Tasha Banks took first in the 400 relay (49.68). Rogers' Chanelle Caldwell made it look easy as she got out to a fast start on her way to winning the 800 (2:22.97).
Northview's Nikki Klahn won the 400 (59.69) while Central's Ariel Wilkes, Kaila Blanchard, Anne McCarthy and Sharise Calhoun worked together to win the 1600 relay (4:06.59).
Bowsher's Nicole Grzybowski claimed first place in the discus (121-4) and St. Ursula's Shareyna Spears captured the long jump (16-11 1/2).
Contact Donald Emmons at: email@example.com or 419-724-6302.