TONTOGANY - The Eastwood boys and girls swept the team titles for the eighth straight year at the Suburban Lakes League track and field championships yesterday at Otsego.
The Eagle boys won comfortably, but the girls team received a battle from Woodmore.
Eastwood's girls claimed their 12th title in 13 years with 160.5 points, just 7.5 more than the Wildcats.
"For a few years we knew we were going to win, but this year we thought [the meet] could go either way," Eastwood girls coach Richard Morgan said. "We knew they had more top individuals, but we had more depth.
"It was one of those meets where our kids scored a little bit higher and [went] a little bit faster than we thought we could. In every event we seemed to get a little more than we thought we would."
The girls meet was too tight to call until Eastwood's Breann Pfouts and Shelby Durbin placed second and fourth in the 200 meters to give the Eagles a 17.5-point lead with just two events to go.
That margin helped the Eagles overcome a mishap in the final event as Pfouts, who won the 400 with a time of 1:01.36, tripped while running the final leg of the 1600 relay. She got up and finished fourth to seal the title.
"I really don't exactly know what happened," said Pfouts, a junior. "We wanted to get first, but we knew it was going to be tough because there were a lot of tough teams. But I just got up, ran as hard as I could and did my best."
Elmwood's Katie Reiser was voted the league's performer of the year after winning both the 100 (12.67) and 200 (26.41). The sophomore said facing Bonnie Stratton of Bluffton, the defending Division III champ in the 200, at last week's Ada Invitational gave her confidence heading into this meet.
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"[Racing against Stratton] was the first time I had somebody push me," Reiser said. "I had my best times, and it got me excited to be so close to last year's state champion."
Woodmore won five events, with junior Erin Pendleton sweeping the shot put (39 feet, 6 inches) and discus (149-10) while sophomore Chelsey Marquette won both the 100 hurdles (16.99) and 300 hurdles (51.43).
Lakota's Cami Wasserman broke the league record in the pole vault with a winning jump of 10-9.
Gibsonburg had a pair of seniors win races as Jessica Burkett took first in the 800 (2:25.24) and Ashley Fisher led the field in the 3200 (12:18.87). Genoa's Simone Eli, a junior, won the 1600 (5:29.87).
In the boys meet, Eastwood ran away from the field to win the title for the 11th time in 12 years. The Eagles won six individual events and three relays and totaled 193 points, 87 more than second-place Lakota.
Eastwood got things rolling by winning four of the five field events. Junior Josh Hoodlebrink set a meet record in the long jump with a leap of 22-9 1/4 - despite taking only two of a possible six jumps - then won the high jump with a leap of 6-2.
"Once [Josh] had a jump that long, we didn't want to take a chance on an injury and wanted him to focus on the high jump," Eastwood coach Gary White said. "Going that far on two jumps [was pretty exciting], and that spread through our whole camp."
Sophomore Justin Welch won the shot put with a meet-record 170-0 on his last throw, and junior Crosby Schemenauer won the pole vault by clearing 13 feet.
Eastwood won three of the four relays, and sophomore sprinter Cody Seifert clinched the meet - and league performer of the year honors - with wins in the 100 (10.89) and 200 (22.77).
"I was feeling really good," Siefert said of his effort yesterday. "I came in thinking I was going to win, so I just tried to run my race. The wind on the curves hurt [everyone's times] a little bit."
The only other double-winner was Woodmore's William Wegert, a senior who took first in both the 1600 (4:40.20) and the 3200 (10:17.79). His junior teammate Chris Jacobson won the 800 with a 2:03.06.
Lakota swept the hurdle events as junior Jacob Smith took first in the 110 hurdles (15.12) and senior Justin Apple won the 300 hurdles (41.18).
An Elmwood runner won the 400 meters, but it wasn't senior Curtis Smithey, who finished fifth in the Division III state meet in that event last year. He sprained his ankle in the week leading up to the meet and didn't run yesterday, opening the door for senior Jordan Briggs to win with a time of 52.89.
Derrick Vicars of Genoa broke Eastwood's stranglehold on the field events. The senior set a meet record in winning the shot put with a toss of 58-8 1/2.
Contact John Wagner at:
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