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Published: Saturday, 5/31/2008

St. John's edges Whitmer; Bowsher girls hold off AW

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Meshawn Graham of Bowsher glides to victory in the 400-meter dash in the D-I regional. Meshawn Graham of Bowsher glides to victory in the 400-meter dash in the D-I regional.
JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge

AMHERST - St. John's Jesuit's Joe Miller, Anthony Wayne's Erika Schmidt and Perrysburg's Kaitlyn Llewellyn lead a list of area athletes who turned the Division I regional meet yesterday at Amherst Steele High into a Toledo area track and field showcase.

Miller, Schmidt and Llewellyn came through with a pair of individual victories apiece.

Miller posted victories in the 1600 and 3200 to help the Titans claim their second straight regional team championship. The Titans finished with 56 points to hold off City League rival Whitmer, which finished with 52 points.

Bowsher's girls team, which came through with three relay victories, captured the regional team title with 78 points. AW, led by Schmidt - winner of the 100 and 200 - finished runner-up with 65 points.

"Regional champions back-to-back," St. John's coach Steve Spenthoff said. "This is obviously a big accomplishment."

In Solomon Branch's first season as Bowsher's coach the Rebels have won the City, district and regional titles heading to the state meet.

"I'm happy for them," Branch said, referring to his team. "They've been working hard since late October."

Miller swept the boys distance events by winning the 1600

(4:15.95) and the 3200 (9:26.78), respectively. St. John's Kevin Yarnell earned a spot at state in the 1600 after running fourth (4:18.36).

Perrysburg freshman Llewellyn dominated the girls distance races. She won the 1600 (5:01.79) before returning to the track to win the 3200

(11:34.50).

Schmidt led the Generals to a runner-up showing by turning in her best showing at the regional meet. After coming close at the district meet a week ago to defeating Bowsher's Meshawn Graham, Schmidt streaked to victory in the 100 (11.88) with Graham crossing the finish line second (12.05). Schmidt came right back and won the 200 (23.92) and Graham ran second (24.20).

"I'm just happy I won," Schmidt said. "I ran my race today."

Llewellyn will make her state meet debut as a regional champion after finishing first in the 1600 (5:01.79) and 3200

(11:34.50).

"I'm pretty excited," Llewellyn said. "At the beginning of the year I didn't know I'd make it there [to state]."

Graham did help the Rebels' cause by repeating as the regional 400 champion after turning in a time of 53.78, which was just off her meet record of 53.47 set a year ago. Whitmer's Samantha Gwin is headed to Columbus after running third (56.64) in the 400. Graham also finished second in the long jump (19-41/4).

Rogers' Erik Kynard captured his third straight regional title in the high jump. He won with a jump of 6-10, which is his best effort in winning at the regional competition.

"It was all right, I wanted to come out on top," he said, of his day, which ended with him failing on his attempt to clear 7 feet, 1/4 inch. "My 6-10 jump would have cleared 7-2 but that's how it goes in the high jump."

Bowsher's Princeton Bryson shook off a disappointing second place effort in the 100 by dashing to victory in the 200 with a swift time of 21.26.

Whitmer's Anthony Allen won the 300 hurdles (37.25).

Central Catholic's Sharise Calhoun repeated as the 300 hurdles regional champion by running away from the competition to a winning time of 43.77. AW's Ashley Zaper crossed the finish line second (44.27) and Whitmer's Courtney Siebenaller ran fourth (44.94).

St. John's senior Andy Hills is making his first trip to the state meet after finishing second in the shot put with a personal record toss of 59-4 1/2.

Whitmer's Kevin Koger, Nicolas Young, Jeremy Jones and Anthony Allen bested the former 800 relay record of

1:28.29 by recording a time of 1:28.07 only to end up second behind Lakewood St. Edward's, which had a meet record time of 1:27.58. Allen, Koger, Young and Jones won the 400 relay (42.32) to help the Panthers' cause.

Bowsher's Jade Brown, Joy Franklin, Paris Littleton and Shannon Franklin streaked to victory in the 800 relay with a time of 1:41.77.

The Rebels' Brown, Littleton, Franklin and Kaila Gardner closed out the girls meet by posting a convincing victory in the 1600 relay (3:51.65).

Notre Dame's Ashely Aberl, Central's Emma Kertesz and Northview's Nicole Mangas ran second (11:36.26), third (11:38.20) and fourth (11:46.45), respectively, in the 3200.

Perrysburg sophomore Cameron Gardner ran fourth (12.10) in the 100 to earn a trip to Columbus.

Contact Donald Emmons at:

demmons@theblade.com

or 419-724-6302



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