BOWLING GREEN - The Northview boys were neck and neck with Southview before the Wildcats pulled away down the backstretch to win their third straight Northern Lakes League track title Friday night.
Northview triumphed on the strength of multiple wins from seniors Jacob Barnes and J.B. Bowens.
"We knew we would have to fight for every point," said Bowens, who won the 800 and 1600 meter runs. "Three in a row feels great. This is about as much as we can ask for. This was the sweetest one. It was so close."
The girls competition was equally tight, coming down to the last event. Perrysburg led Anthony Wayne by just 1.5 points entering the 1600 relay where the Yellow Jackets finished fourth to hold off the Generals, who placed seventh, to win their third straight NLL title.
Perrysburg senior Cameron Gardner captured two individual titles and anchored two winning relay teams.
"This is so exciting," said Gardner, who will run at the University of Cincinnati. "It's all about my team and helping them. The relays mean more because they're team events. Everybody performed. It wasn't just one person. This is my last year and I want my team to finish off good."
In the boys meet, the swing came in the 800 race. Southview led the team standings by 15 points over Northview. It looked as though the Cougars' Will Schumacher was going to win the 800, but Barnes caught him from behind to win in 1:59.98.
Barnes' win gave the Wildcats a one point lead and Northview finished with 149 points while Southview had 139. Springfield was third (98) followed by host Bowling Green (82).
"The 800 was the turning point," Barnes said. "It was huge."
Barnes also ran a time of 4:25.68 to defend his crown in the 1600.
In the 110 hurdles, Bowens took the title in 14.5 seconds to repeat. He also placed first in the 300 hurdles to defend his title in 40.53.
"I wanted to set a tone for us so we could get some energy and some adrenaline," Bowens said. "Everyone contributed. We all just ran as fast as we could. This is where it starts. As a senior to get the three-peat and setting that tone feels great."
The Wildcats 800 relay team set a new NLL meet record. Keith Foster, Colin Quinn, Bowens, and Denzel Wheaton broke the mark in 1:30.02.
"We knew it would be tight," Northview coach David Briggs said. "Southview had a great day in the field events on Wednesday and had a big lead. We just had kids fighting for points all over. JB in the hurdles is incredible and Jacob is a star."
Springfield senior James Howe became a three-time champion in the pole vault. He finished with a vault of 14-0.
Another Blue Devils senior, Dontae Deboe, won two events. Deboe took the title in the 100 with a time of 11.09 and also placed first in the 200 (22.69).
Springfield's also won the 400 and 1600 relays. The 400 team, anchored by Deboe, placed first in 43.85 seconds and the 1600 won in 3:29.43.
Maumee junior Ryan Kraus took the title in the 3200 in 9:50.63.
In the 400, Southview sophomore JQ Bowers took first with a time of 51.65.
Anthony Wayne senior Andrew Donnal won the discus (137-4). Southview junior David Renner took first in the high jump with a leap of 6-6.
On the girls' side, Anthony Wayne led Perrysburg 107-104.5 through 13 events. But the Yellow Jackets overtook the Generals and finished with 135.3 points followed by AW (131), Northview (94), and Southview (87.5).
Gardner sprinted home with the title in the 100 with time of 12.18. She also won the 200 (25.61) for the third straight year.
In addition, Gardner anchored the Yellow Jackets winning 800 relay team. Andrea Wismer, Alyssa Goins, and Kirsten Goins teamed with Gardner to post a time of
1:46.11. The same team won the 400 relay in 50.33.
"This is a testament to the senior class and the hard work they put in and the leadership they've provided over the years," Perrysburg coach Kevin English said. "Cameron is there rooting for her teammates and she's their No. 1 fan. It's contagious. It spreads through the team."
The Yellow Jackets were without junior Katelyn Llewellyn, who won two NLL titles last year.
"It was nerve racking," English said. "We just didn't have the overall depth we had the last two years."
The Yellow Jackets also took first in the 400 as freshman Emily Wyrick clocked in at 59.62.
The Anthony Wayne girls had two repeat winners in the field events. Junior Brittany Green won again in the long jump with a leap of 17-4 1/2. Senior Lauren Wilson successfully defended her title in the shot put with a toss of 33-8.
The Generals also took first in the 100 hurdles as Aisha Tyre, a sophomore, won in 16.10. Anthony Wayne sophomore Whitney Wolff placed first in the 300 hurdles with a time of 49.44.
Northview junior Udoka Okoro successfully defended her title in the high jump on Wednesday. The Wildcats' Alison Work, a sophomore, repeated in the 800
(2:18.58). The Wildcats also won the 1600 and 3200 relays. Northview freshman Abby Masters won the 3200 with a time of 11:26.37.
Springfield sophomore Rachel Woods placed first in the pole vault (8-6).
Maumee's junior Brooke Tullis raced to the title in the 1600
Gardner said the win gets Perrysburg off on the right foot for the postseason.
"Now I'm ready to help my team even more," she said. "We won districts two years in a row so we're trying to do that too. There's unfinished business and it all starts now."
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