DII State Track Finals: Butler, Truckor win titles

Wyse takes 3rd in 400, Poncsak 4th in 110 hurdles

  • Liberty-Benton-s-Michaela-Butler-center-won-the-200-meter-dash

    Liberty-Benton's Michaela Butler, center, won the 200-meter dash and came in second in the 100 meters.

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  • Liberty-Benton's Michaela Butler, center, won the 200-meter dash and came in second in the 100 meters.
    Liberty-Benton's Michaela Butler, center, won the 200-meter dash and came in second in the 100 meters.

    COLUMBUS — Although she's just a freshman, Liberty-Benton's Michaela Butler admitted she was disappointed in her runner-up finish in the 100-meter dash on Saturday at the Division II state track and field meet.

    So just a little over an hour later, the talented young sprinter raced home to a state title in the 200.

    In the second event of the day at Jesse Owens Stadium, Butler took second place in the 100 with a time of 12.03 seconds.

    Butler chased down Cheyanne Carter, the defending state champ in the 200, down the stretch to win with a personal best time of 24.36.

    PHOTO GALLERY, Pt. 1: Click here to view 
    PHOTO GALLERY, Pt. 2: Click here to view

    “I felt like I didn't perform to my whole potential in the 100. So I pushed myself harder in the 200,” Butler said. “I focused on getting out fast and making up the stagger. In the entire straightaway me and Cheyanne were even. I tried to keep pushing and going faster and I got the win.”

    Evergreen junior Carly Truckor celebrated a title in the 300 hurdles with a personal best time of 44.12.

    “I knew I had to stay relaxed and run my best race,” Truckor said. “I wanted to be the first one to the first hurdle and go from there. Coming in [to the finish line], my legs were getting to me a little bit. I stumbled over the last hurdle. I gave it all I had to the line. I got where I needed to be.”

    Butler accounted for 18 of Liberty-Benton's 34 points as the Eagles placed fourth in the team standings. Alex DeVincentis and Liz Streaker finished first and third, respectively, in the discus competition on Friday.

    “I know God has blessed me with so much talent and I'm trying to show everyone,” Butler said. “It's great to be on the podium as a freshman. It's amazing to have a supportive family. They pushed me because they know my potential.”

    Truckor earned 10 points to lead Evergreen to a 19th place finish as a team.

    “I can't even explain how I feel. It makes me so happy,” she said.

    Truckor broke her personal record, which had been 44.47.

    “It's a great day. I came out here and I knew what I had to do. I just gave it my all,” she said. “Hopefully I can work on that and run better times next year.”

    Wauseon’s Seneca Wyse took third in the 400-meter dash Saturday.
    Wauseon’s Seneca Wyse took third in the 400-meter dash Saturday.

    Truckor qualified in the 100 and 200 last year. But she decided to focus on the hurdles because it would give her a better chance to medal.

    “Good thing I stuck with the hurdles,” Truckor said, chuckling. “I've been working at it a lot.”

    Wauseon freshman Seneca Wyse, who qualified in three events, placed third in the 400 with a time of 56.14. Wyse also qualified but didn't place in the 100 and 200 for the Indians, who finished 24th.

    “I thought it was great to be here as a freshman, to get the feel for it,” said Wyse, who beat her personal record by a full second. “I will be more calm if I make it back. To see all those people watching was great.”

    Napoleon freshman Peyton Lee finished fifth in the 100 hurdles (14.98).

    “I did a lot better than I expected,” Lee said. “This year was to get a feel for it. Now I know how good I can compete against girls that are at higher levels. I hope to improve throughout the years.”

    Wauseon sophomore Taylor Vernot reached the podium by placing sixth in the 1600 (5:07.25).

    “I was very happy with that time. It was a [personal record], so I'm pleased with it,” Vernot said. “Last year I didn't quite make it to the podium. So this year it feels good to come back and make it.”

    Eastwood senior Aricka LaVoy placed sixth in the long jump with a leap of 17-0¾.

    Vernot also qualified in the 3,200 and took 11th (11:42.46).

    Genoa freshman Carly Gose just missed making the podium, taking ninth in the 800 (2:17.96).

    In the boys race, Eastwood placed 13th as a team with 15 points.

    Eastwood's Devin Snowden qualified in three events, including two relays, making for a busy day for the sophomore.

    Snowden helped the Eagles' 400 relay team place sixth with a time of 43.23. It was the fastest time of the season for Snowden and teammates Isaiah Conkle, Brennan Seifert, and anchor Steven Bruning.

    Just 25 minutes later, Snowden ran in the 300 hurdles and placed seventh (39.43).

    Finally, Snowden anchored Eastwood's 1600 relay team to finish the meet. The Eagles team of Snowden, Gabe Fredericks, Joey Salinas, and Derek Snowden, Devin's senior brother, placed fourth (3:21.63).

    Eastwood's Tim Hoodlebrink took fourth in the 800-meter run.
    Eastwood's Tim Hoodlebrink took fourth in the 800-meter run.

    “They were all right back to back,” Snowden said. “I only got about 20 minutes in between each one. But I didn't want to scratch out of any events because I wanted to help the team no matter what it took. It's great standing up on the podium.”

    For the first time in the 106-year history of the tournament, wheelchair events were added to the meet.

    Liberty Center junior Robert Burns placed third in the 400 wheelchair race with a time of 1:03.43

    “Oh my gosh this was amazing,” Burns said. “To finally be a part of a school sport means everything to me. The races are amazing. I had my best times today and I hope to keep improving.”

    Burns also competed in the shot put and took fifth with a toss of 15-9.

    Bryan junior Brandon Poncsak placed fourth in the 110 hurdles (14.60).

    “It's not the result I was looking for, but I'll take fourth at state. That's a big accomplishment,” he said. “This was fun. I love it.”

    Rossford senior Ryan Clay placed third in the 800, clocking in at 1:54.64. Eastwood sophomore Tim Hoodlebrink finished just behind Clay (1:55.09).

    Wauseon sophomore Quintin Reiser took seventh in the 1600 with a time of 4:21.02.

    Port Clinton senior Cody Smith took fourth place in the shot put on Friday.

    In the pole vault, Delta sophomore Tyler Fraker took seventh (14-6).

    Wauseon sophomore Noah Castle placed fourth in the discus (169-5).

    Eastmoor Academy won the girls team title, while Akron St. Vincent St. Mary took the boys title.

    “This gives me a great feel for what I have to do competing here as a younger guy here,” Snowden said. “I know what I have to do to do better.”

    Contact Mark Monroe at: mmonroe@theblade.com, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.