For the fifth consecutive season and sixth out of the last seven, the Oak Harbor girls track team has won the Sandusky Bay Conference title.
Led by Athena Eli, Oak Harbor had five first-place finishes, two of them individual, as they slowly built a lead before pulling away. Eli, who contributed 40 points, the maximum possible for an athlete, was first in the 200-meter dash, running a time of 26.87 seconds, and won the 400, coming in just under a minute at 59.57.
She was also part of the 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams that were victorious. The 4x200 squad consisted of Allie Jett, Karis DeWalt, Paige Velliquette and Eli, and the 4x400 squad was comprised of DeWalt, Cydney St. Clair, Eli and Jett.
Jett, who fought through an injury just to compete, was responsible for 36 points. She was third in the 300 (27.31) and was part of three winning relay teams — the 4x200, 4x400 and the 4x100 squad of herself, Rebekah Rayburn, St. Clair and Velliquette. For her efforts, the junior was named the SBC’s girls' Most Outstanding Performer.
The Rockets finished nearly 32 points ahead of runner-up Perkins. Oak Harbor scored 146 points, followed by the Pirattes (114.3), Edison (114), Clyde. Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic, Port Clinton, Margaretta and Huron rounded out the bottom of the field.
“Once you've got that streak going you don't want to be the group that breaks it,” Rockets coach John McKitrick said. “That's important to them. We talked about the last time we lost this SBC championship and how, that day, we didn't really come together as a team. This group decided that they were going to come together as a team. That is something that is really important to them. Obviously, it is really important to your coaching staff, but when it's just as important to your kids, it makes my job so much easier. They've bought into it, they have found a way to win and I think that's really something they know how to do."
Oak Harbor had 11 individuals and one relay team finish in third or fourth place.