Woodmore's boys’ and girls’ track and field athletes have their eyes on the prize.
The prize is competing at next Friday and Saturday's Division III state meet in Columbus. The big challenge, however, is getting there.
Last week's district meet at Eastwood was step one. Step two was Wednesday and Friday at the regional meet in Tiffin. The top four regional placers in each event will advance to Columbus.
Woodmore girls coach Mike Pendleton said the Wildcats are willing to do whatever it takes to get to the state meet.
“We got a lot of kids out at districts, but this week the hole gets a lot smaller,” he said. “It's a real different deal. A lot of really good kids are coming in, so everybody's got to knock their times down.”
Woodmore claimed both the boys and girls titles at the district meet. Both teams are well-represented at the regional.
On the girls' side, junior Lacy Nagy qualified in three events — the 1600 and 3200 meters and the 4x800 relay, which includes sophomore Taylor Avers, junior Megan Haar and senior Lynn Schroeder. The relay placed second at the district
Woodmore thrower Ben St.
|Woodmore district champion 4x800 relay
team Grant Weirich, Brock Avers, DeVaughnte
Askew, and Justin Garver. (Press photo by
|Woodmore senior Justin
Garver during the district
800 meter run. (Press photo
by Dean Utendorf/
“That's been a great relay for us all year,” Pendleton said.
Nagy, who competed at the state meet in the 3200 as a freshman, finished fourth in that event and also took fourth in the 1600 at districts.
“The 3200 is her best race,” Pendleton said. “We don't know if we're going to put her in both of them. She has to knock some time down. Everybody has to improve this week, and we will.”
The 'Cats have two runners, Schroeder and Avers, in the 800. Schroeder was the district champion, while Avers placed third. Woodmore also qualified two pole vaulters, seniors Katherine Smith and Karissa Boisselle. Smith earned the district title with a vault of nine feet.
“She's gone 9-8 this year,” Pendleton said. “A couple girls this year have gone over 10 feet, and even 11 feet. She's going to have to have a PR, but it always happens that somebody's going to have a bad day and somebody's going to have a good day. She's going to have to go around 10 feet.”
Junior Carly Pendleton, who has the top discus throw in Division III this season, won that event at districts with a throw of 146-10. She is joined at regionals by freshman Karli Keaton and junior Jessica Wolfe in the 400 dash and 100 hurdles, respectively. Keaton placed third at districts, while Wolfe was fourth in her event.
“Karli has run really well for us this year,” Coach Pendleton said. “Obviously she's got a great future. She's got to have a good race; we think she can run better.”
Woodmore's 4x400 team of freshman Allison Brown, Keaton, Schroeder and Avers, who ran a 4:13 at the district meet, also looks to advance to state.
“They're going to have to knock it down to 4:10 or 4:08 to get out, and that's very doable,” Pendleton said. “If they run well and get crisp handoffs, things should go well.”
Coach Brian Ryman's Woodmore boys team also has a standout 4x400 relay in seniors DeVaughnte Askew, Brock Avers and Justin Garver and junior Grant Weirich. The 'Cats won the relay in a school-record time of 3:27.88 to clinch the district title for Woodmore.
“That relay team isn't done,” Ryman said. “They're going to run faster. They're capable of running 3:25 this season.”
Askew, Avers, Garver and Weirich also teamed to win the 4x800 relay at districts. The 4x200 relay team of Weirich, freshman Andrew Shrewsbury, sophomore Jacob Icsman and junior Cody Curry, which placed third at districts, also set a school record (1:35.8).
“They're going to have to drop some time,” Ryman said. “If everything is clicking and they put it together, they have a chance.”
Curry advanced to regionals in the pole vault, where he took first place, and 300 hurdles (third).
“In the pole vault, I know he can go higher,” Ryman said. “He has a real strong chance there. Same thing with the hurdles. His times just keep dropping and dropping. He gets stronger as the season progresses.”
Senior Ben St. John placed second in the discus and shot put at districts, while Garver won the 1600 (4:35.84) and took second behind Avers in the 800.
“Justin is looking really strong,” Ryman said. “He's improved leaps and bounds.”
Michael Travis, a freshman, advanced to regionals after placing third in the 110 hurdles.
Woodmore thrower Ben St. John. (Press photo by Dean Utendorf/www.woodmorephotos.com)
Woodmore district champion 4x800 relay team Grant Weirich, Brock Avers, DeVaughnte Askew, and Justin Garver. (Press photo by Dean Utendorf/www.woodmorephotos.com)
Woodmore senior Justin Garver during the district 800 meter run. (Press photo by Dean Utendorf/www.woodmorephotos.com)