Every single spot counted, every second was a difference-maker and every inch in the throwing events had the West Holmes Knights teetering between victory and defeat on Tuesday, April 23 when they faced the Mt. Vernon Yellow Jackets in an Ohio Cardinal Conference track and field contest.
The Knights boys team celebrated when the final race was run, having earned a 69-68 victory that went right down to the wire.
In the 100 meter sprint, Travett Boughman won in 12.04, and Gavin Freeman took second in 12.47 with Emmett Myers running third in 12.65.
Jonathan Kandel won the 1600 in 4:57, just edging teammate Cade Wagers, who took second in 4:57.78. The 4-by-100-meter relay team of Grady Hay, Jacob Goudy, Travett Boughman and Brady Taylor finished first in a time of 46.66 while the Knights swept the top-two spots in the 400, where Brady Taylor took first place in 52.82, followed by Boughman, who ran a 53.29.
In the 300-meter hurdles, Logan Kula finished second in 48.9, and in the 800 meters Cade Wagers placed third in 2:17.37. The 200 meters saw Cale Ogi earn second place in 25.62 while teammate Lane Graham was right on his heels in third in 25.84.
In the field events, West Holmes got gold and silver in the pole vault from Grady Hay, who cleared 12 feet, 6 inches, and Emmett Myers, who sailed over 11 feet, 6 inches. Graham was golden in the shot put, where he continues to push his PR higher, winning with a heave of 51 feet, 1 inch. Freshman teammate Brock Zimmerly was runner-up with a throw of 41 feet, 4.25 inches while Brock Barbey took third with a heave of 37 feet, 8.5 inches.
In the long jump Jacob Goudy placed second with a leap of 19 feet, 1.75 inches, and Gavin Freeman placed third with an effort of 18 feet, 2.75 inches.
Goudy cleared a PR height of 6 feet, 2 inches to claim third in the high jump while in the discus it was a clean sweep, where Graham won with a throw of 136 feet, 11 inches; Goudy was second at 131 feet, 2 inches; and Zimmerly was third at 115 feet, 8 inches.
The Lady Knights didn’t win but were embroiled in a good battle, falling 81-55.
Kaylin Martin took top honors in the 100 meters, where she reeled off a winning time of 13.75, and she also won the long jump with a 16 feet, 4 inch effort. Katie Sprang won the 400 meters in 66.15, and she anchored both the winning 4-by-200 and 4-by-400 relay efforts. The 4-by-200 relay team of Hannah Rohr, Megan Mellor, Martin and Sprang ran a winning time of 1:57.37 while the same crew raced to victory in the 4-by-400 relay in 4:29.
In the 800 meters, Brogan Steimel placed second in 2:46.23 while in the 200 meters Callie Proper took third in 32.19.
In the field events, Amy Hughes continued her winning ways in the discus with a winning throw of 81 feet while teammate Madison Stitzlein was right behind at 77 feet, 7 inches. Macey Gilstrap cleared 7 feet, 6 inches in the pole vault to finish third while in the high jump Jones took second with a jump of 4 feet, 4 inches and Maiah Geib placed third at that same height.
Meanwhile at the Triway Invitational on Saturday, April 20 at Triway High School, the boys team worked its way into a fourth-place finish in a tough field that saw Highland race to victory with 105 points, followed closely by Shelby with 91, Tallmadge with 78 and then the Knights with 71.
The Lady Knights ended up in ninth in the field of 16 teams with 29 points with Highland gaining a sweep by collecting 103 points. Orrville earned second at 87 while Norwayne took third with 73.
For the girls, Martin had a banner day. She won the long jump with a 16 feet, 9 inch effort, nearly a full foot ahead of everyone chasing her. In the 100 meters, she and Smithville’s Jasmine Beery waged an epic battle to the wire. Martin led most of the race, but Beery pulled even late and won in12.98, one-hundredth of a second in front of Martin’s runner-up time of 12.99.
Sprang dashed to eighth in the 200 meters in 28.73 while Sprang and Martin ran fourth and fifth in the 400 meters in respective times of 1:03.43 and 1:04.68. The 4-by-200 relay team of Martin, Rohr, Mellor and Sprang finished sixth.
The boys saw quite a few more successes in racking up some solid points. Taylor qualified first in the 200 meters, then roared to victory in the finals in 23.17. Boughman was equally successful in the 400 meters, where his time of 52.58 gave him a narrow victory.
Jonathan Kandle narrowly missed making a trifecta, his time of 1:59.13 in the 800 meters good enough for a second-place finish behind Shelby’s Blake Lucious’ time of 1:57-52.
Cade Wagers just missed scoring points for the Knights in the 3200, where he paced 10th. The 4-by-100 relay team of Ogi, Myers, Gavin Freeman and Sawyer Pritt also just missed out on points, placing ninth.
It was a lot more enjoyable in the 4-by-200 relay, where the quartet of Boughman, Kandel, Hay and Taylor ripped off a 1:32.89 to win easily over Triway’s runner-up time of 1:33.77. In the finale race, the 4-by-400 relay, the Knights foursome of Boughman, Kandel, Hay and Taylor squared off with Highland for the gold as those two teams darted to the front and stayed there. In the end it would be Highland winning in 3:30.92, inching out the Knights time of 3:31.91.
Field events continued to be an area of nice points for West Holmes. Goudy claimed fifth in the high jump at 5 feet, 10 inches; Hay took fourth in the pole vault with a jump of 12 feet, 6 inches while Myers was sixth; Freeman picked up a point by placing eighth in the long jump with an effort of 18 feet, 7 inches; Lane claimed fourth in the shot with a throw of 47 feet, 11 inches; and Goudy would match that finish in the discus with a throw of 138 feet, 11 inches while Graham took seventh.