The 2016 Dwight Schar Invitational at Norwayne High School Friday, May 6 proved to be quite the two-man showcase in the boys’ sprints.
For the most part, the fastest races came down to a showdown between Hiland’s Isaiah Yoder and Norwayne’s Brevin Harris. On the plus side, Yoder scored some solid points for the Hawks’ team effort. On the minus side, he was one-tenth of a second behind Harris in both the 100 and 200, having to settle for silver in a pair of scintillating races.
While neither runner ran their fastest race of the year, it was still pretty quick. Harris graced the finish line in the 100 in 11.2, with Yoder right next to him in 11.3, while the 200 saw Harris finish in 22.9, again with Yoder nipping at his heels in 23-flat. Yoder’s time in the 100 was just 0.02 off his season-best.
In the 110 hurdles, Kenneth Yoder placed seventh in 19.2, but it was the finish line forerunners that had the stadium abuzz. Triway’s Mason Plant and Smithville’s Cole Smith crushed the field, with both runners finishing two-full seconds ahead of the field in 14.8.
However, it would be Plant winning in a photo finish. Braden Gray of Hiland would grab a podium spot, tying for eighth in 19.3.
In the 300 hurdles, Plant would show off his spotless form again, winning in an eye-popping time of 39.4. Once again it was Smith trying to chase him down, the Smithies runner placing second in 39.8, still a great time. Gray earned an 11th-place finish for the Hawks in 47.4.
In the relay races, Hiland’s 4×100 team of Earvin Keim, Joey Gatti, Yoder and Jerome Watson placed fourth in 46.6, well below the team’s season-best time of 49.01. However, in a fast field, that was good for just fourth place, with Triway’s team of Austin Davis, Hunter Brown, Plant and Kyle Strock winning in 44.9. That was a scant one-tenth of a second better than Norwayne.
Revere took the title in the 4×200, winning in 1:30.3, while Hiland’s foursome of Lorin Hershberger, Joe Wengerd, Keim and Yoder placed fifth in 1:34.7, again the Hawks posting their best time of the season. The 4×400 team of Wengerd, Gray, Gatti and Hershberger earned a fifth-place effort in a time of 3:40.1, while the 4×800 team of Wengerd, Hunter Yoder, Matt Troyer and Hershberger had the relay day’s best showing for the Hawks, placing third in 8:40.1, carving 11 seconds off of their season-best effort. Triway’s Jared Bugaj, Nich Michels, Clay Miller and Justin Mackey won the event in 8:33.2.
The distance races saw the Hawks tack on some more points. Hunter Yoder ran a 4:56 in the 1600, good for sixth place, and not too far off the winning time of 4:41.0 set by Bugaj of Triway. Wengerd matched his teammates place in the 800, where the Hiland senior finished in 2:11.6. Smithville’s Lucas Clark ran the top time, winning in 1:58.0, the lone runner to go sub-2.00.
Hiland was just on the outside looking in for the 400, where Troyer placed ninth in 55.6 and Hershberger ended up 11th in 56.1. Recovering form a knee injury, Troyer continues to try to rediscover the time of 50.49 that earned him All-Ohio status last year.
In the field events, the Hawks continued to get a huge boost from the quickly improving freshman Declan Howell, who placed second in the high jump with a 5-10 effort. Howell tied for the best height cleared, but lost on misses to Nate Smith of Smithville.
Hiland senior Alijah Chupp cleared 9-06 on his way to a sixth-place finish in t he pole vault, and event won easily by Smithville’s Trent Kaufman, who cleared a PR 13-00, while Norwayne’s Harris continued his domination, winning the long jump with an effort of 21-01.75. Evan Casey of Hiland was just off the podium, placing ninth with a leap of 16-05.5.
In the shot put, Triway went one-two with Curtis Burgan and Mason Phillips, Burgen winning with a toss of 51-00. Hiland’s Jordan Stauffer placed ninth in the event with a heave of 39-10, but the Hiland big-man fared a bit better in the discus, where he earned a podium spot in seventh place with a throw of 113-11. The discus was won by Dedric Isaac of Rittman, who went 142-01 for the win, edging out Triway’s Phillips by just seven inches.
In the eight-team field, Triway would skip past Smithville to collect the title, the Titans collecting 159 points to the Smithies’ 148. Revere was third (110), Norwayne placed fourth (91.5) and the Hawks ended up fifth with 56.5.
The Lady Hawks found some success at the meet, but still finished eighth in the nine-team field with 32.83 points. The girls’ team from host Norwayne cruised to victory with 184.5 points, far ahead of runner-up Rittman’s 107.
For Hiland, Melissa Hostetler had the best individual showing of the evening for the Lady Hawks, grinding out a fourth place finish in the 300 hurdles in 51.4. The win in that event went to Rittman’s outstanding athlete Maddie McDermott, who blistered the field in a time of 46.1.
In the 100 meter dash, Sarah Menuez cruised to a sixth place finish in 13.7, as Norwayne’s Grace Sullivan and Allie Studer swept the event in 13.1 and 13.2 respectively. Menuez finished just one spot out of a podium finish in the 200, taking ninth in a time of 29.4. Smithville’s Annie Spurlock won the event in 27.1.
In the 400, Isabelle Fowler battled her way to a podium spot in sixth place, finishing in 1:06.6. The event was won by Norwayne’s Savannah Powley in 1:01.9. In the 100 meter hurdles, Alexis Yoder and Olivia Gingerich placed 11th and 12th respectively in times of 20.1 and 20.2.
Hostetler finished the high jump at 4-04, good for a tie for sixth-place.
In the relay races, Hiland found some success. The 4×800 team of Fowler, Brooke Miller, Olivia Mast and Hostetler took the best finish of the day for the girls, rolling in at 11:10.4, good for a third-place finish. Norwayne took command of the event, winning in 10:26.7. The Lady Hawks foursome of Somers, Fowler, Hailey Miller and Menuez also performed well in the 4×200, placing fourth in a time of 1:58.8. That was 10 seconds behind the winning time of 1:48.9 posted by Norwayne.
The team of Marisa Somers, Brooke Miller, Alexis Raber and Hailey Miller, all freshmen, soared to a fifth-place finish in the 4×100 in 55.1. Rittman edged Norwayne by one-tenth of a second in 50.5 for the win. The 4×400 team of Menuez, Fowler, Brooke Miller and Hostetler also took fifth in a time of 4:28.2, an event won easily by the Norwayne crew in 4:11.2.