Oak Harbor boys, girls track sweep Bay Division

J. Patrick Eaken

The Oak Harbor girls track team had 10 individuals win seven events as the Rockets scored 197 points to easily win the Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division title. Huron was in second with 122 points.
        Senior Sophia Eli, sophomores Paige Clune and Elayna Krupp and freshman Hannah Schulte won the 4x100 meter relay with a time of 50.67, less than a second off the league record set by a Perkins squad in 2015.
        Krupp and fellow classmates Abby Below and Emily Haar joined freshman Logan Wagner to win the 4x400 in 4:11.5.
        Below won the 400 in 1:01.55, Krupp won the 200 in 27.15, junior Emily Wolf won the discus with a throw of 126 feet, 11 inches, senior Peyton Bloomer cleared 5-2 to win the high jump and sophomore Madison McKitrick leaped 16-2½ to win the long jump.
Rockets edge Chargers
        It wasn’t by much, but the Oak Harbor boys track team edged out Edison 170½-167 to win the Bay Division championship.
        The championship was led by 18 returning letter winners, including a strong core of seniors.
        “We feel as though we have a great core group of seniors who are leading the team in the right direction,” said coach Andy Augsburger. “We also feel as though our sprinters have trained very hard.
        “I am very proud of how my throwers have competed and pushed each other in practice and meets. I also am very proud of our young group of distance and middle distance athletes. They have been fighting for spots and pushing each other every day.
        “We want to fight for a league title every year. That has always been our mentality. Our competition at SBCs in track and field is always amazing. I think that’s why our coaching staff and athletes like that time of year a lot. The competition is always great. Our league meet is very unique with three divisions. You get to see some of the best teams and athletes in the state.”
        Oak Harbor junior Aidan Barton won four events, including the 100 meter dash, finishing in 11.48 seconds, the 200 (23.33) and he was part of two championship relay teams.
        Barton joined seniors Nick Pfeiffer and Ajay Riechman and junior Tyler May to win the 4x200 relay (1:32.44) and Barton, Riechman, May, and senior Brandon Elmes won the 4x100 in 43.78.
        Pfeiffer, May, Elmes and sophomore Wyatt Miller teamed up to win the 4x400 (3:28.65). In addition, Pfeiffer won the 400 meter dash, finishing in 51.8 seconds. Elmes,
        “Aidan Barton, Ajay Riechman, Tyler May, Brandon Elmes and Nick Pfeiffer all have put in a lot of work in the off season to prepare for the upcoming outdoor season. They have high goals for the 2019. They also have competed at the state meet and know what it takes to be mentally tough as well as physically tough,” Augsburger said.
        “Aidan Barton ended his sophomore season on a high note. He ran a fully automatic 23.1 in the 200 meters and made his way to state in the 4x2. He has trained hard in the offseason. His times this year have been great,” Augsburger continued.
        “Nick Pfeiffer had a tough junior season in track and an injury in football his senior year. He has worked his way to one of our fastest athletes we have. He has trained so hard to get back in running form after surgery.
        “Nick Pfeiffer had total ACL replacement surgery after an injury in football in October 2018. He has been on a mission to be back on this team and has trained tremendously. Many days in the offseason have been hard with rehab and training. We are hoping that he ends his career on a high note.”
        Augsburger believed all along that his relay teams would excel, and he’s seeing it happen.
        “With a great core group of returning sprinters we look to compete at a high level. Our past seniors have paved the way for our athletes getting to regions and state,” Augsburger said.
        “Now our athletes know what it takes to be mentally and physically tough at districts, regions and state. Our 4x1 and 4x2 has had great success so far. With that said it will be important to keep gaining trust as a core group and bring the underclassmen that we have with them.”
Roob makes comeback
        Elmes, a winner in the 300 hurdles last year, this year finished second in that event (39.39) and second in the 100 hurdles, too (15.18), losing by one-hundredth of a second in the 110 and by just over one-fifth of a second in the 300, both times to Huron junior Jimmy Harkelroad.
        Oak Harbor senior Cole Roob won the Bay Division shot put with a throw of 52 feet, almost four feet better than second place Willard senior Josh Holida (48-¼). Like Pfeiffer, Roob had to make a comeback from an injury.
        “After having major knee surgery in October of 2017 we didn’t know if he would be released or ready to throw for his 2018 (junior season),” Augsburger said. “He was able to power throw shot most of last year and had a PR of 48 feet. This year is able to glide and has more stability and confidence. He has set some high goals.”
        In the long jump, May did not reach his PR, but leaped 20-3¾ to finish second behind Vermilion senior Cavan Leonardo (21-1½).
        “He has already jumped 21-10 this season. His form and landing have improved tremendously. He has set some high goals this season,” Augsburger said.
        In the 1600, senior Marcus Hartlage, who finished sixth in the 3200 at last year’s regionals, finished in third at the SBC meet with a time of 4:35.49, and in the 3200 Oak Harbor freshman T.J. Hallett was fourth in 10:21.73 and Hartlage was fifth in 10:28.55.
        “Marcus has a lot of experience and knows what it takes to compete at a high level. He has been a great leader which is why our distance/middle distance program is growing stronger every day,” Augsburger said. “The underclassmen (including Hallett) are young but compete at a high level every meet. They are learning a lot.”
        Augsburger said it was good to see his team pull out a league championship after graduating some top talent and finishing as Bay Division runner-up last year.
        “We graduated Andy Buderer (now at Ohio Northern University), a two-time regional placer in the pole vault. We have two athletes who have stepped up and started training for the event. They are both young and are improving every day. We graduated Jake Lewis and Alex Gezo both who were in the high jump.”


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