By CHUCK RIDENOUR
Daily Globe Sports Editor
MARION - Shelby captured its 26th boys track and field championship, but its first in the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference, Thursday night at Marion Harding Stadium.
“We really couldn’t ask for the day to go much better. It was a nice team effort. This was something we really wanted badly and it was nice to win in convincing fashion,” said Chris Zuercher, boys coach of the Whippets.
SHS amassed 159 points to easily outdistance runner-up Galion with 125. Rounding out the list were Marion Harding (97), Ontario (86), Marion Pleasant (68), Buckeye Valley (65.5), River Valley (40.5) and Clear Fork (21).
Galion ran away with the girls meet and totaled 153.5 points. Following were Ontario (120.5), Buckeye Valley (94), River Valley (93.5), Shelby (85), Clear Fork (45), Marion Pleasant (42.5) and Marion Harding (28).
“Our finish in the league isn’t what we wanted, however, he had a lot of season best times. We’re a young team that’s grown a lot this season,” said Lady Whippets coach Patience Lewis.
Caleb Brown won a pair of distance races and also ran a leg on a winning relay while Makenna Heimlich broke a conference record in the 800 to highlight a number of solid performances for red and gray athletes.
Brown’s victories came in the 1,600-meter run (4:31.37) and the 3,200-meter run (9:45.77). In Tuesday’s competition, he paired up with Sam Swanger, Corbin Osborne and Blake Lucius to take the 4 x 800 relay (8:21.65).
Heimlich cruised to victory in the 800 meters with a MOAC record clocking of 2:18.64. The win was her third in three conferences after capturing the 800 races in the Sandusky Bay Conference (2018) and the now-defunct Northern Ohio League (2017).
The senior was also a part of the triumphant 4 x 400-meter relay with her twin sister, Maddie, as well as Cierra Gurney and Reyna Hoffman. The race was closely-contested and their time was 4:10.02, followed by River Valley (4:10.52) and Buckeye Valley (4:10.98).
“Great to end the meet by winning the 4 x 4. For the Heimlichs this makes their third league 4 x 4 win in the last three years. Very proud of Makenna setting a new league record in the 800,” said Lewis.
Boosting Shelby’s boys in the first place column were Uriah Schwemley with the top time of 15.78 in the 110-meter high hurdles and Lucius in the 800-meter run with 2:01.28. Schwemley also joined Owen Fisher, Grant Gossom and Caleb Henkel in the 4 x 100-meter relay with 44.37.
Finishing second, third or fourth for the Whippets were:
Second - Bailey Walter in the shot put (36-01⁄2), Walter in the discus (107-4), Haylee Baker, Maddie Heimlich, Hoffman and Makenna Heimlich in the 4 x 800-meter relay (9:41.19), Henkel in the long jump (21-01⁄4), Schwemley in the high jump (6-4), Parker Lewis, Sam Swanger, Sam Logan and Lucius in the 4 x 400-meter relay (3:32.46), Logan in the 1,600-meter run (4:39.94), Lucius in the 400-meter dash (51.08), Grant Gossom in the 200-meter dash (23.00) and Peter Dawson in the discus (137-9).
Third - Kassie Stine in the high jump (5-0), Maddie Heimlich in the 400-meter dash (1:01.06), Henkel in the 100-meter dash (11.51), Logan in the 800-meter run (2:05.32), Corbin Osborne in 3,200-meter run (10:25.16).
Fourth - Makenna Heimlich in the 1,600-meter run (5:16.45), Maddie Heimlich in the 800-meter run (2:25.45), Stine in the long jump (15-71⁄2), Gossom in the long jump (20-5), the boys 4 x 200-meter relay and Lewis in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (42.97).
Next up for the Shelby track teams in the Division II District next Wednesday and Friday at Oak Harbor High School.
“Now we must look forward to the district and getting as many guys out as we can,” said Zuercher.
“We’re looking forward to districts next week and the possibilities in the postseason,” said Lewis.