Created on Saturday, 25 May 2013 Written by AARON LaBATT
PIQUA — It was a night of personal bests and surprises here Friday at the Division I district track and field meet in Alexander Stadium.
ABOVE: Bellefontaine’s Alexa Haushalter clears the bar during the pole vault competition Friday at the Division I district meet in Piqua. She placed third with a height of 10-8. FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Bellefontaine’s Jessica Kinchen races in the girls 100-meter hurdle finals. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | AARON LaBATT)
Bellefontaine’s girls finished third as a team, qualified two athletes to the regional meet, saw five new personal records set and three other Chieftains finish one spot shy of advancing through.
The top four in each event qualified to the Division I regional meet next week at the University of Dayton.
It was a standout performance for the Chieftains, who were surprised to learn they had finished so well against much larger schools. Bellefontaine was just half a dozen girls over the cut-off mark for competing in Division II this year.
“That is great we finished third,” said Bellefontaine head coach Ben Davis. “We are by far the smallest school here. Some of the schools here have 2,000 girls. To finish third here is a pretty big boost for our program.”
Wayne ran away with the team title with 143 points, Troy was second with 95 points, Bellefontaine was third with 57 points and Fairborn tied Northmont for fourth with 51 points.
Advancing through to the regional meet for the Chieftains on Friday were seniors Alexa Haushalter in the pole vault and Jessica Kinchen in the 100 hurdles.
Haushalter finished third with a new personal-best height of 10-8. She tied the second-place finisher, who also vaulted 10-8, but based on the number of attempts had to settle for third.
“That was too bad she got beat on a tiebreaker,” said Davis. “It is great she is vaulting at her best at the end of the year. She practices year round and drives to all kinds of places in Ohio to compete.”
Kinchen squeezed out a fourth-place finish in the 100 hurdles with a time of 15.94.
It was a bittersweet performance because Kinchen edged out her teammate senior Rebecca Carman, who was fifth with a personal-best time of 15.99.
“It was just a matter of who was going to edge the other at the end,” said Davis. “They were first and second at the league meet last week. Rebecca won and Jessica was second. So they just switched places. That was close to Jessica’s best race and it was Rebecca’s best race.
“It would have been nice for both of them to get out. It was nice Jessica could get out as a senior. Both of them have been big for our program over the years.”
It was also a close finish for Kameren Haley, who took fifth in the long jump. She was one spot shy of qualifying with a personal best leap of 16-6, while the fourth-place finisher jumped just one and a half inches further to advance.
“Kameren did her best,” said Davis. “It was great to see her come down here and get a new personal best.”
Jazmyn Haley added a third fifth-place finish for BHS in the discus competition. Her best toss was a distance of 110-5.
“Jazmyn hasn’t had too many practices because of playing softball,” said Davis. “If we can get more of those between now and next year she has a bright future. She has a lot of potential and could go 120 or 130 feet. It’s just a matter of putting it all together.”
The Chieftain 400 and 800 relay teams each earned sixth-place finishes. They are both made up of Ashley Artis, Kinchen, Kameren Haley and Regan Price.
The 400 relay was sixth in a time of 51.3, while the 800 relay finished sixth in a time of 1:50.3.
Also for BHS, Price was seventh in the 200 (26.7), the 1,600 relay of Amber Jones, Artis, Kenzie Patton and Price was seventh (4:26.5), Jones was eighth in the 1,600 with a personal-best time of 5:47.6 and Maddie Butler was eighth in the 3,200 with a personal-best time of 13:24.8.
“Amber set a new best time in her race and will be dearly missed from our program,” said Davis. “Maddie did a great job in the two-mile race and also had a new best time of her career.”