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Division II regional takes toll on area competitors

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The first day of Division II regional action at the University of Dayton presented some major challenges for the area track and field teams Thursday.

With several of the best teams in the state competing at Dayton, advancing out of the preliminary races looked to be a challenging task. That proved to be the case as just three area runners advanced to Saturday’s finals.

Moving on were Ben Logan’s Monica Mannings in the 100, Marissa Wilbur in the 100 hurdles and Craig Boling in the 300 hurdles.

The top two finishers in each heat, plus the runners with the next four best times from Wednesday advanced to Saturday’s finals. The top four placers in each event qualify to the state tournament next week in Columbus.

The Division II regional meet concludes Saturday with field events at 11:30 a.m. and track events at 12:30 p.m.

Wilbur is in the best position of the local competitors after qualifying to the finals in the 100 hurdles with a 16.57, which is the fourth-best time.

Mannings advanced in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.44, which is seventh-best entering the finals.

“It was exciting to see Marissa and Monica accomplish that goal (of reaching the finals) in the first events of the night for them,” said Ben Logan girls head coach Mike Coder.

“Now we just hope to run our best race of the season to see where they finish. Maybe there will be a ticket to the state meet in their lanes. We will keep our fingers crossed.”

Boling moved on in the 300 hurdles with a qualifying time of 41.86, which is seventh-best entering the finals.

In finals events that were conducted Thursday, Ben Logan’s Landon Johnson led the way with an eighth-place finish in the discus (137-7).

The Raiders’ Alex Thompson, who was a state qualifier last year in the high jump, was unable to earn another trip to Columbus. She finished 10th in the high jump (4-10).

“Alex had a tough night in the high jump,” said Coder. “She jumped the first two heights on the first try with ease. She struggled at 5-0, a height she has cleared before. Each day is different in the high jump. A height that is easy one day is impossible the next. I know she was disappointed, but I always feel that if your season ends at the regional meet you have probably had a good season.”

Indian Lake’s Ben Wahl was 11th in the pole vault (12-0) and the Lakers’ Sean Pusey was 14th in the discus (89-1).

Bellefontaine’s Chase Wilcoxon finished 15th in the pole vault (11-6).

Several other area athletes competed on Thursday, but did not qualify to Saturday’s finals.

For the Raider girls, Mannings was 13th in the 200 (27.6) and Wilbur was 10th in the 300 hurdles (50.2).

The Lakers’ Caylee Wurster was 14th in the 100 (14.1) and 16th in the 200 (28.4) and the 400 relay of Wurster, Josie Corwin, Emali Sroufe and Heidi Sanabria was 15th (54.5).

Ben Logan’s boys saw Jeremy Brisson finish 11th in the 200 (23.7) and 12th in the 100 (11.7) and the 400 relay of Boling, Brisson, Matt Wilt and Trent Rees finish 10th (45.1).

Indian Lake’s 400 relay of Cole Merritt, Bobby Dye, Cole Wurster and Wahl was 11th (45.3) and the 800 relay of Hunter Vance, Chris Teague, Wurster and Merritt was 15th (1:35.4).

The Chiefs saw Bob Vermillion take 14th in the 300 hurdles (44.7).

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