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West Liberty-Salem boys stand tall in Columbus

COLUMBUS — Kelvin Shank refused to let his teammates finish less than where they deserved here Saturday at the Division III state track and field meet.


West Liberty-Salem’s Ross Hickenbottom, left, competes in the first leg of the boys 1,600- meter relay final Saturday at the Division III state meet in Columbus. The Tigers finished sixth with a time of 3:24.22. (EXAMINER PHOTO | AARON LaBATT)

The West Liberty-Salem junior helped rally the Tigers’ 1,600 relay to a sixth-place finish inside Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with a new personal-best time of 3:24.22.

That left senior Ross Hickenbottom and juniors Shank, Conner Karg and Taylor Cordell with a spot on the podium and feeling of pride knowing they added to the tradition and pride that WL-Salem track carries.

“I saw that group of four run their best race,” said WL-Salem boys head coach Bart Zirkle. “It’s been a long time since a 3:24.22 only got you sixth at state. That is usually a time that puts you in the top three or better. I thought the guys did wonderful. They ran their best at state and that is where you want to be running your best.”

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