By Garth Shanklin – News Democrat
GEORGETOWN — Wet weather didn’t stop the Vern Hawkins track and field Invitational, held last Friday at Georgetown high school.
A half-dozen schools from the Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference and the Southern Hills Athletic Conference made the trip for the meet, which would see the Batavia Bulldogs win the men’s title by 16.5 points over Eastern. Bethel-Tate posted 144 points to win the girls’ title by 11 over the host Lady G-Men.
The Lady Tigers won the first girls’ event, the 4×800 meter relay. They posted a mark of 11:40.69 to defeat Batavia and Georgetown.
In the 100 meter hurdles, Eastern’s Abby Fultz and Cassidy Staggs finished one-two. Georgetown’s Kennedy Underwood finished third. Eastern’s Jensen Sowers placed second in the 100 meter dash, just ahead of Bethel-Tate’s Reagan Leonard and Georgetown’s Lexi Drake.
Fayetteville’s Savannah Lynch and Kimberly Reed placed seventh and eighth, respectively.
A Georgetown quartet of Stephanie Ayes, Rachel Gibbons, Danielle Williams and Underwood won the 4×200 meter relay event, nine seconds ahead of the Batavia squad.
In the 1600 meter run, Fayetteville freshman Cecilia Murphy picked up the victory, posting a time of 5:56.22 to beat Georgetown’s Kelsey Miller by nine seconds. Rebekah Ellis placed fourth for the Lady Warriors.
In the 4×100 meter relay event, the Lady G-Men placed second overall, 2.1 seconds behind Bethel-Tate. Stephanie Ayers won the 400 meter dash, finishing 1.5 seconds ahead of Eastern’s Jensen Sowers.
The 300 meter hurdle event was won by Staggs, who edged Underwood by fewer than three seconds. Fultz placed third for the Lady Warriors.
Kansie Garrity placed third in the girls’ 800 meter run, posting a time of 3:00.62. Teammate Rachel Gibbons placed fifth in the girls’ 200 meter dash, just behind Fayetteville’s Riley Claytor. Fellow Lady Rocket Erin Robinson placed sixth, while Georgetown’s Desiree Carter finished seventh.
Kelsey Miller won the 3200 meter run and the Lady G-Men also raced to victory in the 4×400 meter relay. Ayers won the high-jump for the Lady G-Men.
In the long jump, Abby Fultz placed second. Riley Claytor placed fourth for Fayetteville, out-jumping Georgetown’s Bayley Johnson by seven feet. Eastern’s Mikayla Farris won the discus by nearly 30 feet, posting a mark of 92 feet, 10.5 inches. The next-closest competitor was Felicity’s Sara Hoog at 65 feet, 11 inches.
On the boys’ side, the host G-Men won both the 4×800 meter relay and the 110 meter hurdles. Finn Tomlin placed fourth for Georgetown in the 100 meter dash, just ahead of Eastern’s Alex Minton.
Eastern’s Blake Rigdon placed second to Bethel-Tate’s Jackson Coates in the 1600 meter run. Rigdon’s time of 4:57.89 was less than a second behind Coates. Fayetteville’s Chase Jester was fourth, with a mark of 5:02.73.
The G-Men also won the 4×100 meter relay, with Tanner Householder, Chris Dietrick, Solomon Underwood and Logan Doss posting a time of 47.45 seconds. Eastern was third.
Mickey Hundley won the 300 meter hurdle event, finishing in 45.56 seconds. Rigdon won the 800 meter run, finishing with a mark of 2:05.48. Teammate Marcus Day was third, less than four-tenths of a second ahead of Georgetown’s Tanner Ellis.
In the field events, the G-Men had a field day. The squad saw Chris Dietrick win the pole vault by over two feet. Logan Doss and Evan Cotter finished one-two in the high jump, and Doss won the long jump as well. Clayton Wilson placed second in the latter event, while Eastern’s Mickey Hundley was third.
Kade Houston won both the discus throw and the shot put for the Warriors.
All three local teams have a bit of a break before their next meet. Eastern returns to action at the Mason High School Invitational on May 6. Georgetown visits Clermont Northeastern on May 4, as will Fayetteville. The Rockets also have a meet at East Clinton scheduled for Monday, May 2.