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Division III Regional Track: Area boys roll at Tiffin

HARDIN NORTHERN’S Nick Bame is a step ahead of St. Wendelin’s Nick DeHaven on his way to winning the boys 1,600-meter run at Friday’s Division III Tiffin Regional. (Photo by Matthias Leguire)

By MICHAEL BURWELL
Staff Writer
TIFFIN — School records, personal records, multiple-event winners, first-time state qualifiers in school history.
The Division III regional track and field meet at Tiffin’s Frost-Kalnow Stadium had it all from area boys athletes on Friday.
Hardin Northern’s Nick Bame, Cory-Rawson’s Mason Warnimont and Bluffton’s Trevor Bassitt each won two events, Columbus Grove’s Rece Roney broke a school record in the shot put and Patrick Henry’s Donny Johnson qualified for state in three events to highlight the day.
Kalida, in its second year of track and field, had its 400 relay qualify and sophomore Josh Verhoff also advanced in the 200. Verhoff, along with Caleb Siebeneck, Austin Nartker and Trevor Vorst, became the first boys athletes from the school to qualify for the state meet.
The top four finishers in each event qualified for next week’s OHSAA state track and field meet at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus.
Eastwood cruised to the team title with 84 points. Bluffton was the top area team with a third-place finish (38), while Patrick Henry (28) was fifth.
Riverdale (21) was ninth, while Hardin Northern and Cory-Rawson both tied for 12th with 20 points apiece on Bame’s and Warnimont’s two wins.
In a day filled with highlight-reel races and impressive finishes, Bame put together solid times in two grueling races. He won the 1,600 in 4:22.68 and defended his 800 regional title with a personal-record 1:54.59.
“This is my fourth year doing it, running the 1,600 and 800. But still, every time I go out there, I’m like ‘oh man, I got to run the 800,'” Bame said. “But I know in the back of my head that I’m still going to be able to do it whether my mind’s telling me I’m not.”
Bame led from start to finish in the 1,600 and made a strong move with 300 meters left in the 800 to get in first and pick up the win.
“That last 300 felt good, got into that sprint and just gave it everything I got,” Bame said.
Warnimont, the defending state champ in the 200, won his third-straight regional title in the event with a 22.04. He also won his second regional title in the 100 with a 10.93.
“It’s hard to keep those titles every year because people are always gunning for you, but hard work pays off,” Warnimont said.
Bassitt, meanwhile, is also a state champion. But the Bluffton senior never won a regional title until Friday.
His 14.71 in the 110 hurdles was good for first and his 38.84 in the 300 hurdles, just off his personal-record 38.66 at last week’s Findlay district meet, gave him his second regional title.
“The goal was definitely two regional titles coming into it, and I thought I had a chance to get the 300 record (38.44 by Montpelier’s Dylan Snyder last year) after my district time,” Bassitt said. “I didn’t get it, so I was a little upset with that and my 110 time wasn’t where I wanted it to go. I wanted it to be more 14.4. But I’m still beyond thankful and grateful to be able to show up, run against great competition and get two regional titles in the hurdles.”
Bassitt, who has cruised to titles in the hurdles throughout the season, was pushed in the 300 hurdles by Wayne Trace’s Seth Saylor (finished second in 38.97).
“Having him there to push me was great and now I know next week for state prelims, I’m going to have to go all out then too,” Bassitt said.
Roney, who qualified for state for the third-straight year in the discus on Wednesday, won the shot put with a school-record 58-01/2. He broke Cory Meuleman’s throw of 57-91/2 that he set in 2007.
“It felt pretty good coming out, but I didn’t really know how far it was until I saw it and they read it out,” Roney said.
Winning the shot put title in a loaded field that included Liberty Center’s Ryan Demaline (second, 57-11) and four other athletes that threw more than 53 feet has given Roney plenty of confidence heading into the state meet.
“It shows I know I can do it,” Roney said. “I had some doubts I couldn’t do it, but I also knew I could. Getting that mark helps me a little bit mentally, so I’ll push forward for the state meet and hopefully I can do that, if not, better.”
Johnson finished second in the 200 (22.45) and anchored the Patriots’ second-place 400 relay and fourth-place 1,600 relay squads. Mitchell Bonner, Sean Norden, Alex VanDeBussche and Johnson finished the 400 relay in 43.83, while Norden, Bonner, Xavier Wensink and Johnson finished the 1,600 relay in 3:26.64.
“It’s a blessing,” Johnson said. “I started the day upset because I ran poorly in the 100 (finished sixth in 11.15), but we came back strong in the 4 by 1 “¦ The 4 by 4 surprised us. We didn’t even know going into the season that we could be this good and we’ll hopefully keep improving and keep getting better.”
After being disqualified in the 800 relay, Kalida’s 400 relay team bounced back with a third-place finish in 44.29. Verhoff was fourth in the 200 (22.56) as well.
Kalida splits practice time between the school’s parking lot and Columbus Grove High School.
Those practices at Columbus Grove paid off in a big way.
“We spend a lot of time on our handoffs when we’re at Grove and we just like to put a lot of work into it and it being our second year, I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” Nartker said.
Riverdale’s Kyle Evans, who has experienced state in the 3,200 relay and heartbreak with fifth-place regional finishes individually, broke through by winning the 400 in 49.70.
He was fifth in the event the last two years.
“I’m just glad I finally get to go, the last two years placing fifth in the region really hit me hard,” Evans said.
Carey’s Trevor Cook and Gavin Woods, who were part of the Blue Devils’ state-placing 3,200 relay team last year, advanced with a pair of fourth-place finishes in their respective events. Cook returned to state in the 3,200 with a 9:47.81, while Woods finished the 400 in 50.77.
Bluffton’s Kaleb Jefferson set a personal record in the high jump by three inches to finish fourth with a 6-1. He cleared the height on his first attempt, while McComb’s Ryan Montague cleared 6-1 on his second attempt and finished fifth.
“At the beginning of the year, this was kind of just a thing to do, just trying to get some points for the team and all,” Jefferson said. “Had no expectations to be going to state this year and had to PR by three inches. It’s a great feeling. I hardly got in there, but I’m happy I got in there.”
St. Wendelin’s Nick DeHaven placed third in the 1,600 (4:27.55) to advance to the state meet for the first time.
Colonel Crawford’s Chad Johnson, who had the top Division III time in the state from the Bucyrus district in the 1,600 (4:12.09), scratched the event to focus on the 3,200, which he won in a meet-record 9:15.30.
BoYS Team Standings
1, Eastwood 84. 2, Montpelier 41. 3, Bluffton 38. 4, Liberty Center 29. 5, Patrick Henry 28. 6, Wayne Trace 24. 7, Archbold 23½. 8, Waynesfield-Goshen 22. 9, Riverdale, Ayersville & Colonel Crawford 21. 12, Hardin Northern & Cory-Rawson 20. 14, Western Reserve & Woodmore 19. 16, Sandusky St. Mary’s & Ashland Crestview 16. 18, Delta & Columbus Grove 15. 20, Seneca East 14. 21, Fairview 13. 22, Kalida 11. 23, Carey 10. 24, Willard, Edgerton, Wynford & Edon 8. 28, Hicksville, Allen East & St. Wendelin 7. 31, New London & Bucyrus 6½. 33, Tiffin Calvert & Danbury 6. 35, Evergreen & Van Buren 5. 37, Fremont St. Joseph & McComb 4. 39, Upper Scioto Valley 3½. 40, Toledo Christian, Hopewell-Loudon & Lucas 3. 40, Plymouth 3. 44, Mohawk 2. 45, Elmwood, Northwood, Ada 1& Old Fort 1.

STATE QUALIFIERS & Area BOYS Finishes
SHOT — 1, Roney (CG) 58-01/2. 2, Demaline (LC) 57-11. 3, Lucas (Dan) 56-3. 4, Andrews (East) 55-11. HJ — 1, Phillips (Del) 6-5. 2, Evans (Edge) 6-2. 3, Blake (Mont) 6-1. 4, Jefferson (Blu) 6-1. 5, Montague (McC) 6-1. 110 HH — 1, Bassitt (Blu) 14.71. 2, Cassaubon (East) 15.17. 3, Saylor (WT) 15.19. 4, Kuhn (WT) 15.31. 8, Saltzman (VB) 16.17. 100 — 1, Warnimont (C-R) 10.93. 2, Miller (Ayer) 11.02. 3, Bloir (Edon) 11.04. 4, Van Wert (Ever) 11.06. 6, Johnson (PH) 11.15. 800 relay — 1, Eastwood (Comes, Reiter, Brenot, Emahiser) 1:29.93. 2, Montpelier (Stein, Uribes, Friend, Miller) 1:30.99. 3, Fairview (Vance, Kolb, Culler, Sliter) 1:31.93. 4, Woodmore (Atkins, Rogers, Giesler, Schiavone) 1:32.19. 1,600 — 1, Bame (HN) 4:22.68. 2, Oswalt (WR) 4:26.88. 3, DeHaven (SW) 4:27.55. 4, Wright (Del) 4:27.69. 5, Bostelman (PH) 4:28.95. 7, Andreas (Blu) 4:33.29. 8, Smith (OF) 4:37.70. 400 relay — 1, Eastwood (Brenot, Emahiser, Reiter, Zura) 43.47. 2, Patrick Henry (Bonner, Norden, VanDeBussche, Johnson) 43.83. 3, Kalida (Siebeneck, Nartker, Vorst, Verhoff) 44.29. 4, Tiffin Calvert (Keller, Conn, Fabrizio, Jones) 44.35. 6, Hopewell-Loudon (Hedrick, Winter, Bickelhaupt, Stickley) 44.63. 400 — 1, Evans (Riv) 49.70. 2, T. Eller (W-G) 49.90. 3, Fisher (Arch) 50.50. 4, Woods (Car) 50.77. 300 ih — 1, Bassitt (Blu) 38.84. 2, Saylor (WT) 38.97. 3, Shifflet (AC) 39.64. 4, Kuhn (WT) 40.11. 800 — 1, Bame (HN) 1:54.59. 2, Blake (Mont) 1:56.39. 3, Near (SSM) 1:59.52. 4, Meller (LC) 1:59.72. 5, Harnish (Blu) 1:59.79. 7, Dunlap (Moh) 2:01.38. 8, Murphy (Elm) 2:02.13. 200 — 1, Warnimont (C-R) 22.04. 2, Johnson (PH) 22.45. 3, Miller (Ayer) 22.51. 4, Verhoff (Kal) 22.56. 3,200 — 1, Johnson (CC) 9:15.30 (meet record). 2, Bauer (CC) 9:47.13. 3, Myers (Hicks) 9:47.46. 4, Cook (Car) 9:47.81. 8, DeHaven (SW) 10:14.4. 1,600 relay — 1, Montpelier (Miller, Blake, Uribes, Stein) 3:24.90. 2, Archbold (Girdham, Blankenship, Petersen, Fisher) 3:25.84. 3, Eastwood (Baugher, Montag, Reiter, Emahiser) 3:25.88. 4, Patrick Henry (Norden, Bonner, Wensink, Johnson) 3:26.64. 7, Bluffton (Garmatter, Bishoff, Harnish, Bassitt) 3:31.91.