By Josh Brown
PIQUA — Troy girls track and field coach Kurt Snyder has witnessed plenty of impressive showings over the years, many by his own athletes.
Even he was in awe of Ashley Barr, though.
“I’ve seen some pretty good individual performances here, but I don’t think I’ve seen any better than that,” he said.
The Troy senior won all three of her individual events at the Miami County Championships track and field meet Tuesday at Piqua High School, helping the Trojan girls dominate their way to the team title with 216.33 points — with nearly a 90-point margin of victory.
Barr went head to head with Covington’s state-caliber sprinters, Breanna Kimmel and Rayna Horner, all night long. She began by defeating Kimmel in the 100, 12.99 seconds to 13.24 seconds. She then followed that by running a personal best 58.62 seconds in the 400, defeating Horner, who finished in 59.27 seconds.
She capped it all off by defeating both of them in the 200, running another personal best in 26.44 seconds to Horner’s 26.8 seconds and Kimmel’s 26.84 seconds.
“It definitely makes me feel a lot better, makes me more confident in myself,” said Barr when asked how it felt to perform that well against state-level competition. “It’s a good experience, and it means I know what to expect when I get there.
“Definitely (my goal is to get to state). I just have to keep lifting and following Snyder’s workouts, and also keep trying to PR at every meet.”
The win in the 400 felt particularly good for Barr — Horner had defeated her in the race at the Tippecanoe Invitational in the second week of the season.
“Definitely lifting,” Barr said when asked the difference between the two races. “Coach (Aaron) Gibbons has been pushing me a lot to get stronger. And I always run better in warmer weather anyway. I finally broke 59 in the 400, which was a big goal for me.”
Horner had the advantage during the first half of the 400, pulling ahead mid-race. But Barr had plenty left down the final stretch, making up that ground and more to pull away.
“Yeah, she definitely goes out pretty strong,” Barr said. “But I’m glad I had her to race with because she pushed me. That’s where the lifting comes in. My legs are the strongest they’ve ever been. That has a lot to do with it.”
“Covington has some stud sprinters, so for her to get first in all three of those races is pretty impressive,” Snyder said. “And she PRed in two of them. All-time PRs, and she also broke 13 going into a strong headwind in the 100. You feel good about a kid that puts the kind of work in that she does and gets to see the results. That’s what coaching is all about.
“The competition here is great. I don’t know if I’ve seen this many outstanding individual athletes in a long time. I expect to see a lot of these kids competing at the state meet in June.”
Horner and Kimmel got a victory at the end of the night, winning the 4×400 relay with Morgan Lowe and Paige Boehringer in 4:08.85, with Troy’s Barr, Emma Bryant, Morgan Gigandet and Katie Lord finishing third in 4:13.61. Miami East’s Rachel Ondera, Lindsey Yingst, Marie Ewing and Gabrielle Hawkins were second in that race in 4:12.2.
And though Barr helped Troy dominate in the sprints, it was only part of the Trojans’ victory.
Troy began the night with Bryant, Gigandet, Emma Shigley and Olivia Tyre winning the 4×800 (10:01.08). The 4×200 team of Celina Courts Camryn Moeller, Kayla Hemm and Caitlyn Cusick won (1:50.98), and the 4×100 team of Kiyha Adkins, Annah Stanley, Hemm and Courts won (51.74 seconds). Gigandet added a win in the 1,600 (5:15.16), Cusick won the 300 hurdles (48.95 seconds), Bryant was second in the 800 (2:31.24) and Shigley was second in the 3,200 (11:42.96).
And in the field events, Christine Moser was first in the pole vault (11-0) and Lilli Cusick was tied for third (8-0, Annah Stanley was second in the long jump (16-2) and Moeller was third (15-11.5), Lenea Browder was second in the shot put (36-11.5) and discus (107-7) and Dasia Cole was second in the high jump (5-2).
Covington finished second on the night, edging Miami East with 127 points to the Vikings’ 115.33. Natalie Snyder won the 100 hurdles (17.07 seconds). Lauren Christian won the shot put (37-9) and was third in the discus (106-3). The 4×200 team of Kimmel, Lowe, Victoria Lyle and Maci White was second (1:53.8). The 4×800 team of Boehringer, Kelsey Dysinger, Danielle Alexander and Ashlyn Plessinger was third (10:34.08). The 4×100 team of White, Lyle, Lowe and Snyder was third (53.98 seconds). Anna Dunn was third in the 3,200 (11:45.84). Dysinger was tied for third in the pole vault (8-0).
For Miami East, Ewing won the 800 (2:23.86) and Yingst was third (2:32.85). Jillian Wesco won the long jump (16-3.5). The 4×800 team of Yingst, Lorenza Savini, Kaitlyn Mack and Ewing was second (10:15.25). Hawkins was third in the 100 (13.37 seconds) and 400 (59.67 seconds). The 4×100 team Wesco, Ashlyn Monnin, Bailey Miller and Delaney Bourelle was second (53.83 seconds), and the same team was third in the 4×200 (1:57.14). Mack was second in the 300 hurdles (49.73 seconds). Morgan Rose was second in the pole vault (8-6). Liza Bair was third in the high jump (5-2).
Piqua was fourth with 48 points. Ashley Ho won the high jump, setting a new school record by clearing 5-5.25. Lauryn Gray was third in the 100 hurdles (17.46 seconds) and 300 hurdles (51.15 seconds).
Milton-Union was fifth with 44.5 points. Beyonce Bobbitt won the discus (134-6) and was third in the shot put (36-4.5).
Tippecanoe was sixth with 43 points. Lydia Stueve was second in the 100 hurdles (17.38 seconds). Katie Taylor was third in the 1,600 (5:20.48).
Bradford was seventh with 28 points. Karmen Knepp won the 3,200 (11:36.29) and was second in the 1,600 (5:19.86) — both of which were new Bradford school records.
Troy Christian was ninth with 15 points, led by Lora Current, who was tied for third in the pole vault (8-0).
Newton was eighth with 17.33 points and Bethel was 10th with 7.5 points, but neither had any top-three finishers.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.