By Rob Kiser
and Josh Brown
COVINGTON — The hairstyle may have changed, but the results are the same.
Covington senior hurdler Cade Harshbarger made his final home meet one to remember, setting meet records in both the 110 high and 300 intermediate hurdles in leading Covington’s boys track and field team to victory at the Covington Invitational.
Covington won the meet with 99 points, while Miami East was second with 87.75. Milton-Union was fifth (70), Newton was seventh (45), Bradford was 10th (25) and Troy Christian was 14th (10).
Harshbarger — who had much longer hair in the past — can only stay anonymous until the race starts.
“A lot of people tell me they don’t recognize me,” Harshbarger said with a laugh. “I had one kid come up to me and ask me what happened to the kid from Covington with long hair that was so good in the hurdles — and I told him, that is me. “
Harshbarger started the meet with a winning time of 14.96 in winning the 110s, before winning the 300s in 39.43.
“It was great (to break meet records in his final home meet),” Harshbarger said. “It felt like a 15.20 (in the 110 high hurdles). My PR was 15.15, so that was pretty amazing.”
Harshbarger also teamed with Gray Harshbarger, Tyler Freeman and Nathan Lyle to win the 4×400 relay in 3:32.04.
The pole vault competition was expected to be a regional preview and was exactly that. Covington’s Jett Murphy and Ansonia’s Brock Shellhaas both cleared 14-6, with Murphy winning on misses.
Miami East’s Blaine Brockschmidt finished third, clearing 14-0.
Also winning for Covington’s boys was the 4×200 relay of Alex Shaffer, Gray Harshbarger, Lyle, Andrew Cates (1:33.04).
Winning for Miami East’s boys were : Brokschmidt in the long jump (20-4.5) and the 4×100 relay team of Justin Brown, Colton Weldy, Dalton Taynor and Daniel Baker (44.31 seconds).
Winning for Newton’s boys were: Cameron Stine in the high jump (6-2) and Dawson Hildebrand in the shot put (52-0.5).
And on the girls side, Covington sprinter Breanna Kimmel didn’t look at it as her home finale — but her performance helped Covington cruise to victory at the Covington Invitational.
Covington’s girls won with 122 points, while Miami East was second with 74. Milton-Union was tied for fourth (66), Bradford was 11th (23), Troy Christian 12th (22) and Newton 14th (13).
Kimmel blew away the field in the 100 in 12.71 seconds, held off teammate Rayna Horner in the 200 in 26.11 seconds to Horner’s 26.20 seconds for second, anchored the 4×100 relay with Maci White, Tori Lyle and Morgan Lowe to victory in 51.80 seconds and led off the victorious 4×400 relay with Lyle, Ashlyn Plessinger and Lowe in 4:17.77.
“I really didn’t think of it as being my last home meet,” Kimmel said. “We have some big meets coming up and I was really happy with the way I ran.”
She was particularly happy to have Horner running along side her in the 200.
“I had a PR in the 200, that was good,” Kimmel said. “It is really good to have Rayna (Horner) pushing me like that. I am glad to have her running the 200.”
Also winning for Covington were: Horner in the 400 (58.79 seconds), Lauren Christian in the shot put (41-1); and the 4×200 relay of White, Lyle, Lowe, Horner (1:50.83).
Liza Bair was Miami East’s lone winner in the high jump, clearing 5-0.
Beyonce Bobbitt won the discus for Milton-Union’s girls (132-7).
KETTERING — Even without a number of its heaviest hitters, Troy’s girls track and field team still nearly won Fairmont’s two-day Firebird Invitational, finishing third with 82.25 points behind champion Kings (89.25) and runner-up Beavercreek (84.75).
Tippecanoe’s girls were 10th with 25 points.
On the boys side, Troy was 11th with 22 points and Tippecanoe was 13th with 11 points.
Meanwhile in Mason, Troy’s Lenea Browder won the discus (130-5) and shot put (48-6.5) at the Rod Russell Invitational.
WEST LIBERTY-SALEM — The Bethel boys finished seventh with 20 points and girls ninth with 22 points at the West Liberty Invitational Friday night.
Korry Hamlin had the best finish for the boys, taking second in the 800 (2:08.04). And for the girls, Hannah Marzolf was fifth in the discus (86-0) and the 4×800 team of Kaitlyn Balkcom, Mackenzie Nida, Maddie Spaeth and Rachel Sebastian was fifth (11:35.04) to lead the way.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.