By Josh Brown
PIQUA — After winning her first shot put regional title on Thursday, Milton-Union’s Beyonce Bobbitt had another one in the discus taken away on the final throw.
Still, Bobbitt, as well as Tippecanoe’s Katie Taylor and Lydia Stueve, will be making return trips to this year’s state meet, while the Versailles boys and girls teams both will be sending a horde of athletes to Columbus after the finals of the Division II regional track and field meet Saturday at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium.
Beyonce Bobbitt, fresh off of the first regional title in the shot put in her career, entered Saturday’s discus as the defending regional champion. In the end, though, she took second with a throw of 135-5, making it a perfect 4 for 4 in her career by qualifying for state in the event every season.
Bobbitt, a senior, sat in third place going into finals Saturday but took the lead on her first throw in the finals. On the final throw, though, Kenton’s Lauren Johnson threw 135-7 to edge her for first place.
Bobbitt turned out to be the Bulldogs’ lone state qualifier on the day.
Morgan Grudich capped off a stellar freshman season with a fifth-place finish in the long jump (16-4.5). She landed that jump — a personal best — on her next-to-last jump in competition, but, needing another quarter-inch to draw even with the fourth and final qualifying spot, she fouled on her last jump.
In the pole vault, Emily Hornberger was one of six competitors to clear 10-10, with three of them tied for the fourth and final qualifying spot at that height. In the end, though, Hornberger took sixth place on misses.
For the Bulldog boys, Sam Motz placed fifth in the shot put (51-0.75), needing another eight inches to qualify for state. Robbie Grove also finished sixth in the 200 (23.05 seconds) and Shannon Milnickel placed eighth in the 1,600 (4:35.44).
For the second straight season, Tippecanoe’s Katie Taylor finished as the regional runner-up in the 3,200, placing second in 11:29.28 and qualifying for the state meet as an individual. The junior also was part of the 4×800 relay team that qualified on Thursday.
Senior Lydia Stueve will also be making a second straight trip to the state meet, finishing fourth in the 100 hurdles (15.94 seconds).
Kaili Titley finished eighth in the 800 (2:23.14), while Makenzie Dietz finished 15th (2:36.89). And in the 1,600, freshman Mackenzie Dix finished 10th (5:36.92). Titley, Dietz and Dix ran with Taylor in Thursday’s 4×800 race.
For the Red Devil boys, Bryce Conleyfinished eighth in the 3,200 (9:51.71).
Versailles’ Joe Spitzer set a new meet record in the 3,200, finishing in 9:21.15 — beating the old mark of 9:21.16 by the narrowest of margins, set by Miami East’s Brad McLean in 1988.
That was just the icing on the cake for Spitzer, though, who also added a regional title in the 1,600 (4:19.64) earlier in the day. Teammate Brooks Blakely finished fifth in the 1,600 (4:31.32).
Josh Steinbrunner, meanwhile, qualified for the state meet in three events, finishing third in both the 110 hurdles (14.64 seconds) and 300 hurdles (39.54 seconds) and taking fourth in the high jump (6-4).
A.J. Ahrens also took second place in the shot put (52-1.5) behind Northwestern’s Adam Riedinger, who won with a throw of 58-1.25 on his second throw before he was rushed out of the stadium due to a medical emergency after that second throw.
All told, Versailles’ boys were the regional runners-up in the team standings with 64 points behind champion Dunbar’s 81.
Meanwhile, Versailles’ girls also had a strong showing, finishing third in the team standings with 43 points, one behind runner-up Van Wert’s 44 and 11 behind champion Bellefontaine’s 54.
The Tigers had a pair of individual runner-up finishes, as Lucy Prakel finished second in the pole vault (11-6) and Kenia McEldowney finished second in the 800 (2:18.88).
The 4×200 relay team of Liz Watren, Ava Moran, Ellen and Cassie Peters was also second (1:43.44), as was the 4×400 team of Watren, Lindsey Winner, McEldowney, Ellen Peters (4:00.07). And the 4×100 team of Prakel, Ellen Peters, Ali and Ava Moran finished third (49.74 seconds) as the Tigers qualified three of their four relay teams to the state meet — the 4×800 team finished 11th on Thursday.
Dana Rose also finished fifth in the 100 hurdles (15.95 seconds) and Ellen Peters finished eighth in the 300 hurdles (52.09 seconds).
* Miami East
The Miami East Vikings found the going rough their first year in Division II, as they did not send any addition qualifiers to the state meet after Saturday’s regional finals.
For the girls, Rachel Ondera came closest, finishing fifth in the discus (120-1).
For the boys, the 4×200 relay team of Colton Weldy, Dalton Taynor, Daniel Baker and Blaine Brokschmidt finished seventh (1:33.03), and the same quartet finished seventh in the 4×100 (44.33 seconds). The 4×400 team of Weldy, Baker, Taton Bertsch and Taynor finished eighth (3:33.74).
In the 1,600, Gavin Horn finished seventh (4:35.34). In the 800, Eric Austerman finished 10th (2:01.19).
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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