By David Fong
CASSTOWN — In the middle of the Miami County Championships track and field meet, Kurt Snyder joked about the idea of a “PR chain.”
The Troy girls track and field coach figured he could pass the chain out to one of his athletes every time she got a personal record at a meet.
If Snyder goes through with his plan — and the Trojans keep having performances like they did Tuesday at Miami East High School, which hosted this year’s county meet — he may want to put jewelers in the area on high alert.
The Trojans turned in a number of outstanding performances at the Miami County Championships, running away from the rest of the field with 228 points. Piqua was second with 84 points and Tippecanoe was third with 79 points.
“We saw a lot of PRs today,” Snyder said. “The weather was warm — this is the nicest day we’ve had all year for a meet — which I know the sprinters and throwers love. Kierstan Franklin is getting better every single day. I thought she ran really well. Lenea Browder finally busted one out in the shot put and was looking more like she did last year in that event. Sophie Fong made a huge improvement in the pole vault, which was impressive, considering she was already at 10-6. She went up 10 inches — it’s not normal to make a jump that big in that event.”
Troy also was able to rely on its incredible depth at the county championships. Troy racked up the points as it frequently placed all three of its competitors in the top eight, many times placing two competitors in the top three. The Trojans actually swept the top three spots in the pole vault, with Fong clearing 11-4, Lillie Cusick was second (10-0) and Maddy Dixon was third (8-6).
The Trojans also placed two in the top three in the 1,600, as Olivia Tyre took second (5:24.77) and Emma Kennett was third (5:33.80). Browder won the shot put (45-6.5), while Hailee Gaines was third (32-9.5).
Troy had a number of individual champions. Tyre won the 800 (2:29.34), Jessica Goodwin won the 100 hurdles (16.70 seconds), Anna Boezi won the 300 hurdles (50.21 seconds), Hannah Falknor won the 200 (27.14 seconds) and Dinah Gigandet won the 3,200 (12:04.44).
Franklin was second in the 100 (13.14 seconds), Katie Castaneda was second in the 3,200 (12:25.29) and Annah Stanley was second in the long jump (15-11). Hallie Westmeyer was third in the high jump (4-10) and Falknor was third in the 400 (1:01.87).
The Trojans also swept the four relay events. The 4×100 team of Stanley, Goodwin, Evelyn Plunkett and Franklin won in 52.18 seconds. The 4×200 team of Stanley, Franklin, Katie Lord and Plunkett won in 1:48.02. The 4×400 team of Falknor, Lord, Gollamudi and Franklin won in 4:18.34. The 4×800 team of Gigandet, Castaneda, Ciena Miller and Hannah Markeson won in 10:55.42.
“Because of our depth, we can score really well in meets where you can enter three kids in each event,” Snyder said. “We’ve got so much depth at every event. It’s good to have meets like this, where we can get so many of our kids in. I was telling our coaches that it’s going to be extra difficult for the (Greater Western Ohio Conference) and district meets when we have to narrow things down and only put two kids in each event.
“The next couple of weeks we are going to have a lot of kids trying to earn their spots. With our relays, we’ve been able to run different line-ups almost every week, so we are getting some pretty good looks at what different kids can do.”
Keep an eye on Piqua freshman phenom Camilla Nicholas.
Nicholas turned in one of the top individual performances at the Miami County Invitational, winning both the 100 (13.12 seconds) and 400 (1:00.49), while placing second in the 200 (27.23 seconds).
She helped lead the Indians to a second-place finish in the team standings, as the Indians finished with 84 points.
The Indians also finished second in the 4×400 relay (4:25.03) and third in the 4×100 relay (55.53 seconds).
Tippecanoe finished third in the team standings with 79 points.
Leading the way for the Red Devils was Katie Taylor, who won the 1,600 in 5:20.52. Jaila Fletcher took second in the 300 hurdles, Jillian Brown was third in the 3,200 (4:25.03) and Ashlyn Tarzinski was third in the discus (99-1).
• Miami East
Gabrielle Hawkins placed in the top three in a trio of events to lead the Vikings to a fourth-place finish (78 points).
Hawkins was second in the 400 (1:00.52) and third in the 100 (13.37 seconds) and 200 (27.80 seconds). Rachel Ondera was second in the discus (109-6). East’s 4×100 relay team was second (55.27 seconds), while its 4×800 relay team was third (11:24.22).
Thrower Lauren Christian had a pair of top-two finishes for the Buccaneers, who finished fifth with 74.5 points.
Christian won the discus (110-4) and was second in the shot put (40-1). Lillian Hamilton was second in the high jump (5-0), while Paige Boehringer was third in the 800 (2:31.09) and Morgan Kimmel was third in the 100 hurdles (17.88 seconds). The Buccaneers also were second in the 4×200 relay (1:54.49) and third in the 4×400 (4:27.28).
Morgan Grudich won one event and took second in another for the Bulldogs, who placed sixth with 67 team points.
Grudich won the long jump (17-1) and was second in the 100 hurdles (16.97 seconds). Ally Lyons won the high jump (5-0). Kirsten Dickison placed second in the 800 (2:31.08). The Bulldogs also were second in the 4×800 (11:08.19) and third in the 4×200 (1:56.60).
• Troy Christian
The Eagles’ Lizzy Deal placed third in the long jump (15-8.5).
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong