By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
TROY — Oh, what a night for the Newton boys track and field program and sophomore Cameron Stine at the D-III regional track and field meet at Troy Memorial Stadium.
The Indians racked up 62 points and earned their first regional hardware in the sport finishing second to Fort Loramie, who had 64. Fort Recovery was third with 60.
“I can’t say enough about these kids,” Newton coach Nick Rhoades said. “They have busted their butts for me all year and it came to fruition tonight. Hopefully, we can come back with the same kind of performance at state next week and continue to make the Pleasant Hill community proud.”
Only a third-place finish by Fort Loramie in the 1,600 relay kept Newton from winning a team title.
Newton led 62-58 heading into that race.
“We have never even won a league or district (hardware),” Rhoades said. “We just needed Loramie to finish a little further back. But, they finished strong. Props to them.”
As for Stine, it was a night he could have never imagined as he won the high jump, 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles.
“I didn’t even think I would be at regionals this year,” Stine said about overcoming a back injury. “For the team to take second place, that is amazing. I did everything I could.”
He started the night by winning the high jump, clearing 6-6 on his first attempt after clearing 6-4 on his first attempt to lock up the win.
Jayden Bassler of Twin Valley South also cleared 6-6, but Stine won on misses. He was just one inch short of Larry Shade’s school record.
“I hadn’t high jumped all year (until district),” Stine said. “I had only cleared 6-4 once, which was last year. Then the bar went to 6-8 and that was that.”
In the 110 hurdles, Triad’s Dominick McFarland had lead the entire race until stumbling over a hurdle late. Stine won in 15.68.
“I came out of the blocks really slow and I hit a hurdle harder than I ever have,” Stine said. “I still can’t believe I won that race.”
In the 300 hurdles, it was a race to the wire.
Stine won in 39.93, while Cedarville’s Trey Gruet was second in 40.04.
“That was the closest race I have had all year,” Stine said. “I saw two guys out of the corner of my eyes at the end and that pushed me.”
Dawson Hildebrand, who had qualified in the discus Wednesday, won the shot put with distance of 54-6 1-4.
“I am happy to win, but I am not happy with the way I thew,” Hildebrand said. “It is all mental. It just comes down to next week at state.”
Also advancing was the Newton 400 relay of Josh Ecklebarger, Jack Ballard, Brady McClish and Ethan Cook.
They finished second in 44.04.
“I am going to state for the first time,” Cook so I am ecstatic. “The way our team performed, it just so how great our communication is and how well we work together.”
Ecklebarger said much the same.
“I have never been to state,” Ecklebarger said. “I am just excited to be running at state.”
“No way did I ever think this season would end with me running at state,” McClish said.
Covington’s Andrew Cates advanced to state in the 400 and teamed with Alex Shaffer, Gray Harshbarger and Cade Schmelzer to advance in two relays.
The 1,600 relay was second in 3:25.64; the 800 relay was third in 1:31.37 and third in the 400 in 50.37.
“We can always take time off in the relays,” Cates said. “We have been doing it all year. I can still take time off in the 400. The goal all year has been to finish the season on the podium.”
Lehman Catholic had two individuals and a relay advance to state, while Troy Christian’s Elizabeth Deal will finish her career at the state meet.
Deal finished third in the high jump with a distance of 16-2 1-2.
“I was third going to the finals and finished third,” Deal said. “It was a little nerve wracking, because there were a couple girls getting close to me. I don’t know what state will be like. It will be new experience. I just want to enjoy it.”
Lehman’s Rylie McIver advanced to state in the 300 hurdles in the most bizarre of fashions.
The hurdles were set at the wrong height Wednesday and the heats were run over Friday.
She advanced by finishing third in 46.54.
“On Wednesday, I knew right away the hurdles weren’t right,” McIver said. “My friend (Lauren McFarland) runs the 100 hurdles and I always tell them to change them because I struggle to get over them. I had never fallen over a hurdle like I did Wednesday, so I knew something wasn’t right.
“I was really upset (with the 400 relay not making it). It was tough to come back after that race. I set a school record last week (in the 300 hurdles) and I PR’d again tonight. I am pretty excited about that.”
Lindsey Magoteaux advanced in the 100, finishing fourth in 12.84 and Magoteaux and McIver teamed with Ella and Olivia Monnin to finish third in 1:45.84.
“I had a tough race in the 100,” Magoteaux said. “I was hoping to make it (to state) in all four events (200 and 400 relay), but it will definitely be less stressful running in two events.”
McIver says the 800 relay can still take time off.
“We just need to refocus on that relay,” she said. “We have been getting better all season and we just need to continue to take time off.”
The state meet will be Friday and Saturday at Jesse Owens Stadium — after a night to remember for a number of athletes and the Newton track team.
Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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