PIQUA — The Butler boys and girls track teams made a splash at the OHSAA Southwest District Track and Field meet at Piqua this week. Butler’s boys finished as District Runners-up while the Lady Aviators were sixth overall.
More importantly, both teams qualified for the Dayton Regional meet in seven events each by virtue of a top four finish.
The boys 4×800 meter relay team of Kyle Wertz, Adam Gunkel, Gabe Warren, and Long Lin scored 10 points with a win in a time of 8:08.71.
Also winning was Butler pole vaulter Dalton Shepler who cleared 13 feet, 8 inches.
Lin also won two individual events. He ran 4:29.39 in the 1600 meter run and then came back with a 9:45.62 in the 3200 meter run for the sweep. Teammate Gabe Warren was second in the 3200 meter race in 9:46.91.
Also qualifying for Regional were Daiton Sharp in the long jump. He placed second with a leap of 22-04.75. Troy Dixon also advanced in the discus throw with a third place finish at 137-00 feet.
Adam Gunkel and Kyle Wertz both qualified for Regional in the 800 meter run. Gunkel placed third in 2:02.31 and Wertz was fourth, less than a half second behind Gunkel, in 2:02.71.
“I’m so proud of this team and the hard work they have put in,” said Butler track coach Corey Zickefoose. “The senior leadership we had this year has been tremendous in our success. We had so many athletes make district finals this year and for some end the season with PR’s.”
Butler’s girls 4×800 meter relay team also qualified by virtue of their second place finish. Carly Cline, Elizabeth Kilgore, Victoria Theobald, and Abbie Schoenherr ran a time of 10:22.20.
Grace Marshall, Rachel Redmond, Shi’Ann Storer, and Nikeisha Harris combined to qualify in two relay events. In the 4×200 meter relay, the team ran in 1:50.36 for a fourth place finish and the 4×100 meter relay team placed third in 51.47.
Tyree Fletcher also qualified in two events. She placed third in the 300 meter hurdles in 49.61 seconds and fourth in the long jump at 16-01.50.
Schoenherr also qualified in a pair of events. She was second in the 800 meter run in 2:23.52 and third in the 1600 meter run in 5:39.92.
“This was a great meet for the team, and the coaches are extremely proud of the way the girls competed,” said coach Kyle Schoenherr. “Our 4×800, 4×200, and 4×100 relays seized the moment and ran great races. Add to that the individual efforts from Tyree and Abbie, and it puts us in seven events at the regional meet.
“We placed top eight in a number of other events, including personal-best efforts from Mya (Stammen), Nikeisha (Harris), K-LA (Spieles) and Elizabeth (Kilgore), who have all been working hard and were able to peak at the perfect time. There were so many positives, we really couldn’t be more pleased with this whole team.”
Those qualifying for the Dayton Regional will begin competition on Wednesday at Wayne High School. Field events begin at 5 p.m. with running preliminaries starting at 6:30 p.m. The meet will continue on Friday with field events beginning at 5 p.m. and running finals starting at 6:30 p.m.
“I’m excited to see our athletes that qualified to move on to regionals compete next week and continue their season,” said Zickefoose. “I would love to see the community rally behind and support our regional qualifiers from both the boys and girls teams next week.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.