By Charlie Warnimont
Sentinel Sports Editor
COLUMBUS GROVE - It was a challenging night for track and field athletes at the Bulldog Track and Field Invitational in Columbus Grove.
Not only did athletes have to deal with competitors from the 11 teams present, but also with temperatures in the 30's, wind chills in the 20's, drizzle, sleet, snow and a steady 35 MPH wind. In the end it was the Columbus Grove track teams that handled the conditions the best Friday night.
Columbus Grove ended up sweeping the boys and girls team titles at this annual event.
The Grove Grove boys got off off to a good start in the field events and rode that to the team title as they outscored second place Anna 136-86.5. Delphos Jefferson finished fouth with 55 points, while Delphos St. John's had 48.5 points, Ottoviulle was eighth with 16 points and Fort Jennings finished 11th with two points.
The girls championship race was a lot closer as the Bulldogs outscored Shawnee 95.5 to 94.5. Fort Jennings and St. John's finished tied for fifth with 45 points each, while Jefferson finished eighth with 40 points and Ottoville was ninth with 33 points.
"I guess we are cold weather runners," Columbus Grove girls coach Tim Staley joked. "I didn't know it. It was a challenging night for everyone out here and I guess you could say we handled it very well. It will be interesting to see what we do once it warms up."
The Lady Bulldogs won a pair of events and finished second in four other events on the night.
Sophomore Sydney McCluer won the 300 low hurdles for the Bulldogs in 50.00 as she nipped Ottoville junior Taylor Mangas at the finish line. Mangas finished in 50.10. McCluer earlier finished second in the 100 hurdles in 17.0.
Columbus Grove's Raiya Flores, Julia Wynn, Jessi Smith and McCluer won the 400 Relay in 53.30 and were second in the 800 Relay in 1:53.10. Running the 800 Relay for the Bulldogs were Sarah Schroeder, McCluer, Cassie Stechschulte and Julia Wynn.
Fort Jennings won the 800 Relay in 1:52.80 with the team of Elaina Maag, Emily Grone, Lori Bruskotter and Macy Schroeder.
Stechschulte finished second in the high jump for the Bulldogs clearing 4-10, Aubrey Fruchey finished second in the shot put at 35-4 1/2 and Megan Verhoff finished second in the discus with a throw of 12-0. Danielle Schramm finished third in the discus with a toss of 34-7 and Annie Schramm was third in the shot at 104-10.
"It was a nice effort by the girls," Staley said. "I was very impressed with Sydney McCluer in the hurdles and relays. We came out of the field events with a lead. The girls in ths shot and discus did well. Our shot put girls both had their PR for the season and in the discus, we didn;t it, but were second and third. We did well in the high and the girls on the track did really well."
The Ottoville girls picked up a win as ALyssa DeLong won the long jump with a leap of 14-10.
St. John's recorded a win in the high jump as Alyssa Faurot won the high jump clearing 5-0. Megan Joseph finished second in the 1600 meter run in 5:50.10 and she was second in the 800 in 2:42.4..
Macy Schroeder finished second in the 200 dash in 29.20 and she was third in the 100 in 14.5.
The Jefferson girls finished second in the 1600 Relay in 4:33.70 with the squad of Rileigh Stockwell, Chelsey Bishop, Rebekah Geise and Brooke Teman. Geise, Stockwell, Teman and Kenidi Ulm took second in the 3200 Relay in 10:49.66.
The field events were also a key for the male Bulldogs as they won four of the five events going one-two in three of the events.
Collin Grothaus won the pole vault for the Bulldogs clearing 13-0 and Brandon Cotrell was second at 12-0. Trevor Schroeder won the shot put with a throw of 49-1, while Dakota Vogt won the discus with a throw of 160-2 and he won the high jump clearing 5-6, despite nursing a sore knee. Bailey Clement finished second in the high jump at 5-6 and Schroeder was second in the discus at 139-10.
"I was proud of our kids toughness tonight," Grove coach Chris Grothaus said. "We have a great group of seniors that are leading the way for the younger kids. Dakota Vogt is nursing a sore knee and I didn't want him to do the high jump, but he said coach we need the points and he went out and did it. We got off to a good start in the field events and that carried over onto the track. And Derek Rieman didn't want to be denied in the 300 hurdles after losing the 110's. I have a good group of seniors that have done a lot for us and they will help carry us this season."
The Bulldogs won a pair of distance events as the squad of Alex Shafer, Colton Grothaus, Alex Giesige and Jake Graham won the 3200 Relay in 8:44.60. In the 3200 meter run Graham won with a time of 10:09.8 and Shafer was second in 10:20.80. Giesige finished second in the 800 for the Bulldogs in 2;11.0.
Derek Rieman won the 300 hurdles after being nipped at the finish line by Jefferson's Cody Biglow in the 110 high hurdles. Rieman defeated Biglow in the 300 hurdles winning with a time of 43.40 as Biglow finished in 43.60. Biglow won the 110 hurdles in 15.7 as Rieman was second in 15.8.
For the Wildcats', Nick Gallmeier was second in the 200 dash in 24.70. The Wildcats 400 meter dash team of Jordan McCann, Tyler Mox, Chris Truesdale and Gallmeier were second in 46.10.
For St. John's, Ben Youngpeter won the long jump with a leap of 19-0, while Luke Maclennan was second in the 100 dash in 12.0 and Jared Knebel was second in the 400 in 55.0. Spencer Ginter finished second in the shot put with a throw of 46-6 1/2.