The Ottumwa Courier


May 18, 2013

Centerville defends distance medley title; Schwartz savors high jump crown


“With Jonny’s ability in both events, we can definately put some points up there,” Dunlap said. “Obviously for Fairfield as a whole, we still have Sydney (Howard) on the girls side defending her 100 and 200 titles (today) also. Daniel’s win was just the start of a special few days here for this community.”

State titles were almost a reality for five area South Central Conference runners midway through Friday afternoon. Tasha Alexander, who tripped down the stretch while running for the 2A girls 400 hurdle title last year, nearly made a title-winning return to the event for Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont as the Rocket junior fell just .13 seconds short of a pair of seniors. The third-place showing should make Alexander a preseason favorite in the event heading into her senior season.

Albia’s second of four relay teams also fell less then a second shy of a state title Friday as the Blue Demons’ 4x200 foursome lost to OA-BCIA’s 1:30 flat time in the event. Brothers Ryan and Luke Sarver along with Brett Leshen and Alex Schultz finished the race in a time of 1:30.53 to take home second, giving Todd Ratliff’s squad two top-10 showings in two relay races.

The Blue Demons will have a chance for a big finish today. Albia qualified for both the 4x100 and 4x400 races, including posting the top time in the 4x400 at 3:22.82 in what will be the third-to-last race of the entire track and field season.

The area favorite going into the day to claim a state title was Davis County sophomore Kate Birchmier, who finished third in the shot put and headed into the girls 2A discus as the favorite going in. The school record-holder with tosses reaching nearly 150 feet at times this season struggled early, fouling on her first three attempts and never topping her first recorded toss of 127-3, which still left Birchmier with a fifith-place showing and a pair of top-five state meet finishes as a sophomore.

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