Lincolnview junior Hannah McCleery soars through the air during the long jump competition on Saturday at Jefferson High School. McCleery placed third in the event with a leap of 13’9.5”. Times Bulletin/Randy Shellenbarger)
Lincolnview junior Hannah McCleery soars through the air during the long jump competition on Saturday at Jefferson High School. McCleery placed third in the event with a leap of 13’9.5”. Times Bulletin/Randy Shellenbarger)
By Jim Metcalfe
DHI Correspondent
sports@timesbulletin.com
DELPHOS — The St. John’s girls and the Lincolnview boys captured team titles at the 14th annual St. John’s Track and Field Invitational on Saturday at Jefferson High School.
The Lady Jays beat runner-up Tiffin Calvert comfortably — 135-100.5. Ottoville was third (86), Jefferson and Lincolnview tied for fourth (69), followed by Lima Central Catholic (67), Fort Jennings (48.5) and New Knoxville 41.
Individual champions for the Lady Blue Jays were Maddie Burgei (100-meter dash) and Alicia Buettner (pole vault), with runners-up including the 4x800-meter team (Brooke Zuber, Breece Rohr, Megan Joseph, Maya Gerker), the 4x100 (Ashlyn Troyer, Burgei, Halie Benavidez, Samantha Bonifas), Joseph (1,600-meter run), Erin Williams (300 hurdles), Madison Kreeger (discus), Troyer (long jump) and Ally Gerberick (pole vault).


“I’m very happy on winning the team title. We told our seniors that since we as coaches were running the meet, it was up to them to lead today and they did very well at that,” Lady Jays’ head coach Dave Desenberg explained. “Brooke, Megan and Maddie especially set the pace for us today. We have had great senior leadership this year.”
The Lancer girls had no individual champions but had two runners-up: Anna Gorman (3,200-meter run) and Hannah McCleery (high jump).
“We had our toughest workout Thursday. We like to do that for this meet especially because we want to see how well we do and stack up,” Lancer head coach Matt Langdon explained. “The girls were pretty sore and tired but we want to challenge them to fight through that and still do well. They did. We have three weeks until the NWC meet and that is what we are shooting for, doing well there. We also have the Van Wert County Meet with Crestview and Van Wert and that’s a big rivalry event. We’ll back off some and let them rest but push them in practice later in the week.”
On the boys side, the Lancers downed second-place St. John’s 159-135, with Calvert at 106, the Thunderbirds 89, the Big Green 53, the Rangers 43 and the Musketeers 37.
Hunter Blankemeyer led the Lancer boys with three individual titles (110-meter and 300-meter hurdles and high jump); along with two other individuals — Bayley Tow (1,600-meter run) and Dalton West (discus) — and the 4x800 relay (Ben Bilimek, Trevor Neate, Alex Rodriguez, Tow). In second were West (shot put) and Rodriguez (pole vault).
“The biggest surprises for the boys were Dalton winning the discus and coming second in the shot and Hunter winning three events. Bayley does what he does,” Langdon added. “We usually do well in the distance events here but where we tend to fall behind is in the sprints; that’s why we have never won the event that I can remember. What was different today was we held our own in the sprints; that allowed us to maintain our lead. We are a tired team on both sides but they should be proud of the effort today.”
Blankemeyer and Tow each set new meet records. Blankemeyer in the 300m hurldes and Tow in the 1600m run.