Relays Rally To Regionals

St. Marys’ Lilly Ankerman gets off her blocks to begin the girls 4x200-meter relay on Friday at the Division II District Track and Field Meet in Defiance.
Sports Editor

St. Marys’ relay teams carried the Roughriders to the finals of the Division II district track and field meet Wednesday and St. Marys’ relay teams are carrying the Roughriders to the regional tournament next week.

St. Marys had two regional qualifiers on Friday in the girls 4x100 and the girls 4x200. Both teams had personal records and both mark the first time since at least 2012 that a St. Marys girls relay team advanced to the regional meet.

The first day of the regional meet will take place Thursday and the finals will be held Saturday. Both are at Piqua Alexander Stadium.

“It’s a true testament to the amount of hard work they put in this season and I’m so thankful that all of that hard work paid off,” Roughriders coach Rob Cisco said in a text Friday night. “We knew they were capable of this the entire season [and] we are so grateful that it happened at the right time. 

“Relays are awesome because it’s a true team effort.”

The Roughriders 4x200 team of Lilly Ankerman, Jordan Egbert, Lydia Will and Allison Jacobs had quite the upset as the foursome finished runner-up with its season-best time of 1:49.38 — breaking the previous-best by 3.28. But what made qualifying for regional even better was the odds the foursome was up against.

That team came into Friday with the fifth-fastest time — the top four times advance to regionals — and the team of Ankerman, Egbert, Will and Jacobs beat all of those teams but event champion Toledo Central Catholic and claimed second place by .40 ahead of third-place finisher Defiance.

The uphill climb the Roughriders 4x100 team — a runner-up at the Western Buckeye League Championships last week — had to make was even greater.

Coming in with the seventh-fastest time out of eight teams in the finals, the St. Marys quartet of Ankerman, Egbert, Rebecca Dominguez and Jacobs shaved .17 off their previous-best time with a third-place finish of 52.01. Teams who placed third through sixth were separated by .97.

Cisco also pointed out that none of the girls in either qualifying teams or even in the 4x400-meter relay — another finalist at districts on Friday — have a single senior.

“With the youth movement of our track team, I am very excited about regionals,” he added.

The Roughriders almost made it a trio of relay teams qualifying for regionals with the aforementioned 4x400 team, the last to compete for the night. 

However, the team of Madi Anthony, Jacobs, Ankerman and Ellen Schloemer placed fifth with a time of 4:16.51. That time was also a new PR, beating the time coming into Friday by 5.84.

St. Marys also had a number of athletes compete in the finals.

Will placed eighth in the 200 dash with a PR of 27.76. Brianna Cisco placed 16th in the one-mile run (6:01.79) and Schloemer (12:50.19) and senior Morgan Henschen (12:02.50) placed 11th and 12th, respectively in the two-mile run.

In boys competition, Jordan Moore finished 10th in the 800 meters (2:08.76), Jordan Heitkamp placed 12th in the 1600 meters (5:03.46) and Noah Tobin (10:33.60) and Clayton Drummond (11:07.57) placed seventh and 12th, respectively, in the 3200-meter run.

In field events, Brandon Bowers placed 10th in high jump, Bryan Ward placed 12th in discus, Megan Young placed 10th in pole vault, Sasha Liette finished 21st in shot put and Cherissa Priddy placed 13th while teammate Jewel Niekamp finished 20th in girls long jump. 

The St. Marys 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams will join Ty Howell, who qualified for regionals in long jump Wednesday. 

Field events begin at 5 p.m. and track events will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.