Shawnee boys use depth to edge Springfield for county track title

Springfield junior sprinter Quincy Scott during the Wayne track and field invitational at Huber Heights on Thursday, April 27, 2017. Scott won both sprints in the Clark County Invitational. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

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Springfield junior sprinter Quincy Scott during the Wayne track and field invitational at Huber Heights on Thursday, April 27, 2017. Scott won both sprints in the Clark County Invitational. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

There were no individual titles for the Shawnee High School boys at the Clark County track and field championships on Tuesday.

But the program still came away the big winner by capturing the boys team championship. And they did it in typical Braves’ fashion.

Shawnee’s boys used its depth to place in enough events for 123 points to edge Springfield’s 116. The Wildcats won six individual titles.

“That’s one approach we’ve always taken in my 20 years as head coach,” Shawnee coach Mike Garberich said of preaching team depth.

Shawnee did win the 800 and 1,600 relays to highlight the county championship. Team efforts by junior Cyrus Cooper in the hurdles, freshman Robbie Glass in the high jump and senior Joel Rodgers in distance – among others – also pushed the Braves to the front.

“(Rodgers) did it all for us last night. His specialty is the 3,200. (Distance coach) Brian DeSantis said we need you to score in two events. How about doing the mile and 800? He said sure, no problem. A point here and a point there,” Garberich said of Rodgers, who picked up 10 points by skipping the 3,200 and running those other two events.

The meet was scheduled for last Saturday at Northeastern but bad weather postponed it until Tuesday at Southeastern. All events were completed Tuesday except for the boys pole vault, which concludes Wednesday.

Garberich said Springfield will gain three points on Shawnee once that event is counted.

“At the beginning of the season I tell the kids all our meets point to the county championship,” Garberich said, putting the county meet on the same level as the Central Buckeye Conference championships. “That’s one of the important meets because of all the people around you that are running. Springfield had an awesome team. They have two of the most quality athletes in the area. They had some kids really step up, too.”

Springfield senior Joseph Howard and juniors Dyier Smith and Quincy Scott combined to claim six individual titles. Howard swept the long jump and shot put, Smith won the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles and Scott took the 100 and 200 dashes. The Wildcats relay teams also won the 400 and 3,200 relays.

Northwestern senior Justin Prack was also a multi-event winner with victories in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.

Additional individual winners on the boys side were Kenton Ridge freshman Carson Jones (400), Emmanuel Christian senior Justin Webster (800), Northeastern sophomore Max Queen (high jump) and Greenon senior Ty Rickmon (discus).

In the girls meet, Tecumseh won running away with 165.5 points to Shawnee’s 127. Junior Jasmine Hassell highlighted the team win with a championship in the high jump. The 1,600 relay team also won.

Kenton Ridge senior Jamari McDavid and Catholic Central freshman Addie Engel dominated their fields.

McDavid sprinted to victories in the 100, 200 and 400 dashes. She also left her mark in the long jump by surpassing the meet record she set last year. McDavid soared 17 feet, 8 inches on Tuesday to better her mark of 17-07.5 set last year.

Engel took all three distance events with wins in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.

Other individual winners included Springfield junior Naomi Hookfin (100 hurdles), Springfield junior Shardnonay Johnson (300 hurdles), Greenon senior Keri Kertesz (discus), Southeastern freshman Laney Mills (shot) and Shawnee freshman Jace Mitchem (pole vault). Springfield won the 400 and 800 relays. Shawnee won the 3,200.

Garberich marveled that his runner-up girls team outscored his title-winning boys team, but still finished 38.5 points behind Tecumseh.

“Tecumseh is getting better and better each year. They are awesome,” Garberich said. “He has put together a fantastic team over there. They’re going to be good for years to come. They’re a great program.”

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