West Liberty-Salem makes history by winning state girls track team title

Nine athletes competed for Tigers in Columbus

The West Liberty-Salem girls track team made history Saturday, becoming the first girls team from the school and the first track team (boys or girls) from Champaign County to win a state championship.

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The Tigers claimed the Division III title at Jesse Owens Memorial with 50 points.

“It feels amazing,” junior Lydia Moell said. “We’re so excited. We knew we could do it.”

“We worked so hard for this,” junior Alex Burton said.

West Liberty-Salem beat Catholic Central, its Ohio Heritage Conference rival, by 16 points. The Irish finished second thanks to first-place finishes by Addie Engel in the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200 and Mallory Mullen in the high jump.

West Liberty-Salem's 4x200 relay team (1:44.24) of Kaylee LeVan, Grace Estes, Alex Burton and Emily Hollar got the day started with a championship, following up on the 4x100 team's win Friday. Those two wins accounted for 20 points.

Freshman Megan Adams added eight points with a second-place finish in the 1,600-meter run (5:01.12). The 4x100 relay team finished fifth (50.34), scoring four points.

Hollar finished fourth in the 400 (57.22), scoring five points. The 4x400 relay scored eight points with a second-place finish (3:58.95). Moell finished fourth in the pole vault (12 feet, 2 inches), scoring five points.

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The championship came in the 28th season for coach Ann Vogel.

“We definitely have some depth,” Vogel said. “We got a couple soccer players on the team who hadn’t come out before. We were at Miami East for a meet, and a coach said, ‘You guys could win state.’ I was like, ‘It’s hard to win state,’ because you could see a girl win second place for her team by herself. We just kept focused. Our motto was just get better every day, and we did it.”

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