By Rob Kiser
WEST MILTON — It was fitting that Miami East boys and Covington girls were crowned team champions at the West Milton Division III district meet at Milton-Union High School Saturday.
Because, both are the definition of a team.
Devyn Carson was the lone first place finisher for East boys, while Covington won the title without a first place finish.
East boys finished with 85 points and Emmanuel Christian was second with 79.
“That’s exactly right,” Miami East coach Steve Karnehm said about the depth the Vikings have used all season for success. “This was truly a team effort. We knew we had a good chance at this.”
And there was no point where Karnehm didn’t know where his team stood en route to their first district title since 1970, when Karnehm was on the team.
“I was keeping score,” Karnehm said with a laugh, pointing to a sheet full of numbers.
And in true team fashion, one individual not going to regionals stood out for Karnehm.
“I have to mention Colton Kowalak,” Karnehm said about the junior who finished fifth in the pole vault (11-0), shot put (38-4 1-4) and seventh in the discus (123-0). “He finished fifth in two field events and seventh in another. If he doesn’t do that, we are cooked.”
After hugging his coach, Carson — who had won the long jump by soaring 20-1 1-2 Tuesday — was happy to carry the championship trophy.
“Track is a team sport,” the senior said about the significance of the district title. “That’s what we have done all year. This (winning the district) was our goal coming in and we knew we had a good chance to do it.”
The Vikings have a big group of regional qualifiers as well.
Along with Carson’s win in the long jump Tuesday with a distance of 20-1 1-2; finishing second were Daniel Everett, discus, 140-9; and the 3,200 relay (Bryce Redick, Luke Mengos, Greg Austerman, Gavin Horn), 8:31.18.
Taking third were Justin Brown, long jump, 19-0 1-4; Trey Rush, pole vault, 12-6; the 400 relay (Colton Weldy, Logan May, Brown, Jordan Crawford), 46.63; and the 800 relay (Crawford, Brown, Weldy, Carson), 1:36.0.
Finishing fourth was Horn, 1,600, 4:39.06.
Covington boys finished fifth in the team standings.
Winning for the Buccs was Jett Murphy in the pole vault on Tuesday with a school-record tying 14-0; and the 400 relay (Shane Straw, Ethan Herron, Murphy, Brandon Magee), 45.69.
Finishing third were Cade Harshbarger, 110 hurdles, 15.71 and 300 hurdles, 43.03; Zane Barnes, 400, 53.19; and the 1,600 relay (Barnes, Magee, Jayce Pond, Nathan Lyle), 3:35.44.
Taking fourth were Zach Parrett, high jump, 5-10; and the 800 relay (Pond, Cade Harshbarger, Lyle, Magee), 1:36.40.
Lady Buccs win
The Covington girls finished with 90 points, while Russia was second with 83.5 points.
It was the Lady Buccs first district team title since 1982.
“It really was a team effort,” Covington coach Dave Tobias said. “It was our goal coming in. It has been awhile since we have won district (as a team). It has to have been before I was here. We have some strong veteran runners and strong group of young runners.
“And we are going to have some more next year. We have several eighth graders who broke records in junior high this year.”
Senior Carly Shell was one of many who contributed in multiple events.
“It is always nice to excel as a team,” she said. “We knew we had a chance to win it, since that pushed us to perform even better.”
Covington has a strong group of regional qualifiers.
Finishing second were Shell, 1,600, 5:35.33; Natalie Snyder, 100 hurdles, 16.78; Breanna Kimmel, 100, 12.89; Anna Dunn, 3,200, 11:34.86; the 800 relay (Rayna Horner, Kailyn Pond, Tori Lyle, Kimmel), 1:50.49; and the 3,200 relay (Shell, Paige Boehringer, Anna Dunn, Ashlyn Plessinger), 9:57.87;
Taking third were Horner, 400, 60.58; and Lauren Hebert, shot put, 36-4 1-2.
Finishing fourth were Kimmel, 200, 26.80; Lillian Hamilton, high jump, 4-10; and the 1,600 relay (Horner, Lyle, Plessinger, Kimmel), 4:14.28.
Marie Ewing led the Miami East girls, using a big kick to run a blazing 2:17.71 in the 800 and edge Grace York of Russia at the finish in and help the Lady Vikings tie Russia for third with 73 points.
Taking second was Megan Kinnison, discus, 123-10.
Finishing third were Kaitlyn Mack, 300 hurdles, 48.80; Morgan Rose, pole vault, 9-0; and the 400 relay (Jillian Wesco, Ashlyn Monnin, Bailey Miller, Emma Monnin), 52.72;
Taking fourth were the 800 relay (Wesco, Ashlyn Monnin, Miller, Emma Monnin), 1:51.40; and the 3,200 relay (Lindsey Yingst, Lorenza Savini, Kaitlyn Mack, Marie Ewing), 9:57.87.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor of the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.