Twin Valley South girls’ track team had not won a district title in so long, coach Glen Mabry could not remember exactly the last time the feat was accomplished.
He knows now — Saturday, May 24, 2014.
While it used to be a common occurrence during the 1990s and early 2000s, the Lady Panthers had gone nearly a decade since winning their last district championship, according to Mabry.
And this one didn’t come easy for a team dominated by underclassman.
South entered the final race of the day, the 4x400-meter relay, trailing Arcanum by half a point. All the Panthers needed to do was top Arcanum during that race and the team title was theirs.
The foursome of Madison Wright, Abbi Saul, Megan Wright and Abby Creech turned in a season-best time of 4:20.52 to finish second, but more importantly, they finished two places ahead of Arcanum.
“My first thought was ‘Man, it’s been a while,” Mabry said. “I’ll have to look back. It was probably 2005 or 2006. I thought this time could come back because we had the team this year that could possibly do it. Actually, I thought maybe next year we would be even more competitive. These girls have got a lot of fire. They are hungry young ladies. They want to do well and they sure showed it today.”
South won the meet with 72 points. Arcanum finished with 69.5.
The Division III district meet was held Tuesday, May 20 and Saturday, May 24 at Welcome Stadium.
They will be sending several to this week’s regional at Troy.
The 4x800 relay team of Megan Wright, Lindsay Creech, Madison Wright and Abby Creech won a district title with a time of 10 minutes, 23.34 seconds.
Charis Grubbs was a district champion in the 100 hurdles in 16.64.
Madison Wright set a school record in winning the 800 with a time of 2:24.43.
The 4x200 relay team of Alyssa Wysong, Madison Wright, Abby Beneke and Grubbs advanced to the regional with a second place finish in 1:51.78.
In the 1,600, Megan Wright was 3rd in 5:58.29 to round out the regional qualifiers.
Grubbs was 7th in the 300 hurdles in 50.62.
Abby Creech just missed advancing in the 800 with a 5th place finish in 2:28.22.
In the 3,200, Megan Wright was 6th in 12:50.78 and Emily Hutchins placed 8th in 13:44.44.
South had two place in the high jump with Helen Holman finishing 5th and Abby Creech 7th.
Taryn Haynes was 8th in the shot put 30-0.50 and Hutchings was 6th in the pole vault.
For South’s boys, they brought home a district runner-up trophy, scoring 77 points. Cedarville won the team title with 95 points.
Aaron Deaton was a double-winner for the Panthers. He won both the shot put (49-1 1/2) and discus (133-6) to advance to the regional.
Also advancing to regional is the 4x800 relay team of J.J. Utz, Sammy Shockey, Ethan Wells and Andrew Augspurger, which placed 4th in 8:58.45.
Luke Stoner was second in the 110-hurdles.
The 4x200 relay team of Cody Arnett, Jared Kirkpatrick, Clayton Dunwoodie and J.J. Utz was 4th in 1:37.10.
Sammy Shockey was 2nd in the 800-meters in 2:02.22.
In the discus, Tristan Sizemore was 2nd with a toss of 132-3.
Jordan Burns will be moving on in the pole vault after clearing 11-6 to finish 3rd.
Others who placed, but did not advance, included the 4x100 relay team of Cody Arnett, Jordan Burns, Jarek Kirkpatrick and Clayton Dunwoodie who was 7th with a time of 47.21.
Luke Stoner was 8th in the 300 hurdles in 44.85
Jason Utz was 5th and Jared Rivers 7th in the high jump.
Payton Gates was 7th in the long jump in 19-3.50
Sizemore was 5th in the shot and Troy Bowers was 7th in the pole vault.
The Division III regional meet will be held at Troy on Wednesday, May 28 and Friday, May 30.
Field events, boys’ pole vault, girls’ high jump, boys’ long jump, girls’ shot put and boys’ discus, will be held Wednesday beginning at 4 p.m. Running preliminaries are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
Friday’s field events begin at 5 p.m., with running events scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.