Beavercreek wins rare boys conference track title

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Beavercreek wins rare boys conference track title

A blast from the past was all Beavercreek’s boys needed to rev up for Friday’s Greater Western Ohio Conference track and field championships at historic Memorial Stadium.

Beavercreek last won a boys high school conference track title in 1990 in the now-defunct Western Ohio League.

“We pulled the trophy out of the trophy case on Wednesday and it was so dusty,” beamed outstanding senior distance runner Ben Ewert. “We wanted to get that win and we knew it was possible. We’re really happy about it.”

Having positioned themselves in contention after Wednesday’s divisional championships, Beavercreek (82.5 points) pulled off the unlikely on Friday, overtaking regular GWOC powers Wayne (74), Trotwood-Madison (74) and Centerville (63). None of the current Beavercreek runners were born the last time that happened under former longtime coach William “Buzz” Seilhamer.

Beavercreek’s boys and Troy’s girls were divisional, conference and overall team champions.

Girls divisional team champions were Centerville (GWOC National East), Northmont (National West), Trotwood-Madison (American South) and Troy (American North).

Boys divisional team champions were Beavercreek (GWOC East), Miamisburg (West), Trotwood (South) and Troy (North). Most of the divisional team titles were secured after Wednesday’s divisional meet, but weren’t official until after Friday’s remaining 800 and 3,200 boys and girls races.

All of Wednesday’s divisional winners and the next best six performers advanced to Friday’s championships. It was the final regular-season event. The postseason begins with next week’s district meets at various sites.

Ewert, who signed to run at the University of Louisville, was magnificent. He anchored the 4x800-meter relay to a win and meet record on Wednesday (7:54.75). He backed that up by sweeping the 1,600 (4:23.89) and 800 (1:56.01). He had enough left in his tank to place second in the 3,200 behind Centerville winner Ben Burkett (9:33.75).

Other key seniors for the Beavers were Matt Riekens and Jay Drennen, who won the discus (157-10).

Jimmy Weckesser is in his third season as the combined girls and boys Beavercreek coach. He recruited athletes from all sports to try track and the results are new trophy-case hardware.

“That’s part of the process,” said Weckesser, a former Centerville distance standout. “It’s an awesome senior class. We just set the theme and did it. The guys really stepped up.”

• Troy’s girls were just as daunting, overwhelming runner-up Centerville 141-92 to earn a conference team title. Morgan Gigandet was a double winner for the Trojans, sweeping the 1,600 (5:03.20) and 3,200 (10:50.75). Other Troy winners were Ashley Barr in the 400 (58.07), the 4x400 relay (4:06.73) and Alaura Holycross in the shot put (38-8).

• Centerville’s Kennedy Coker set a meet record in the girls 300 hurdles (44.60). Springboro’s Kennedy Lewis also reset the girls 200 meet record (25.02). Wayne’s Graysen Simmons did likewise in the girls pole vault (12-0).

• Northmont senior Christian Wilson won the high jump (6-4). A first-year jumper, he soared a career-best 6-6 on Wednesday.

“I came out and gave it a shot and it feels great,” said Wilson, part of Northmont’s divisional boys basketball title team. “I like to compete.”

• Miamisburg sophomore Colin Dillon launched himself among the state’s 300 hurdles leaders (38.58).

Jasmine Broner (Centerville, left), Celina Courts (Troy) and Ashley Barr (Troy) in the 100 during the GWOC track and field championships at Troy’s Memorial Stadium on Friday, May 12, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF Staff Writer

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