Thanks, dad: Beavercreek’s Riekens accepts military challenge

Beavercreek senior Matt Riekens won the long jump (19-5.25) during the Firebird Track & Field Invitational at Fairmont on Friday, May 5, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

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Beavercreek senior Matt Riekens won the long jump (19-5.25) during the Firebird Track & Field Invitational at Fairmont on Friday, May 5, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Perfecting the 10 grueling events of the decathlon will be a cinch for Beavercreek’s Matt Riekens compared to his ultimate challenge.

A multi-talented senior who excels in field events and the hurdles, he’ll pursue perfection in those events and more at West Point this fall, where he has won an appointment.

GIRLS HONOR ROLL: Top five each event

“It all starts with my dad,” said Riekens, who also won the long jump (19 feet, 5.25 inches) and 110-meter high hurdles (15.28) during the rain-abbreviated 28th annual Firebird track and field invitational at Fairmont on Friday.

BOYS HONOR ROLL: Top five each event

“My dad is a retired Air Force tech sergeant. He came from a really poor background, one that wasn’t so great. I really felt like I owed something to my country for making my dad the person he is today. He’s my role model.”

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Beavercreek sr. Matt Riekens won the long jump and 110 high hurdles during the 28th annual Firebird Track & Field Invitational at Fairmont on Friday, May 5, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Beavercreek swept both team titles. Behind Riekens’ lead, the Beavers overwhelmed runner-up Sidney 122.5-63 among the boys teams. Beavercreek out-pointed second-place Bellbrook 126-89.5 to also win a girls title.

The meet was postponed from Thursday because of constant rain and was held Friday amid rain, high winds and low-50’s temperatures. The pole vault wasn’t contested for safety reasons and the meet was called with three running events remaining.

Winning times and field event efforts were ridiculously pedestrian because of the conditions. Besides, everyone was on guard to not pull any muscles with the most important final month of the season starting next week, first with conference meets then the district-regional-state run.

Other Beavercreek boys winners were senior Mike Davis in the shot put (44-3.50), senior Ben Ewert in the 800 (2:02.59), junior Sam Perl in the 400 (53.68) and the 4x200 relay (1:37.66).

Individual winners for Beavercreek’s girls were senior Lauren Shuman in the 800 (2:32.30), junior Stephanie Pierce in the 400 (1:04.54), freshman Taylor Ewert in the 1,600 (5:24.34) and freshman Eileen Young in the long jump (14-9.50).

Beavercreek boys and girls coach Jimmy Weckesser liked what he saw, especially from Riekens.

“He wants to serve his country in a positive way and his parents are military so he wants to do the same thing,” Weckesser said. “He’s an all-around great guy and a good leader. He loves track. He’s a track nerd.”

Riekens added a fifth in the 300 hurdles, but just needed a Greater Western Ohio Conference qualifying time in that event, which he posted. The GWOC will be held Wednesday and next Friday at Troy.

“It’s always been a dream of mine,” Riekens said of attending the military academy. “I’m ready to go out there and try and become the best leader, the best military officer and the best person I can be. And more important, always beat Navy.”

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Fairmont’s Jazmyn Potts (middle) won the 100-meter hurdles (15.80) and teammate Emily Galentine (left) was second during the Firebird Track & Field Invitational at Fairmont on Friday, May 5, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Fairmont’s Jazmyn Potts (middle) won the 100-meter hurdles (15.80) and teammate Emily Galentine (left) was second during the Firebird Track & Field Invitational at Fairmont on Friday, May 5, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Fairmont’s Jazmyn Potts (middle) won the 100-meter hurdles (15.80) and teammate Emily Galentine (left) was second during the Firebird Track & Field Invitational at Fairmont on Friday, May 5, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

• The Don Mitchell Roosevelt Memorial also was held Friday, at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium. LaSalle was leading Oak Park (Mich.) 62-29 among the boys and Toledo Notre Dame Academy held a 58-32 advantage over runner-up Cincinnati Ursula through about half the scheduled events.

The meet resumes at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with prelims and running finals scheduled for about 1 p.m.

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