BELLBROOK —Thursday’s Golden Eagle Invitational track and field meet left Bellbrook coach Charlie O’Dell feeling encouraged about the rest of the season.
“Our distance runners have been working really hard,” O’Dell said. “A lot of those guys have been working all winter, and really putting in the miles on their own, and it’s showing out here. They’ve been logging large chunks of miles all winter, and I think it’s starting to pay off.”
Early on, it was the hurdlers who were gauging their talents against some solid opposition. Xenia Christian’s Morgan Adams entered the girls 100-meter hurdles event seeded fourth out of 14 runners, but she managed a second-place finish in the finals.
“Taking second is a nice surprise,” Adams said. “I wasn’t expecting that, I figured like third, because I knew the two girls beside me (Valley View’s state qualifier Hannah Thomas and Melinda McIntosh) were both really fast.
“At the point I am now, since it is early in the season, my time was fairly decent,” she said. “My goal is to break 16 seconds, though. I want to break 16.”
Adams finished in 17.56 seconds. Valley View’s Thomas won with a time of 17.39.
Bellbrook’s Trevor Nartker beat a familiar Southwestern Buckeye League nemesis — Oakwood’s Nathan Erbe — in the boys 110-meter hurdles final, and he turned in his personal best time (16.62 seconds) to do it.
“I beat the kid who got first last year, and that was my main concern. I had to face him again,” Nartker said. “So this feels pretty good to beat him. For my third race, I think I’m where I want to be. I’m starting pretty much where I left off, and that’s a good thing.”
Nartker’s previous personal best time of 16.79 seconds came last week at a meet in Troy. He also won the 300 hurdles with a time of 42.12.
Tyler Everidge, of Bellbrook, finished first in the boys high jump with a height of 6 feet, 4 inches, while Golden Eagle teammates Demoy Howell (100 dash - 11.95) and distance runner Brad Miller (4:34.60 in the mile) both finished second.
Anna Nicholson, Bellbrook finished second in the girls long jump with a leap of 15-9 1/2, just a half a foot behind Valley View’s Thomas. Bellbrook teammates Melissa Wahl (5-feet in the high jump) also finished second, and the Golden Eagle pair of Shelby Powers and Kayla Parker finished second and third in the mile with respective times of 5:31.28 and 5:34.16.
“The Sprinters have a little bit more work to do, our relays did a decent job, too. This was a good competitive meet for us, now it will be good to see where we stand against a lot of the (Greater Western Ohio Conference) teams,” O’Dell said. “This was a good barometer to see how we matched up with everybody else. It was also good to see how the other SWBL teams here are doing. It’s not like other sports where you always get the chance to scout each other. … It helps to give us a good idea to figure out what kids are going to have their best races in which events, it enables us to figure out the best matchups we can have, to try and maximize those points for the league meet.”
Xenia Christian’s Haakon Nelson was pleased with his fourth-place finish in the boys 3,200-meter (2-mile) race.
“It feels pretty good, because I was seeded seventh overall,” Nelson said. “My goal was to break 11 (minutes) and I came up with 10:45, so that was great. It was my all-time (personal record), so that felt pretty good. … Bellbrook has some great runners and so does Valley View. It was an honor to run with them. They really pushed me a lot.”
Defending state 3,200 champion Mary Kate Vaughn of Oakwood won the girls two-mile race in 11:20.95, nearly a half a lap over Jills teammate Elizabeth Ordeman. Parker finished third (12:00.66) after having been with the two Oakwood harriers in the early going.
In the girls meet, Oakwood claimed first overall with 179 points with Bellbrook finishing second at 124. Valley View, Wilmington, Ponitz and Xenia Christian rounded out the top-6.
Valley View took top honors among the boys teams with 162 points. Rounding out the top-6 were Wilmington, Bellbrook, Oakwood, Monroe and Ponitz.