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Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Bluffton sprinter Brady Johnson streaks down the track during the 100-meter trials Friday at the ACAC track at Bluffton. Johnson went on to win the conference championship in the finals.
ACAC track meet

Bluffton boys, Leo girls win titles

Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Despite dropping the baton, Gavin Kaehr, left, led Adams Central to a win in the 3,200-meter relay.

– When the Bluffton 1,600-meter relay team finished second in the ACAC track meet’s final race, the Tigers had a sense that finish was good enough to secure a championship and began to celebrate.

They were right.

Minutes after the last race, the announcement was made that Bluffton was the ACAC boys team champions in a close three-team race on Friday.

The Tigers won with 115 1/2 points. Leo was second with 107 1/2 , and Adams Central third with 99.

“We knew it would be close between us, AC and Leo,” Bluffton boys coach Brent Kunkel said. “We had some things go our way, and we had some guys step up. These guys have worked their butts off since January to get to this point, and to see it come to fruition on a night like this, is awesome.”

Before the finale on a chilly and rainy evening, the Tigers led Leo 107 1/2 -102 1/2 .

Heritage won the 1,600 relay with a time of 3 minutes, 37.10 seconds, and Bluffton finished in 3:38.60.

“If we didn’t set ourselves up to that point, it wouldn’t have mattered in the (1,600 relay),” Kunkel said. “We couldn’t have gotten to that point without having some guys step up before then.”

Bluffton got double wins from Brady Johnson in the 100 (11.19) and 200 (22.50) and Desmond Carter in the 110 hurdles (16.60) and 300 hurdles (43.00).

“It’s awesome,” Johnson said of the team title. “I honestly wasn’t expecting it at all coming into the season.

“Going out with a bang with this group of guys was awesome. Guys had to step up everywhere, not just first place. We needed third, fourth and seventh places, and the guys did that.”

The Tigers also got a first place from Jared Reckard in the 800 (2:04.70).

Also getting two wins was Leo’s Chris Horn, who won the long jump (22-8) and as part of the 400 relay team (44.60), as well as South Adams’ Bailey McIntire (1,600, 4:33.96; 3,200, 9:59.20).

Also getting wins were: Southern Wells’ Grant Harris (discus, 157-7) and Keaton Coleman (high jump, 6-0), Heritage’s Jeshua Foster (400, 52.57), South Adams’ Drew LeFever (shot put, 46-2) and Adams Central’s 3,200 relay (8:28.83).

Leo won the girls title with 139 points, beating out runner-up Southern Wells’ 100.

Allison Schwieterman won three events for the Lions and finished second in a fourth.

The junior won the 100 (13.41) and long jump (17 feet) and anchored the 400 relay (52.51) to first place. She finished second in the 200 to South Adams’ Caroline Kloepper (27.20 to 27.40).

“I wanted to come out and try and win all my events and do the best I could,” Schwieterman said.

“I’d say I had a pretty successful night. for what I was planning on.

Leo’s Lindsey Marriott also won two events (1,600, 5:28.70; 3,200, 11:59.10). The Lions also won the 1,600 relay in 4:22.00.

South Adams’ Allison Amstutz was a double winner (shot put, 38- 1/2 ; discus, 107-5) and Southern Wells’ Ivy Maddox (800, 2:43.90) and 3,200 relay (10:22.89).

Other first-place finishers were: South Adams’ Caroline Kloepper (200, 27.20), Bluffton’s Ashley Smith (high jump, 5-0), Woodlan’s Brooke Gerbers (100 hurdles, 16.41), Garrett’s Drue Bodey (400, 62.88) and Heritage’s Brenna Chacon (300 hurdles, 50.40).

gjones@jg.net

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