Colonel Crawford sweeps County Meet for first time since 2011 (2024)

Colonel Crawford sweeps County Meet for first time since 2011 (1)

CRESTLINE — For the past decade, the Crawford County Meet has been dominated by Galion.

Other than the Colonel Crawford boys claiming the 2014 title, the Tigers have swept the boys and girls trophies every year since 2013. In fact,the girls have won every year since 2012.

But the Eagles ended Galion's reignat Crestline High Schoolon Friday, when the girls absolutely dominated with a team score of 214 and the boys clipped the reigning champs by five points to win with 163 points.

"This was a big one for our kids," Colonel Crawford coach Preston Foy said."This is an important one, the Crawford County Meet, because all the kids know each other and we haven't won in a while becauseof Galion. But they were hungry and tired of being viewed as the little brother to Galion, so they had this opportunity come upon them and show they were the best in the county.

"That was the mindset that started in the field events and went all the way to the 3,200 by Luke Lawson, which was an unbelievable race — it was like a 30-second PR at the end— [and] if he gets beat, we probably don't win. Then our 4x400 ran a gutsy race where they had to get second. From the very beginning to the very end it was a good performance by the entire team."

Lawson ran the final quarter of the 3,200 as if he was in the 100 meters to pass and pull away from Galion's Chad Taylor and secure a key 10 points for the Eagles. His time of 11:02.42 ranks 10th in program history and was 24 seconds faster than his previous best. He also took top spot in the 1,600 with a 5:00.06.

Along with Lawson's wins, Gavin Trubee won the 400 with Jacob Awbrey coming in third for key points; Trevor Vogt edged out Carter Valentine by .02 seconds in the 110 hurdles for a 1-2 finish for the Eagles; Vogt was third and Valentine fifthin the 300 hurdles for points; and Lincoln Mollenkopf and Awbrey were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 100 and reversed that in the 200 as Awbrey was fifth and Mollenkopf sixth.

The 4x100 relay team bested Galion by two-tenths of a second for first, and the 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams were second to keep pace with the Tigers.

Colonel Crawford sweeps County Meet for first time since 2011 (2)

Field events key to success

Field events are what truly won the meet for Colonel Crawford as Valentine scored 17 of his team's points in the high jump and long jump to earn Male MVP honors in field. He wound up tying Galion's Caleb Branstetter as both cleared 6 feet, 6 inches — a meet record — but then both failed at 6-8 and subsequently 6-7.

"He's one heck of an athlete ... he's a freak, honestly," Valentine said of Branstetter."He dunks a basketball like it's nothing, two feet, one foot. His last meet he said he only jumped six feet, but this warmer weather helps.

"It was a good day for both of us."

A good day might be an understatement considering Valentine's previous best jump was 6-1. His five-inch PR improvement at Crestline cemented him in not only County Meet lore, but school history as he shattered the previous record of 6-2, set in 2018 by Harley Shaum.

"Honestly it's all coaching," Valentine said."If I didn't have the coaching, I couldn't do what I do."

Chase Walked placed third in the high jump, Valentine went on to finish second in the long jump, Matt Clinard and Caulen Spangler wereand third in the pole vault, Seth Carman was fifth in the long jump, Konner Moore was second and Tajh Smith fourth in the shot put, and Caleb Christman and Nick Teglovic were third and fourth in the discus.

Colonel Crawford outscored Galion 59-35.

"It's starting to [come together]," Foy said of his boys team."Losing the season last year, it's tough to see where you're going to be at. Especially for the guys side because they usually don't get it until their junior or senior year. Now we're seeing what these guys can do.

"We have good numbers, [but] we just don't know where to plug and play right now."

Colonel Crawford sweeps County Meet for first time since 2011 (3)

Lady Eagles soar

In easily one of the most lopsided finishes in County Meet history, Colonel Crawford started off the meet racking up points in the field events as Liv Krassow won the high jump, Reagan Ritzhaupt and Alison Manko went 1-2 in the pole vault,Cassidy Vogt won the long jump and Julia Feik won the shot put.

In addition, Corin Feik and Julia were third and fourth in the discus, Molli Teglovic was third in the shot put, Hailey Slagle third in long jump and Ayla McKibben fourth in high jump.

In field events alone the Lady Eagles totaled 64 points, which would've still placed them third overall for the entire meet.

But it certainly didn't stop there as Katie Ruffener put in one of the most impressive performances ever seen at the County Meet, winning all four of her races in absolutely dominant fashion en route to being named FemaleMVP of the track events.

She kicked off the track events by breaking Crawford County legend Amber (Rall) Groves' time in the 100 hurdles with a blistering 14.32 — the previous record was 14.76 set in 2003 — which also happened to best the school record by nearly three-quarters of asecond.

"She's a freak," Foy said."She's so dedicated to track, she does it year round. She does AAU stuff, she goes down to Columbus for her personal hurdles coach. She practices with us, she just goes above and beyond365 days a year with track and field."

Colonel Crawford sweeps County Meet for first time since 2011 (4)

Ruffener then followed that up with a 12.66 in the 100 (.59 seconds ahead of second), a 26.73 in the 200 (1.18 quicker than second) and a 48.05 in the 300 hurdles (more than five seconds ahead of second). Her 100 time wassecond-best all-time at Colonel Crawford and her 200 was fourth behind older sister Callie.

"This was the first time I've had a meet that actually came together," Ruffener said."My hard work is finally paying off today.

"Today really made it all worth it. But I'm ready to get back to practice now."

Allison Hocker also took first in the 1,600, and the 4x100 and 4x200 relays both won, too. Not a single Lady Eagle finished lower than fifth in any event on Friday.

"The girls have a ton of talent as you can see in Katie Ruffener, Cassidy Vogt, Liv Krassow and our really good distance runners," Foy said.

"We're really starting to believe. Winning this county meet means a lot to them, and I think this is going to be good momentum going into conference and the postseason."

Colonel Crawford sweeps County Meet for first time since 2011 (5)

Tigers' reign ends

After five consecutivesweeps, Galion found itself where Colonel Crawford has been for quite some time.

"It was a good meet, it's always competitive," Galion coach David Kirk said."We came over here with a lot of holes we're still trying to work on and fill. We'll get them. It's still early."

Simon Shawk won the 800, Andy Sparks took top spot in the 300 hurdles, and the 4x200,4x400 and 4x800 relays each finished first.

Depth kept the Tigers in the hunt all evening as Gabe Ivy was second in the 100, Ivy and Hanif Donaldson second and third in the 200, Cannon Butler second and Corban Justice fifth in the 400, Hayden Kaple fourth in the 800,Braeden Horn third in the 1,600, and Chad Taylor and Kellen Kiser second and third in the 3,200.

Ian Lehman and Linkon Tyrrell were also fifth and sixth in the 110 hurdles, Justin Guthridge fourth in the 300 hurdles and the 4x100 relay was runner-up.

"We're making strides forward every time out," Kirk said.

Donaldson won the long jump with a 22-5, Christian Robinette was second and Caden Roberts fifth in the discus throw, Clayton Yost third and Robinette fifth in the shot put, and Branstetter scored the rare nine points in the high jump, tying with Valentine.

Colonel Crawford sweeps County Meet for first time since 2011 (6)

For him, though, it was a big day as he cleared 6-6 for the first time ever to tiefor second all-time with his former coach, Colton Moore. Just one week earlier, he cleared 6-foot for third at the Mehock Relays.

"It's very motivating to get closer to my goal," Branstetter said.

That goal previously was matching Moore's 6-6. Now it's the school record of 6-7 held by Jack McElligott

"I want to get 6-7½," Branstetter said.

After a tough Mehock, jumping off against Valentine was exactly what he needed.

"You just have to stay focused on what you're doing and not worry about them," Branstetter said."But it's always nice to have competition because somebody pushing you is going to get you way further at a meet."

Other notable performances

Colonel Crawford sweeps County Meet for first time since 2011 (7)

Wynford's Chloe Kaple edged out Bucyrus' Emma Tyrrell by .09 seconds in the 400as the lone female runner not from Colonel Crawford or Galion to win an event at the County Meet. Teammate Katie Wagner was first in the discus with a throw of 96-3.

Crestline's Rachel Weyant was runner-up in the discus (92-7) and shot put (33-2) to earn 16 points for the Lady Bulldogs as well as earn Female MVP honors for field events as the highest individual point-getter.

Galion's Zaynah Tate won the 800 with a 2:30.39, which placed her third in school history; Ava Smith was runner-up in the 1,600; Brooklyn Gates and Raygann Campbell were one-two in the 3,200; and the Lady Tigers' 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams won, too.

Colonel Crawford sweeps County Meet for first time since 2011 (8)

Crestline's Calvin Reed won the 100 (11.25) and 200 (24.19)and was part of the 4x100 relay that finished fourth. His 21 points as an individual — 10 for each win, one for the relay team once divided amongrunners — propelledhim to Male MVP honors for track, edging out Colonel Crawford freshman Trevor Vogt by one point.

Buckeye Central's Aiden McDougal won the discus with a heave of 120-6, more than 11 feet further than second place. Taylor Ratliff was the top performer for the Buckettes, totaling 15.50 points with a runner-up finish in the 800, a third place in the 1,600 and a fourth-place finish as part of the 4x400 relay.

Crestline finished second and third in Male MVP honors for field events as Ethan Clark won the shot put (45-8½) and was sixth in the discus (99-1). Alec Sipes won the pole vault (11-0) and was sixth in the high jump (5-8).

Colonel Crawford sweeps County Meet for first time since 2011 (9)


Boys-Colonel Crawford 163, Galion 158, Bucyrus 65, Crestline 62, Wynford 52, Buckeye Central 21

Girls- Colonel Crawford 214, Galion 106, Wynford 85, Bucyrus 41, Buckeye Central 41, Crestline 24

Colonel Crawford sweeps County Meet for first time since 2011 (2024)
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