Areas teams compete at NSCs

WALKERTON — Bremen’s boys track and field team had already beaten both Jimtown and New Prairie in dual meets earlier this season, but the Lions knew it would likely be a different story at Wednesday’s Northern State Conference championships. With start sprinter Sam Lacher sidelined with a hamstring injury and a total of eight teams in the field vying for the top spots in each event, Bremen fell short of both.
The Jimmies put in strong showings in the field and the sprints for the conference championship with 132 points, and New Prairie was strong in the hurdles and distance events for second with 123 points ahead of the Lions’ score of 108.
Culver Community finished fourth with 68 points ahead of host John Glenn’s 67, Knox was sixth with 45 points, three ahead of Triton in seventh, and LaVille rounded out the boys NSC standings with a score of 39.
“In the dual meet and the tri-meets I think we beat both of those teams by two or four points,” said Bremen head coach Mark Yoder of Jimtown and New Prairie. “Sam ran in one of those meets and didn’t run in the other; we just were strong enough against them. But we knew coming into conference points don’t work that way. We knew that they were going to have more strength with the way they would score. We knew the battle was up top with the three of us, and we just went out and did our best tonight.”
While the Lions came up short of a team championship, Bremen’s 400 relay team of Jon Stoller, Joel Miller, Reid Zellmer and Kevin Heckaman clocked a 45.37 time to win the title in their event after entering the tournament as a third seed, while senior Thomas Dean was named to the At-Large All-NSC team after his exhausting performance running the 800, the 4x800, the 1600 and the 3200, highlighted by third-place finishes in the 800, 1600 and in the 3200 relay.
“Wow, the 4x100 team coming from a third or fourth seed and winning that event, that was amazing for those guys to go all-conference and just really smoke with their fastest time of the season,” said Yoder.
“A huge credit to Thomas Dean, our senior distance runner, who ran four events and just killed himself tonight. He ran the 800, the 1600, the 3200, anchored the 4x800, I mean there probably aren’t many people who ran more than he did tonight if anyone. He just turned it on for the team and said ‘I’m willing to do anything.’”
While Bremen got a pleasant surprise from its 4x100 squad and solid points production throughout the night from Dean, Culver Community got its best one-two punch from Micah Budzinski and Matt Hurford.
Budzinski, a walk-on football player at Purdue, and Hurford, the reigning 182-pound IHSAA state wrestling champion, finished first and second, respectively in the 100 hurdles, and the duo combined with fellow senior Bradley Beaver and sophomore Preston Hansel to break their school record in the 4x400 and edge out Glenn for third place in the conference tourney standings.
“With the hurdles, those two have been pushing each other all year long, actually for three years now, and gradually getting better and faster. I think they’ve only been beaten by the other this year. They’re hard-working kids, and they’re very coachable, and going one-two is awesome,” said Culver boys coach Chad Hollenbaugh.
“We scored four more points than last year, and really that 4x400 team picking it up in that last race, them winning that kind of put us over the hump. They’ve been gunning for the school record, and they broke the school record by a tenth of a second, so they were real excited. We are a small school and realistically to compete here it’s going to be tough, but we’re right in the mix. All we can do is compete as hard as we can. I thought all our guys in all our races competed real hard tonight.”
While Bremen’s boys finished third Wednesday, the reigning NSC-champion Lady Lions were dethroned by New Prairie, 134-116.5.
The Cougars-Lions match-up turned out to be one of distance versus sprints, as Bremen’s girls showcased impressive depth in the sprints, and New Prairie did the same in the long distance races, going one-two in the 800, 1600 and 3200 to unseat the defending champs.
“They’re extremely strong in the distance, and we’re very strong as well, but they were just better tonight. Kudos to them. They squeaked out a victory against us in dual meets so we knew it wasn’t going to be tough in conference when they were probably going to go one-two and score more points in the conference scoring system,” said Yoder.
“They did all I could ask for, and I told them you can be disappointed because they’ve won the last couple years, but they did their best on the night, which is all you can do.”
The Lady Lions earned two individual championships on the night as Jasmine Schafer, Vianca Montes De Oca, Marisa Browning and Katelyn Aguayo won their event in 51.70, and Schafer turned in a 26.49 in the 200 to finish the night as dual conference champion.
Senior Kaley Gann placed second in the long jump and fourth in both the 100 and 300 hurdles to earn an At-Large NSC nomination, meanwhile.
“We actually have one of the smallest girls teams we’ve had in awhile, but their talent is abounding. Freshmen through seniors, they’re just strong as strong can be. They have to double up, triple up in a lot of events and it’s hard, but man, they don’t show it,” Yoder said.
“Jasmine has been unstoppable this year. She was pretty mad she didn’t win the 100, so she came back with a vengeance in that 200. The girls 4x100 team is probably ready to break our school record; they want it bad, and they just flew tonight. They’re getting real close.
“Kaitlyn is a freshman scoring in both the 100 and the 200, anchoring that winning 4x100 team, Marisa Brown coming out as a sophomore, super strong, Nicky Hueni and Jorgi Klockow in the 400 and Jorgi in the 800 — we just go strength to strength.”
Schafer may have edged out Culver Community’s Denisha Brown for top honors in the 200, but it was Brown who got the better of Schafer in their first finals match-up Wednesday, turning in a 12.83 comfortably ahead of Shafer’s 12.91 for the championship in the 100.
The Lady Cavs claimed another All-NSC title when Donna Zehner topped the field in the discus with a best throw of 100-11 ahead of Triton’s Becca Kennedy.
“It’s good to see her get stretched there in the 200,” said Culver girls coach Michael Buschman of Brown. “Still ran her season-best time, but these are the things we like her to see in the regular season. We didn’t see a lot of that last year, and that provides for a little bit of a shock factor when you get to the regional level. We don’t want to get second, but we like seeing this level of competition at our conference meet. She does a great job of competing, taking these things the right way, taking them as a challenge and not freaking out at these moments.”
“Really, Donna is getting to be on par with Denisha in terms of somebody we expect to score big points for us in meets like this and to be a champion,” he added.
Triton’s girls finished out their meet in fifth place with 77.5 points at the bottom of a three-way battle between Glenn, Jimtown and the Lady Trojans with just 1.5 points separating the three.
Senior Breanna Lemler, already Triton’s 200-meter record-holder, added another program record to her resume Wednesday with a 1:00.48 in the 400 for the conference championship there.
“She’s a very strong runner, a very good athlete and very good at her school work at home. A very good leader for the younger kids,” said Triton girls coach Shelby Feldman.
Also for Triton, senior Shana Anderson was named At-Large All-NSC after she cut six seconds off her PR to finish second in the 800 and also placed in the high jump with a 4’6” leap behind teammate Autumn Kann’s third place jump of 4’10”.
“I only have 12 kids, but with the 12 girls I have, they all work extremely hard. You can’t ask for much more,” Feldman said.
Elsewhere in the girls meet, Glenn was led by senior standout Anna Schmalzried’s 16.98-second championship in the 100 hurdles, and sophomore Morgan Eggleston’s winning throw of 35’03.25” in the shot put.
Glenn’s boys earned a championship in the 3200 relay as Alex Crump, Cameron Mester, Luke Runyan and Josh Shank turned in a 8:21.40 to beat out New Prairie by roughly five seconds, while Hunter Schuman measured 51’5” in the shot put for the NSC title there, and Runyan turned in a 4:31.48 finish for runner-up honors in the mile.
Triton’s boys got their best finishes from Jeremy Jones in fourth in the 200 and Jesse Burkholder in fourth in the pole vault.
J.T. Saylor won the discus with a 129’9” toss two inches ahead of Bremen’s Nate Strehler, while Craig Romano finished third in the 300 hurdles in just his fourth time running the event. For the Lady Lancers, Danielle Romano was second in the 100 hurdles, and Katie Minarik cleared 5 feet for second in the high jump.
“We only have 11 girls and 20 boys, so our deal is it’s all about heart and pride with them. We’re not going to outnumber anybody; everybody runs about four events,” said LaVille head coach Cindy Keeling.” I can’t say enough about these kids. I wouldn’t trade these 31 kids for 70.
At Walkerton
TEAM SCORES: Jimtown 132, New Prairie 123, Bremen 108, Culver Community 68, John Glenn 67, Knox 45, Triton 42, LaVille 39
4 x 800 relay: 1. John Glenn (Alex Crump, Cameron Mester, Luke Runyan, Josh Shank) 8:21.40, 2. New Prairie 8:26.50, 3. Bremen 8:37.70, 4. Triton 9:15.90, 5. Culver Community 9:16.30, 6. Knox 9:34.0, 8. LaVille 11:25.04.
110 high hurdles: 1. Micah Budzinski (Culver) 15.83, 2. Matt Hurford (Culver) 15.93, 3. Carter Gill (Jimtown) 16.13, 6. Evan Wilson (Bremen) 18.14, 7. Roberto Gonzalez (Bremen) 19.17, 8. Devin Johnson (LaVille) 19.80.
100: 1. Devan Emerson (Jimtown) 11.32, 2. Marquis Scheiber (Jimtown) 11.65, 3. Jeremy Jones (Triton) 11.75, 5. Joe Jaworski (Glenn) 11.98, 6. Jon Stoller (Bremen) 12.08, 7. Brian Fulghum (Knox) 12.18, 8. Niles Stickler (Glenn) 12.19.
1600: 1. Nick Arndt (New Prairie) 4:27.61, 2. Luke Runyan (Glenn) 4:31.48, 3. Thomas Dean (Bremen) 4:33.22, 5. Trenton Stackhouse (Triton) 4:46.56, 6. Kris Wickens (Bremen) 4:50.33, 7. Frankie Olivares (LaVille) 4:58.34, 8. Trenton Cooper (Triton) 5:03.11.
4 x 100 relay: 1. Bremen (Jon Stoller, Joel Miller, Reid Zellmer, Kevin Heckaman) 45.37, 2. Jimtown 45.50, 3. New Prairie 46.21, 4. Culver Community 46.51, 5. Knox 46.57, 6. John Glenn 46.67, 7. LaVille 47.67, 8. Triton 49.78.
400: 1. Marquis Scheiber (Jimtown) 51.74, 2. Drake Dierdorf (New Prairie) 53.11, 3. Micah Budzinski (Culver) 53.39, 4. Reid Zellmer (Bremen) 53.40, 5. Kevin Heckaman (Bremen) 54.91, 6. Drew Mosson (Triton) 55.25, 7. Dylan Manwarren (LaVille) 55.41, 8. Preston Hansel (Culver) 55.94.
300 intermediate hurdles: 1. Ryan Moser (New Prairie) 41.78, 2. Carter Gill (Jimtown) 42.78, 3. Craig Romano (LaVille) 43.31, 4. Evan Wilson (Bremen) 44.21, 5. Matt Hurford (Culver) 44.41, 6. Val Wisler (Bremen) 44.51, 7. Masen Yeo (Triton) 47.15, 8. Jordan England (Glenn) 47.95.
800: 1. Nick Arndt (New Prairie) 2:02.47, 2. Alex Crump (Glenn) 2:04.11, 3. Thomas Dean (Bremen) 2:04.67, 5. Frankie Olivares (LaVille) 2:09.35, 6. Derek Johnston (Triton) 2:09.45, 7. Clayton Thornton (Bremen) 2:09.88, 8. Nathan Palmer (Glenn) 2:12.01.
200: 1. Devan Emerson (Jimtown) 23.21, 2. Marquis Scheiber (Jimtown) 23.34, 3. Tyler Weller (New Prairie) 23.94, 4. Jeremy Jones (Triton) 23.95, 5. Reid Zellmer (Bremen) 24.48, 6. Joe Jaworski (Glenn) 24.74, 7. Dylan Manwarren (LaVille) 25.08, 8. Niles Stickler (Glenn) 25.41.
3200: 1, Nick Arndt (New Prairie) 9:58.2. 2, David Kampf (New Prairie) 10:11.9. 3, Joe Mahank (Glenn) 10:15.9. 4, Luke Runyan (Glenn) 10:15.91. 5, Kris Wickens (Bremen) 10:30.5. 6, Thomas Dean (Bremen) 10:38.6. 7, Trenton Cooper (Triton) 11:01.2. 8, Nick Trevino (Jimtown) 11:04.6.
4 x 400 relay: 1. Culver Community (Bradley Beaver, Preston Hansel, Micah Budzinski, Matt Hurford) 3:33.22, 2. Bremen 3:26.26, 3. New Prairie 3:39.96, 4. John Glenn 3:40.03, 5. LaVille 3:45.74, 6. Knox 3:47.71, 7. Triton 3:49.17.
High jump: 1. Carter Gill (Jimtown) 6-0, 2. Bradley Beaver (Culver) 5-10, 3. Trey Zufan (Jimtown) 5-8, 4. TIE Colton Hill (Knox) and Dakota Manns (Knox) 5-6, 6. Masen Yeo (Triton) 5-6, 7. Beau Beeson (Bremen) 5-4, 8. Josh Shank (Glenn) 5-4.
Long jump: 1. Devan Emerson (Jimtown) 20-11 ¼, 2. James Johnston (Knox) 19-11 ½, 3. Marquis Scheiber (Jimtown) 19-9 ½, 4. Brian Fulghum (Knox) 19-7, 5. Bradley Beaver (Culver) 19-7, 7. Jon Stoller (Bremen) 17-10 ¼, 8. Kevin Heckaman (Bremen) 17-10.
Shot put: 1. Hunter Schuman (Glenn) 51-5, 2. Matt Hurford (Culver) 45-3, 3., Tyler Keeton (Knox) 45-0 ½, 5. Zac Ricketts (Bremen) 43-9 ½.
Discus: 1. J.T. Saylor (LaVille) 129-9, 2. Nate Strehler (Bremen) 129-7, 3. Austin Gill (Jimtown) 126-2, 4. Isaac Eash (LaVille) 125-4, 5. Zac Ricketts (Bremen) 122-9, 6. Tyler Keeton (Knox) 121-5.
Pole vault: 1. Todd Suttor (New Prairie) 12-6, 2. Adam Gill (Jimtown) 12-6, 3. Beau Beeson (Bremen) 11-6, 4. Jesse Burkholder (Triton) 10-6, 5. Jordan Hollenbaugh (Bremen) 10-0, 7. Nathan Lynch (Knox) 9-0.
All-Conference at large: Thomas Dean (Bremen), Tyler Keeton (Knox)

TEAM SCORES: New Prairie 134, Bremen 116 ½, John Glenn 79, Jimtown 78, Triton 77 ½, Culver Community 64, Knox 38, LaVille 37.
4 x 800 relay: 1. New Prairie (Erin O’Laughlin, Alex McBride, Rachael Thompson, Kelsey Tyler) 10:51.9, 2. Triton 10:59.8, 3. Bremen 10:59.9, 4. John Glenn 11:28.6, 5. Culver Community 11:41.0, 7. Knox 12:01.8, 8. LaVille 13:17.7.
100 hurdles: 1. Emily Schmalzried (Glenn) 16.98, 2. Danielle Romano (LaVille) 17.23, 3. Allison Vogeler (New Prairie) 17.26, 4. Kaley Gann (Bremen) 17.40, 5. Jaela Meister (Triton) 17.86, 6. Tatum Schultz (Culver) 18.16.
100: 1. Denisha Brown (Culver) 12.83, 2. Jasmine Schafer (Bremen) 12.91, 3. Katelyn Aguayo (Bremen) 13.44, 7. Kali Denney (Glenn) 13.98, 8. Katie Lenker (Triton) 14.21.
1600: 1. Rachael Thompson (New Prairie) 5:27.20, 2. Alex McBride (New Prairie) 5:31.84, 3. Sara Slabaugh (Bremen) 5:39.84, 4. Brooke Bahr (Bremen) 5:45.52, 5. Ashley Burnett (Glenn) 5:48.32, 6. Lexi Miller (Triton) 5:54.16, 7. Victoria Shank (Culver) 6:06.14.
4 x 100 relay: 1. Bremen (Jasmine Schafer, Vianca Montes De Oca, Marisa Browning, Katelyn Aguayo) 51.70, 2. Jimtown 53.47, 3. Culver Community 53.60, 4. John Glenn 53.94, 5. Knox 54.14, 7. Triton 56.40, 8. LaVille 57.07.
400: 1. Breanna Lemler (Triton) 1:00.48, 2. Jenna Adams (Glenn) 1:03.68, 3. Lucy Zeigler (LaVille) 1:04.71, 4. Nicole Hueni (Bremen) 1:04.85, 5. Katie Dreesen (Glenn) 1:05.05, 7. Libby Flora (Knox) 1:05.43, 8. Jorgi Klockow (Bremen) 1:06.18.
300 intermediate hurdles: 1. Allison Vogeler (New Prairie) 46.67, 2. Jaela Meister (Triton) 50.57, 3. Emily Schmalzried (Glenn) 50.60, 4. Kaley Gann (Bremen) 51.61, 5. Danielle Romano (LaVille) 51.97, 6. Alexandria Homann (Bremen) 53.00, 7. Tatum Schultz (Culver) 53.71.
800: 1. Kelsey Tyler (New Prairie) 2:30.70, 2. Erin O’Laughlin (New Prairie) 2:34.77, 3. Shana Anderson (Triton) 2:37.01, 4. Allison Cullers (Bremen) 2:41.11, 5. Jorgi Klockow (Bremen) 2:45.15, 6. Makayla Musilli (Triton) 2:45.92, 7. Victoria Shank (Culver) 2:46.48.
200: 1. Jasmine Schafer (Bremen) 26.49, 2. Denisha Brown (Culver) 26.66, 3. Breanna Lemler (Triton) 27.59, 5. Katelyn Aguayo (Bremen) 27.63, 6. Kali Denney (Glenn) 28.49, 8. Libby Flora (Knox) 29.03.
3200: 1. Rachael Thompson (New Prairie) 11:58.2, 2. Alex McBride (New Prairie) 12:05.3, 3. Ashley Burnett (Glenn) 12:11.7, 4. Brooke Bahr (Bremen) 12:31.0, 5. Sara Slabaugh (Bremen) 12:38.6, 6. Lexi Miller (Triton) 13:01.9.
4 x 400 relay: 1. New Prairie (Kelsey Tyler, Melanie Herrold, Nicole Hynek, Allison Vogeler) 4:17.78, 2. Bremen 4:20.92, 3. John Glenn 4:31.63, 4. LaVille 4:35.04, 5. Triton 4:37.44, 7. Knox 4:40.21, 8. Culver Community 4:50.42.
High jump: 1. Nicole Duryea (Jimtown) 5-1, 2. Katie Minarik (LaVille) 5-0, 3. Autumn Kann (Triton) 4-10, 6. Tatum Schultz (Culver) 4-8, 7. TIE Shana Anderson (Triton), Ally Pinter (New Prairie), Nicole Hueni (Bremen) 4-6.
Long jump: 1. Amber Fletcher (Knox) 15-9, 2. Kaley Gann (Bremen) 15-1 ¾, 3. Shawntel James (Jimtown) 15-1 ½, 5. Danielle Romano (LaVille) 14-9, 6. Aerielle McIntire (Knox) 14-7 ¼, 7. Denisha Brown (Culver) 14-5 ½, 8. Katelyn Aguayo (Bremen) 14-1 ¾.
Shot put: 1. Morgan Eggelston (Glenn) 35-3 ¼, 2. Ashlynn Smith (New Prairie) 34-6, 3. Mickella Hardy (Culver) 33-6, 4. Donna Zehner (Culver) 31-6, 6. Abby Brown (Bremen) 31-1, 7. Breanna Lemler (Triton) 29-9 ½, 8. Alex Ullery (Glenn) 29-6.
Discus: 1. Donna Zehner (Culver) 100-11, 2. Becca Kennedy (Triton) 100-7, 3. Alisha White (Knox) 94-9, 6. Morgan Eggleston (Glenn) 83-6, 7. Brooke Nowicki (Glenn) 80-3, 8. Kaitlyn Ahlenius (Bremen) 79-1.
Pole vault: 1. Jocelyn Spier (Jimtown) 10-0, 2. Morgan Brown (Knox) 8-6, 3. Rachel Miller (Jimtown) 8-0, 5. Klaudia Kovach (Glenn) 7-6, 6. TIE Mollie Fuchs (Bremen) and Jaela Meister (Triton) 7-0, 8. Melissa Reickmann (New Prairie) 7-0.
All-Conference At-Large: Kaley Gann (Bremen), Deasaray Greer (Jimtown), Shana Anderson (Triton)