CRESTLINE — The 2021 Crawford County Track Meet featured an epic one-on-one battle and an individual performance for the record books.
By the end of Friday’s activities at Crestline High School’s John A. McDonough Track, Colonel Crawford had swept both the boys and girls team championships. The final boys standings reflected the tightly contested meet between the two top teams Colonel Crawford and Galion. The Eagles finished with 163 points and Galion amassed 158 points.
Bucyrus (65 points) placed third and Crestline was fourth (62 points). Wynford (52 points) finished fifth and Buckeye Central (21 points) came in sixth.
The Lady Eagles tallied 214 points to claim the team title by a wide margin over Galion, which finished with 106 points. Wynford (85 points) placed third and Bucyrus (41 points) and Buckeye Central (41 points) tied for fourth. Host Crestline (24 points) came in sixth.
It marked the first time Colonel Crawford swept both the boys and girls team titles since 2011. The Lady Eagles win ended a string of eight consecutive team championships for the Lady Tigers. The boys win ended Galion’s run of five consecutive titles. Colonel Crawford last won the boys team title in 2014.
“This was a big one for our kids,” Eagles boys coach Preston Foy said. “This was really important — the Crawford County Meet — because all the kids know one other. It’s a rivalry. We haven’t won in a while because Galion with Coach (Todd) Roston over there. But (Colonel Crawford) is hungry. They’re tired of being viewed as ‘little brother’ to Galion. They had this opportunity and took it upon them to come out and show they’re tired of that kind of mentality. They’re the best in the county. They were really excited to do that today.”
Galion coach Dave Kirk said he was happy with his teams’ performances on Friday.
“It was a good meet,” Kirk said. “It’s always competitive, a very good meet. We’re proud of our kids. We came over here with a lot of kids and we’ve still got some holes that we’re trying to work on and fill. We’ll get them. It’s still early. We had some great performances today. We’re very pleased with our progress. What we want is coming. We’re making strides every time out. And Colonel Crawford, too. They’re a nice team; well balanced. Their girls are awesome. They’ve got great kids and great depth.
“We’re working. We’re living and dying on freshmen. That’s a hard way to make a living, but we’re doing it and the leadership that I’ve got from my upperclassmen is outstanding. We’re gonna be alright.”
Galion’s Caleb Branstetter and Colonel Crawford’s Carter Valentine, longtime friends and former schoolmates, battled to a tie in the boys high jump. They each topped out at 6 feet, 6 inches to eclipse the previous meet record of 6 feet, 5 inches set by David Wood of Crestline in 1984.
Branstetter and Valentine slugged it out in the track and field version of overtime, but were unable to determine a winner. The two finally agreed to share the spoils and and new record height.
“Trying not to freak out is what you gotta do,” Branstetter said. “You just gotta stay focused on what you gotta do; don’t worry about them too much. But it’s always fun to have competition. Somebody pushing you is going to get you way further than just yourself during a meet.”
Valentine said he enjoyed competing against Branstetter.
“Caleb is a freaking athlete,” Valentine said. “I went to school with him for a pretty long time (at Galion). He’s always been able to jump super-high. He dunks a ball like crazy. This was a good day, but it was tiring. We jumped a lot. The warm weather definitely helped us, though. You just got to be mentally tough.”
Valentine was the boys field events MVP thanks to his performances in the high jump and long jump. He placed second in the long jump (19 feet, 9 inches) behind Galion’s Hanif Donaldson (22 feet, 5 inches).
Katie Ruffener of Colonel Crawford was named the MVP of the girls running events after winning four events and amassing 40 points for the Lady Eagles. She claimed victory in the 100- and 200-meter dash races and the 100- and 300-meter hurdles events. Her time in the 100 dash was 12.66 seconds. She posted a time of 26.73 seconds in the 200 dash.
Ruffener set a meet record in the 100 hurdles, finishing in 14.32 seconds. That erased the previous record of 14.76 seconds established by Wynford’s Amber Rall in 2003.
Ruffener’s time in the 300 hurdles was 48.05 seconds.
Crestline’s Calvin Reed claimed the boys running events MVP thanks to his outstanding performance. He tallied 21 points after winning the 100- and 200-meter dash events. His time in the 100 was 11.25 seconds. His time in the 200 was 24.19 seconds.
Rachel Weyant of Crestline was the girls field events MVP. She scored 16 points after posting a pair of runnerup performances in the shot put and discus. Her best throw in the shot put traveled 33 feet, 2 inches. Colonel Crawford’s Julia Feik won the event with a toss of 34 feet, 4 inches.
In the discus, Weyant’s best throw covered 92 feet, 7 inches. Wynford’s Katie Wagner won the discus with a heave of 96 feet, 3 inches.
Follow this link to BaumsPage.com to see complete results from the 2021 Crawford County Meet.
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