By Dan Woodlock
Times-Junction Sports Editor
Regularly taking on the 100, 200, 400 and Mile Relay, Tyler Gahring has taken the role of Superman for Willard throughout the track and field season.
The senior wasn’t faster than speeding bullet on Saturday--but rather a BB, as he leapt to Regionals in a double-bound.
Gahring clipped Brian Barnett’s WHS school record in the 400 Meter Dash, running a 50.88-second race to not only top Barnett’s previous mark of 50.92 seconds, but also lock down District runner-up honors and one of his two Regional qualifications during the Division III District meet at Bucyrus High School.
He finished behind New London’s Spencer Cole (50.87), and ahead of fellow Regional qualifiers, Mykal Smathers of Bucyrus (52.35) and New London’s Jakob Logan (53.97).
Gahring also raced his way into the Regional field in the 100, sprinting to a third place finish at 11.47 seconds. Only Cole (11.24) and champion Cole Fortner of Wynford (11.14) posted faster finals times. Trevor Durbin of Crestview (11.49) also advanced to the D-III Regional, which will be held Wednesday and Friday at Tiffin’s Frost-Kalnow Stadium.
Willard’s boys landed four Regional berths, overall, including Cory Barnett’s run to District runner-up honors in the 800 (2:02.38), where he joined the likes of Western Reserve’s Nick Church (2:04.84), Bucyrus’ Carson Pirnstill (2:03.49) and champion Chad Johnson of Colonel Crawford (2:00.62).
The Flashes secured a spot at Regionals on the opening night of District competition, as the 3200 Relay team of Seth Vipperman, Branden Carlson, Jerett Sowers and Barnett sailed to third place (8:28.86). Willard, Colonel Crawford and first place Crestview were separated by just 0.68 seconds or less, while Western Reserve also moved on, more than 15 seconds behind.
South Central’s girls 400 Relay team of Alexis Whitright, Libbie Rumsey, Asia Huffman and Lexi Adams earned a D-III Regional berth with a third place run at Bucyrus, crossing in 53.33 seconds. Other notables moving on in the race included Seneca East (53.49), St. Paul (52.45) and Colonel Crawford (52.03).
Huffman fell one position short of making it a double qualification, as she took fifth in the 100 Hurdles (17.24).
Nathaniel Redden of Plymouth nailed down the final Regional berth in the 3200, claiming fourth place at 10:32.3. He edged out Willard’s Eric Hillis, who, despite just missing etching his name on the Regional ledger, still achieved his PR run of 10:37.52 in fifth.
Also advancing, following opening night qualifications, were Plymouth’s Hannah Barber in the Discus (fourth place-109’5”) and South Central’s Carson Kinney in the Shot Put (second place-53’6.75”). He added another Regional effort with a fourth place throw in the Discus on Day Two (146’6”).
Plymouth’s Jessica Porter had a couple of near misses, as she took fifth in the 1600 (5:56.15) and was nudged out for fourth by Sidney Allen of New London by .09 seconds (5:56.06). She also placed fifth on the Lady Big Red’s 3200 Relay (10:53.4), with Mattie Lunceford, Hailey Barber and Kendall Sanders. Western Reserve raced to fourth with a time of 10:43.68.
Emily Worthington of South Central also missed twice by just one position in the hunt for Regionals as she landed fifth in both the Shot (32’7.25”) and Discus (100’5”).
Felicia Rosvanis was the lone Lady Flashes’ athlete to advance to Regionals in their Division II competition in Oak Harbor. She zipped to third place in the 400 (1:01.05). Clyde’s Hayley Robinett and Sandusky’s Erica Sherman finished at 59.64 and 59.77 seconds, respectively. Amelia Moore of Clear Fork (1:01.74) also qualified for the Lexington Regionals, which begin Thursday.
The speedy sophomore was also a part of the WHS girls’ next closest efforts, as she took sixth in the 100 (13.07) and anchored the sixth place Mile Relay (4:19.88) behind Niajha Walker, Lydia Wiers and Morgan Adams.Walker placed seventh in the 100 (13.23) and both Emily Rothhaar and Maddie Branham did the same in the 3200 (12:31.08) and Discus (108’2”), respectively. Lydia Wiers, Sarah Honaker, Walker and Rosvanis were seventh in the 800 Relay (1:50.25).