BW seniors claim fourth straight girls title at ‘Red’ Edwards Relays
By GARY HENERY
News Managing Editor
The Big Walnut Class of 2012 accomplished something no other Golden Eagles’ girls track team has achieved since 1984 — winning four straight Big Walnut “Red” Edwards Golden Eagle Relay championships.
Big Walnut, winning three events and scoring 101 points, held off a strong challenge from Olentangy Liberty to edge the Patriots, who tallied 98 points, by three points to capture Saturday’s annual Spring classic at Golden Eagle Stadium.
“This senior class has won all four Eagle Relays they have competed in, a feat not accomplished since the class of 1984,” Big Walnut head girls track coach Joe Evener said. “That speaks volumes about their talent, work ethic and determination. When I told them that we had won during the final laps of the 4x800 relay, you could see the thrill and pride light up their faces.
“I am so proud of my girls. When you win a meet with this type of caliber of teams it is a testimony to the heart of a team. They competed hard, and scratched and clawed for every single point,” he continued. “There were so many key performances, and I loved the way they all stepped up and competed. During the course of a meet not everything goes in your favor, and the test of a true champion is to overcome those difficulties; and, as always, they did not disappoint.”
Big Walnut’s victories came in the long jump event with Olivia Small, Avery Kerns and Leah Thomas (45 feet, 3 ¼ inches); in the sprint medley with Catie Craig-Bowden, Olivia Daggett, Emily Asher and Bethany Bogantz (1 minute, 53.8 seconds) and in the 4x100 relay with Callie Carioti, Jamie Annis, Olivia Small and Thomas (0:51.3).
Daggett, a sophomore, drew praise from Evener for her dedication in the meet.
“Going in to Saturday’s meet Olivia was only scheduled to run one race for sure, the lap medley, but I made sure she understood that she needed to be ready for any unforeseen circumstances,” he said. “Early in the morning one girl became ill, and it was necessary to move Olivia into the distance medley, which is the third to last race. Then, unexpectedly, Brea Medlock cramped up after her anchor leg on the winning sprint medley team. I called on Olivia to step up and anchor the 4x400 relay and she ran a great leg, winning our heat of the race and placing second overall.”
The Golden Eagle seniors were quick to express their appreciation for Daggett’s performance.
“To demonstrate how classy our group of seniors are, they came to me after the meet and said they had talked about it and they feel that the trophy for “Athlete of the Meet” should go to Olivia for the way she rose to the occasion and performed so well,” Evener reported. “I couldn’t be prouder of her and our seniors.”
Big Walnut’s pole vault team of Jordan Lyle, Krystina Stacy and Emily Asher which placed second in the meet, was acknowledged by Evener for not only breaking the 2004 school record with a vault of 23 feet, 6 inches, but for putting the Golden Eagles in a position to win the meet.
“Jordan, Krystina and Emily’s second place finish in the pole vault was a key moment in the meet, as it tied us with Liberty with four events left on the track,” Evener said. “Not only am I proud of their record, but with the fact they are getting better and better under coach (Kevin) Abrams, and the points they scored and the record they broke is proof of this.”
Big Walnut also posted seconds by Shelby Bradford, Alayna Small, Amber Shaheen and Jamie Annis in the shuttle hurdles (1:08.9); Annis, Liz Carty, Asia Medlock and Daggett in the 4x400 relay (4:20.7); and Callie Carioti, Annis, Thomas and Brea Medlock in the 4x200 Relay (1:49.4). High Jump – Olivia Small, Avery Kerns and Randi Rammelsberg tied for second in the high jump (14–2).
Golden Eagle thirds were scored by Bogantz, Asher, Makenna Hemming and Stephanie Keller in the 4x1600 relay (23:59.5); Craig-Bowden, Daggett, Asher and Bogantz in the lap medley (14:05.7) 14:05.7; and by Stephanie Keller, Liz Carty, Daggett and Hemming in the distance medley (10:26.5).