By David Fong
HUBER HEIGHTS — Kurt Snyder had just spent the last few hours watching his team push through the rain, past the competition and to the top of the standings — so when the time came, he didn’t mind pushing for the Trojans to receive what they had coming to them.
At the end of the Division I district track and field meet at Wayne High School Friday, Snyder’s Troy girls track and field team stood firmly atop the team standings — and were expecting to receive the district championship trophy.
There was, however, one problem.
The steady rains that fell Friday evening forced meet officials to postpone the girls pole event to today. That meant the meet wasn’t officially over Friday night — and even though the Trojans had mathematically clinched the district title regardless of what happens in today’s pole vault event, officials were reluctant to hand over the hardware to the Trojans.
“I just wanted what was right for the kids,” Snyder said.
And so, after a spirited but sportsmanlike discussion between Snyder and meet officials, a compromise was reached. The Trojans were recognized as district champs Friday and allowed to have a team picture taken with the trophy. Once the final picture had been taken, Troy returned to the trophy to officials and will receive it following the conclusion of today’s pole vault competition.
“The kids put forth the effort — they deserved to have their picture taken with that trophy,” Snyder said. “They could ship us the trophy, but that’s not exciting for the kids. We had kids who competed Wednesday (the first day of competition) who came back (Friday) just for this. We had someone like Dasia Cole, who won the high jump and scored big points for us Wednesday, come back just to be a part of this.”
One thing no one could take away from the Trojans, however, was just how impressive their performance was at the district meet, as the Trojans secured a district title for the second year in a row — the first time that’s happened in school history.
Going into today’s pole vault, the Trojans have 125 points and are guaranteed to get more from pole vaulter Christine Moser, who was one of six competitors still competing when the event was postponed Friday night. Troy athletes qualified for regionals in 12 out of 17 events, while Moser could potentially make it 13 events should she qualify today.
The Trojans also had two competitors qualify in three events and claimed four district championships. At one point in the night, Troy qualified for regionals in nine consecutive events on the track.
“That was impressive,” Snyder said of his team’s performance. “I think it shows how tough are kids are that they were able to come in here and perform like they did under these conditions.”
Leading the way for the Trojans were senior Kelsey Walters and sophomore Morgan Gigandet, both of whom captured one individual title and were part of relay teams that also won district championships.
Walters won the shot put (40-5.75), then teamed with Jordan Hoffman, Ashley Barr and Celina Courts to win the 4×200 relay (1:46.54). She also teamed with Courts, Barr and Kayla Hemm to take second in the 4×100.
“This feels really good,” Walters said. “I’m so proud of my teammates. This season has been a little rocky with some mishaps we’ve had in the 4×100. But it feels good to be going to regionals with my teammates.”
Gigandet was simply dominant in the 3,200, breaking her own school record (10:40.33) and literally lapping every competitor in the field except for teammate Emma Shigley, who placed second (11:38.09). Gigandet and Shigley also teamed up with Megan Myers and Olivia Tyre to win the 4×800 (9:45.25).
“This is the time of year I’ve been waiting for,” Gigandet said. “District, then regionals and then state. This is the part of the season I’ve been looking forward to.”
Cole picked up the fourth district title for the Trojans earlier in the week, winning the high jump with a leap of 5-2.
In addition to capturing a district title in the 4×800, Myers also finished as the runner-up in the 800 (2:24.52).
“Megan Myers was outstanding,” Snyder said. “She shaved four seconds off her personal best and ran a great race.”
Barr was the lone Trojans to qualify for regionals for four events. In addition to the 4×100 and 4×200, she also was third in the 400 (1:00.30) and teamed with Ciena Miller, Lily Clouser and Hana Green to place fourth in the 4×400 (4:19.47). Miller also qualified in the 400, placing fourth (1:00.69).
Courts qualified in three events, adding the 200 (third place in 26.40 seconds) to her two relay events. Tyre was a double qualifier, placing fourth in the 1,600 (5:27.35) to add to her 4×800 relay. Caitlyn Cusick qualified in the 300 hurdles (48.01 seconds), while Alaura Holycross placed third in the shot put (34-10.5).
“I’m proud of the kids,” Snyder said. “They came out and competed.”
And when push came to shove, got what they deserved in the end.
Contact David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong