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Photos by Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Leo’s Cayden Merckler, center, prepares to receive the baton from his teammate during the 400-meter relay Friday. The Lions won the boys and girls ACAC meet titles.
ACAC meet

Leo runs off with titles

Girls, boys capture league championships by wide margins

Leo’s Jennifer Emery finishes in front of teammate Lauren Hamilton in the 1,600-meter run on Friday. Emery won with a time of 5 minutes, 35.69 seconds.
Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Heritage’s Kari Smith won the 100 meters in 13.15 seconds Friday at the ACAC meet.

– Leo swept both ACAC track titles Friday at Garrett.

The Leo girls crushed the competition, racking up 155 1/2 points to Woodlan’s second-place total of 108.

“We are a strong team this year,” Leo senior Jennifer Emery said. “We are strong everywhere. This gives us a confidence boost and conference helps us get in the right frame of mind for (next week’s) sectionals.”

Emery was a part of three first-place finishes for the Lions, winning the 1,600 in 5 minutes, 35.69 seconds and the 3,200 in 12:15.07. She was also part of the winning 3,200 relay team (10:10.06).

“It’s my senior year, so I happy to go out with a bang,” Emery said. “I wasn’t too sure about how the other girls (in the ACAC) were doing because I didn’t keep track of them. I just ran my race and hoped for the best.”

Senior Lauren Hamilton also had three firsts in the 800 (2:28.12), 1,600 relay (4:25.42) and 3,200 relay. She finished second in the 1,600 to Emery in 5:35.80.

“We push each other, and it is healthy competition on the team,” Emery said.

Getting two wins for the Lions was senior Keanna Gary (discus, 124 feet, 3 inches; shot put, 36-7 1/2 ).

Woodlan had a pair of double winners in Brooke Gerbers (100 hurdles, 16.83; 400 relay, 52.89) and Cassandra Lomont (400, 1:02.36; 400 relay).

Woodlan’s Payton Garnes won the 300 hurdles in 53.13.

Also picking up wins in the girls meet were Heritage’s Kari Smith (100, 13.15), Bluffton’s Ashley Smith (high jump, 5-2) and Adams Central’s Briona Case (long jump, 15-6 3/4 ).

The Leo boys won the team title with 128 points, outdistancing defending champion South Adams’ 107 1/2 .

Chris Horn won the long jump in an ACAC record 22-5, beating the former record by a couple of feet.

“I have been working real hard to get that up,” Horn said. “I just wanted to break 22 (feet), and I got there.”

Horn was also part of the winning 400 (43.81) and 1,600 (3:37.69) relay teams.

“We worked really hard this year, and we focused on our individuals,” Horn said. “And we put it all together this year. We all wanted it, and it worked out.”

Alex Lindley also had two firsts for the Lions, winning the 400 (53.48) and 1,600 relay. Leo’s Logan Glaze won discus with a 141-0 throw.

Bluffton’s Brady Johnson got two wins in the 100 (11.26) and 200 (23.11).

“I wasn’t really expecting the 200,” Johnson said. “I thought I had a good chance in the 100, but it is good I got both.

“I definitely excelled in the starts; that’s my strong point. I have been working a lot on my finish, so people don’t catch me because that’s usually how I lose races.”

In both races, Johnson beat Leo’s Cayden Merkler and Patrick Richardville, who got second and third.

“That was my goal at conference, to beat those two because Leo has always has fast kids, so it feels good,” Johnson said.

South Adams got a pair of wins from Brody Shane (1,600, 4:44.79; 3,200 relay, 8:28.88) and Joel Hawbaker (3,200, 10:39.80; 3,200 relay).

South Adams’ Cameron Lengerich (110 hurdles, 15.68) also got a first place.

Also getting wins were Heritage’s Arron Horne (300 hurdles, 41.47) and Carson White (high jump, 5-11), Adams Central’s Gavin Kaehr (800, 2:06.69) and Woodlan’s Zach Burchardt (shot put, 48-10 1/4 ).

gjones@jg.net

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