May 17, 2024 at 10:57 p.m.
FRHS track

Tribe takes home seven district titles

Heitkamp, Brunswick win two championships apiece
Natalie Brunswick, a senior on the Fort Recovery High School girls track team, looks back to judge her lead on Minster’s Maria Niekamp during the 3,200-meter run Friday at the OHSAA Division III district meet at Spencerville. Brunswick pulled away with about 500 meters left in the race to claim her second district title with a time of 12 minutes, 0.56 seconds. (The Commercial Review/Andrew Balko)
Natalie Brunswick, a senior on the Fort Recovery High School girls track team, looks back to judge her lead on Minster’s Maria Niekamp during the 3,200-meter run Friday at the OHSAA Division III district meet at Spencerville. Brunswick pulled away with about 500 meters left in the race to claim her second district title with a time of 12 minutes, 0.56 seconds. (The Commercial Review/Andrew Balko)

SPENCERVILLE, Ohio — Trevor Heitkamp won two district titles in 2023 and Mara Pearson added another. Both of them repeated in 2024.

A girls relay team and a sprinter added one each to this year’s total.

A girls distance runner added two in the same races as Heitkamp this year to give the Indians a new total.

During the OHSAA Division III district tournament hosted by Spencerville on Friday, the Fort Recovery High School track teams combined for seven district championships, beating out the 2019 squad’s six.

“I’m surprised and obviously very happy with that,” FRHS coach Christy Diller said. “You never know going into these things because time doesn’t matter, it’s points and your place, so you have to get everybody onto that same mindset.

“Everybody showed up and did exactly what they needed to do today. It was a very good day.”

The girls team repeated as the runner-up in the district with 94 points. Minster ran away with the district crown by scoring 132.66 points, while St. Henry trailed the Indians with 66.

The boys bumped up a spot in the standings from a year ago, finishing eighth out of 15 teams with 35 points, just one ahead of Lima Perry. Marion Local (131) edged out Minster by seven points for the top spot.

FRHS previously won six events between the two teams in 2019 with top finishes coming from Whitley Rammel (shot put), Drew Muhlenkamp (400-meter dash), Robby LeFevre (110 hurdles), the boys 4x100 relay team, the boys 4x400 relay team and Jared Timmerman (long jump).

The Indians surpassed that mark by one this year, in large part because of Heitkamp repeating his victories in the 1,600 run and 3,200 run and Natalie Brunswick matching him.

Brunswick has run some hotly contested races with various Minster Wildcats throughout the 2023 and ’24 seasons. On Friday, Brunswick came out on top in both races beating a pair of Wildcats.

“Honestly, it feels good because I went into the race having no expectations,” Brunswick said. “I tried not to worry about anything, because I know Minster. They race with your head and they’re very good at it. So I tried to just go out and just mind my own business and act like they aren’t there.”

That mindset especially paid off in the 1,600 run. Brunswick led a pack of four girls that included Minster’s Chaney Cedarleaf and Margaret Hemmelgarn.

They overtook Brunswick with 400 meters left and tried to box her in, but in the last 200 meters, Brunswick said she felt she had enough gas left in the tank and made a break for first.

It paid off.

Her final time was 5 minutes, 20.19 seconds.

Diller casually mentioned that the race acted as a huge mental win — a notion Brunswick agreed with.

In the 3,200 run, Brunswick battled with Maria Niekamp of Minster, but ultimately pulled away for the victory with about 500 meters left. Her final time was 12:00.56.

Heitkamp dominated both of his races. He finished the 1,600 run with a time of 4:27.11 and the 3,200 run in 9:54.81.

After winning last year, Heitkamp took a different approach this season.

“This year’s races were kind of interesting compared to last year,” Heitkamp said. “Instead of treating it as these are races I have to win, I treated it as if these are just prelims for state.

“I think viewing it like that takes the pressure off of it and makes it a more enjoyable race to run.”


Like Heitkamp, Pearson reclaimed her district title in the long jump with a distance of  17 feet, 3.25 inches, which beat Alex Kessen of St. John’s by a quarter of an inch.

Pearson also advanced to the regional meet at Troy next week in the 100 dash (fourth place – 13.01 seconds) and the 4x100 relay. (The top four finishes qualify for the regional meet.)

Pearson anchored the 4x100 relay team and held on to a sizable lead gained by Kiana Matsuda on the third leg to take the top spot with a time of 49.77 seconds. Anna Roessner and Paige Guggenbiller handled the first two legs of the race.

“(Matsuda) smoked that curve,” Diller said. “It was so good. She came in with such a good mindset today to just do what she can and we preach that, but for a kid to execute that is huge.”

Matsuda also beat her No. 5 seed in the 300 hurdles (fourth – 46.9) to secure a regional appearance. She also ran the first leg of the 4x400 relay that got FRHS off on a good enough pace to finish fourth (4:10.54). Matsuda preceded Ellie Will, Guggenbiller and Roessner in the relay.

Roessner nearly gave the Indians an eighth district title, but fell short in the 100 dash as 12.34 seconds left her 0.14 seconds short of Kessen. She did, however, secure the 200 dash title with a time of 25.05 seconds.

“We’ve had a good year of people showing up and putting in what we say is capital W work,” Diller said. “We just showed up today top to bottom and get to go another week.”

Along with Friday’s regional qualifications, the girls 4x800 relay team of Will, Kennedy Muhlenkamp, Joelle Kaup and Brunswick as well as Karlie Niekamp in the discus punched their tickets on Wednesday’s preliminary meet.

Other performances that earned points on the day include:

•Will in the 1,600 run (fifth) and the 800 run (eighth)

•Reese Diller in the 3,200 run (sixth)

•Lucas Acheson in the high jump (sixth)

•Carson Fullenkamp on Wednesday in the shot put (sixth)

•The boys 4x800 relay team on Wednesday (sixth)

•Niekamp in the shot put (seventh)

•The boys 4x400 relay team (seventh)

•Pearson in the 200 dash (eighth)


PORTLAND WEATHER

Events

June

SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 1 2 3 4 5 6

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.

250 X 250 AD