ST. LEON – Although the host East Central Lady Trojans and the Batesville Bulldog boys were a little too strong to be caught in the track and field sectional round, the Franklin County Wildcats have a lot to be proud of as athletes answer the gun at regionals this week.

The Lady Wildcats advanced in six events after Tuesday’s competition while the boys ended Thursday with nine events populated in the next round of state competition. FC scored 101 points on the men’s side as Batesville won with 150; the Lady Cats scored 49 for 5th place as EC dominated with 160 points.

Junior Jacob Schatzle starred for the boys, winning the pole vault (12-6), long jump (22-4.75) and joining seniors Hunter Tschaenn and Drew Grant and fellow junior Tyreke Carr in capturing the 4x100-meter relay (43.76). (He later scratched out of the regional pole vault).

The ladies had no event sectional champions but the 4x100 team of freshman Audrey Harper, sophomore Madison Merritt and seniors Lauren Kelley and Grace Kruthaupt was runner-up to East Central (51.85 to 52.23). Kelley returned to the oval later to take second in the 800 run; her 2:29.06 was second only to EC’s Ellie Lengerich (2:20.55).

Junior Chad Cox claimed runner-up in the high jump, nearly matching Batesville’s Gabe Gunter at a height of 6-feet-2-inches. In the 100, Schatzle lost a photo finish to EC’s Erik Perkins as each was credited with a time of 11.18 seconds; Tschaenn also advanced to regional by placing third (11.3).
In probably the race of the evening Thursday, the Wildcat boys held on for third in the 4x400 relay. Coach Joe Davidson shuffled his rotation a bit as Cox replaced Carr, to go with Tschaenn, Grant and Denver Meier. Batesville’s (3:30.66) JJ Kuisel charged at Perkins in the final lap but the Trojans (3:29.98) stayed in first; FC was at 3:33.19. Chloe Heffron finished third in pole vault to advance, getting up to 8 feet.

A handful of athletes did not crack the top three in their events but were essentially competing against sectional results from other sites. Those living to see regional action were Grant in the 400 (4th; 52.88), Cameron Smith in shot put (45-9.25), boys 4x800 (Grant, Harmon and Hunter Marshall and Meier; 4th in a time of 8:37.68), Kruthaupt in 100 hurdles (4th; 16.05) and 300 hurdles (5th; 50.54) and Harper in long jump (5th; 15-10).

Harper scored 5th-place points in the 100 (13.86) and was 6th in the 200 (29.25) while Merritt took 7th in the latter (29.26). Jacy Grimmeissen, Kelley, Merritt and Kirstin Clark were 7th in the 4x400 (4:39.68) and Bailey Parkhurst was 6th in shot (32-5.25). Meier placed 7th in the 400 (53.85), Ha. Marshall 8th in the 800 (2:15.65), Carr 4th in the 200 (23.45), Sam Westerfeld 4th in both long jump (19-6.5) and shot (45-8.25), Smith 4th in discus (135-10), Anthony Moore 6th in discus (128-8) and Adam Grant 8th in pole vault (9 ft.).
EC’s Leo Maxwell broke a 33-year-old stadium record in shot, throwing 59-6.75, then did the same in discus to snap a 29-year mark (168-11). Lady Trojan Jessica Stenger set a new stadium mark in discus as well, spinning 138-10 to top a 13-year standard. Lengerich beat the sectional record of FC’s Ashlan Hill in long jump, leaping 18-4.5.

The girls regional took place at Franklin Community Tuesday (results not available) while the boys travel to Warren Central Thursday.