GMC successful against GWOC in Clash of the Titans meet

Freddie Wilhelm | Staff Writer

The Greater Miami and Greater Western Ohio Conferences went against each other for an early season competition at Sycamore High School on April 7.

The track meet, called The Clash of the Titans meet, consisted of 13 different varsity teams competing to see which conference was superior. Last year, Sycamore wanted to host the event for the first time, but it was rained out and never rescheduled. Teams in the same conference (that are usually competing) had to work together to score more points on the other conference. Boys assistant track coach Tom Rapp said the meet was a fun mix of competition and teamwork.

“It is a unique format to have one conference versus another,” Rapp said. “All these teams that we typically compete against in the GMC: West, East and Sycamore, are our teammates today. We are never going to set aside our competitive nature, so we have to compete against them individually, while as a team to beat GWOC.”

The GMC was successful in the meet, especially with Mason’s contributions. Mason boys put up a total of 131 points and the girls scored 148.

In field events, senior Vince Jackson cleared 6 feet 4 inches in the high jump, earning second place. Junior Lakin Pitts also put in a great performance at high jump, landing second place with a height of 5 feet 8 inches. Senior Amaya King placed first in shot put, with a throw of 42 feet 7 inches. Pole vault was dominated by seniors Nicole Bagby and Josh Huber, with Bagby clearing 11 feet 6 inches and Huber clearing 12 feet 6 inches; Bagby placed second and Huber placed third. Juniors Grace Tang and Chris Simmons placed fourth and third in long jump.

Mason’s track event results were equally impressive, ensuring victory for the GMC. Two major highlights were the girls’ win in the 3200-meter relay and the boys’ win in the 400 meter relay. Individual performances in distance included junior Abel Nijakowski’s win in the 1600-meter run, sophomore Jack Troy’s third place finish in the 800-meter run, and senior Ellie Brushes’ first place win in the 1600-meter run. Brush also placed second in the 800-meter run with a time of two minutes and 23 seconds.

One sprinter that stood out was junior Carter Witmer-Gautsch, who finished first in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 40.75 seconds. Senior Matt Miller finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 50.94 seconds. Freshman Maddie Ullom earned first in the 400-meter dash with a time of one minute, as well as second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.99 seconds.

Rapp said the entire team was responsible for an excellent early season performance, but early season mindsets are only temporary.

“All our guys performed really well across the board,” Rapp said. “Whether (they were) our sprinters, hurdlers, relayers, or our distance guys. Also our field events, throws and jumps went very well getting some wins and high placings. In early season we’re mainly focusing on competing and performing well, and I can see that. We can focus on how to gain points and win later in the season.”

Although the Comets helped claimed victory for the GMC, Rapp said there is still work to do as the season progresses.

“I think we need to be sharpening our strategy,” Rapp said. “It is early season so our strategy isn’t as sharp as it needs to be.”

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Photos by India Kirssin.