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The Covington girls had a record-setting day in earning their second straight District Championship, while the boys track team advanced several competitors to regional with a third place finish as a team.
Gray Harshbarger and the boys 4x400 relay team won a district title to advance to the regional meet.

By Rob Kiser, Piqua Daily Call
MAY 20, 2017 - WEST MILTON
Virtual became reality for the Covington girls track and field team Saturday.

The Lady Buccs picked up their second straight Milton-Union D-III district title, winning with 107 points.

Anna was second with 98 and Miami East was third with 92.

"We did a virtual meet," Covington coach Dave Tobias said. "It looked like if everything went the way it should, we had a good chance of winning."

Covington did it with just two first-place finishes.

"I don't know if I would use the word depth," Tobias said. "We only had 16 girls here. I would say we had the right girls in the right event."

Rayna Horner highlighted the day for the Buccs, breaking Lauren Heaton's 400-meter district record in in winning in 57.92.

"I always looked up to Lauren Heaton as a freshman and sophomore and always wanted to be able to run with her," Horner said of the former state champion from Russia. "It means a lot to break her record. Actually, I looked at it before the meet and my dad said I could get the record."

And she credited her competition as well.

"Without them pushing me, I could have never done it," she said. "Gabrielle (Hawkins) of Miami East beat me at the league and then I beat her today. I know they are always going to be tough. It does give me confidence going into the regional."

Tobias said that time, which was also a school record, was impressive.

"That is a pretty big accomplishment to beat Lauren Heaton's record," Tobias said. "Rayna (Horner) ran a great race."

Lauren Christian followed up her win in the shot put Tuesday with a second-place in the discus, 105-10.

"We never really scored a lot of points in the field events," Tobias said. "And Lauren (Christian) gives us big points in both the shot (put) and discus."

Breanna Kimmel also took second in the 100, 12.97; and 200, 26.32.

"Breanna (Kimmel) is always going to be right there," Tobias said.

Also finishing second were Anna Dunn, 3,200 (see accompanying story below), 11:34.77; and the 1,600 relay (Horner, Lowe, Boehringer, Kimmel), 4:06.89.

Taking third was Natalie Snyder, 100 hurdles, 16.60; while finishing fourth was Dunn, 1,600, 5:33.28.

Covington boys finished third in the team standings, led by wins from Zach Parrett, Cade Harshbarger and the 1,600 relay.

Parrett won the high jump, clearing 6-0; while Harshbarger won the 300 hurdles, 40.16; and finished second in the 110 hurdles, 15.92.

The 1,600 relay (Barnes, Harshbarger, Pond, Lyle) won in 3:30.48.

Taking second was the Covington 400 relay (Shaffer, Herron, Murphy, Gray Harshbarger), 45.03; and Tyler Fraley, high jump, 5-10.

Finishing third were Cade Schmelzer, 300 hurdles, 42.99; and Zane Barnes, 400, 51.88.

Anna Dunn sprints to the finish line with Bradford's Karmen Knepp in the 3200.

It was the race of the day at the Milton-Union Division III district track meet.

The 3,200-meter run isn't supposed to be a photo finish.

But, don't tell that to Bradford sophomore Karmen Knepp and Covington senior Anna Dunn.

Knepp, running her first race of the day, pushed the pace early - and Dunn, coming off running the 1,600 - didn't give an inch, right to the finish line.

Knepp recorded the victory by four-hundreths of a second, winning in 11:34.73, while Dunn was second in 11:34.77.

"I don't think I have ever had a race this close," Knepp said. "I wasn't expecting that."

Dunn disagreed.

"I don't know if she (Karmen Knepp) remembers but the 1,600 at league last year was like this," Dunn said. "I always seemed to be the one just getting beat at the finish line. But, it is OK."

Knepp had Dunn on her shoulder almost the entire race.

"I usually am able to open up a little bit of a gap and I wasn't able to," Knepp said. "I wasn't feeling as good as I hoped because of the temperature going back and forth. Give her (Anna Dunn) credit for doing that after running a 1,600."

Dunn wasn't going to go away after finsihing fourth in the 1,600 to advance in that event.

"I didn't run the 1,600 as hard as a I normally do," Dunn said. "I just decided I was going to stay with her. When I passed her (near the finish line), I thought it might have been too soon, that she was going to get me."

It took all Knepp had.

"Honestly, I didn't think I was going to get her," Knepp said. "I didn't think I had anything left. But, I was just able to get her."

As both girls left the crowd buzzing.

Zach Parrett won a district title in the high jump.