MAY 18, 2019 - PIQUA (By Rob Kiser, Piqua Daily Call)
Thanks to a little luck and a clutch performance by the boys 4x400 meter relay team, the Covington Buccaneers edge Newton for runner-up as a team at the D-III district meet Saturday at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field.
The Indians held a 13-point lead over Covington for second-place behind Fort Loramie with two events remaining.
Bennett Welborn finished fifth in the 3,200 to get Covington within nine points, with the 1,600-meter relay remaining. Welborn actually crossed the finish line in sixth, but anothe runner was disqualified to move the Covington runner to fifth. This proved huge in team points.
Still, needing a win to get second-place in the team standings, Covington's foursome of Gray Harshbarger, Alex Shaffer, Cade Schmelzer did exactly that, winning in 3:30.06.
"We got second last year, so it feels pretty good to get second again," Covington coach Kyle Moore. "I know Bennett (Welborn) was disappointed with fifth in the 1,600, which was he had focused on. But, he gave us a chance (to get second). He actually finished sixth and a runner in front of him was DQ'd for running inside the line. That moved him up to fifth and gave the relay a chance."
Cates had won the 400 in 51.93 earlier in the day.
"There is always room for improvement," Cates said about the two wins.
But, the Buccs knew exactly where they stood going to the final race.
"Coach Moore had told us we needed to win to get second (as a team)," Cates said. "But, we weren't really thinking about that. We just wanted to win the race."
Finishing second for Covington were Schmelzer, 300 hurdles, 40.86; Kadin Presser, high jump, 6-2; and the 800 relay (Shaffer, Harshbarger, Schmelzer, Cates), 1:32.45.
Taking third were the 400 relay (Alex Shaffer, Logan Lowe, Presser, Deacon Shields), 45.59; while finishing fourth was Tyler Fraley, high jump, 6-0.