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Christian Commits to Oakland...

BOYS RUNNER-UP, GIRLS FOURTH AT DISTRICTS...
The Covington boys edged out Newton for second place, while the Lady Buccs took fourth at the D-III district meet Saturday at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field.
Cade Schmelzer finished second in the 300 meter hurdles.

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.

Lauren Christian advanced to regionals in the discus after winning the shot put on Tuesday.

The Covington girls finished fourth out of 18 teams at district with 57.5 points, narrowly missing out on third as Botkins had 58 team points.

And it wasn't a typical day throwing the discus for Lauren Christian Saturday, but she showed her heart.

After a slow start, she battled back to finish third and advance with a distance of 116-5.

On Tuesday, she had continued her domination in the shot put, winning with a distance of 42-1 1-4.

Her only loss in the event this season was to Leah Browder of Troy, who is competing in Division I.

"I lost to her at the (Miami) County meet," Christian said about the Miami County Invitational. "It has gone pretty well in the shot put. But, my best this year is only 43 feet. If I want to win state, I need to get going. I know the Wheelersburg girls is putting out there around 43-6."

Also winning for Covington Tuesday was Lillian Hamilton, who soared to clear 5-3 in the high jump, which is just one inch off of tying the school record of 5-4 set by Cindy Byers in 1983.

Covington took fourth in the both the 800 relay (Morgan Kimmel, Alyssa Kimmel, Morgan Lowe, Paige Boehringer), 1:52.55; and the 1,600 relay (Morgan Kimmel, Alyssa Kimmel, Boehringer, Lowe), 4:15.35.

Morgan Kimmel takes the handoff from her cousin, Alyssa Kimmel in the 4x200 relay.