ADA – Bluffton senior track standout Noah Stratton didn’t have much time to recover in between his events at Saturday’s Ada Invitational.
Stratton was the workhorse for Bluffton, competing in four events.
In the 400-meter dash, Stratton set a personal-best of 49.84 seconds en route to a first-place finish.
In the 200, Stratton finished second to Lima Central Catholic standout Mykale Rogers. Rogers’ winning time was 22.25, while Stratton finished in 22.76. Then in the relays, Stratton was part of both the winning 400- and 800-meter relays.
Stratton’s strong performance helped lead Bluffton to the boys team title. The Pirates defeated second-place LCC 111-86. Spencerville finished third (79.5), Versailles was fourth (55) and Upper Scioto Valley rounded out the top five squads (53.5). There were 15 boys teams.
On the girls side, Versailles took home the team title, outscoring second-place Spencerville 123-62.5. McComb finished third (48.5), Mohawk (47.5) was fourth and New Knoxville came in fifth (46). There were 16 girls squads at the invitational.
For Stratton, running four events is part of the plan for the rest of the season.
“I ran the open four (400) and open two (200) — did these twice counting the prelims — then the 4 x 2 and 4 x 4,” Stratton said. “I’m planning on running these for the rest of the year to see how far I can get in all of them.”
However, the Indiana Wesleyan-bound Stratton does favor one event over the others.
“I’ve ran the 400 since my freshman year,” Stratton said. “I’ve been down to state two times in it. I’m hoping to make it the third time (this season).
Also impacting the scoring for Bluffton was distance specialist Julian Harnish, who was a little surprised when he took first in the 1,600 meters.
With 31 total runners in the 1,600, there were two heats Saturday. Harnish, who competed in the first heat of the 1,600, won in a time of 4:44.87. LCC’s Alex Rigg won the second heat in 4:45.46.
However, it wasn’t until later on when Harnish found out he got first place.
“I was a little surprised that I won it; I thought maybe (I finished ) second or third,” Harnish said. “I tried to run like I normally do. I had a pretty good time and a pretty good finish.”
In the 3,200, Rigg finished second to New Knoxville’s Isaac Kuntz. Kuntz won in 10:02.85, while Rigg crossed the finish line in 10:18.41.
Bluffton also was strong in the field events. In the discus, Hunter Smith won with a toss of 140 feet, 11 inches. In the pole vault, Clay Wilson cleared 12-6 to take first.
Spencerville’s Logan Vandemark won the shot put with a mark of 48-11 ½. He also placed fourth in the discus (130-4).
“It (the winning toss) was my last throw of the finals,” Vandemark said. “It came off my hand quite well, and it was right down the center of the pit.”
LCC’s Mykale Rogers won the 100 meter dash in 10.9 seconds.
On the girls side, Spencerville didn’t have a first-place finisher, but did enough scoring to garner second place as a team.
New Knoxville’s Cassie Boyle was stellar in the girls 1,600, winning in 5:13.56. Versailles’ Madison Grilliot was a distant second in 5:37.75. Spencerville’s Cierra Adams (5:38.17) and Tori Hardesty (5:49) were third and fourth, respectively.
Boyle also won the 800 in 2:19.07.