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Austin, Bell get wins at conference meet

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By Andrew Harner

GREENVILLE – Senior Daniel Bell and junior Quenten Austin both won individual events at the South Central Conference Championships on Tuesday, helping the Vandals place fifth as a team.

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For Austin, getting to the 300-meter hurdles may have been more of a challenge than actually winning the race.

In the 110-meter hurdles, the runner in the lane next him inadvertently knocked a hurdle into Austin's lane, making him stumble and finish last.

The games committee, however, determined that he and a runner from Southwestern would be permitted to re-run the race because of the interference.

“I’m particularly proud of Q for being mentally tough after he thought his 110-meter hurdle race was over due to the interference,” said coach Jane Bell. “He went from the depths of disappointment, and then he ran his best time of the season (0:16.05 to finish second) and took that fire to the 300-meter hurdles.”

He won the 300-meter hurdles, with a time of 0:42.51.

Austin also placed sixth in the discus, with a throw of 114 feet.

Daniel Bell showed a different kind of determination in the 800-meter run.

He kept pace with Greenville senior Peter Huston for the first lap and much of the second, before passing him to win the race in 2:04.35.

“He knew his competition, and he ran to his plan,” Jane Bell said. “The last 100 meters were just (him) competing.”

Daniel Bell also had a third-place finish in the high jump, with 5 feet, 8 inches.

By winning an event, Austin and Daniel Bell were named all-conference.

Three other individuals placed for Vandalia.

Sophomore Wade Cowger placed fourth in the high jump (5 feet, 8 inches) and the 800-meter run (2:08.29), freshman Dalton Smith placed fourth in the 100- (0:11.8) and 200-meter dashes (0:24.2), and sophomore Ryan

Ambuehl placed fifth in the 110-meter hurdles (0:17.16), 400-meter dash (0:55.35) and triple jump (37 feet, 10 inches).

By the end of the meet, Smith had run five individual sprint races of either 100 or 200 meters.

Both events had preliminaries and finals, but the 100-meter dash finals had to be run twice because of a timing error.

“We had some dead legs,” Jane Bell said. “Dalton did great in the sprints. You count up how many times he has raced in the last week, and it’s too much.”

Included in the past week were the freshman/sophomore conference championships, a meet at Greenville and a meet at Pana, which allowed runners to compete in more than four events.

The 4X400-meter relay team of Austin, Cowger, Daniel Bell and Ambeuhl placed third.

On the final lap, Ambeuhl reeled in a runner from Pana and passed him in the final 100 meters, with a lap of 55 seconds.

“Everybody comes to the 4X4 the same way, and it’s all about the mental part," Jane Bell said. "They have done this quite often, coming back to be tough.”

Sophomore Logan Rogers narrowly missed placing in the shot put, with a personal-best throw of 40 feet, 1 inch that was good for seventh place.

He later ran a leg of the 4X200-meter relay, which Jane Bell said is very important.

“I have to hand it to (our throwers) for running in the relays,” she said.

The boys track team has one more meet at Hillsboro on Thursday at 4 p.m., before its sectional next Friday in Newton.

Saturday, May 7
SCC Frosh/Soph meet
at Litchfield
First-place finisher
•Cowger, 800-meter run (2:11.3)
Second-place finisher
•Smith, 100-meter dash (0:11.4)
Third-place finishers
•Ambuehl, 110-meter hurdles (0:16.4)
•Ambuehl, triple jump (38 feet, 1/2 inch)
•Smith, 200-meter dash (0:23.2 -- school record)
Fourth-place finisher
•Cowger, high jump (5 feet, 6 inches)
Fifth-place finishers
•Ambuehl, 200-meter dash (0:24.9)
•Jackson, Smith, Cowger and Ambuehl, 4X100-meter relay (0:48.4)
Sixth-place finishers
•Rogers, discus (101 feet, 2 inches)
•Rogers, shot put (35 feet, 10 1/4 inches)
•Rogers, Woolsey, Beck and Jackson, 4X400-meter relay (4:32.5)
*Vandalia finished eighth, with 46 1/2 points

Thursday, May 5
at Greenville
First-place finishers
•Ambuehl, 200-meter dash (0:23.58)
•Austin, 110-meter hurdles (0:16.09)
•Austin, 300-meter hurdles (0:42.85)
Second-place finishers
•Ambeuhl, 110-meter hurdles (0:16.16)
•Ambuehl, triple jump (37 feet, 10 inches)
•D. Bell, 800-meter run (2:07)
•Smith, 100-meter dash (0:11.63)
•Smith, 200-meter dash (0:23.68)
•Jackson, Smith, Cowger and Ambuehl, 4X100-meter relay (0:47.9)
Third-place finisher
•Cowger, 800-meter run (2:09)
Fourth-place finishers
•Austin, shot put (38 feet, 8 inches)
•D. Bell, 400-meter run (0:59.9)
•Zach Jackson, triple jump (34 feet, 9 inches)
Fifth-place finisher
•Austin, discus (110 feet, 11 inches)
*Vandalia finished fourth, with 62 points