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Four advance to state meet

The boys distance runners carried the day again for Yellow Springs High School in the Division III Regional tournament last week at the University of Dayton’s Welcome Stadium. With strong enough performances to advance to state, sophomore Alexis Onfroy and junior Jake GunderKline will compete in next weekend’s 1600-meter and 3200-meter races, respectively, and they will join senior Andy Peters and junior Brock GunderKline in the 4×800 relay event.

To get to state, the top athletes from each district first had to compete in the regional preliminary meet on Tuesday, May 27. The top eight finishers from that day qualified for regional finals, held on Saturday, May 31. The top four finishers in each regional finals event advanced to state, which will take place this weekend, Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7, at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus. Events begin at 9:30 a.m. both days.

At the regional preliminaries last Tuesday, the boys 4×8 squad was led off by Jake GunderKline, followed by a flat two-minute leg by Onfroy, a leg by Brock GunderKline, and a 1:55 anchor by Peters that won the team a second place finish in 8:11.6 and an automatic chance to compete at the state level. It was also the fourth fastest time ever run by a boys YSHS team in the 4×8, according to Coach Vince Peters. The squad will race in Columbus on Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Onfroy also advanced past Tuesday’s preliminary in the 1600 run to take third place in Saturday’s final event, just behind Dayton Christian’s formidable John and Walter Luttrell. Onfroy’s time of 4:26 improved his personal best by four seconds and won him a ticket to state. Onfroy will run the 1600 in Columbus on Saturday, between 9:30 a.m. and noon.
As a surprise District qualifier in the 3200-meter run, Jake GunderKline surpassed his personal best by 10 seconds to take fourth place at the regional final race in 10:01, within three seconds of winner Walter Luttrell. GunderKline will also run the 3200 at state on Saturday morning.

For the YSHS girls team at regionals, the 4×200-meter relay squad advanced past preliminaries and placed sixth in 1:51.44 at Saturday’s finals. The team, led by freshman Elizabeth Gonder, followed by juniors Kristin Foster, Leslie Holland and anchored by Brenda Jones, with Melodie Wright as an alternate, made the top 32 teams in the state, but did not advance to the state competition.

Jones also competed in Tuesday’s preliminary to finish seventh in her heat in the 100-meter dash but did not advance to the regional finals. Anthony Pettiford competed at regionals in the men’s 400-meter dash and did not advance.

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