TIFFIN — Nick Demaline gave up the distractions in pursuit of his biggest goal. Whether it meant forgoing graduation parties or putting in extra time in the weight room, the senior on the Liberty Center boys track and field team made note of his sacrifices.
He knew he had one more thing to accomplish.
“I had to keep on track for that big throw,” Demaline said.
Friday at the Division III track regional at Tiffin Columbian, Demaline got it.
The Western Kentucky recruit won the regional title in the boys shot put with a Division III-best mark of 68 feet, 10.5 inches, more than 17 feet ahead of second-place finisher Kevin Crowe of Lakota (51-5).
Donald Duke of Hannibal River set the previous state Division III record of 68-8.25 in 2009.
“I was always stuck at 61 feet, or 62 feet or 63 feet,” Demaline said. "I knew I was due for a big throw.
“This week, I was more focused on slowing my spin down through the front, and I was more focused on imitating one of my idols, Ryan Crouser, and this whole week I just focused on hitting my positions and hitting everything with power.”
Demaline qualified for the Division III state championships next week in Columbus, but had one regret about the record mark.
“Sixty-eight was the goal last year, a state record was the goal last year,” Demaline said. “I'm happy that I hit it, but I'm kind of disappointed it wasn't at state. The 70-foot mark is there, but I'm completely happy with it.”
Demaline's mark was the highlight of a boys regional meet won by Tiffin Calvert with 60 points, three ahead of Archbold. Bluffton was third with 48 points, Liberty-Benton was fourth (41), and Patrick Henry finished fifth (33).
Levi Wyse paced Archbold by qualifying for the state meet in four events: he won the 100 dash (11.12) ahead of Tiffin Calvert's Shane Boehler (11.19); won the 200 (22.42) ahead of Boehler (22.49), helped Archbold finish second in the 1,600 relay, and was third in the 400 (49.99).
“Getting down to Columbus in four events is a very good accomplishment,” Wyse said. “I'm really proud of our [1600 relay] team, and we were really happy with our time. Our team did really well. Our coach said we could do pretty well as a team and overall, I think we did that. We really came out and produced to our potential, to what people expected today.”
Paced by Tori Abdul, who won the 100 and 200 dash, Tinora won the girls regional title with 71.5 points ahead of Liberty Center (50), Columbus Grove (47), Toledo Christian (36), and Archbold (36).
Toledo Christian's Darian Westmeyer finished second in the 100 hurdles (16.03) behind Columbus Grove's Sydney McCluer (15.71), was third in the 300 hurdles (46.12), and helped Toledo Christian to second in the 400 relay, teaming with Bebe Adebiyi, Brianna Stewart, and Micah Johnston to finish in 50.02.
Liberty Center's Brittany Atkinson won the girls 1600 (5:13.69) and 3200 (11:41.17), but said after her second race that she would focus on improving for the 3200 next week in Columbus.
“I didn't think I ran as well as I wanted to, but it's regionals and you have to run your best to get out, so that's kind of what I did,” Atkinson said. “At regionals, anything can happen. You do your best, hang on and hope to get out, and that's what I had to do today. I've got to get ready and get a lot faster from this week to next week.”
Carly Truckor of Evergreen won the 300 hurdles (35.99) and finished fourth in the 100 hurdles (16.10), and Colleen Reynolds of Gibsonburg won the 400 dash (58.08) ahead of Toledo Christian's Micah Johnston (58.48).
Archbold's team of Emily Roth, Alicia Hernandez, Meridith Short, and Jensyn Garrow won the 1600 relay (4:01.91), and Liberty Center's foursome of Atkinson, Paige Chamberlain, Cheryl Davenport, and Olivia Kundon won the 3200 relay (9:41.77).
Patrick Henry's Zach Nye won the 110 hurdles (14.64), and helped Patrick Henry to second in the 400 relay, teaming with Jacob Ehlers, Mitchell Bonner and Donny Johnson (43.34), finishing behind Tiffin Calvert (42.50).
Nye's teammate, Marcus Myers, won the boys discus (170-0). Liberty-Benton's B.J. Lawson won the long jump (21-8), four inches further than teammate and second-place finisher Chase Cook.
The top four finishers in each event qualify for next week's state meet, including three girls relay teams: Archbold's 3200 team, which finished second (9:46.44); Archbold's 800 team, which finished third (1:46.67), and Holgate's 3200 team, which finished fourth (9:52.65).
Kendall Reynolds of Gibsonburg was second in the 100 dash (12.65); Emma Willett of Holgate was second in the 1600 (5:22.48); Olivia Kundo of Liberty Center was fourth in the 800 (2:19.26); Gabbi Willett of Holgate was second in the 3200 (11:51.38); Paige Chamberlain of Liberty Center was third in the 3200 (11:55.99); Andrea Weirauch of Liberty Center was fourth in the discus (123-02); Natalie Herder of Patrick Henry was third in the high jump (5-0), and Sara Goddard of St. Wendelin was second in the pole vault (10-4).
Area boys qualifers for the state meet include Archbold's 3200 relay team, which finished third (8:17.66); Lincoln Parsley of Archbold, second in the 110 hurdles (15.25); Deric Anthony of Woodmore, second in the 800 (1:58.04); Zach Garver of Liberty-Benton, second in the high jump (6-6); Tyler Hovis of Gibsonburg, fourth in the shot put (50-4.25), and Dylan Cornwell of Liberty-Benton, second in the pole vault (14-4).