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Updated 10:47 a.m., May 1, 2018
Editor’s note: Because of errors in the original publication of this story Saturday, April 28, 2018, the News felt it in the best interest of the athletes and our readers to update the story online and run it in its entirety. The News regrets the errors.
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MOUNT VERNON — Sam Bethea had been preparing for this since he was a freshman.
Now a junior at Mount Vernon High School, Bethea can claim an all-time record in the 110-meter hurdles at the Fredericktown Invitational.
Bethea ran the event in 14.60 seconds Friday, putting him more than a second ahead of teammate Erich Rhodeback, who finished second. The previous record of 14.80 seconds was set by Fredericktown’s Eric VanHouten in 1989.
“I had to get that record today,” Bethea said. “(The record) is mine now.”
Bethea helped Mount Vernon place second among the 11 boys teams at the event, held at Fredericktown High School. Fredericktown took the top spot with 115.5 points, followed by Mount Vernon with 105. East Knox rounded out the top three with 99 points. The remaining teams were Newark Catholic, 97.5; Centerburg, 76; Clear Fork, 60; Highland, 59; Mansfield Christian, 21; Loudonville, 17.5; Danville, 12; and St. Peter’s, 0.50.
Among the girls, Clear Fork finished in first place with 104 points, followed by Newark Catholic with 95 points, Mount Vernon at 91 and Fredericktown with 80. The remaining teams were Centerburg, 75; Loudonville, 63; Highland, 50; St. Peter’s, 41; Danville, 24; East Knox, 23; and Mansfield Christian, 16.
Bethea left Fredericktown High School Friday as a three-event winner. Before claiming the record in the hurdles, Bethea won first place in the long jump (20-foot-7 1/2) and high jump (6-4) competitions.
“I felt ready for today,” Bethea said.
Bethea already owns the top time in the SpecTrackular standings, followed by teammates Rhodeback and Luke Russell. The junior is expected to dominate the race Friday — which will also be held at Fredericktown High School — and continue well into tournament season. His new time could be good enough to reach state, although he may have to shave another 2/10 of a second if he hopes to reach the podium.
“I have what it takes,” Bethea said. “I keep being healthy, and putting in the training, I’ll get there.”
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Not quite reaching Invite records but easily earning first place was East Knox’s Jake Gibson. The senior threw the discus for 141-feet-5 on Friday, then scored 52-7 1/2 in the shot put. Both are times that can lead to spots at state.
Gibson’s goal, however, is much higher.
“I’d like to win state,” he said.
When coach Jason Ewalt reminded Gibson he’d be the first state champion in school history, his reaction was genuine.
“That would be great,” he said. “What a way to go out.”
Fredericktown showed its usual dominance in the longer events. The girls 4×800 team of Molly Linhares, Lydia Stute, Miranda Baker and Lauren Davis won first place with a time of 10:57.42. The boys team of Dakota Smith, Connor Riley, Thomas Caputo and Paden Spencer won at 8:48.52.
Centerburg’s Sarah Thatcher won the girls 3,200 with a time of 12:05.96, followed closely by Highland’s Sophia Thompson. Loudonville’s Emma Hinkle took third place, followed by Ashlyn Shrimplin, Fredericktown, fourth place; Macy Thorne, Fredericktown, fifth place; and Emily Conrad, Clear Fork, sixth place.
The girls pole vault went to Mount Vernon’s Delaney Short, who claimed first place with a 9-0 vault.
Among the boys, Highland’s Brock Veley finished the 100 at 11.06, just 2/100 of a second ahead of Centerburg’s Tyler Boales. Boales then teamed with Steven Schmitt, Chandler Reisen and Seth Belt (1:35.02) to win the 4×200 in another near-photo finish over Fredericktown.
The Freddies responded with a time of 45.35 in the boys 4×100. The team of Colton Riel, Zayde Zolman, Alex Hamilton and Cole Davis beat Centerburg by less than a half-second.
Schmitt finished first in the 300 hurdles at 43.43. Boales was first in the 200 at 22.53.
Logan Meyer earned Mount Vernon’s lone win on the track in the boys 800, running for 2:01.16. Teammate Jake Smith (11-6) won the pole vault.
East Knox’s lone win on the track was Dawson Moreland in the 1,600, which he won with a time of 4:55.01.
In the girls 200, Emily Hart of Clear Fork (27.12) got past Danville’s Makayla Rolince by about 6/10 of a second.