Gilmour Academy adds to D-III girls legacy; Versailles sports state’s top overall athletic program


Gilmour Academy claimed its fourth girls track state title in five years. (Photo by Gary Housteau)

Gates Mills Gilmour Academy is the undisputed class of Ohio when it
comes to Division III girls track. Saturday the Lancers added to their
reputation. So did Versailles and Barnsville’s Stephanie Morgan. The Tigers made their case as the state’s top overall athletic program, while Morgan made her case as the state’s top runner.

Gates Mills Gilmour Academy is the undisputed class of Ohio when it comes to Division III girls track. Saturday the Lancers added to their reputation.

Rallying from a 24-8 deficit after the first six events, Gilmour captured its fourth D-III state title in five years by scoring a whopping 65 points in the meet’s final 11 events for 73 overall. That’s an average of 5.9 points, meaning the Lancers averaged no worse than third in any event on Saturday. The 73 points was the most for a small-school girls team since Minster put up 75.33 in 1979. Gilmour was state runner-up last year.

Versailles was second this year with a solid 62 points.

Relays and sophomore sprinter Candace Longino-Thomas did most of the damage for Gilmour.

Longino-Thomas became just the 18th girl in state history to capture for firsts when she won the 100 (12.05) and 200 (24.42) and anchored the winning 400 (48.70) and 800 (1:41.31) relays.

Gilmour’s 400 and 800 relays also set new state and state meet records with their times.

Sophomores Alexandria Dahlhausen and Longino-Thomas, junior Kathryn Drew and senior Rebbecca Bloom ran the 400, while Dahlhausen, Longino-Thomas, Drew and junior Bekka Simko competed in the 800.

Simko also won the 400 (56.11).

Gilmour’s 1,600 relay (Dahlhausen, Simko, senior Melanie Frank and junior Grace Brennan) won in 3:57.19, while the Lancers 3,200 relay finished second to Versailles on Friday by less than a second.

With the stable of underclassmen it returns, Gilmour better make more room in its trophy case. It appears the Lancers are far from slowing down.

Versailles second place tally of 62 points would have been good enough to win the state title in every state meet from 1985-2007. The Tigers will have to settle for knowing they are the best small school girls sports program in the state.

Saturday’s second place track finish came on the heels of a third place finish by the cross country team in the state finals and state semifinal appearances by the volleyball and basketball teams. No other program can match that wealth of excellence.

Senior Mary Prakel and freshman Tammy Berger lead the Tigers on Saturday by performing in the distance events.

Berger was second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600, while Prakel was third in the 3,200 and fourth in the 1,600.

Both ran on Versailles winning 3,200 relay Friday.

Barnsville senior Stephanie Morgan capped her high school career with another outstanding effort. One of the state’s best female runners ever, Morgan won her third straight 1,600 title (4:50.93) and defended her 800 title with a new state and meet record time of 2:09.77. Morgan set the old state record of 2:09.87 at last year’s state meet.

Coupled with her freshman year in Michigan where she teamed with her sister Jenny to win the 3,200 relay at Clarkston High, Morgan has seven state titles. She also won the 3,200 D-III state championship as a sophomore in 2007.

Morgan is headed to Baylor.

Ottawa Hills junior Katherine Jamieson broke her own state record en route to the 300 hurdles title. Jamieson, who had run 43.58 earlier this year, went 43.18 to set a new state and state meet standard.

Steubenville Catholic Central sophomore Teddi Maslowski edged Alecia Daniels of Edgerton at the tape to claim the 100 hurdles title. Both runners finished in 14.83.

Despite finishing seventh in the event last year and having four runners who placed better than her coming back, Cincinnati Maderia senior Lauren Dehan captured the 3,200 title (11:06.51).

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