CHAMPS TIMES TWO: Switzerland County’s track and field teams both won ORVC championships Thursday — the first time in school history that both the boys and girls teams won in the same year. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
CHAMPS TIMES TWO: Switzerland County’s track and field teams both won ORVC championships Thursday — the first time in school history that both the boys and girls teams won in the same year. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Switzerland County defended its home field with gusto and swept to the Ohio River Valley Conference track and field championships in both boys and girls Thursday in Vevay.

The Pacer boys rode Clint Swanson's four wins to a dominating 65-point victory in the boys meet over runner-up South Ripley. It was Switzerland's first ORVC boys crown since 2001.

The Lady Pacers totaled just four wins but used their depth to edge two-time defending champion Southwestern by 14 points. The Rebels did break two school records in the process.

BOYS

Senior Clint Swanson was simply sensational for Switzerland County, winning three individual events and anchoring another win in a relay to lead the Pacers to victory.

But Switzerland was hardly a one-man show. The Pacers swept all three relays, got a win by Braden Burk and finished in the top three in every event but the discus for an impressive overall win.

"We've been pretty focused all season," Switzerland boys coach Sean McGarvey said. "We've had a lot of teams around here do a lot of special things, but we haven't won the conference in 12 years. I was very pleased with the guys. They came in and were focused right from the get-go."

Swanson has been long considered one of the elite sprinters in southeastern Indiana and he showed it on Thursday.

Swanson won the 100-meter dash in 11.06, nearly a full second ahead of his nearest competitor, and his time of 22.89 in the 200-meter dash was nearly three-fourths of a second faster than the runner-up. He also recorded an impressive jump of 20 feet, 3 inches to win the long jump by more than a foot.

Swanson also anchored the winning 400-meter relay team that cruised to victory in 46.57, over a second faster than the runner-up quartet from Milan.

Switzerland's other wins came from Burk, who won the 800-meter run by moore than eight seconds in 2:02.81, the 1600-meter relay team (3:47.64) and the 3200-meter relay (8:45.87).

"We have 20 guys and everybody contributed," McGarvey said. "You might look at our team and think it's a one-man show, but it's not by any means. Clint is one of the best athletes to come through here in a long time. But you've got the two Curran boys, Ben and Alex, you have Zack Rodgers plus you've got a lot of senior leadership ... we're pretty talented at more than one event."

Other top three finishes for Switzerland County were: T.J. White, second, 400 dash, 54.77; Burk, second, 1600 run, 4:48.93; Talon Taylor, second, 3200 run, 10:40.34; Ben Curran, second, 110 hurdles, 16.73 and second, 300 hurdles, 43.44; Alex Curran, second, high jump, 6-1, second, shot put, 44-6 and third, long jump, 18-11.5.

Southwestern finished fourth as a team with 52 points. The Rebels' top finish came in the 1600-meter relay where they placed second in 3:50.91.

Placing third for the Rebels were: Travis Higham, 100 dash, 12.06; and Ryan Furnish in the 800 run, 2:11.43; 1600 run, 4:54.26; and 3200 relay, 9:42.36.

Shawe's Jarod Rampy placed third in the 300-meter hurdles in 45.92 for his team's top individual finish. The Hilltoppers' 400-meter relay team also placed third in 48.21.

The next meet for all local teams will be the IHSAA Sectional at Jeffersonville on Thursday.

GIRLS

Both Switzerland County and Southwestern picked up four wins each, but it was the Lady Pacers' depth that carried them to their first ORVC crown in three years.

Switzerland won both the 400- and 3200-meter relays and got individual victories by Emily White and Olivia Hewitt. But the Pacers also scored in every event but the long jump to beat out the Rebels.

"We actually found some points tonight that I wasn't expecting, especially in the field," said Switzerland girls coach Adam Pietrykowski, who led the Pacers to a conference title in his first season. "We don't have a long-jumper, but we placed two in the shot put, we placed second in discus which was outstanding and winning the high jump. Our field events, for not having long jump, did fantastic."

The highlight of the night was the Pacers' 400-meter relay team of Bre Ricketts, Emily Evans, Megan Dasis and Paige Sawyer, who broke the school record in the event with a time of 52.71. The quartet won the event by more than a second.

"I wasn't expecting to get a record today because I didn't think anybody would push us," Pietrykowski said. "When you can break a record with no competition, they better get better on Tuesday (at sectional) because on Tuesday, they'll have some people to chase."

White won the 800-meter run in 2:34.09 and Hewitt won the high jump at 5 feet-even edging Southwestern's Nadia Moore on a tie-breaker. The Pacers' Jade Mullins, Paige Ridener, Robin Furnish and White won the 3200 relay in 10:57.47.

Other top three finishes for Switzerland were: Mullins, second, 800 run, 2:37.22; Furnish, second, 1600 run, 5:54.43 and third, 3200 run, 13:21.43; Sawyer, second, 300 hurdles, 50.66; Eve Galbreath, second, shot put, 30-10; Susie Reyes, second, discus, 85-0 and third, shot put, 27-10; Dasis, third, 200 dash, 28-5; Ricketts, third, 100 hurdles, 17.13 and third, high jump, 4-8; and 1600 relay, third, 4:43.44.

Southwestern's Bethani Kleopfer broke her own school record in the shot put with a winning throw of 37 feet, 2.5 inches. Morgan Mahoney broke her own mark in the 400-meter dash at 1:00.52, but ended up being nosed out of the win in the event by two-tenths of a second.

Mahoney did score a close win in the 200-meter dash in 27.28 and Savannah Hubbard caught Switzerland's Sawyer from behind in the last 30 meters to win the 300-meter hurdles in 49.84.

Southwestern's other win came in the 1600-meter relay in 4:25.94.

Other top three finishes for Southwestern were: Mahoney, second, 100 dash, 13.40; Nadia Moore, second, 200 dash, 27.82, second, high jump, 5-0 and third, 400 dash, 1:07.94; Hubbard, second, 100 hurdles, 16.68 and second, long jump, 14-11.75; 3200 relay, second, 11:17.32; and Savannah Rueda, third, 800 run, 2:38.39.

Shawe's top finish was by Carolyn Wehner, who was fifth in the 400-meter dash in 1:09.11.

The next meet for all local teams will be the IHSAA Sectional at Jeffersonville on Tuesday.
An incorrect time for Southwestern's Nadia Moore was published in Friday's edition with results from Thursday's Ohio River Valley Conference track and field championships. Moore ran a 102.99 in the girls 400-meter dash, a personal best time that was good for third place in the conference.