DARKE COUNTY – Two state-qualifying track and field athletes who showed a lot of growth this season are this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Ansonia boys track and field athlete Heath Barga and Versailles girls track and field athlete Haley Winner.
Barga had the second best throw among all Darke County athletes in the discus this year at 141 feet 4 inches and the third best throw in the shot put at 43 feet 2.75 inches.
He finished third in the discus at the Cross County Conference meet. He then finished fourth at both districts and regionals to advance to state.
“It’s amazing,” Ansonia throwing coach Jennifer Knick said. “He’s a super dedicated athlete. He puts in a lot of extra time, effort.”
Barga was able to advance to the state tournament as just as just a sophomore by being dedicated and honing his craft.
“I don’t want anyone to take this the wrong way, but he’s almost like a ballerina,” Knick said. “He’s very light on his feet, he’s very balanced, and he’s very quick. And that’s kind of the difference between the shot put and the discus. You have to be fast, and you have to be quick. You don’t have to have a lot of muscle. It’s a lot of technique, and he’s pretty much tried to perfect the discus spin and everything.”
Winner qualified for state in the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 meter relays, marking three consecutive years she advanced to the state meet.
The junior had the best time among all Darke County girls in the 100 meter dash at 12.50 and 200 meter dash at 26.40.
Winner won the 100 and 200 meter dashes at the Midwest Athletic Conference meet, setting a league record in the 100 meters.
“She just won the most improved award at our banquet,” Versailles track and field coach Mike Goubeaux said. “Most improved isn’t always best times but just her whole maturation of understanding what it takes. She’s just matured in her leadership and her steadfastness so to speak. She’s just really confident in what she’s doing now, and I think that’s where her growth has really allowed her to excel even further than what her talents have already spoken.”
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