DARKE COUNTY – A district-qualifying tennis player and two state champion track and field athletes have earned The Daily Advocate’s athlete of the year honors in their sports.
Greenville’s Noah Haupt has been named The Daily Advocate’s boys tennis player of the year, Versailles’ Jenna Frantz has been named The Daily Advocate’s girls track and field athlete of the year, and Versailles’ Josh Steinbrunner has been named The Daily Advocate’s boys track and field athlete of the year.
As Greenville’s No. 1 singles player, Haupt led the Green Wave and compiled a 15-7 record.
“I thought he had a really good year,” Greenville boys tennis coach Dennis Kiser said. “He won all the matches he should have won and maybe a couple that were going to be close. That’s about all you can ask of your first singles.”
After playing first singles throughout the regular season, Haupt teamed up with Craig Manges in the Ohio High School Athletic Association postseason. The two Green Wave seniors won the sectional doubles championship and advanced to districts for a second consecutive year.
“It was nice that they got to do that two years in a row,” Kiser said. “When you get down there to districts it’s really tough because those Cincinnati kids it’s all they do and they’ve done it since they were 5.”
For his efforts this season Haupt was named to the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s American League first team.
“I thought fundamentally he had really nice strokes and consistency got better as he got older and serve was pretty consistent as well, which was a big part of it,” Kiser said.
Haupt was a top player for years for Greenville, playing first singles since his sophomore season.
“It just tells me he loves the game and he liked working on his game and he did it year-round,” Kiser said. “To be that successful you have to do that.”
Now that his high school tennis career is complete Haupt will continue playing for Grace College.
“Just a great kid and I’m going to miss him,” Kiser said.
Frantz won the OHSAA Division II girls pole vault state championship this year. She also was a state qualifier in the girls long jump and girls 4×100 meter relay.
“Fantastic year,” Versailles track and field coach Mike Goubeaux said. “Two records. State champion medal. She really had a fantastic year.”
Frantz cleared a personal-best mark of 12 feet 9 inches in the pole vault at the state meet and set a school record.
“Any state title you win as an athlete is special,” Goubeaux said. “Those are the experiences that are few and far between.”
Frantz also set a school record in the girls long jump by jumping 18 feet 5.5 inches, which put her third in the state. The Lady Tiger senior also was part of Versailles’ sixth place 4×100 meter relay team.
“She really turned it on when it mattered,” Goubeaux said.
Frantz, who will compete collegiately for the University of Akron, was a state qualifier all four years of her high school career. As a junior she didn’t qualify in pole vault because of a concussion and just barely missed state qualification in long jump.
“As a coach, what’s most notable to me is the incredible bounce back from last year,” Goubeaux said. “This year she came back with a lot of determination, a lot of drive and really wanted to reverse what happened a year ago.”
Steinbrunner finished as the Division II state champion in the boys 110 meter hurdles.
“For him to come across first was a real delight to the coaches and a delight to himself,” Goubeaux said.
Steinbrunner finished the state championship race in 14.54 seconds. Goubeaux expected the Versailles junior to perform well, but he exceeded everyone’s expectations.
“It was a real joy,” Goubeaux said.
Steinbrunner, a three-time state qualifier, hopes to make it back to state next year in both the 110 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles.
“He’s just made for track,” Goubeaux said. “He’s got good speed, good agility and great flexibility.”