DARKE COUNTY – Two track and field athletes who have won conference championships are this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Franklin Monroe girls track and field athlete Nicole Berry and Versailles boys track and field athlete Josh Steinbrunner.
Berry won the Cross County Conference championship in the girls shot put on Thursday with a throw of 46 feet 8 inches, which was both school record and a conference meet record.
“She has put in the work since finishing last year as runner-up like she was chasing someone else, even knowing Erica Zimmer had graduated,” Franklin Monroe track and field coach Rick Ingold said. “She’s been consistently over 40 feet throughout the year but has only had a couple of what we would consider to be big throws. Luckily, it seems like things are coming together at the right time of the season here and she put a great series together last night.”
Along with leading all Darke County girls in the shot put, the Franklin Monroe senior also is the county leader in the discus with a throw of 123 feet 3 inches.
Berry’s personal best mark in the shot put is third best among all high school girls in Ohio this year behind only McComb’s Molly Leppelmeier and Anthony Wayne’s Madison Pollard.
“Nicole is a once-in-a-generation type of athlete,” Ingold said. “She has established some records that may not be broken for a long, long time, especially her school records here at FM. As a coach, it is a special privilege to be able to work with an athlete as talented as she is.”
Berry made it to the Ohio High School Athletic Association state championships in the discus as a junior and made it to the OHSAA state championships in shot put as a sophomore.
“It’s going to be a long road ahead still, but with proper training and the right mind set, I think the potential is there to have a really special end to the outdoor season,” Ingold said.
Steinbrunner won the Midwest Athletic Conference championship in the boys high jump on Tuesday by clearing 5 feet 10 inches.
This season’s Steinbrunner’s best mark in the high jump is 6 feet 2 inches, which is best among all Darke County athletes.
Steinbrunner also leads Darke County in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 15.10, which is 1.9 seconds faster than any other county athlete. He leads the county in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 41.55 seconds, which is 1.57 seconds faster than anyone in the county.
The Versailles junior also is third in Darke County in the long jump with a personal-best mark of 19 feet 4 inches this season.
Steinbrunner is a two-time state qualifier in the 110 meter hurdles.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.