Fourth Time's A Charm: Minster Girls Track Claims Title

Members of the Minster Wildcats girls track and field team hoist their Division III state champion trophy at the conclusion of the state meet on Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
Sports Editor

After three straight runner-up finishes, the fourth try netted them gold.

And that fourth try marked the fourth state title for the 2017-18 school year.

But the Minster Wildcats did it, they finally claimed that elusive girls state track title, racking up 57 points and celebrated their sacrifices and accomplishments on a sun-bleached afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

"I really have no clue when this will sink in," Wildcats coach Jessie Magoto said. "These two days are very long and I kept telling the girls, 'don't count the points. One race at a time, get to finals, get every point you can and keep fighting,' I did not want that kind of pressure for them. They started doing well, getting that momentum in the one mile, the 4x100, that was pretty good icing on the cake, three and four in the 800, so they just felt that confidence from each other and it was good."

Saturday's triumph also marks the school's 34th state title in school history — two shy of Cleveland St. Ignatius for sixth-most in the state — and the 13th state crown in girls track— three behind Cleveland Heights Beaumont.

"You know that idea that you just get going, people believe they can do it so that is part of it," Magoto said about Minster's fourth state title in a school year. "But I am not taking anything away from these girls. They made sacrifice, they bust butt with whatever we ask them and I thank them all for trusting in us."

After a Friday, which saw the Wildcats 4x800-meter relay team come away as state champions, and a strong performance its field events that evening, Minster took that momentum into Saturday. It was all culminated by top-five podium finishes in the 4x100- and 400-meter relays, a state title win in the one mile by defending champion Emma Watcke, as well as her runner-up performance in the two-mile run and fourth and third place finishes by Cassie Francis and Madeline Magoto.

It all led to Minster cruising past its competitors on the track and in the standings

The Wildcats 4x100-meter relay team of Ivy Wolf, Jessica Falk, Lillian Hirschfeld and Paige Thobe made podium with a fourth-place time of 50.56.

Watcke followed with the top time of 5:00.15 in the one mile, topping her time of 5:01.08 from last season's state champion time.

Magoto remained consistent with her third, third-place finish in the girls 800-meter run, finishing with a time of 2:15.70, just ahead of her teammate and Xavier commit Francis at 2:16.07.

Watcke then wrapped up her day in the 3200-meter run with a runner-up time of 11:13.45, topping her 13th-place time of 11:36.91 in the same event from last season.

After Watcke placed, Minster was mathematically going to be state champions, but a fourth-place time of 4:00.52 with the quartet of Francis, Janae Hoying, Magoto and Hirschfeld was the icing on the cake.