Bluffton Boasts Rich Track & Field History


(COLUMBUS) - When Bluffton's 4x800 relay team sets foot in Jesse Owens Stadium Friday, the foursome of Baylor Garmatter, Luke Young, Asher Antrim and Simon Derstine will be the latest in a long legacy of Pirate athletes that have advanced to Columbus.  The Pirates have sent at least one representative to the State Meet for 45 consecutive years.  The boys team won the state title in 2008 and were runners up in 1994, 1985 and 1978.  

Bluffton has celebrated 37 state champions in Track & Field led by John Guagenti with 5 gold medals. 

Multiple Gold Medal Winners: 

John Guagenti (5) - 2008 400m, 2008 200m, 2008 4x200, 2008 4x400, 2006 4x400

Caity Matter (4) - 1999 Shot Put & Discus, 2000 Shot Put & Discus

Bonnie Stratton (3) - 2007 200m, 2008 200m & 100m

Ann Stechschulte (3) - 1996 800m, 1997 1600m & High Jump

Bruce Matter (2) - 1976 Discus & 1978 Shot Put

Juleen Matter (2) - 1979 Discus & 1980 Discus

Shane Shockey (2) - 2004 Pole Vault & 2005 Pole Vault

Trevor Bassitt (2) - 2016 110 hurdles & 2017 300 hurdles

Matt Schweingruber, Eric Smith, Brett Eikenberry & Jon Osborn - 1993 4x800

Matt Schweingruber, Eric Smith, Brett Eikenberry & Brian Hilty - 1994 4x800

Ricardo Pena, Zach Guagenti, John Guagenti & Jesse Herr (2) - 2008 4x200 and 4x400

Individual winners:

Julie Friesen - 1988 800m

Troy Jolliff - 1985 400m

Travis Douce, Dan Staley, Jr Fox and Troy Jolliff - 1986 4x400

Shane Cox - 1996 Pole Vault

Cam Warner, Dan Barth, Jamie Arnett & JR Kennedy - 1997 4x800

Brandon Herr, Joe Amstutz, Kurt Groman, John Guagenti - 2006 4x400

Adam Wannemacher, Sam Crisp, RJ Stratton and Dylan Alt - 2015 4x200

Rob Eastman - 1970 Long Jump

Jim Opperman - 1967 Shot Put

Howie Triplehorn - 1929 Broad Jump

The foursome headed to Columbus will run Friday morning at 9:45.  Seeded 13th of 18 teams, the group will have their work cut out for them but good things can happen inside that oval down in Columbus.  Garmatter and Young both got a taste of the State Meet last year as they teamed with Christopher Harnish and Isaac Andreas to finish fourth in this same event with a time of 8:17.04.  This year's squad has a faster qualifying time at 8:15.  

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