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St. Paul back at state

By MICHAEL GRECO • Jun 2, 2016 at 6:00 PM

After being shut out of the state track and field tournament last season, St. Paul made it a goal to return to Columbus.

Mission accomplished.

The Lady Flyers have three relays competing in the Division III part at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Friday and possibly Saturday.

“We knew we had to fill that void,’’ coach John Rossman said. “Not ending the year at state is a goal missed.’’

The three relays feature five participants.

The 1600 relay team is comprised of junior Kaeleigh Stang and sophomores Gabby Scavuzzo, Olivia Powers and Meghan Hedrick.

The 400 and 800 teams are made up of Scavuzzo, Hedrick, junior Hannah Mink and Powers.

The order for the 800 team is Scavuzzo, Hedrick, Mink and Powers, while the 400 quartet goes Mink, Hedrick, Scavuzzo and Powers.

Sophomore Claire Spettel and junior Emily Baker are alternates.

The 1600 relay team took first at the Lancaster regional at 4:04.07.

“Last year, we went to regional and finished fifth,’’ Stang said. “We were motivated not to fall short. Our goal was to win regional. We had the time we wanted.’’

The 4:04.07 PR’d by two seconds and set the school record. They check in ninth among state qualifiers.

With shorter relays, especially, handoffs are crucial.

“There are different types,’’ Powers said. “It’s something we practice a lot.’’

Mink is looking forward to compete in Columbus for the first time.

“It’s definitely excited and unexpeted,’’ she said. “We had high hopes.’’

Scavuzzo has a key role in the 800 relay as the lead-off runner.

“Make sure you don’t false start and have a good start,’’ she said. “I’m excited to see what it’s like. I hear it’s a real good experience.’’

Hedrick runs anchor on the 1600 team. She knows what the role is.

“It’s another leg and to finish what they started,’’ Hedrick said.

Three participants — Powers, Scavuzzo and and Hedrick — will run the three preliminary races in about an hour and a half.

The 800 relay prelim is at 10:30 a.m., 400 is 10:50 and 1600 is noon.

“I’m kind of used to it,’’ Hedrick said.”We just have to make sure we’re hydrated.’’

Scavuzzo added, “We have to keep doing what we’ve done all year.’’

The 800 team ranks eighth among state participants and 13th in the 400 relay.

But the margin in each race isn’t too far away.

“At state, you can throw the papers out of the window,’’ Rossman said. “If we put our best foot forward, I expect that will carry us to Saturday.’’

The top two in each heat and next five fastest times advanced to those Saturday finals (9:45 a.m., 800 relay, 10:20, 400 relay and 11:55, 1600 relay).

Rossman said the goal leading up to the state tournament is routine, routine, routine.

“I learn that from coach (John) Livengood,’’ he said. “You prepare the same way. We want the girls to enjoy some of the extras, but also realize we have a lot to work on in a short period of time.’’

And what are the most important aspects at this point.

“Handoffs and PR,’’ Rossman said. “If PR and do what we can on handoffs, I feel like we have a shot.’’

Rossman said Baker and Spettel have been important to the team.

“Emily was on the 4x1 regional team last year (the group finished seventh in the finals),’’ Rossman said. “She’s gone through injuries this season, but has still rehabbed. And Claire is a first-year runner. She’s done whatever we’ve needed. She ran the 4x1 in the conference meet and we took first. She then moved back to the alternate role.’’



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