Five members of the St. Paul girls track and field team combined to advance to next week’s Division III state championships from Friday night’s regional championship meet held at Frost-Kalnow Stadium in Tiffin.
Add in Wednesday’s 4x800 relay, and the Lady Flyers will be sending seven girls across six events to Jesse Owens Stadium at Ohio State University in Columbus next week.
“First and foremost, I have to start with my senior leadership and the young kids buying in,” St. Paul coach John Rossman said. “We had two girls, Olivia Powers and Meghan Hedrick, qualify for state in four events. That is the first time in school history for a girl to reach state in four events in one year, and they both accomplished that together.”
Liberty-Benton won the girls regional team title comfortably with 62 points, but then it was tight between runners-up Swanton (46), Fremont St. Joseph (45.5), St. Paul (43) and Pettisville (43).
On Friday, three relay teams punched tickets and joined the 4x800 for the trip to state next week. The top four finishers in each event earn automatic spots in the state championship preliminaries.
The 4x400 relay was again dominant in the final event of the night. The team of Lily Dowdell, Gabby Scavuzzo, Meghan Hedrick and Olivia Powers won in 4:01.32 — which was a full second ahead of second place, and nearly four full seconds better than the quartet’s preliminary time on Wednesday.
The 4x100 of Scavuzzo, Hedrick, Gwen Olcott and Poewrs took second in 50.19 seconds — just .26 seconds out of first place. Also Friday, the 4x200 of Scavuzzo, Hedrick, Olcott and Powers also placed second, .35 seconds out of first, in 1:45.47.
Individually on Friday, Powers was third in the 100-meter dash (12.72) and Dowdell was also third in the 1600 run (5:25.54) to also reach state.
On Thursday, Claire Ceccoli and Holly Powers joined Hedrick and Dowdell to place fourth and advance the 4x800 relay.
“The 4x100 and 4x400 girls relays also broke school records tonight,” Rossman said. “With Olivia and Meghan, we know what we are getting with those two every day. Gabby and Gwen just did a tremendous job today supporting them — and of course Lily as well. But Gwen as a freshman with all seniors has had pressure all year, and I cannot say enough about her poise in that role.”
New London’s Maryonna Cathey is headed to state after continuing her year-long dominance in the 300 hurdles. She again won the event on Friday, crossing the line in 46.1 seconds.
Also for New London, Gabrielle Osterland was seventh in the 3200 (13:07.33) and Curtis Joppeck was eighth in the boys 3200 (10:20.09).
Competing and placing on Friday on the girls side was Western Reserve’s Victoria Ramage, who was seventh in the discus throw at 115-feet-7. She was also seventh in the shot put on Wednesday.
On the boys side, the St. Paul relay of Cam Caizzo, Paul Pearce, Treg Smith and Joey Catalano earned their spot at state in the 4x100 relay. The group placed fourth in 44.28 seconds.
Also on Friday for St. Paul, Davis Hedrick, going to state in the discus, placed sixth in the shot put (47-feet-5.75). The Flyer boys 4x400 relay just narrowly missed out on the top four.
The group of Kaden Rossman, Jared Arnold, Caizzo and Catalano was sixth in 3:32.36. On Wednesday, the 4x800 boys relay for St. Paul of Zach Stine, Nate Tokarsky, Noah Avendano and Arnold set the school mark (8:29.54) and also reached state.
“This is our first time since I’ve been coach we’ve managed to get boys to state in running events,” Rossman said. “They’ve stuck with it, and it paid off for them this week. When you split locker rooms with the boys and girls, and only one has success for so long with the other falling short — that can be a tough dynamic.
“But the guys stepped up and did what they were supposed to do,” he added. “This will be the most athletes in our school history to go to state in a single year, and we’re very proud to end on that.”
Monroeville’s Smith, South Central’s Hauler advances
LANCASTER — Monroeville senior sprinter Kristen Smith is returning to the state championships in the 400-meter dash.
At the Div. III regional meet in Lancaster, Smith crossed the finish line in 58.67 seconds — good for third overall. The top four finishers in each event earn automatic state berths in Columbus next week.
She was joined on Friday by South Central’s Izzy Hauler. The Firelands Conference champion in the long jump also earned her spot at state in the event by jumping 16-feet-6.5 inches — good for the fourth and final spot.
Leroux seventh in shot put
AMHERST — Norwalk’s Trey Leroux placed seventh on Friday in the shot put at the Div. I regional meet held in Amherst.
Leroux topped out at 52-feet-0.5 on Friday, a little over two inches shy of a state bid.
Also on Friday, Norwalk’s Carmen Krichbaum competed in the girls discus throw, placing 14th at 102-feet-11.