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High School Track & Field

Highland girls' relay advances to regionals

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BRUNSWICK — Kaylie Kenne had a tough time describing exactly what happened Wednesday on the opening day of the Brunswick Division I District track meet.

What the Highland senior knows for certain is the 4x800-meter relay is moving on.

Kenne put together an impressive anchor leg as the Hornets came from behind to earn the fourth and final regional berth.

“I’m not really sure how I did that just now,” she said. “I just stated to kick it in, and (Brunswick) was dying off throughout the whole thing, so I just somehow found another gear.”

With Highland trailing by more than 100 meters midway through the leg, Kenne refused to be denied in following Madelynn Madison, Elizabeth Origlio and Amanda Orban and helping the relay finish in 9:38.04.

The Kentucky recruit channeled her inner sprinter to make up ground on Brunswick for the final spot by 0.34 seconds.

“I wanted to do it for my team,” she said. “This is my senior year, and I think it would be cool if we could make it as far as we could.”

Origlio and Orban, who filled in nicely for the injured Marley Wylie, set the stage for impressive laps from Madison, who set the stage for Kenne’s heroics.

“I like the pressure. It makes me want to do better,” Madison said. “I had to open my stride and relax more. When I got tired, I tried not to think about it and focused on getting faster.”

Medina won in a meet-record 9:16.47, as Carmela Henning, Jessica Campbell, Angela Dobson and Valerie Suttman finished more than four seconds ahead of Berea-Midpark. Wadsworth earned the other spot with a third-place 9:29.07 run by Sami Shaffer, Rachel Murphy, Abby Winkler and Clare Nicholas.

Like the Hornets, the Bees were without a runner, as All-Gazette selection Juliette Keller was sidelined with an illness. That didn’t seem to matter, as Dobson filled in for the record-setting win.

“We knew it was going to be tough, but we just wanted to come out strong and keep the lead for each leg,” Henning said. “This gives us a lot of confidence. We know that each person is running together.”

Medina County also saw a host of other individuals and relays punch their regional tickets, highlighted by a county sweep of the boys discus.

Brunswick sophomore Tomas Rimac advanced for the second straight season, winning with 162 feet, 10 inches. Highland’s Owen Wendl (144-9) and Nick McFadden (136-11) were right behind, with Wadsworth’s Donnie Hurrle (132-0) locking up the final spot.

“All week I was working on technique, so I was just trying to get a good stable throw today and stay consistent,” Rimac said. “I wanted to work on finishing well, and a nice, long pull helped me get close to my PR.”

“It’s pretty satisfying to go to Amherst as a sophomore,” Wendl said. “I’ve been trying to hit 150 this year, so it’s nice to have another opportunity.”

The girls shot put was led by a Blue Devils senior Meg Daly, who paced the field with a 41-1½. Wadsworth’s Alyssa Driss was second in a personal-record 37-8, while Brunswick’s Ashley Geiss was fourth.

Daly was happy to get revenge after a sixth-place performance at the district a year ago.

“It’s such an ego booster for me, to redeem myself and move forward, finally,” the Kent State recruit said. “I’ve been trying to work on more of a dynamic spin, so I wanted to get that today and I did.”

Driss all but secured her regional spot on her final preliminary throw, taking off a little pressure for the rest of the day.

“I kept climbing through my prelims, so it was nice to get that throw so I could take a deep breath,” she said. “I think the atmosphere and the competition helped.”

Buckeye’s Anthony Watkins (long jump) and Wadsworth’s Jacob Atlas (pole vault) and Anthony Zollinger (pole vault) also moved on, along with the Medina and Highland 4x8 relays.

After fouls on his first two attempts, Watkins recorded a career-best 21-11½ to finish second.

“I just said a mini prayer, scooted back a whole foot and then jumped,” the senior said. “It was just all or nothing there. It just feels great. I can’t even describe it.”

Atlas also was a runner-up, clearing 13-9 in the pole vault, with Zollinger going 13-6. Reigning champ Logan Steppenbacker of Buckeye, who battled injuries for most of the spring, saw his year end after tying for fifth.

“I felt good coming into it, but I just need to work on some basic stuff still,” Atlas said. “I need to work on some pole carrying, some technical work.”

Medina’s 4x8 of Harry Custer, Cameron Schontzler, Darren Leupp and Caleb Cummings ran an 8:08.32, good for second. Highland’s William Van Fossen, Avery Finding, John Naizer and Vince Manning were steps behind in 8:08.61.

“Coming into the season, we weren’t even sure we would have a chance (to advance), and now we have a pretty good team,” Schontzler said. “Moving on, placing second here, it gives us a lot of energy going into next week.”

Preliminaries

Medina’s 400 runners set themselves up nicely for the Friday finals. Michael Kelly and Katie Smith clocked the fastest times, as Kelly crossed in 50.34 seconds — ahead of brother Chris Kelly — and Smith in 1:00.14 to finish steps ahead of Ashli Holden of Brunswick. Medina’s boys and girls 4x2s recorded top times, with the 4x1s posting the second-best mark. Jalen Daniel (Brunswick, 300 hurdles), Sami Shaffer (Wadsworth, 800) and the Brunswick girls 4x4 also carry the best times. Eli Fragnoli of Highland has the second-fastest 110 hurdles time, as does Medina’s Alli Pankow in the 200.

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.

Results

BRUNSWICK — Results from the first day of the Brunswick Division I District at Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium. Top four in each event qualify for the Amherst Regional. Those individuals are listed, along with top-10 placers from Medina County.

Boys

Team standings (through 4 events): 1. Wadsworth 26, 2. North Royalton 21½, 3. Highland 21, T-4. Strongsville, Berea-Midpark 17, 6. Buckeye 11½, 7. Brunswick 11, T-8. Normandy, Medina 10, 10. Copley 8, 11. Valley Forge 3.

Individual results

Discus: 1. Tomas Rimac (Bru) 162-10, 2. Owen Wendl (H) 144-9, 3. Nick McFadden (H) 136-11, 4. Donnie Hurrle (W) 132-0, 7. Logan Seme (W) 127-2, 9. Jackson Tupa (M) 120-8, 10. Peyton Franks (Buc) 116-2. Long jump: 1. Issiah Williams (Nor) 22-3¾, 2. Anthony Watkins (Buc) 21-11½, 3. Joseph Gillette (Str) 21-9½, 4. Riley Knurek (NR) 21-7¾, 5. Ryan Salzgeber (W) 21-7¾, 8. Dylan Liggett (H) 20-10. Pole vault: 1. Justin Muchewicz (B-M) 14-0, 2. Jacob Atlas (W) 13-9, 3. Matthew Polcyn (NR) 13-6, 4. Anthony Zollinger (W) 13-6, T-5. Logan Steppenbacker (Buc) 13-0, 7. Colin McClowry (M) 12-6, T-9. Larry Gawell (Bru) 12-0, Ryan Steppenbacker (Buc) 12-0, Zander Throckmorton (H) 12-0. 4x800: 1. Strongsville 8:04.85, 2. Medina (Harry Custer, Cameron Schontzler, Darren Leupp, Caleb Cummings) 8:08.32, 3. Highland (William Van Fossen, Avery Finding, Darren Leupp, Caleb Cummiongs) 8:08.32, 4. Copley 8:15.80, 7. Wadsworth (Matthew Flaker, Owen Porpora, Abe Watson, Zachary Kidd) 9:22.55, 8. Brunswick (Colton Uber, Kyle Robinson, Carter Almady, Brandon Kraft) 8:39.64.

Girls

Team standings (through 3 events): 1. Berea-Midpark 29, 2. Brunswick 19⅓, 3. Strongsville 14⅓, 4. Wadsworth 14, 5. North Royalton 13, 6. Medina 10⅓, 7. Highland 10, 8. Copley 6, 9. Buckeye 1.

Individual results

Shot put: 1. Meg Daly (Bru) 41-1½, 2. Alyssa Driss (W) 37-8, 3. Heaven Santiago (B-M) 35-10¼, 4. Ashley Geiss (Bru) 34-5½, 7. Jordan Waddell (H) 33-2½, 9. Katie Messam (W) 32-11. High jump: 1. Emilia Lesniak (Str) 5-6, 2. Jaya Harris (NR) 5-3, T-3. Faith Kingsley (B-M) 5-3, Mia Vargo (B-M) 5-3, 6. Ava Marstianni (H) 5-1, T-8. Caylee Jozefov (Bru), Madison Luthy (M) 4-10. 4x800: 1. Medina (Carmela Henning, Jessica Campbell, Angela Dobson, Valerie Suttman) 9:16.47, 2. Berea-Midpark 9:20.72, 3. Wadsworth (Sami Shaffer, Rachel Murphy, Abby Winkler, Clare Nicholas) 9:29.07, 4. Highland (Kaylie Kenne, Madelynn Madison, Elizabeth Origlio, Amanda Orban) 9:38.04, 5. Brunswick (Hailey Borges, Emily Bardwell, Ashli Holden, Nichole Gatten) 9:38.38, 8. Buckeye (Brooke Franz, Morgan Sejka, Faith Krakowski, Maddie Roschival) 10:40.78.

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