AUSTINTOWN: Coventry junior Zack Lake is headed to the Division I state track and field meet next week in an event he didn’t even compete in last year.
Lake placed first in the 400-meter dash in a time of 49.24 seconds Friday night in the regional meet at Austintown Fitch High School to clinch his spot in Columbus.
“I have never been to state,” Lake said. “It feels great to get this opportunity. This makes everything feel worth it this year. I am ready to move on to state.”
Lake said he ran the 200 and on relays last year.
“We didn’t make it out of districts last year and this year work was different and practice was different,” Lake said. “Everybody seemed focused and everybody worked harder.”
Twinsburg senior Garrett Crichlow and Wadsworth senior Sarah Berger also stood out Friday in a meet in which the top four athletes in each event advance to state.
Nordonia advanced three boys relays to the state meet, with two placing first.
Twinsburg won the boys 3,200 relay in 7:49.86 on Wednesday with seniors Nick Schank, Matt Andrews and Crichlow and sophomore Josh Gogan. Crichlow then won two events Friday, the 1,600 in 4:16.20 and the 800 in 1:52.65.
“This feel great,” Crichlow said. “Our 4x800 is my main focus first because we are ranked second [in the state] and we want to improve on that at the state meet. We have four solid guys. … We are out for blood.”
Berger triumphed in the 1,600 in 5:06.54. Ravenna junior Olivia Chinn was second at 5:09.5.
“This is a good prep for state,” Berger said. “You always have to have a good mindset. Everyone here is just as good as I am. We are all great competitors out here and it will be the same way at state. This is the tune-up for state.”
Nordonia boys won the 800 relay in 1:26.57 and the 400 relay in 41.95 seconds. Dylan Mabin, Brandon Truett, Sterling Brabson and Jordan Nobles ran on the 800 and the 400 consisted of Brandon Wilson, Truett, Denzel Ward and Nobles.
The Knights’ 1,600 relay was fourth in 3:22.18 with Mabin, Theo Washington, Truett and Daniel Banks.
“Winning two of them is exciting, and having all three of them is really exciting,” Nordonia coach Scott Barwidi said. “We were on the bubble in the 4x400, but the kids stepped up and did what we asked them to do.”
Hudson senior John Brandon (discus, 170-7) and Perry sophomore Lucas Kelley (pole vault, 15 feet) also won regional boys titles.
On the girls side, GlenOak junior Dajia Mills (high jump, 5-6) also won a regional title.
Wadsworth’s girls placed second in the 3,200 relay and the 1,600 relay. Seniors Courtney Palange, Leah Runkle and Sarah Beger and junior Madi Salem clocked a 9:17.66 in the 3,200, and Palange, Berger, senior Maddie Gilger and Runkle crossed in 3:57.07 in the 1,600.
Runkle tied for fourth in the 400 with Warren Harding junior Nautica Hill and then the two went head-to-head in a race-off for state at the end of the meet, with Runkle winning.
Area boys who were second were: Walsh Jesuit’s Alex Rodriguez (long jump, 21-10¼), Copley’s Dawson Mancabelli (pole vault, 14-9), Wooster’s Javonte Lidge (100, 11.06) and Kevin White (800, 1:53.37), Wadsworth’s Hunter Williams (200, 22.07) and Hudson’s Kyle Mau (3,200, 9:03.28).
Area girls who were second were: Stow’s Ashley Pryce (100 hurdles, 15.06), Green’s Emily Hooker (400, 55.83), Canton McKinley’s Korrin Taylor (long jump, 17-11½) and Twinsburg’s Samantha Monachino (high jump, 5-5) and Rachael Lovett (3,200, 11:10.75).
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abj.sports.