Archbishop Hoban paid a fitting tribute to one of its own with an all-around winning effort Saturday afternoon.
Both of its track teams emerged victorious in the Michael Beaven Invitational at Hoban’s Dowed Field, the third time the Knights have done so in the four years it has actually been held.
And the boys’ team won by the narrowest of margins, nipping Cleveland Heights 118-117 thanks to capturing the 440-meter shuttle hurdles, the next-to-last event of the day.
“We always preach to our kids that every point counts,” said Hoban boys coach Tom O’Neil. “This is the second week in a row we’ve won by one point.”
The Knights edged Mentor Lake Catholic 88-87 in the Trinity Invitational at Bedford April 22.
Mother Nature even cooperated on Saturday, unlike at the last two Michael Beaven Invitationals, despite cool, overcast conditions that yielded a few late sprinkles. Nine boys teams and seven girls teams competed.
The event was canceled by inclement weather last year, and shortened by rain in 2014.
Beaven, a 1965 Hoban graduate, competed in football and track and later coached track and field at both Hoban and Firestone. He passed away in 2005.
Led by three-time winner Kiana McMillen, the Hoban girls cruised to a 147-103 victory over second-place Buchtel. McMillen, a senior who was 10th in the 100-meter hurdles in last year’s state meet, won that event with a personal record time of 14.49 seconds.
She was also a member of the winning 400-meter relay (50.33) and 400-meter shuttle hurdle (1:04) relay teams. She anchored the second-place 800-meter team.
“I ran the best I’ve ever ran, on hurdles especially,” said McMillen, adding that the 400 and 800 relay times were also personal bests for her and the Knights.
“We’ve definitely stepped up a lot this year,” she said. “I think a lot of these girls have a lot of potential. It looks pretty promising.”
Hoban girls coach Eddie Hewitt agreed with that assessment.
“The girls did a great job today,” said Hewitt. “Pretty good competition. Kiana really just continued her dominance throughout her high school career. We’re very proud of her.”
Versatile Firestone sophomore Darshun Williams also won three events, leading the Falcons’ boys team to a third-place finish (82 points). He was first in the 300-meter hurdles (40.52 seconds) and long jump (19 feet, 10 inches) and anchored the winning 1,600-meter relay (3:28).
“If the coach needs me, I push myself to the best of my ability,” said Williams. “Give my all for the team. It was a little cold. I run better in the warm weather, but today I ran well.”
Firestone coach Tim Carroll said it’s difficult to decide which events to choose for Williams.
“He works hard,” said Carroll. “He’ll run just about anything we put him in. He’s good at everything.”
For the runner-up Buchtel girls, freshman Rayannah Torrence won the 200-meter dash (25.72) and anchored winning 800 (1:45) and 1,600 (4:18) relays.
“Great feeling, great feeling,” said coach Orlando Green. “Most of our team is made up of freshman girls. I’m very proud.”
Cuyahoga Falls placed fourth among boys teams (67.5 points) as junior Trevor Garner won the 400-meter run (50.24) against a talented field.
Read the high school blog at https://ohio.com/preps.