AUSTINTOWN: The top two track and field teams Saturday in the Division II regional meet at Austintown Fitch High School hailed from Summit County.
The Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy boys and the St. Vincent-St. Mary girls won team titles with 99 points and 53 points, respectively.
While multiple Royals and Irish athletes excelled, there were several others who compiled a standout performance and finished in the top four of an event to advance to state.
Northwest senior Meredith Fennell won two individual events and one relay on the girls side and Fairless senior Allyson Simmons set a state record.
Streetsboro freshman Dakari Carter and CVCA junior Ryan Adams both won two boys events, and CVCA junior Sammy Bockoven triumphed in two girls events.
“We knew going in with the way our postseason was set up, our district and regional was going to be a meat grinder all the way through,” St. V-M coach Dan Lancianese said.
Lancianese said the Irish qualified for state in five girls events and in seven boys events.
Fennell won the 100-meter hurdles in 14.94 seconds, the long jump in 17 feet 1 inch and contributed on the Indians’ 400 relay that crossed first in 49.18. Junior Clara Beadle and seniors Kaitlyn Thompson and Amanda Crites also ran on the 400 relay.
“This is just amazing,” Fennell said. “We practiced all season and I did some winter practice. I was hoping for this all season and I am just ecstatic that it came through.”
Simmons, a defending state champ, set a state record in the girls pole vault at 13-1¼. She said her regional record was 12-0, her previous best this season was 12-9 and “the 13-1¼ is a goal I have been wanting forever.”
Carter won the boys 100 in 10.96 and the 200 in 21.97.
“I feel great,” Carter said. “My coaches and teammates really helped me. One of my biggest helps during the whole track season and kept pushing me and not letting me slack and keeping me focused is my teammate, Prince Franklin. He kept me real locked in.”
Bockoven won the girls 1,600 in 4:56.73 and the 800 in 2:15.77.
Adams won the boys 1,600 in 4:20.67 and the 800 in 1:52.62
“I am super proud of all my teammates,” Adams said. “This was a great day.”
St. V-M junior Imani Davis (400, 56.69) and senior Marie Hammer (300 hurdles, 45.37) both won an event. The Irish girls won two relays, the 800 in 1:42.97 with freshmen Eryca Garrett and Payton Pooler, Davis and senior Katie Goedecke, and the 3,200 relay in 9:37.58 with sophomore Rachel Iacofano, senior Julia Mendiola and juniors Grace Davis and Cynthia Haas.
“This feels great,” Davis said. “Our goal was to defend our title this year.”
The St. V-M boys also won two relays, the 800 in 1:28.55 with seniors Parris Campbell Jr., Jarel Woolridge and Jordan Sensabaugh and Tyler Moran and the 400 in 42.87 with junior Vince Lockett, Woolridge, Moran and Campbell.
Campbell also placed second in the 100 in 11.05 and was scratched from the 200 because of an injury. Lancianese said a strained knee tendon has bothered Campbell since early May.
CVCA seniors Evan Carroscia (300 hurdles, 38.07) and Ben Bockoven (3,200, 9:50.2) each won a boys event, and Bockoven and Adams joined seniors Noah LeBay and Caleb Gary to win the 3,200 in 7:54.39.
“What today showed about our team is we are strong in not just one area, but across the board in the running events, the hurdles and distance events,” CVCA coach Jeff Port said. “We got our sprinter Brandon Harris down there to state and our pole vaulter Jake Sprague, and our 4x4 and 4x8 are both going, too.”
Fairless senior Tyler Neff (400, 48.99) is the area boy who won an event. Other area girls who were first were Crestwood senior Abby Soltisz (3,200, 11:28.62) and Garrettsville freshman Lauren Jones (discus, 137-2) and junior Edith Svonavec (shot put, 41-0½).
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. 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.