KENT — The City Series track and field championship meet ventured outside of Summit County this year and into Portage County.
With Ellet’s stadium unavailable because of the installation of new bleachers, Akron Public Schools officials turned to Kent Roosevelt to host the meet on Saturday, and Buchtel and Firestone made themselves at home and separated from the pack under sunshine and cool temperatures.
Buchtel won the girls team title with 158 points, Firestone was second with 135 points and Ellet was third with 109 points.
The boys meet ended with Firestone edging Buchtel 118½-118, and North finishing third with 75½ points. The City Series title was the sixth in a row for the Falcon boys.
“This was the closest City Series meet I have seen, and I have been coaching for 23 years,” Buchtel boys coach William Graham said.
The Buchtel girls squad was victorious with standout performances by Dyamond Myers, Dana Beasley, Rayannah Torrence, Nevaeh Lewis, London Green and DaMya Barker.
“I am really happy with the way everybody performed and how we came together,” said Green, a senior. “We all had one goal today, and that was to try to win City and set the pace for the next few weeks with district, regional and state coming up.”
Buchtel opened the girls meet with a victory in the 3,200 relay as Beasley, Da’Veonna Nash, Star Griffin and Erionna Portis teamed to finish in 10:50.12.
“Our coaches taught us everything throughout the year, so we just ran how we practiced,” said Beasley, a senior.
The Griffins also won the other three girls relays. Torrence, Lewis, Green and Barker took first in the 800 relay (1:44.11); Acaira Johnson, Lewis, Green and Myers were first in the 400 relay (50.08 seconds); and Barker, Tayonna Whitaker, Torrence and Myers finished first in the 1,600 relay (4:07.85).
“Everybody did well and I love my teammates so much,” said Barker, a freshman who also won the 100 hurdles (16.46 seconds) and the 300 hurdles (46.10).
Myers contributed a win in the 100 meters (12.52), Beasley triumphed in the 800 (2:33.40) and Lewis was first in the 200 (25.42).
“I liked how we all worked together today and I liked the weather,” said Myers, a senior.
Torrence, a senior, said she was “fired up” to run after missing last year’s City Series meet with a torn Achilles. Firestone won last year’s girls title by one point over Buchtel.
“I saw grit and determination from the girls today,” Buchtel girls coach Orlando Green said. “The girls have talked about the one-point difference ever since the end of last year.”
Firestone junior Jordan Baith won the girls shot put (38-11) and discus (meet-record 133-5). The Falcons featured three other girls champions — Shiane Lathan (long jump, 14-9), Saleia Porter (400, 57.98) and Reilly Dorn (3,200, 13:36.02).
The other girls champions were North’s Heaven Perry (1,600, 5:55.98) and Ellet’s Hailey Benham (high jump 4-10).
Firestone won the boys title with three champions — Gavin Cornelius (shot put, 43-4), Carl Soucek (discus, 119-8) and Sam Degroff (3,200, 11:03.01).
“The field event guys did absolutely wonderful,” Firestone coach Eric Mitchell said. “Gavin and Carl did their job. We had a second in the long jump [by Shawn Gates], and a third and a fifth in the high jump [by Gates and Devin Young]. The distance guys came through and did real well. Sam really held his own today in the mile and two mile.
“… Shawn Gates was second and Ryan Allison was fourth in the 110 hurdles. Ryan Allison was second and Andrew Hubbard was third in the 300 hurdles. Alex Knight, James Boykins, Joshua Mitchell and Deron Postway also did well.”
Buchtel’s Marquell Cook placed first in the 100 (11.21), the 200 (23.14), the 800 relay (1:32.41) and the 400 relay (44.63). Teammate Kirkland Robins Jr. won the 400 (50.81), and was also on the 800 relay (1:32.41) and the 1,600 relay (3:34.47).
The Griffins’ other victorious relay runners were Martavien Johnson, Andrew “Chase” Powers, Julian Grimes, Tommy Dees, Robert Young-Jones and Qaiden Marks.
Ellet’s Davon Grisby-Walker won the boys 800 in 2:05.48, and joined Sheldon Owens, Dawayne Grant and Michael Hill to win the 3,200 relay in 8:48.16.
The other boys winners were North’s Elijah Humphrey in the 110 hurdles (15.61) and the 300 hurdles (41.30), East’s Emanual Rogers in the 1,600 (4:56.13) and Kenmore-Garfield teammates Joshua Morris in the long jump (20-6) and Aaron Clayton in the high jump (6-0).
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.