August 30, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
85°F

Bees are dreaming of state title in track and field

Coming into this season, many talked about Medina’s girls track team making a run at a possible state title.

With Taylor Burke, Alex Wasik and Anna Boyert, the team can pile up points in a number of events.

Defending state high jump champ Taylor Burke of Medina begins her quest for another shot at a title this week at the Amherst Division I District. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

Defending state high jump champ Taylor Burke of Medina begins her quest for another shot at a title this week at the Amherst Division I District. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

Those thoughts took a hit this past week when Jill Graff, a key member of the Bees’ 4×800-meter team and a state-qualifying 400 runner, was sidelined with mononucleosis.

While she hasn’t been totally shut down for the season, Medina will be without a key contributor today when the Amherst Division I District opens at Richard S. Cooley Track.

“She’s out definitely for this week and it’s doubtful that she can come back, but we’re still hopeful she can go to regionals if she’s healthy,” Bees coach Scott VanFleet said. “It’s a long shot, but we’re still hoping.”

Stepping up for Medina has been freshman Maria Scavuzzo, who helped the 4×8 relay to a second-place finish at the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division Meet along with Alexis Smith, Halley Green and Taylor Wickey.

VanFleet said he’s confident the group will advance to next week’s regional meet, but feels bad for Graff.

competiveness,” VaFleet said of the senior. “From the day she stepped on the track, we always knew what we we’re going to get and it was always good. I feel bad for her. This was something she was looking forward to.

“In Jill, we lose her experience, leadership and competiveness,” VaFleet said of the senior. “From the day she stepped on the track, we always knew what we we’re going to get and it was always good. I feel bad for her. This was something she was looking forward to.

“The first couple days, the girls were down, but I think we’ve rebounded a bit and hopefully someone will take this opportunity to step up.”

Welcome back I

This season hasn’t gone exactly how Brunswick All-Gazette sprinter Jennelle Ramsumair expected. The senior, who was a multiple-event regional qualifier a year ago, has been sidelined all season with a hamstring injury she sustained in an indoor meet at Kent State in March.

“I really wasn’t expecting this at all, so it has been a huge setback for senior year,” she said. “The whole time, I’ve been trying to come back fully but I’m still not back as best as I can be.
“I hope I have time (over the next couple of weeks). I’m going to try my best and see what I can do.”

Ramsumair made her debut this past week at the NOC Meet, when she ran in the 100-meter prelims and is expected to run today in the 100 and on the 4×1 relay with teammates Megan Kidd, Kelly Merholz and Brianna Moss.

Welcome back II

Highland’s Nathan Chronister will also be back in action today. The All-Gazette selection has missed most of the spring with a hamstring injury. Chronister has competed in a handful of meets this season, but will just compete in the long jump final today as opposed to running in a sprint relay prelim.

“When he came back for Barberton last week, he was hurting, so we’re at a point now where hopefully he will make one jump and move on to regionals. In less attempts he can,” Hornets coach Josh Victor said. “I personally think he will be OK. Even though it hurts, I think he can jump 22-feet, move on and we’ll go from there.”

A style all her own

While Cloverleaf’s Jennifer Foster is one the state’s top pole vaulters, the senior approaches the event in a unique way. It’s her approach according to Colts pole vault coach Mike Kelling that sets her apart from the rest and could possibly help her reach heights that the state has never seen.

“She uses a double-swing leg, so at 112 pounds she uses all of her body to get up off the ground,” Kelling said. “Instead of just one swing leg, she’s brings both up. That’s why she’s on a heavy pole.

“Instead of having one leg to rely on, she uses both and when she does that she has all of her bottom weight that comes up through it. She could probably jump on a 150-pound pole. She very easily could do 13-feet under a good pole. If we get some nice weather she might do 13 and break the state record, it’s there.”

Tall task

Buckeye’s 4×8 relay has a bright future. With three sophomores and one freshman, the distance unit stole the show at the Patriot Athletic Conference Meet with a winning run of 8:30.12.

While the team of Sean Spence, Austin Lepole, JJ Grizincic and Ryan Gallagher ran a season-best time by over 50 seconds, the foursome will have its hands-full in Thursday’s final at the Orrville D-II District. Reigning state champ Woodridge returns all four legs from last season’s unit while state placers Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy and St. Vincent-St. Mary will also be in the mix. The Bucks will need to improve on their time to earn one of the four regional bids.

“Eight thirty is pretty good, but not for our district,” Gallagher said. “We have one of the toughest districts in Ohio with Woodridge, CVCA and St. V’s. We would have to go 8:10-8:15 at the slowest and everyone would have to drop 5 seconds.”

Extra laps

Despite finishing third and failing to defend their SL title in the event, Cloverleaf’s girls 4×2 relay broke the school-record in Saturday’s final. Janelle Shaffer, Kelani Nuckols, Jenna Elswick and Taylor Detwiler combined to post a 1:46.54 shattering the old standard set by the same group earlier this spring (1:45.61).

• Black River’s Becca Herte will have a busy day Thursday at the Orrville D-II District. While the senior is expected to be in four events, it will be a challenge due to the fact that all field event finals are held on the meet’s first day as opposed to half on the first day and the rest on the second. Herte should be a front-runner in the pole vault and long jump, along with the 100 hurdles.

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