AMHERST — The Medina boys and girls 4×800-meter relays find a way to rise up for the postseason. Wednesday was no different, as both won Amherst Division I District titles for the fifth year in a row.
Each relay found a different way to win.
The Medina boys trailed archrival Brunswick nearly the entire way. The Medina girls established themselves early in the second leg and won in meet-record time.
Juniors Ian McKee, Tommy Menyes and Ken Kutcel teamed with senior Robert Robinson to win in 8:04.22, edging Brunswick (8:04.47).
McKee, Menyes and Kutcel kept things just close enough for Robinson, who chased down Brunswick senior Austin Olshavsky about 150 meters from the finish.
It was far from easy. Robinson had 30 meters to make up.
“This is my third year with the relay. It feels great to keep that tradition going,” Robinson said. “They’ll be good next year with three of the guys coming back. Brunswick ran a great race. They switched up their order, which I think was better for them.”
The Blue Devils flip-flopped junior Tyler Menear and Olshavsky. Menear moved to the lead-off role from the anchor spot and opened a big lead. Seniors Mike Hydzik and Nathan Geiss were the other runners for the Brunswick relay.
“It was kind of hard to catch the guy (Olshavsky) and kick with him,” Robinson said. “It was a good race. I’m looking forward to racing them at regionals.”
The Medina girls won in meet-record time for the third year in a row. Junior Alexis Smith, freshman Sarah Pack and seniors Taylor Wickey and Anna Boyert combined for a time of 9:16.78. The relay outdistanced Rocky River (9:28.84) by just over 10 seconds and broke its 2011 meet record of 9:22.7.
“It feels awesome,” Wickey said. “This is the first time this season we used this exact combination because we’ve been switching it up a little bit. Coach (Phil) Brewer deserves the credit. He gets us all to peak at the right time at the end of the season for all the big meets.”
Boyert almost could have coasted, but still anchored with a 2:16 split.
“We never feel completely safe,” Wickey said. “Every week we go out and do what we have to do to take care of business. We know we’re not safe. Every time we have to try our hardest. We set pretty high goals for ourselves. This is a step in getting there.”
“The boys and girls have always had a sense of pride in that race,” Brewer said. “We gear towards the postseason. We’re happy, but not content yet. Hopefully, there’s more to come the next couple of weeks.”
The top four finishers in each event advance to the Amherst Regional. District meet action continues Friday with field events starting at 4 p.m. and running events at 6.
Brunswick’s boys are in first place with 26 points. Keith Yohman was second in the long jump and Andrew Hunting was third in the discus. Medina has 17 points and is third. Mike Hierholzer was fourth in the discus.
The Medina girls are second with 19 points. Cari Palini was fourth in the shot put.
Contact Paul Heyse at email@example.com.