June 29, 2016

Mostly clear

Track and field: County brings out the brooms at invitational

AVON LAKE — Medina County picked up where it left off as it ruled again at Saturday’s 17th annual Avon Lake Invitational.

The Brunswick girls defended their title with 130 points to outdistance Medina (107). The tides turned in boys action, as the Bees (125.5) edged the Blue Devils (92).

Brunswick freshman Amber Neitzel, right, crosses the finish line first in the 4x200-meter relay. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY JUDD SMERGLIA)

The Brunswick girls ruled by winning three out of four relays. Senior Anatasia Fitzroy also won the 100-meter hurdles (16.61).

Youth was the common denominator. Sophomore Gabby Maslowski teamed with freshmen Bailey Lack, Lexi Kilbane and Amber Neitzel to win both the 4×200- (1:49.60) and 4×100-meter (51.63) relays.

“Our handoffs were very good,” Maslowski said. “The weather wasn’t warm like we hoped, but we just fought through it. I thought the exchange between Lexi and myself would be a bit rough because of our height differential, but it worked out great.”

The Blue Devils defeated Lorain (1:50.21) to win the 4×2 and Elyria Catholic (51.68) to take the 4×1. The Titans’ 4×2 is the defending Amherst Division I District champion. The Panthers’ 4×1 finished third at last season’s D-III state meet and returns all four legs.

“Things can only get better when the weather breaks,” Neitzel said. “It’s nice to keep the team tradition going with this meet.”

“We have several teammates out sick or injured so for us to pull it out today is a really great day,” Lack said. “It’s tough facing state-caliber talent, but you always have to think in the positive. We have good team tradition. We have an awesome team this year.”

Junior Kristine Camper aided the cause with second-place finishes in the 1,600 (5:29.48) and 800 (2:27.74). Camper missed nearly the entire cross country season due to hip stress fractures.

“Doctors weren’t 100 percent sure what caused the stress fractures,” said Camper. “Cross country season was frustrating. The team still did great things, but I missed competing with them. I’m definitely feeling a lot better. My coaches have me on a good workout regimen. I think this injury is behind me.”

The Medina boys won only two to Brunswick’s five, but the Bees’ depth prevailed. Medina had five second-place awards and four thirds.

Junior Kyle Hutchison Medina prevailed in pole vault (14-6), defeating Elyria Catholic junior Lucas Ball (13-6), a two-time D-II state qualifier who won the event last year at 14-6.

Kyle Hutchinson

A year ago, Hutchison no-heighted at the Northeast Ohio Conference Meet and cleared only 12-0 at districts. His outdoor previous personal best was 13-0.

“The indoor season is where I really started picking it up,” said Hutchison, who placed third at indoor state (14-7). “It’s nice to be able to vault well when it’s still cold like this. I was a little tighter than I would have liked to have been.”

Junior Mike Hielozer had Medina’s other win in shot put (56-2 ¼). He also was second in discus (160-2).

Brunswick multiple winners in seniors Dan Yohman and Tyler Menear.

Yohman anchored the winning 4×1 (44.65) and took the 200 (23.5) and long jump (21-0) after he was upset in his title defense for the 100 by Elyria Catholic sophomore Justin Taylor (11.42-11.47).

“The state meet is the ultimate goal,” said Yohman, a 2012 state qualifier in the 100 and 200. “I’ve been there and I know what it takes to get there so just working harder so I can get back.”

Menear set a meet record in winning the 3,200 (9:34.57), breaking the two-year-old mark set by Elyria Catholic’s Dan Kuhman (9:44.78). He defeated Avon senior Blake Pecoraro (9:42.08). Menear also defended his meet title in the 800 (2:00.85), as he beat Medina junior Dan Schwendler (2:03.20).

“I had good break between the 3,200 and the 800,” he said. “It was nice having the 3,200 in the morning. That helped. I wanted to get out well (in the 800). I made a mistake in my last 800, I kicked too early. I tried to change that for this one. It seemed to work. I ran a second faster. It was a good run. I’m happy with it.”

Contact Paul Heyse at (440) 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.