June 29, 2016


Medina Relays bring out best of county’s athletes

Different location, same great competition.

That will be theme of this year’s Medina Relays, which announced earlier this week it moved the 26th edition Saturday to Brunswick’s Judy Kirsch Field.

Medina’s Jenna D’Errico won the pole vault competition last weekend at the Avon Lake Invitational. On Saturday, she hopes to lead the Bees to another good showing at the Medina Relays. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY JUDD SMERGLIA)

While it was a tough decision for meet director Milt Place, the move had to made after winter weather caused the disintegration of lanes two, three and four approximately halfway down the homestretch of the track at Kenneth Dukes Stadium.

“A senior sprinter/hurdler asked me (Tuesday) at practice if there was any way we could run the Medina Relays at home this weekend and I told him that the track wouldn’t be ready in time,” Place said. “He seemed very disappointed.

“The good news is that Brunswick is allowing us to use their facilities. They have a tremendous athletic complex that is state-of-the-art.”

The Blue Devils’ track will be put to good use, as some of the top athletes in the area will be on display.

The boys side alone will feature highly contested finals. The 100-meter dash will likely feature the first meeting of the season between reigning state champion Khoury Crenshaw of Solon and runner-up Anthony Young, a Liverpool Township resident and St. Edward standout. Crenshaw won a thrilling state final by 0.05 seconds over Young, who went on to win the 200.

Like the 100, the pole vault will be worth the price of admission. Midpark’s Austin Owens, who finished second at state last season, recently won the state indoor championship with 15 feet, 6 inches.

It won’t be easy for Owens, however, as the Medina indoor state placer Kyle Hutchinson, Midpark’s Branson Repasy and Elyria Catholic state placer Lucas Ball all have cleared 14-6 or better.

Also in the field, the shot and discus feature great fields led by St. Edward state placer Aaron Zedella.

The distance events will headline St. Ignatius state placer Jack Miller, while the hurdles are led by one of the state’s fastest, Medina resident and St. Edward star Steele Wasik.

On the girls side, Solon is loaded with talent, including Oregon recruit Therese Haiss, who is the defending state outdoor champion in the 800 and runner-up in the 1,600.

Black River
The Pirates’ season-opening meet was pushed back another week thanks to Mother Nature. Storms Wednesday and Thursday postponed a Patriot Athletic Conference triangular at Brookside with Lutheran West. The Pirates will have to wait until Wednesday, when they travel to Brooklyn to face the host Hurricanes and Columbia.
• The meet with the Cardinals and Longhorns has been rescheduled for May 6.

Brunswick’s Tyler Menear broke the Avon Lake Invitational meet record in the 800 last Saturday. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY JUDD SMERGLIA)

Last season, Gabby Maslowski ran on the state qualifying 4×400-meter relay as a freshman. This season, the sprinter has been doing a little bit of everything. Maslowski has posted the county’s fastest times in the 100 and 200, as well as the 300 hurdles. Her 200 time of 27.10 at Avon Lake was a career low.
• Senior Tyler Menear broke a meet record in one event and a personal mark in another during a solid day at the Avon Lake Invitational. The All-Gazette selection ran a PR 2:00.85 to win the 800 and followed by breaking the meet record in the 3,200 (9:34.57).
• Baylee Geiss flung the discus a career-best 107-2 at the Avon Lake Invite.

After tearing his ACL in the offseason, All-Gazette sprinter Caleb Kupetz appears to be back at full strength. The senior showed no signs of the setback last weekend when he won the 100 at the Perkins Invitational with a county-best 11.32 and followed with a win in the 200 in 23.05. Kupetz also is a key leg to the Bucks’ sprint relay teams.

Despite a tough loss to reigning Suburban League champion Nordonia last week, a pair of field athletes recorded standout performances. Junior thrower Tom Wangler won the shot with a career-best 47-5, while Chandler Laux cleared 19-8 in the long jump.
• After a pair of weekday dual meets, the Colts will travel to the McCay Relays at Smithville on Saturday.

Last season, the Hornets featured a young sprinting corps that took the area by storm. Now the group has experience, which showed in a win over Green. Sarah Carpenter, Sam Duale and Paige Springhetti all shined in individual events, while newcomers Colleen Hoynes and Lauren Zuro proved they can add more depth to already stacked lineup.
• Cole Vandenberg proved his endurance is up to par in a SL win over Revere. The senior distance runner opened the meet on the winning 4×8 and then shined in a grueling stretch of events in which he placed first in the 1,600, 800 and 3,200.

It’s been a good start for Jenna D’Errico. The senior, who was a regional qualifier in the pole vault a year ago, matched her personal record in the event (11-0) in the first meet of the season at Brunswick and went on to break an 8-year-old meet record at the Avon Lake Invite with a winning jump of 10-6.
• Junior thrower Austin Hazek recorded PRs in the shot (44-10) and discus (144-7) as the Bees won the team title at Avon Lake. According to coach Bob Jenkins, his athletes have recorded 17 career bests already this season.
• The Bees NOC Valley Division meet with Solon that was postponed last week has been rescheduled for April 22.

For Ryan Looser, the second time was the charm. He soared 20-0½ to win the long jump in just his second try at the event — a victory that helped the Grizzlies take a key SL dual against Green. Looser, who is in his first year on the team, has also made a big impact as a sprinter and high jumper.
• The openings weeks are typically used to have athletes try different events and various relay combinations to see what works. This hasn’t held true for the Grizzly girls. The 4×4 of Courtney Palange, Sara Berger, Leah Runkle and Michalla Gordon was downright impressive en route to breaking the meet record at the GlenOak Relays in 4:05.47. The time is a more than 2 seconds faster than the best time a Wadsworth 4×4 team ran all last season.

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