June 26, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Comet Relays: Blue Devils girls second to Amherst

AMHERST — The Brunswick girls track team’s four-year reign at the Comet Relays was snapped Saturday by host Amherst.

The Comets ruled the 58th edition with 100 points, with the Blue Devils (68) and Medina (64) third. It Amherst’s first win at its home event since 1987.

Morgan Wickey helped Medina to second place in the long jump at the Comet Relays. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RAY RIEDEL)

St. Ignatius dominated the boys side with 71 points, winning despite a disqualification by its first-place 4×1,600-meter relay. Medina (56) won a logjam for second over Mentor (55) and Brunswick (54).

“We were missing some big dogs,” Blue Devils girls coach Melissa Wojtala said. “(Vanessa) Pasadyn, (Amber) Neitzel and (Olivia) Young were out because of minor injuries, but the team did well. We scored in almost every event on the track.”

The Brunswick girls had two wins.

The first came by the 4x,1600 of Kristine Camper, Jenna Scott, Hannah Meyer and Emily Lapolla (22:20.43). The other was by the 4×400 of Alyssa Biedro, Camper, Bailey Lack and Lexi Kilbane that clocked a season-best 4:07.18.

Camper was also fifth in the 1,600 meters in 5:23.40.

“We had a lot of (personal records) and many good things happened for us,” Wojtala said. “Today’s performances definitely helps us for some big decisions we’ll need to make for districts in four weeks (May 22, 24), especially for relays.”

Senior Anastatia Fitzroy also had a nice day. She finished third in the 100-meter hurdles (16.28) and was also third as a member of the 4×100 (50.82, subbing for Neitzel), shuttle hurdles (1:12.17) and high jump relay (14-3).

Juniors Mike Hierholzer and Kyle Hutchison were catalysts for Medina boys.

Hierholzer crushed John Pallini’s 2007 school record of 162-7 with a throw of 177-0. His previous best mark had been 161-3.

Hierholzer’s efforts helped the Bees take third in the discus (412-2) and shot put (137-2¾) relays. Hierholzer threw the shot put 53-5½, second to Sandusky Perkins’ Aaron Mawhirter (58-5 ¾). Austin Hazek and Brad Gallitz teamed with Hierholzer in both throwing relays.

“Mike really blasted it,” Medina boys coach Bob Jenkins said. “He was just waiting for good weather to have it happen.”

“Our vaulters had meet and school records. Our sprinters did very well, but that was expected. We had some injuries and did bring some people here, but to be runner-up at Comet is huge. We’ve always been blessed with being broad-brushed. We nickel-and-dime people to death. Our distance guys came through. It was just a good overall performance.”

Hutchison teamed with senior Robert Sprung to take the two-man pole vault relay in a meet-record 27-7. Hutchison led all vaulters with a 14-7, just an inch off of his season best.

“Things were definitely as good as I hoped,” Hutchison said. “I got a brand-new pole to see if it would work, but it was really stiff so I stayed with my regular pole. I just pulled harder on the top end.”

Hutchison also later chipped in with a 400-meter leg on the fourth-place distance medley relay.

Seniors Keith Yohman of Brunswick (11.29) and Josh Oswald of Medina (11.30) came up on the short end of a tough 100 meters. Thomas Worthington’s Jalen Wells (11.27) rallied late in lane No. 5, squeezing between Yohman (lane 4) and Oswald (lane 6).

“This meet is a good preview for when we’re back here for districts and regionals,” Yohman said. “It gives you a better idea of where you and your team stands when the postseason comes around.”

Yohman was also second as a member of the 4×100 (44.02).

The Medina girls chalked up three field victories.

Cari Pallini, McKenzie Moran and Annie Bersig won shot put relay (95-5 ½), Pallini, Moran and Caitlin Gold took the discus (312-1) and McKenna Baluch and Alexis Conway captured pole vault (19-9).

A relative unknown outside Medina County, Cloverleaf junior Ashley Murray shocked the field with two stellar performances. She won in the 3,200 meters (11:04.98) in the morning session and came back 4½ hours later for second place in the 1,600 meters (5:16.37).

“My 3,200 meters felt very good,” she said. “It was close to a 20-second PR. It was only my third time running that distance. My goal is to break 11-flat next time. I felt kind of tired for the 1,600, but more of my arms. I gave it my all. I’m more of a two-miler.”

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