June 28, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Track: Medina’s Jenna D’Errico sets meet record

BRUNSWICK — After missing two weeks of the season with an injury, all Jenna D’Errico wanted Wednesday was to defend her Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division title in the pole vault.

Not only did the Medina pole vaulter keep the league crown for another year, she did it with a meet-record jump as the Bees finished runner-up to Solon at Judy Kirsch Stadium.

Jenna D'Errico

D’Errico, sidelined for two weeks at the midway point of the season due to shin splits in her takeoff leg, used a consistent day overall to clear 11 feet, 4 inches.

“It feels really great,” she said. “It was kind of hard because I was out for a couple of weeks, so it’s great to come back and set the record.”

The senior, who was the area’s top jumper before her injury, was clean on all her attempts until the bar got to 11-4. Having the title already wrapped up after teammate McKenna Baluch bowed out at 10-6, D’Errico converted the record-breaking leap on her final attempt.

The mark surpassed the conference’s previous best of 11-3 in 2011, set by former Medina state champion and current Villanova standout Alex Wasik, and helped the Bees finish with 101 points.

Solon won the team championship with 166, while Brunswick (62) was fifth.

Medina sophomore Alyssa Acevedo was equally impressive in winning the long jump. Acevedo cleared 17-3¼ to win the NOC title in the event, beating out Twinsburg’s Taylor Ware (17-2¾). The 10th-grader’s previous best on the season was 16-8½.

“She’s finally getting healthy,” Medina coach Scott VanFleet said. “I was real happy for her. She was real excited.”

Senior Cari Pallini picked up a pair of second-place finishes in the field, taking the silver in the shot put (38-1) and discus (132-3½).

On the track, Sarah Pack was runner-up in the 800 meters with an impressive finish of 2:20.05 and helped the 4×800 and 4×4 to second- and third-place finishes, respectively.

Kimmy Vidika, Maria Scavuzzo and Alexis Smith joined Pack on the 4×8 team that clocked 9:37.49. Smith was right behind Pack in the open 800 in 2:23.37, while Scavuzzo came in third in the 3,200.

Brunswick’s Gabby Maslowski overcame a muscle strain in the final 50 meters of her heat in the 400 dash to win the league title in the event. The sophomore recorded a season-low 59.32 to hold off Mentor’s Cassie Rozic (59.46) and fellow Blue Devil Alyssa Biedron (59.72).

“I didn’t really think I was going to do it, but (Brunswick coach Melissa) Wojtala really pushed me and put a lot of pressure on me,” Maslowski said. “I guess that’s what you have to do to get it done.

“It hurt really bad and I heard (Rozic) coming up on me, so I just tried to keep it as much as I could. My legs were just tired.”

Maslowski also helped the 4×4 team, which included Kristine Camper, Olivia Young and Biedron, to a runner-up finish in 4:01.63.

Solon also ran away with the boys competition, winning with 164½ points. Brunswick was third with 89, while Medina had 83½ to place fourth.

Despite finishing second in three events, All-Gazette sprinter Keith Yohman shined in going head-to-head with defending 100 state champ Khoury Crenshaw of Solon in two of those races. Yohman lost to Crenshaw in the 100 and 200, despite finishing in times of 11.12 and 22.41.

Yohman, a state qualifier last season, was able to put it all in perspective.

“I just tried to finish as close as I could,” Yohman said of the Michigan recruit. “My 100 was pretty good and Coach (Scott Merrill) said it was pretty good. In the 200, I felt really good. I definitely stretched out really well before the race, because coming down the stretch; I didn’t feel tight at all.”

Yohman also made up ground in his anchor leg of the 4×2 to help the team of Joe Pinzone, Justin Boey and Austin Fallon finish second in 43.62. The same foursome was second in the 4×1.

Brunswick’s Alex Hartill was second in the long jump, sailing 21-7 ¾, along with thirds in the high jump and 400. Tyler Menear was third in the 1,600 and 3,200, while Brandon Emert clocked the third-fastest time in the 300 hurdles.

Medina picked up a good chunk of its points in the field, taking second in four of the five events.

Kyle Hutchinson lost out on the NOC pole vault championship based on attempts to Solon’s Johnathon Spilker, as both had identical jumps of 14 feet. The Bees’ Robert Sprung was third (13-0).

In the high jump, Andrew Stenger soared 6-4, while Mike Hierholzer was runner-up in the shot (59-5) and disc (170-6).

The 4×8 was decided by a mere 0.04 seconds as the Medina team of Tommy Menyes, Ken Kutcel, Dan Schwendler and Ian McKee clocked an 8:00.12 to finish behind Solon (8:00.08). Menyes also was third in the 800.

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