AMHERST — The Medina girls 4×800-meter relay got some help from a couple of old friends Wednesday before it ran at the Amherst Division I Regional at Richard S. Cooley Track.
Taylor Wickey and Anna Boyert, members of last year’s state championship relay, gave this year’s runners a pep talk.
They must have used all the right words, as Alexis Smith, Maria Scavuzzo, Kimmy Vidika and Sarah Pack are headed to Columbus after finishing third in 9:25.95.
“They told us to go out there and do what we do and give it all you’ve got and the time will take care of itself,” said Smith, a four-time state qualifier in the relay who will attend Ashland University next fall. “It feels amazing to be going back to states. I have been blessed enough to be a part of a state-qualifying team four times, but I know I could not have done it without my teammates, who have helped me mentally and physically all year.”
Sophomore Pack ran the final 800 meters and used her speed to bring the team from seventh place into qualifying position.
“The last 200 I was like, ‘OK, it’s go time. Let’s go to states,”’ Pack said. “A lot of emotions were going through me in the closing moments of the race. I am just really happy to be going back. We all worked so hard this year for this.”
Brunswick’s relay of Alyssa Bierdron, Kristine Camper, Katie Pavlick and Emily Lapolla was 0.45 seconds shy of earning a trip behind Lakewood. Perrysburg won the race in 9:15.62.
Behind the strength of the 4×8 and Cari Pallini’s second-place finish in the shot put (38 feet, 8¾ inches), the Bees are in second place with 15 points after three events. The remaining field events and track finals will be contested today beginning at 4:30 p.m.
The Medina boys outdid the girls, leading the field after the first day of competition. The 4×800 of Tommy Menyes, Dan Schwendler, Dylan Dombi and Ian McKee finished second and earned a trip to state with a time of 7:54.78.
Bees junior Kyle Hutchinson pole vaulted his way to his first state appearance with a personal-record 14-9, good for second place. Midpark’s Aaron Owens won at 15-8.
“I’m excited about what happened today. I set a PR and advanced to states for the first time,” Hutchinson said. “I’m pretty stoked right now. It was the best feeling when I knew I was in the final group of four. I want to thank Shawn Beamer from Altitude (Vault Club), who worked with me all winter and really helped to prepare me for this season.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at firstname.lastname@example.org.