July 28, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
66°F

Berger, Murray headed for state

Dan Brown

The Gazette

AUSTINTOWN — It was a tale of two distance runners Friday night at the Youngstown Division I Regional at Falcon Stadium.

One surprised herself by earning a bid to next week’s state meet, while the other was running for gold.

Whichever way it’s broken down, Wadsworth’s Sarah Berger and Cloverleaf’s Ashley Murray brought home runner-up finishes in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, respectively, to earn their first trips to Columbus.

“I didn’t think I would get out of districts,” Berger joked. “So, I’m just taking it one step at a time now.”

After already qualifying in the 4×800 relay Wednesday, Berger did what she felt was impossible by recording her second personal record of the postseason in the 1,600.

The junior, who was fifth heading into the final lap, used a strong kick on the backstretch to finish in 5:06.56. She pushed reigning state runner-up Therese Haiss (5:05.88) of Solon for the final 100 meters.

“Going into the third lap, I was like ‘Oh, I can’t do this,’ and then, I don’t know what it is. I go into autopilot the final 500,” Berger said. “I tried to start my kick with 400 to go every race. I just tried to go with whatever I had left.

Being on the heels of Haiss, who will run for powerhouse Oregon next season, made for a surreal finish.

“It feels good,” Berger said. “I know she can run a lot faster, and I’m sure she’s saving it for the 800, but she’s an amazing runner and is an inspiration to everyone.”

Murray’s race was almost the opposite of Burger’s, as the Cloverleaf junior led for most of it, including by a full car-length with a handful of laps left.

Like the competitor she is, Murray was thrilled to snare an opportunity to run on the state’s biggest stage, but wanted the top spot on the podium.

“I’m so psyched and I’m happy with my performance, but I just wish I hydrated a little more,” said Murray, who finished in 11:27.54. “Nothing satisfies me more than coming in first, and I didn’t come in first.”

Murray was passed up for the second straight week by Shaker Heights’ Chloe Binczyk, who used an impressive 800-meter kick to win in 11:17.52.

Murray knows what she did wrong and will approach the race differently next weekend.

“I don’t have a kick, but me and (Cloverleaf distance) coach (Dave Freeland) have a plan,” said Murray, who would not elaborate. “I know what my mistake was today, and I’m going to fix it.

“Today I felt a little slow because of the heat, but I promise that next week will be totally different and I’m going to surprise everyone.”

Wadsworth’s 4×4 relay rounded out the area competitors who punched their tickets to Columbus, earning the fourth and final qualifying spot in one of the fastest races of the night.

Despite breaking its season best, the team of Courtney Palange, Leah Runkle, Berger and Michalla Gordon finished 0.20 seconds behind Geneva in 3:54.73.

“We all were feeling upset (afterwards) and feeling horrible, but we actually ran our best by two seconds,” Gordon said. “The competition here is just phenomenal, so we just have to keep reminding ourselves that we were meant to be here, too.

“I knew I had to go out really fast (in the anchor leg) and I did, but my last 100 was pretty rough because I went out so fast, but we got fourth so I’m happy with that.”

The finish also pleased Runkle, who came up short in advancing in the long jump. The junior was fifth after clearing 17-0½. Cleveland Heights’ Raven Porter locked up the final state bid with a 17-2¼.

“After losing in the long jump, I just tried to push it out of my head and concentrate on 4×4,” Runkle said. “I really wanted to get to states. It’s been all I’ve been thinking about.

“I thought I was in fourth and so did my coach, but then we forgot about this girl from Cleveland Heights, so I was, like, happy and then really sad.”

It was a tough day for Wadsworth’s boys, as their three events produced zero state berths.

Junior Nick Winkler was among the top four with around 200 meters to go in his 800-meter final, only to get tripped up by an opposing runner and drop back to sixth, where he finished in 1:57.45.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “Someone kicked me, I got my balance back and someone tripped me and I almost fell. It slowed me down a lot. It’s obviously disappointing.”

Hunter Williams fell short in the 200, finishing seventh in 22.26, and as the anchor of the 4×2 relay with Eric Yetzer, Josh Weber and Ryan Looser. The team finished sixth after clocking 1:30.12.

“I thought I was going to be good in the 200s and I felt like I had a good start, but I don’t know what happened,” Williams said. “I felt like I was about to trip halfway through and I started running more tight and wasn’t loose enough.”

Looser was eighth in the 110 hurdles (15.0), while Cloverleaf’s Adam Podolak placed 13th in the high jump (6-0).

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

Results 

AUSTINTOWN — Results Friday from the final day of the Youngstown Division I Regional at Austintown-Fitch’s Falcon Stadium. Top four individuals and relays advanced to the state meet, June 7-8 at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus.

Boys

Team standings: 1. Solon 86, 2. Austintown-Fitch 57, 3. Glenville 46, 4. Cleveland Heights 42, 5. Mentor 35, 6. Canton McKinley 32, 7. Chardon 21, T-8. Massillon, Wooster 20, 10. Twinsburg 18, 11. Willoughby South 17, T-12. Shaker Heights, Euclid 16, T-14. Hudson, WADSWORTH 15, T-16. Massillon Perry, Warren Harding 14, T-18. Stow, Baordman 13, T-20. Mayfield, Howland 12, T-22. Nordonia, Marlingto 11, 24. Tallmadge 10, T-25. Lakeside, Lake Catholic, Roosevelt 8, T-28. Massillon Jackson, Garfield 7, T-30. Green, Eastlake North, Hoover, West Geauga, GlenOak 6, 35. Kenston 5, T-36. Bedford, Copley 4, T-38. Walsh Jesuit, Harvey, Canfield 3, T-41. Brush, Uniontown Lake 2. 

Individual results

Shot put: 1. John Maurins (Men) 60-7¾, 2. Billy Price (AF) 57-6½, 3. Chris Daniels (McK) 56-2¾, 4. Chris Treadwell (Euc) 55-4½. High jump: 1. Cameron Cross (CH) 6-8, 2 Damion Smith (Mass) 6-6, 3. Kareem Hunt (WS) 6-6, 4. Eddie Daugherty (Men) 6-5, 13. Adam Podolak (Clo) 6-0. 110 hurdles: 1. Sam Ortiz (AF) 14.26, 2. Rameses Owens (SH) 14.30, 3. Paedyn Gomes (WG) 14.43, 4. Michael Coleman (Euc) 14.51, 8. Ryan Looser (Wad) 15.0. 100: 1. Khoury Crenshaw (So) 10.63, 2. Jeff Richardson (McK) 10.73, 3. Shelton Gibson (CH) 10.74, 4. Nathan Jones (Bo) 10.79. 4×200: 1. Austintown Fitch 1:26.82, 2. Glenville 1:27.46, 3. Nordonia 1:28.18, 4. Wooster 1:28.42, 6. Wadsworth (Eric Yetzer, Josh Weber, Ryan Looser, Hunter Williams) 1:30.12. 1,600: 1. Garrett Crichlow (Twin) 4:14.26, 2. Kevin Blank (So) 4:20.82, 3. Kyle Mau (Hud) 4:23.23, 4. Owen Morley (Ken) 4:23.77. 4×100: 1. Solon 42.04, 2. Cleveland Heights 42.09, 3. Austintown-Fitch 42.19, 4. Warren Harding 42.72. 400: 1. Jacquex Riggs (Glen) 48.34, 2. Otis Conel (Lake) 49.44, 3. Gareon Conley (Mass) 50.04, 4. Jaylen Dowdy (Men) 50.07. 300 hurdles: 1. Williams Robinson (Glen) 37.80, 2. Owens (SH) 38.81, 3. Grant Mercer (Roo) 38.99, 4. Grant Mlack (Cha) 39.0. 800: 1. Kevin White (Woo) 1:54.80, 2. Brian McGovern (Tal) 1:54.83, 3. Caleb Mellon (May) 1:55.76, 4. Paul Lovell (Stow) 1:55.90, 6. Nick Winkler (Wad) 1:57.45. 200: 1. Richardson (McK) 21.43, Gibson (CH) 21.55, 3. Joe Harrington (AF) 21.70, 4. Crenshaw (So) 21.73, 7. Williams (Wad) 22.26. 3,200: 1. Nick Elswick (Cha) 9:14.09, 2. Mark Hadley (Boa) 9:26.92, 3. Ryan Sullivan (How) 9:31.16, 4. Jeff Gudowicz (Men) 9:32.77. 4×400: 1. Glenville 3:17.56, 2. Cleveland Heights 3:18.63, 3. Mentor 3:20.36, 4. Warren Harding 3:21.18.

Girls

Team standings: 1. Solon 79 ½, 2. Austintown-Fitch 42, 3. Massillon Perry 39, 4. Green 34, 5. Canton McKinley 39, 6. Cuyahoga Falls 28, T-7. GlenOak, Nordonia 26, T-9. Hoover, WADSWORTH, West Geauga 25, 12. Beaumont 23, 13. Chardon 22, 14. Twinsburg 20, 15. Geneva 19, 16. Cleveland Heights 15, 17. Stow 14, 18. Shaker Heights 13, T-19. Hudson, Louisville 12, T-21. Uniontown Lake, Boardman, Canfield, Warren Harding 11, T-25. Brecksville, Mayfield 10, 27. CLOVERLEAF 8, T-28. Hoban, Walsh Jesuit, Mentor 7, T-31. Kenston, Massillon Jackson 6, 33. Madison 5, 34. Revere 3 ½, T-35. Riverside, Massillon 3, T-37. Euclid, Ravenna, Buchtel, John Hay 2, 41. Firestone 1.

Individual results

Discus: 1. Gabby Figueroa (AF) 135-0, 2. Alexis Gray (So) 130-9, 3. Giovanna Silvestri (Boa) 127-3, 4. Alexandria Gower (Lake) 124-2. Long jump: 1. Chantel Richardson (WG) 18-8, 2. Korrin Taylor (McK) 18-7¼, 3. Jaylyn Vance (Lake) 17-6, 4. Raven Porter (CH) 17-2¼, 5. Leah Runkle (Wad) 17-0½. Pole vault: 1. Morgan Estes (Gre) 12-0, 2. Nicole Waibel (CF) 11-8, 3. Nicole Rozsa (CF) 11-8, 4. Allison Bury (GO) 10-8. 100 hurdles: 1. Richardson (WG) 13.78, 2. Taylor McDonald (Nor) 14.65, 3. Ashley Pryce (Stow) 14.66, 4. Jhni Fleming (GO) 14.74. 100: 1. Jelvon Butler (So) 11.80, 2. Stephanie Ferrante (Cha) 11.89, 3. Hannah Luke (Per) 12.04, 4. Daziah Green (McK) 12.07. 4×200: 1. Solon 1:41.03, 2. Beamont 1:41.39, 3. Massillon Perry 1:42.19, 4. Cleveland Heights 1:42.73. 1,600: 1. Therese Haiss (So) 5:05.88, 2. Sarah Berger (Wad) 5:06.56, 3. Melina Renuart (WJ) 5:06.95, 4. Emma Lunne (Can) 5:07.21. 4×100: 1. Twinsburg 48.32, 2. Warren Harding 48.40, 3. Beaumont 48.46, 4. Cleveland Heights 48.72. 400: 1. Daziah Green (McK) 55.32, 2. Emily Hooker (Gre) 55.63, 3. Stephanie Ferrante (Cha) 55.78, 4. Mikayla Dearing (Per) 57.66. 300 hurdles: 1. McDonald (Nor) 42.36, 2. Mackenzie Rankin (Lou) 44.12, 3. Abbie Lawson (Stow) 44.67, 4. Korrin Taylor (McK) 44.98. 800: 1. Erika Rector (Gre) 2:13.35, 2. Rachel Kotchman (Bre) 2:13.50, 3. Taylor Cropper (Hoo) 2:15.16, 4. Haiss (So) 2:15.54. 200: 1. Butler (So) 24.26, 2. Stephani Ferrante (Cha) 24.39, 3. Hannah Luke (Per) 24.41, 4. Brianna Lawson (Twin) 25.14. 3,200: 1. Chloe Binczyk (SH) 11:17.52, 2. Ashley Murray (Clo) 11:27.54, 3. Leah Vasarhelyi (Nor) 11:29.42, 4. Ashlyn Woods (Men) 11:29.93. 4×400: 1. Massillon Perry 3:50.91, 2. Solon 3:53.81, 3. Geneva 3:54.53, 4. Wadsworth (Courtney Palange, Runkle, Berger, Michalla Gordon) 3:54.73.