MEDINA — The members of Medina’s distance medley knew they had a strong group, but their win Saturday afternoon was a surprise even to them.
It wasn’t the fact Jessica Wolf, Kimmy Vidika, Sarah Pack and Maria Scavuzzo won at the 27th edition of the Medina Relays, it was the margin of victory.
“It was a nice win,” said Pack, a junior who ran the 1,200-meter leg. “The team that we ran with was really strong, and we just went out with confidence because it’s a home meet and we have a lot of our fans here cheering us on.”
That confidence resulted in a dominating win, as the quartet clocked 12:55.88 to beat Solon (13:36.83) by more than 40 seconds. Wolf and Vidika got the group off to a nice start, keeping the lead through the 800 and 400 legs, respectively.
“I didn’t gain too much (ground). I just held it for us,” Vidika said. “It was an overall team effort, and everyone was just able to keep there’s and work a little more forward and a little more forward.”
From there, Pack’s 1,200 put the group in the lead by a good 150 meters before Scavuzzo brought it home with a strong 1,600 anchor.
The victory avenged a loss for the same group earlier in the day in the 4×8, as its run of 9:46.53 fell short of Brecksville (9:45.19).
“I thought Solon would be right behind us, and then I saw Maria finishing and no one was even near us,” Pack said. “It was a great win.”
Medina took second in the team standings behind reigning Division I state champion Solon (129) with 79 points despite two wins and four runner-up finishes.
Thanks to a winning jump of 10 feet,
8 inches from McKenna Baluch, the pole vault team that also included Alexis Conway and Allyson Campbell had the other victory (27-6).
“She was jumping really well,” Medina pole vault coach Kevin Hutchinson said of Baluch. “I think the weather and the tailwind really helped, but she did really well. She needs to go up on some stiffer poles and that will help her heights.
“The girls all did well and they all cleared what I expected them to.”
The shot put and discus relays were second to Solon, while the long jump relay missed the title by 2¾ inches. Freshman Carolyn Wilder had the top throws for the Bees, tossing the shot a personal-best
36-5¾ and flinging the disc 105-3.
Junior Alyssa Acevedo needed just three long jump attempts to reach 16-11¾, which was first until Berea-Midpark’s Kyla Paster unleashed a 17-11½. Acevedo had a fourth attempt, but fouled before heading to the track to run on the fourth-place 4×1.
Not too shabby for someone who took the ACT just hours before.
“On that last one, we were just going for it,” Acevedo said. “I was tired, but I think I was mentally ready to jump.”
The shuttle hurdles team of Campbell, McKenzie Kelly, Nicole Steward and Brittany Nelson was third.
The Medina boys placed fifth, paced by a pair of wins from the throwing units of Mike Hierholzer, Austin Hazek and Jake Wickey. Hierholzer’s team-best throws in the shot (52-11) and discus (156-6) were good for third and second, respectively.
Senior Andrew Stenger tied for first in the high jump (6-2) as the team was third.
The Bees’ best performance may have come after many of the athletes left Kenneth Dukes Stadium, as junior Nate Schollaert soared a personal-record 13-6 to finish third in the pole vault behind teammate Kyle Hutchinson (14-0).
“We’ve been working a lot,” said Schollaert, whose previous best was 12-6. “Today I got on a bigger pole and did eight steps, which is new, so the weight and the length helped me get up more. I’m just glad it clicked together finally.”
Medina’s shuttle hurdle team of Derek Walker, LaVelle Sausberry, Cwinn Febus and Jason Blankenship placed third, while Kevin Menyes was fourth in the 3,200 (10:16.52) and Mike Armstrong clocked 11.82 in the 100 to take fifth.
St. Edward senior and Medina resident Steele Wasik was impressive in his homecoming of sorts, as he was a part of three victories. Wasik had a pair of individual wins — recording the top distance in the long jump (22-6¾) and cruising to an easy win in the 110 hurdles (14.39) — along with running the 400 leg of the Eagles’ distance medley unit that won in 11:00.65.
“Coming back to Medina is always an interesting affair,” he said. “There’s no getting around the mixed feelings that they have for me, but it’s great to see all my old friends and catch up, and it’s fun to show the others what I’ve been up to at St. Ed’s. Someone asked me if I considered this a home meet. I told them that I wasn’t sure.”
Morgan Wickey made her return after being sidelined with a hamstring injury. The junior anchored a sixth-place sprint medley and was sixth in the long jump, helping the relay team to runner-up.
l Former Medina girls cross country coach and assistant track coach Phil Brewer served as public address announcer.
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