September 19, 2014

Medina
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Track and field: Looser, Williams lead Grizzlies to dominating victory

AVON — It wasn’t pretty, but the Wadsworth boys track and field team had more than enough firepower Saturday to rule the field for the second straight year at the 37th Avon Reynolds Relays.

The Grizzlies won seven out of 16 events and finished with 121 points to easily outdistance Avon (97). The Grizzlies were so dominant that a dropped baton in the 4×200-meter relay — the last event — was a non-factor.

Wadsworth’s Hunter Williams anchors the winning 4x100 relay. (RAY REIDEL / GAZETTE)

Wadsworth’s Hunter Williams anchors the winning 4×100 relay. (RAY REIDEL / GAZETTE)

Ryan Looser and Hunter Williams each had multiple wins.

Looser won the 110-meter hurdles (15.94) and teamed with Zack Metz to win the long jump relay (39 feet, 2½ inches). Looser had the meet’s best long jump mark at 19-11¾.

He was also a member of the second-place shuttle hurdles (1:06.98) and the third-place sprint medley (1:38.23).

“We came out here knowing what we had to do,” Looser said. “We were looking to get PRs (personal records). When you are focused on that, you’re sure to run well and get good results. We had a good team effort.”

Wadsworth is the first boys team at the Reynolds classic to win back-to-back titles since Highland in 2006 and ’07.

“That 400 leg in the sprint medley certainly is tough,” Looser said. “You’re moving your legs as fast as you can, but it seems like you’re not going very fast.”

Hunter Williams won the 100 (11.23) and teamed with Devon Gilkerson, Matt Blamble and Josh Weber for the winning 4×100 (44.18).

Williams didn’t appear satisfied.

“Many of us had an off day, but we still got it done,” said Williams. “Personally, I could have done better. I was a little disappointed with my 100-meter time.

But overall, I think we’ll be happy going home.”

Metz also had a hand in the winning pole vault relay with Matt Palak (25-6), which gave him three wins.

Jeff Batey and Jon Bach contributed in two winning relays. They teamed with Nick Winkler and Matt Biedler in the 4×800 (8:34.43) after teaming earlier with Ben Murphy and Theo Bach to take the 4x,1600 (18:49.63) by four seconds over Avon Lake (18:53.76).

The Highland girls were in contention nearly the entire way before finishing third (74) behind Avon (84) and Rocky River (76).

Sam Duale, Colleen Hoynes, Emma Grantier and Sarah Carpenter won the 4×1 (50.26) and 4×2 (1:46.81) relays.

Carlee Rhoads won the 1,600 (5:11.05) by 14 seconds. Nikki McKenna and Jenna Saunders combined to help the Hornets to win the high jump relay (10-0) at Avon for the fifth year in a row.

“The girls did a very nice job,” Highland coach Paul Lushes said. “Aside from Carlee Rhoads, we don’t have the depth yet in the distance events. We have some young girls coming up and struggle there a little bit but we make up for it there in the field events. Obviously, the sprinters did very well.

“We’ve been fortunate to have many good high jumpers like Nikki McKenna and Jenna Saunders. Nikki came through in a big way. She was very sick to her stomach all morning. Her dad called at 6:30 this morning and said she was throwing up. She had to miss the team bus and I wasn’t sure if she could make it up here. Her dad brought her to meet at around 10:30 and she ends up going 5-2 in high jump despite feeling pretty nauseous.”

Contact Paul Heyse at sports@medina-gazette.com.