July 22, 2014

Medina
Partly sunny
88°F

Highland’s 4×100 in finals

Amber Neitzel anchors Brunswick's 4x100 relay at the state track meet. (RAY RIEDEL / GAZETTE)

Amber Neitzel anchors Brunswick’s 4×100 relay at the state track meet. (RAY RIEDEL / GAZETTE)

Dan Brown

The Gazette

COLUMBUS — Another week, another school record for the Highland girls 4×100-meter relay.

While the stakes were much, much bigger this time than when they won the Amherst Division I Regional in record time last week, Sarah Carpenter, Sam Duale, Emma Grantier and Colleen Hoynes advanced to the Division I finals at the OHSAA State Championships.

The relay combined to finish in 48.18, bettering its previous low of 48.82, to earn one of the nine qualifying spots for the finals this evening.

“I think we can do better even (today), too,” said Carpenter, who missed advancing in the 200 dash with a 25.62. “We were all really nervous and we said that this was one of our last times running together, so we’ll just give it all and we did. Everyone ran well.”

The time was third in the heat and fourth overall. Warren Harding clocked 47.89, with Solon (48.04) and Pickerington Central (48.14) right behind.

“We just wanted to make it to the finals,” Carpenter said. “Hopefully we can all run faster than we did today. It’s really cool to make it here, but we all were real nervous. We just want to have fun and try our best.”

Moving on

After failing to qualify for the finals in the 100, Wadsworth senior Hunter Williams made up for it by earning the final spot in the 200 final today. Williams finished in 21.97 to earn the ninth spot, ahead of John Adams’ Reggie Thomas (22.0).

“I’m not really happy with the times I had,” he said. “I hope to get at least top five (today) and if I run as good as I can, I won’t have a problem doing it.”

Williams failed to move on in the 100 after finishing in 10.95. He was ahead of fellow Medina Countian Richie Norman of Brunswick.

Busy day

Advancing in the 110 and 300 hurdles, Steele Wasik will be one of the busiest athletes today, when he also will compete in the long jump and high jump. The St. Edward senior is used to that, as he is the reigning AAU Junior Olympic champ in the decathlon.

“The approach for (today) is just to have fun,” Wasik said. “Lots of people say it, but few can actually do it and have fun. To high jump and hurdle with friends and family here, some people might get nervous — and of course I’m nervous — but if anyone asked me what I wanted to do in one day, I would say I want to go out on the track and compete.”

In the prelims Friday, Wasik’s times of 14.04 in the 110s and 37.56 in the 300s were second overall, just a step or two behind Glenville’s Davon Anderson.

“I was really surprised since I haven’t run on fresh legs in about a month now,” Wasik said. “In the 110s, I felt really strong and really quick and I didn’t want to make the mistakes I did last year when I went all out and PR’d in prelims and had sore legs the next day. In the 300s, I wanted to make sure I was leading going into the last 100, but both were great races.”

New role

A year after helping St. Vincent-St. Mary’s 4×800 to second in D-II, Medina resident Rachel Iacofano moved from the third leg to leadoff in the group’s return to Columbus. The sophomore helped the team to fourth Friday in 9:28.99.

“There was more pressure starting off on the starting line ready to go,” Iacofano said. “I felt like I was more prepared this year and I worked really hard for where I am now. I know for this race I did everything I possibly could.”

Iacofano set the tone by taking the group from third after her first lap to second when she handed off the baton.

“That was definitely adrenaline,” Iacofano said of her start. “Once the gun went off, I was like, ‘I’ve got to go.’ That’s all that was going through my head. I wanted our team to do really well this year, and I think we all did our very best.”

Just missed

The 4×4 relays from Brunswick, Medina and Highland came up shy of extending their seasons to today. The Blue Devils’ Bailey Lack, Kristine Camper, Amber Neitzel and Gabby Maslowski had the county’s best time in 4:00.75 to take 12th, ahead of Medina (4:01.85) and Wadsworth (4:05.03).

It was a tough day for Maslowski, who competed with the 4×1 with Lack, Ashley Danesi and Neitzel that was 13th. She placed 14th in the 300 hurdles in 47.49.

“I also choked in the 300 hurdles, but I didn’t really care about that because I just wanted to do well for my team,” Maslowski said. “I actually didn’t feel that much pressure because I’ve been here before and was just going to do the best that I could. I just didn’t do that well.”

l Norman clocked 11.05 in his 100 heat to miss qualifying and anchored a 4×1 that included Austin Fallon, Sean Kilbane and Joe Pinzone to 15th in 43.60.

Final laps

The D-I state record in the boys 4×8 previously held by Wadsworth was broken by St. Xavier, which finished in 7:36.33. Grizzlies Jacob Sussman, Aaron Tipton, Russ McCune and Jake Hiltner clocked 7:39.72 to win the state crown in 2010.

l St. Edward graduate and LiverpoolTownship resident Anthony Young was featured on this year’s official program. The sprinter, who was the D-I runner-up in the 200 last season, runs for IndianaUniversity.

l Speaking of the Young family, Anthony’s younger sister, Autumn, moved on with her CVCA teammates in the 4×4. The group was third in its D-II heat with a time of 4:01.54.

l Wasik wore an all-black uniform for the first time this season. According to the senior, the uniforms just came in last week.

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