July 25, 2016

Mostly clear

Medina relay team eyes record at New Balance Indoor Nationals

This weekend will be just the second time this season that the Medina girls 4×1, 600-meter relay team competes together.

If Sunday’s race at the New Balance Indoor Nationals goes as well as their first one did, the group of Tarynn Cullings, Sarah Pack, Maria Scavuzzo and Kimmy Vidika may walk away with medals.

The distance relay, along with Medina freshman thrower Jake Wickey, will represent the county in the annual event at North Carolina A&T University’s Irwin Belk Track in Greensboro, N.C.

More than a month ago Cullings, Pack, Scavuzzo and Vidika clocked a school-record time of 21:17.40 at the Berea Titan Relays. This time, the quartet will look to do it again against some of the best mile relay units from across the country.

“We didn’t know what to expect when we ran it the first time,” Scavuzzo said. “We’ve definitely been thinking about it now, because we have some really good milers. Since we ran at Berea we all have dropped our times tremendously, so we’re ready.”

Back in early May the relay not only shattered the school mark of 21:30 set by Beth Ward, Kim Jendre, Lauren Snell and Kim Gorsek in 2002, it was also the fastest time in the state, according to milesplit.com, over Springboro (21:30.16) and still remains the 22nd-best time in the nation.

“We all want to get All-American,” Pack said. “Our coaches keep telling us that this is more of an experience, but we want to represent Medina and all of Ohio well.

“We haven’t really pinpointed a time, because every meet is different, but we’re all just really excited for it.”

Medina and Springboro are the only Ohio relays in the 33-team field.

Scavuzzo and Pack have competed in the New Balance Indoor Nationals before, but it will be a new experience for Cullings and Vidika.

“All I can say is that I’ve never been so excited,” Scavuzzo said. “To go to North Carolina, let alone run, I’m just going to enjoy this with my teammates. We’re just going have fun, no matter what happens.”

Wickey will compete in the Emerging Elite discus and hammer throw competitions.

After finishing one spot from medaling in the winter when he placed ninth in the weight throw at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York, his goal in both events is to leave with some hardware.

Wickey is coming off of an eighth-place finish Sunday at the third-annual Ohio State Hammer Championships.

“I just want to medal,” said Wickey, referring to the Emerging Elite events that do not award All-American status, but do issue medals. “I think just being used to competing in bigger meets will help me. I competed at Ohio State last weekend and there were some of the top guys in the region.”

The incoming sophomore will throw the discus on Friday night and compete in the hammer competition Saturday morning.

Wickey’s best toss during the past season in the disc was 158-feet, 6 inches in placing sixth at the Amherst Regional last month, while in his first attempt at the hammer last weekend he threw 169-feet — a mark that is ninth overall in the state.

“I just started the hammer, since they just got to my house before the state meet,” he said. “It’s like the outdoor version of the weight throw, only it’s a little more forgiving.”

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