A repeat district championship was already locked up for the Orange boys track and field team, but the Lions saved their best performance for last during the Division II meet on Saturday in Perry.
The four-by-400-meter quartet of senior Armon Frey, junior Brian Pernell, junior Michael McNeil and senior Eddie Harrell clocked a triumphant 3:24.94, edging out runner-up Conneaut by 0.06 second and smashing the district record by 1.10 seconds.
That was Orange’s fifth victory of the day, as the Lions scored 114 points to win their third district banner in the past four years, easily besting runner-up Perry, 83 1/3 points, third-place Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, 80 1/3 points, and the rest of the 13-team field. West Geauga was sixth with 64 1/2 points, and Hawken finished seventh with 61 points.
Chasing a distance double for his senior year, Orange’s Harrell won the 1,600 run in 4:43.62 to best NDCL runner-up junior Jacob Gerhardt’s effort in 4:45.55, before the Lion standout went on to defend his district title in the 800 run in 2:02.24.
Harrell reserved his individual energy for the 800 run last postseason, when he finished sixth on the state podium in 1:55.34.
Also hitting district pay dirt for Orange, Frey won the 300 hurdles in 39.61 seconds, while Pernell finished runner-up in 40.73 seconds.
Earlier in the meet, Frey finished runner-up in the 110 hurdles in 15.42 seconds amidst a 2.4-meter-per-second headwind. Warrensville junior Ravon Sanders won gold in 15.25 seconds.
Frey still finished the meet with three victories, as he was the pop-up leg of the Lions’ triumphant four-by-200 relay, along with junior Josh Daniel, sophomore Gregory Beard and junior Diante White, who clocked a 1:31.39 to defeat Warrensville Heights by 0.44 second.
In the field, the Lions were led by junior Justin Pilloff’s clearance of 12 feet, 6 inches, to take third in the pole vault.
Pacing the West Geauga boys, meanwhile, sophomore Nicholas Henry won the 100 dash in 11.18 seconds to edge Orange’s Beard by 0.01 second in a slight headwind.
The Wolverines also won the four-by-100 relay with freshman Torrey Stazzone, Henry, sophomore Trae Zimmerman and senior Mario Ghosn circling the track in 43.59 seconds, while Warrensville was runner-up in 43.70 seconds and Orange’s quartet of McNeil, Beard, Daniel and White took third in 43.85 seconds.
In distance, West G sophomore John Patterson took home the 3,200-meter title in 10:23.50, while fellow Wolverine sophomore Kenneth Kirk took third in 10:33.33.
In the four-by-800 relay, West Geauga’s quartet of sophomore Garrett Patrick, Patterson, junior Joey Tirabasi and Kirk were runners-up in 8:23.27, while Orange’s team of Harrell, junior Omer Sarig, senior Andy Saks and sophomore Sam Roll were third in 8:52.27. NDCL won the race in 8:15.13.
West G’s Tirabasi took third in the open 800 run in 2:03.37.
Shining gold for the Hawken boys, junior Mikhail Stiffler clocked 22.78 seconds in the 200 dash to defeat Beachwood runner-up junior Langston Gaines-Smith, 23.14 seconds, while Orange’s White took fourth in 23.35 seconds.
Not the only individual champ for the Hawks, senior Michael Snyder won the district high-jump title by clearing 6 feet with zero misses, while West G senior Gabriel Phan took fourth at 5 feet, 8 inches.
Also in the field, Hawken junior Will Lindsey took runner-up in the shot put at 45 feet, 1 1/4 inches, and finished third in the discus throw with a mark of 136 feet, 3 inches.
Meanwhile, Hawken’s four-by-400 relay of Stiffler, senior Evan Ditchman, junior Danny Ecker and Snyder finished third in 3:30.28.
And the Hawks’ four-by-200 team of junior Collin Witt, freshman Andrew Bukovnik, Stiffler and Ecker took fourth in 1:33.15.
Up next, the Hawken, Orange and West Geauga boys will compete in the Division II region meet Thursday and Saturday at Fitch High School in Austintown.