The 2018 and 2019 seasons were the good old days for the Orange Lions boys track team, reigning as the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division champions.
The Orange boys have not yet returned to that same level of dominance but inched closer when they took second place, scoring 119.33 points last week at the CVC Chagrin Division meet at Perry’s Alumni Stadium.
“It was really exciting, said Orange Coach Rachel Frutkin. “They have been working hard all season so to be able to bring that together at the CVC was really awesome for them and it was a big confidence boost going into the district meet.”
The Lions were propelled by their distance, relays and hurdles, scoring 88 points in those events and finishing only 26.67 points behind first-place Geneva.
Orange’s “A” relay team of senior Brian Gent, sophomores Nicolas Bustamante and Brandon Gent and freshman Galvin Dovgan clinched third in the 4x800 relay at 8:29.69
Sophomore Na’ashon Calliens won the 110-hurdles at 15.97 seconds, followed by senior Michael Robinson III who was runner-up with 16.35 seconds.
Junior Cam Evans took fifth in the 100-meters in 11.67 seconds.
Brian Gent won the 1600-meters, edging West Geauga senior Daniel Kearns at 4:19.73, followed by Bustamante who finished seventh, timing out at 4:57.12.
Senior Sam Russo, juniors Alex Ford and Dominic Anekwe and Evans formed the “A” team in the 4x100 relay, winning in 44.46 seconds.
Sophomore Vincent Onongbo came in second in the 400-meters at 50.63 seconds.
Senior Michael Robinson III placed second in the 300-hurdles with 42.93 seconds.
Brian Gent won his second race of the meet, winning the 800-meters at 2:00.93, followed by Dovgan who came in sixth place at 2:09.49.
Senior Nicholas Nickens came in sixth place in the 200-meters at 24.11 seconds, followed by Ford who took seventh place with 24.13 seconds.
Brandon Gent finished in third place in the 3200-meters at 10:17.18, followed by freshman Ishan Bhatt who came in sixth place with 10:41.15.
“Brandon is working really hard,” said the Lions’ second-year coach. “We do have a couple of things that we want to work on with him heading into the district and beyond next season but he does what he needs to do, he works hard and he is focused and he really likes running with the faster kids because it makes him a stronger and faster runner as well so I think we will really see great things from him.”
Sophomore Donlevy Hughes took sixth in the high jump, clearing the bar at 5 feet, 6 inches.
Nickens came in third place in the long jump at 19 feet, 9½ inches, followed by Robinson III who captured fourth place with 19 feet, 8 inches.
The “A” team of Robinson III, Nickens, Ford and Evans took third in the 4x200 relay at 1:33.17.
“It was a nail-biter with the 4x200 because they were really close to Chagrin Falls so that would have been cool to edge them out but they did what they needed to do and took third,” said Frutkin.
On the other side of the standings, the Chagrin Falls Tigers girls team snagged third place, scoring 103.75 points, finishing 11.25 points behind second-place Geneva and 20.75 points shy of first-place Perry.
“They were fantastic,” said Tigers’ Coach Brittany Laseak. “There were so many performances we were so proud of. We walked out of there on cloud nine and obviously we wanted to win the whole thing but to have girls step up the way that they did, I cannot be more proud as a coach.”
Chagrin Falls was fueled by the relays, sprints and distance events, scoring 87 points in those events for its best finish since capturing the CVC Chagrin Division banner in 2021.
The “A” team of juniors Mila Gresh, and Leah Kler, sophomores Lilly Stukus and Bella Radomsky teamed up to take second in the 4x800 relay in 9:51.72.
“To have Leah step into the fourth position there where we were unsure of what was going to happen, that is a kid who really has listened to coaches,” said the Chagrin Falls’ fourth-year coach. “She is super competitive. I know they were not happy with their finish on Tuesday, the time was great but I know that they are competitive and hungry for this week.”
Senior Camille Zitney took fifth in the 100-meters with 13.82 seconds.
The “A” team of Senior Caitlin Young, sophomore Lilla O’Brien, Zitney and Radmosky placed second in the 4x200 relay in 1:50.99.
Junior Elizabeth Ettinger, sophomore Maggie Goss, Zitney and Young teamed as the “A” squad, taking third in the 4x100 relay in 52.83 seconds.
Stukus finished as the runner-up in the 400-meters at 1:02.48.
Kler came in third place in the 800-meters in 2:23.96.
Radomksy won the 200-meters in 27.28 seconds, followed Young who came in fifth place at 28.36 seconds.
Junior Lindsay Schumaker finished in third place in the 3200-meters at 12:51.60, followed by junior Margaret Pease who took sixth at 13:37.42.
Freshman Savannah Brent, Gresh, Radomsky, and Stukus won the 4x400 relay in 4:14.95.
Junior Norah Pope came in fifth place in the high jump, clearing 4 feet, 8 inches.
Junior Natalie Nemunaitis soared to sixth place in the pole vault at 7 feet, 3 inches, followed by freshman Natalie Zalud who captured seventh with 7 feet.
Senior Sarah McCort took seventh in the discus at 83 feet, 9 inches.
McCort also came in fourth place in the shot put at 29 feet, 9 inches.
“Sarah is peaking at the absolute right point in the season,” said Laseak. “She kept setting personal records in discus and had a solid day on Tuesday in shot put so she knows she is getting better at the right time in the season when we need her to.”
Orange and the Tigers will return to Alumni Stadium to compete for regional berths in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II Perry district meet beginning at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.