The Chardon Hilltoppers boys track team will have to wait another year to try to unseat Riverside as Western Reserve Conference champions.
Another year passed with the WRC title returning to the Beavers, who scored 173 points but Chardon dramatically closed the gap, recording 147 points and finishing as the runners-up at the WRC Championship last Thursday at Mayfield’s Wildcat Stadium.
“We had a number of really good performances for sure,” said Chardon Coach Mark Shafer. “Some of the biggest surprises were the kids finishing in the fourth, fifth and sixth place that we were not counting on. There are lots of good things that happen at the end of year. You get kids that pull it out and find their way to perform at their very best.”
The “A” team of senior Colin Snider, sophomores Jacob Nieset, Dylan Snider, and Joshua Calzada finished in eighth place in 4x800 relay in 8:35.43.
Senior Liam Ptasznik took second in the 110-meter hurdles with a personal record of 15.68 seconds, followed by sophomore Cash Johnson who came in eighth place, also with a personal record 19.22 seconds.
Sophomore Caleb Hewitt took fourth in the 100-meters with a personal record 11.09 seconds, followed by Dietz who came in fifth place with 11.22 seconds.
Senior Alex Henry, junior Andrew Bruce, sophomore Donovan Conwell and Ptasznik formed the “A” team in the 4x200 relay, taking third at 1:33.28.
Junior Matthew Sopchak placed third in the 1600 meters in a personal best 4:27.65, followed by junior Thomas Nelson who came in fifth place at 4:34.37 and sophomore Connor Mosher who snagged eighth with a personal record 4:43.93.
Junior Austin Green, Hewitt, Bruce and Conwell teamed up as the “A” squad in the 4x100 relay, snagging fourth place at 44.85 seconds.
Dietz won the 400-meters in 50.70 seconds.
“Karl in the 400-meters is a talent,” said the 21st year coach. “He was going to get his points no matter what and came back in the 200-meters and laid off in the 400 on purpose so he would be stronger for the 200 and that definitely worked. They were important points and we had to get them. If we were going to win a meet we have to score in sprints and jumps there is no way around it.”
Ptasznik won the 300-meter hurdles at 41.05 seconds, followed by Johnson who earned seventh place with a personal record 44.78 seconds and freshman Cohen Dawson who came in eighth at 45.62 seconds.
Sopchak won the 800-meters at 1:59.67 and setting a new conference record, followed by Nieset who came in seventh place with a personal record 2:07.29.
Dietz was the runner-up the in the 200-meters with a personal record 22.34 seconds, followed by Conwell who took seventh with a personal best 23.51 seconds and Hewitt, who came in eighth place at 23.58 seconds.
Junior Makoto Gumpf snagged fourth in the 3200-meters at 10:01.75, followed by senior Nathan Eads who took fifth in 10:05.92 and Calzada who took seventh at 10:16.58.
Sopchak, Ptasznik, Bruce and Dietz joined forces as the “A” team in the 4x400 relay, winning in 3:27.01.
Freshman Toby Rogers came in sixth place in the pole vault at a personal record 10 feet.
Hewitt won the long jump, recording 20 feet, 8 ¾ inches, good for the fourth-best distance in school history.
“For Caleb, this is about the third week he has jumped,” Shafer said. “He has not had a lot of experience with long jump but he is a very fast kid and he has got some pop and is coordinated. When we had him jump for the very first time he jumped 20 feet, 5 inches. Those were points three weeks ago we did not know we were going to have for sure.”
Junior Colin Youdath took seventh in the discus throw with a personal record 122 feet, 6 inches.
Freshman Jay’Veion Ware won the high jump at 6 feet, 4 inches, followed by junior Timmy Evans who came in sixth place with a personal record 5 feet, 8 inches.
Youdath also took fifth in the shot put in 41 feet, 8 inches.
Following the first day of competition at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I Riverside district meet on Wednesday, Chardon will continue competing for regional berths on day two of competition in Painesville at 4 p.m. Friday.
On the girls’ side, the Kenston Bombers were fueled by their distance running to take third place, scoring 120 points.
“If you came in and look at it on paper I do not think a lot of teams would have predicted us better than fifth,” said Coach Chris Ickes. “It just shows how hard our girls have worked to allow them to be trending in the right direction as we get to championship season.”
Juniors Charlotte Whitmer-Rich and Hadleigh Schmittel, sophomore Mackenzie Villers and freshman Kendra Raypholtz formed the “A” team in the 4x800 relay, placing fourth with 10:29.64.
The “A” team of seniors Emily Eichelberger and Maggie Myles, junior Olivia White and freshman Brooke Race finished in seventh place in the 4x400 relay at 2:03.32.
Sophomore Brianna McIvor took second in the 1600-meters in a personal best of 5:13.45 and also the third-fastest in school history, followed by senior Cecelia Paglia, who finished in third at 5:17.22 and junior Emerson Greene who placed fourth at 5:25.93.
“It was really fantastic to see Brianna McIvor explode onto the season,” said the Bombers’ seventh-year coach. “She struggled with race performances at the early part of outdoor but she is crushing workouts and sometimes you just need to have the patience to know the performances will come. She is so highly competitive that when she gets into a big race situation she performs significantly better than anyone expects.”
Seniors Morgan Myers and Kenzie Parker, sophomore Sadie Poudevigne and freshman Calli Jacacki formed the “A” team in the 4x100 relay, taking third with 52.26 seconds.
Senior Paige Masson won the 400-meters with a personal best 58.84 seconds, setting the second-fastest time in school history surpassing the 59.40 seconds set by Masson last year.
Masson also won the 800-meters in 2:20.00, followed by Paglia who placed third at 2:25.28.
“Paige has my vote for conference MVP,” said Ickes. “There is such little time between the 400-meters and 800-meters. It is such a taxing and intensive race and to come back and do something so aerobic with shot notice is really challenging.”
Poudevigne took sixth in the 200-meters with a personal best 27.56 seconds.
Greene won the 3200-meters in 11:37.54, followed by McIvor who finished as the runner-up at 11:42.22.
The “A” team of Paglia, Morgan Myers, Masson and Jacacki won the 4x400 relayin 4:09.56.
Raypholtz tied for seventh with Mayfield sophomore Rachel Gifford in the pole vaul with a personal record 7 feet, followed by junior Corinne Hamby who tied for eighth with Wildcats’ sophomore Taylor Arth, recording a personal best of feet 6 feet, 6 inches.
Poudevigne won the high jump at a personal best of 5 feet, 4 inches.
Senior Ella Pitz captured seventh in the shot put at 29 feet, 7 ¾ inches.
Poudevigne also won the long jump with a personal best 17 feet, 6 ¾ inches, followed by Kenzie Parker who took eighth at a personal best 14 feet, 2 ¼ inches.
Pitz also placed fourth in the discus at 105 feet.
Following the first day of competition at the Division I Austintown-Fitch district meet on Wednesday, the Bombers will conclude their bid for regional berths at Greenwood Chevrolet Austintown Falcons Stadium in Youngstown at 4 p.m. Friday.
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