This weekend, athletes from across the Mahoning Valley will converge on Ohio State University in Columbus for the chance to compete for state titles at OSU’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
There were plenty of qualifiers from all over the region, but here are a few things to watch out for on Friday and Saturday.
Boardman sprinters Trey Depietro, Cameron, Logan Thompson and Ben Alvarico came together at regionals to qualify for two state relay events: the 4×200 and 4×100. The Spartans achieved one of the best state time in the 4×100, but a clumsy baton in the regional meet nearly cost them.
But, the Spartans made their way into the state meet and have a start time of 1:28.32 in the 4×200 relay and 41.82 in the 4×100. Now they will look to go home them with a state title and to engrave their name in the Boardman Book of Records.
PROTECT HIS THRONE
Nick Plant won the 800-meter state title last season, and the Virginia Tech-bound runner was one of the best runners in the state, if not the country, all season long. Heading to Columbus this week, Plant is in a perfect spot to defend his state title.
He has a start time of 1:51.24, and the next closest runner is Dylan Christian from Granville, who has a start time of 1:52.66. If Plant can maintain his dominance, he’s bound to go home with another state title this season.
Along with Akron Manchester’s Josiah Cox, Lakeview’s Charles Pawlosky and Garfield’s Riley Laporte put on a show at the Division II regional tie at Austintown Fitch last weekend. All three threw the shot put over 59 feet, with Pawlosky winning the competition with a 59-10 throw, which he said was a PR of nearly two feet. Laporte also achieved his season goal of breaking Garfield’s school record with a throw of 59-00.25.
Expect these three to put on a show again this week, as they are the only three pitchers with a ranking throw over 59 feet. The next closest pitch before the weekend is four feet from all three pitchers.
EYES ON TWO… STATE TITLES
Chaney’s Rhiea Ann Gordon is aiming to win two state titles this weekend after qualifying in the 100 and 200 meter races. In the 100 meters, Gordon comes in with a start time of 12.22 seconds, and Wester Central’s Olivia Pace comes in with the best finish of 11.84.
Gordon also clocked 25.57 in the 200 meters and will compete in the second run on Friday. She will find herself in competitive races, as all runners recorded at least one time under 26 seconds with four runners having a start time under 25.
READY TO TAKE OFF
Maplewood’s runners, both girls and boys, have enjoyed success throughout the playoffs. On the boys’ side, second-placed Maplewood student Alex Donaldson won a district title in the 1,600-meter race and enters the state competition with a time of 4:28.97.
On the girls’ side, the Rockets have state qualifiers in the 4×800 relay and the 3200, 1600 and 800 meter races. Sophomore Caleigh Ricahards will go for the double state title as a qualifier in the 3200 and 1600, while Emily Butler qualified for the 800 meter state title race.
In the 1600, Richards is the only runner with a placing time of less than 5 minutes. Her competitors are a little closer in the 3200, as the second best time is 10:44.40 while Richards has a ranking time of 10:42.82.
MAKE ANOTHER STEP
A year ago, Ricky Marsico of Girard finished second in the 800 meters. Now, after winning his second consecutive regional title, Marsico is ready to take another step at the state meet.
He enters the event, which takes place on Saturday, as the top seed with a time of 1:54.74. The second fastest time was set by Brian Bates of Chardon NDCL with a 1:55.86.
THE ULTIMATE CONFRONTATION
Throughout the playoffs, Valley Christian and Warren JFK’s boys’ 4×100 relay teams competed against each other. Valley Christian is the defending state champion for the event, and the team of RaQuan Bell, Phillip Spradley, Kwane Austin and Marquez Gibbs will look to retain the Warren JFK team of Antonio Smith, Donovan McCoy, Thomas Easton and Antwan Brown.
Valley Christian enters the event with a ranking time of 43.26, while Warren JFK has a 43.39. They will both compete in round 1 of the preliminary races on Friday in hopes of qualifying for the final on Saturday.
TOP AND MORE
Many hurdlers found their way to the state meet. In Division III, Beau Brungard of Springfield and Michael Ballone of Lowellville both faced off in the regional meet and put themselves in good position to compete in the 110 and 300 hurdles.
Ava Hulett of Mineral Ridge and Sarah Schneider of Lordstown will also compete in the 100 meter hurdles at level D-III.
In Division II, Ryan Stoller of Garfield qualified for the state in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles, while Nic Bengala of Girard made his way in the 300 hurdles and Clancy Chrystal of Ursuline qualified in the 110 hurdles.
Finally, at the Division I level, Boardman’s Logan Thompson will be looking to win gold in the 300m hurdles after breaking the school record at the regional meet. De’Aunee Thompson of Austintown Fitch will also compete in the 300m hurdles.
A few local schools will have teammate pitchers in Columbus. Austintown Fitch’s Jamell James and DJ Williams both qualified for the state meet, becoming the first pair of Austintown Fitch teammates to qualify for a pitching event in the same year in 30 years. James qualified in both the discus and the shot put, while Williams qualified in the discus.
Lexus Solarz and Courtney Clark will represent Howland, as Solarz qualified on the discus and Clark punched her ticket in the shot put. Connor Durig will represent Howland in the high jump.
McDonald’s Dante Mediati and Ryan Henry will compete in the shot put and discus.
Garfield’s Riley Laporte and Jesse Grace also qualified to record together.
Local State Athletics Qualifiers
4×800 Relay: Canfield (Jason Hammar, Ryan Bennett, Nick Plant, Ronnie Sinkovich); 4×200 relay: Boardman (Trey Depietro, Cameron Thompson, Logan Thompson, Ben Alvarico); 4×100 relay: Boardman (Ben Alvarico, Trey Depietro, Cameron Thompson, Logan Thompson); 800m: Nick Plant, Canfield; 100 meters: Ben Alvarico, Boardman; 300 hurdles: Logan Thompson, Boardman; Shot put: Jamell James, Austintown Fitch; Records: DJ Williams, Austintown Fitch; Jamell James, Austintown Fitch; ; High jump: Connor Durig, Howland; Pole Vault: Harrison Spalding, Austintown Fitch
100m: Rhea Ann Gordon, Chaney; 200m: Rhea An Gordon, Chaney; 100 hurdles: Savannah Jones, Austintown Fitch; 300 hurdles: De’Aunee Thompson, Austintown Fitch; Long jump: Na’Veyah Parisi, Warren G. Harding; ; Disc: Lexus Solarz, Howland; Shot Put: Courtney Clark, Howland
4×800 Relay: Salem (Davin Koskinen, Andy Wilson, Lucas Ziegler, Will Madison); 800 meters: Ricky Marsico, Girard; Andrew Biggs, Polish Seminary; 110 hurdles: Clancy Chrystal, Ursuline; Ryan Stoller, Garfield; 300 hurdles: Ryan Stoller, Garfield; Nic Bengala, Girard; Records: Carson Stockman, Salem; Riley Laporte, Garfield, Jesse Grace, Garfield; High jump: Dominic Malito, Girard; Long jump: Cam Jaquette, Salem; Dom Malito, Girard;
4×800 Relay: Salem (Megan Stafford, Molly Hopple, Maggie Hopple, Maggie Hall); 4×400 Relay: Salem (Rylee Hutton, Maggie Hopple, Ella Double, Maggie Hall); 4×200 relay: western branch (Kennedy Berger, Lauren Gossett, Anna Lippiatt, Sophia Gregory); Girard (Mia Malito, Olivia Coman, Sieasia Triplett, Seyhan Dede); 4×100 Relay: West Branch (Lauren Gossett, Kennedy Berger, Anna Lippiatt, Zoe Sanders); 3200 meters: Molly Hopple, Salem; Megan Stafford, Salem; 800m: Maggie Hopple, Salem; Maggie Hall, Salem; 400m: Rylee Hutton, Salem; High jump: Mia Malito, Girard
4×800 relay: McDonald (Juan Villanueva, Caleb Domitrovich, Carson Klase, Sammy Gibbons); 4×200 relay: Warren JFK (Antonio Smith, Donovan McCoy, Thomas Easton, Antwan Brown); McDonald (Brian Fisher, Nathan Gilligan, Michael Woloschak, Oniah Russo); 4×400 relay: Lowellville (Giovanni Docherty, Vinny Ballone, Jim Clinton, Michael Ballone); McDonald (Juan Villanueva, Michael Woloschak, Brian Fisher, Oniah Russo); Crestview (Jack Yerkey, Ryan Emch, Matt Deniro, Mitchell Auer); 4×100 relay: Valley Christian (RaQuan Bell, Phillip Spradley, Kwane Austin, Marquez Gibbs); Warren JFK (Antonio Smith, Donovan McCoy, Thomas Easton, Antwan Brown); 400 meters: Samuel Blauser, Liberty; 3200 meters: Carson Klase, McDonald; 1,600 metres: Alex Donaldson, Maplewood; 800m: Eric Shepherd, Mineral Ridge; 200m: Beau Brungard, Springfield; Nathan Gilligan, Mcdonald; 100 metres: Nathan Gilligan, McDonald; Antwan Brown, Warren JFK; 300 hurdles: Beau Brungard, Springfield; Michael Ballone, Lowellville; 110 hurdles: Beau Brungard, Springfield; Michael Ballone, Lowellville; Record: Ryan Henry, McDonald; Dante Mediati, McDonald; Shot put: Ryan Henry, McDonald; Dante Mediati, McDonald; High Jump: Carter Burnett, Badger; Long jump: Ryan Emch, Crestview; Corey Lilley, Mathews; Mikylen Jones, Windham;
4×800 Relay: Lowellville (Savannah Procick, Hadassah Rivera, Sophia Melillo, Sophia Yon); Maplewood (Caleigh Richards, Bailey Starcher, Abigail Dority, Emily Butler); McDonald (Lillian Cappuzzello, Brooke Bosheff, Megan Hipple, Bria Rupe); 4×200 Relay: Springfield (Emma Sanders, Bella Brown, Ava Vecchione, Graciella Ebert); Freedom (Aaliyah Foster, Tomiyah Smith, Jordan Banks, Teiarra Triplett); 4×100 relay: Columbiana (Alexia Stoy, Julia Rapp, Tomi Ross, Ellie Jackson); Springfield (Bella Brown, Ava Vecchione, Cali Matey, Graciella Ebert); Freedom (Tomiyah Smith, Teiarra Triplett, Jordan Banks, Aaliyah Foster); 3200 meters: Caleigh Richards, Maplewood; Megan Hipple, Mcdonalds; 1600m: Caleigh Richards, Maplewood; Sophia Yon, Lowellville; 800 metres: Emily Butler, Maplewood; 400m: Emma Sanders, Springfield; 200 meters: Chloe Coates, Warren JFK; Julia Rapp, Colombian; 100m: Julia Rapp, Columbiana; Chloe Coates, Warren JFK; 100 hurdles: Sarah Schneider, Lordstown; Ava Hulett, Mineral Ridge; Disc: Haleigh McCalla, Springfield; Olivia Booth, Mineral Ridge; High jump: Mia Lee, Eastern Palestine; Long jump: Sarah Schneider, Lordstown;
100m: Cody Piver, Canfield; Devon Reagan, Windham; Shot Put: Cody Piver, Canfield;
Shot put: Anna Airhart, McDonald