TRACK District meets begins for Division II athletes
The sites are Salem's Reilly Stadium and Andover High School.
VINDICATOR STAFF REPORT
Although they won't renew their duel today at Division II district track and field meets, Alex Casi of East Palestine and sophomore Jessica White of Liberty, who were state qualifiers last year, likely will run into each other in the next two weeks at regional and state championships.
Their first steps toward that goal will be in district competition that begins today, as 17 schools vie at Salem's Reilly Stadium today at 4:30 p.m., and 16 teams compete at Andover Pymatuning High School starting at 3:30 p.m.
Championship are set Friday at 6 p.m. in Salem and Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at Pymatuning Valley.
Casi will vie at Salem, White at Pymatuning Valley.
Poland High's boys and Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas' girls teams return to defend district titles at Salem, while Girard's boys and Pymatuning Valley's girls are defending champs at Andover.
Casi's file: Last year, Casi ran the 100 meters in 12.4 seconds, the 400 in 57.9 and the 200 in 25.5, and she won the long jump (17 feet, 2 inches). Her top 2001 marks are 12.5 in the 100, 59.4 in the 400, 25.8 in the 200 and 17-11 in the long jump.
Other 2000 state qualifiers entered are: Georgiann Pavlich of Poland, hurdles; Valerie Zajac of Mooney, distance races; and Elizabeth Richards of Southeast, high jump.
Drew Frum, a member of Poland's state championship boys team, will be the athlete to beat in the 800 (1:59.3), 1600 (4:29.3) and 3200 (9:26.6).
Joe Divoky (39.2) of Southeast, a state qualifier, will be tested by Ursuline's Adam Chatman (39.2), West Branch's Tom Hinton (41.0) and Poland's Marc Carbon (41.2) in the 300 hurdles.
Andover: White will defend her titles 100 (13.0), 200 (26.8) and 400 (59.5) at Pymatuning Valley.
Challenging her will be Liberty's Jasmine Smith, state qualifier Eli Nenelle of Hubbard and Demira Byrd of LaBrae.
Nyelia Page of Hubbard was second at state in the shot put (35-3 1/2) a year ago and comes into the district with the area's top toss of 37 feet, 3 inches.
Heather Lewis of Lakeview, a state qualifier in the discus, has the area's best time in the 800 (2 minutes, 26.3 seconds).
Girard distance runners Matt Penza and Mike Yankey, both state qualifiers, will be tough to beat in the distance races.
Penza's times are 4:32.6 in the 1600 and 9:29 in the 3200 while Yankey's are 4:29.8 in the 1600 and 2:02 in the 800.
Ryan Murphy (150-7), a state qualifier and teammate Danny Waldron (151-11) are the athletes to beat in the discus.