The Warren Harding athlete won the long jump at the Division I district meet.
By MARK W. MILLER
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
AUSTINTOWN -- Mike Simpson of Warren Harding High qualified for next week's Division I regional track and field meet.
He did that with his season-best effort in the long jump, a first-place distance of 21 feet, 4 inches, in the district meet Thursday at Fitch High Falcon Stadium.
Four boys and three girls events were completed during the first day of competition, with the top four athletes in each event advancing to the regional.
"One of my goals this season was to come here and win the district," Simpson said. "I've worked hard at practice every day to get this far."
Vallos, Medicus win events: Steve Vallos of Boardman took first place in the discus with a throw of 170-6. Teammate Evan Beard was third with a toss of 143-0.
Freshman David Medicus of Fitch won the pole vault at the Steel Valley Conference meet last week, clearing 11 feet. He said his goal for the district was to go 11-6, and he did that to finish third.
"I achieved my goal and I almost made 12, but I turned too soon," Medicus said. "My goal next week is to make 12, and hopefully that will get me to state."
Boardman's Brittany Durkin, Gina Mavrikis, Sarah Grabert and Monica Cuevas won the girls 4x800-meter relay in 9 minutes, 42.2 seconds, and the Spartans' Amber Bland tied the high jump record, clearing 5-6.
"It's only the third time that we have run together and we wanted to be district champions," said Mavrikis, a junior.
"We really worked hard and have improved our time each time out and are getting strong as a group."
Boardman coach Denise Gorski said, "I am extremely pleased by the effort of our girls. They are a highly competitive, determined group."
Cole wins shot: Fitch's Sonya Cole, a junior, took first place in the shot put with a toss of 36-23/4.
"Cole won the event on her final throw in the finals," Fitch weight coach Ann Marie Martin said. "She is one of the hardest workers we have on our team. Next week we hope she continues to improve and goes on to Dayton."