By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
BERLIN CENTER -- Carol Holmes is on a mission. So is the Maplewood High boys track and field team.
Holmes, McDonald's senior standout runner, has been to the state meet -- but never in an individual event. Could this be the year she breaks that drought with a trip to Dayton?
If Saturday's Division III district meet at Western Reserve High is any indication, Holmes is on the right track after winning the 100-, 200- and 400-meter runs.
"She is a very positive person; she doesn't think negatively," McDonald coach Diane Krumpak said of Holmes. "I think that's the key."
Clocked: Holmes' times in the 100 (12.69 seconds) and 400 (57.20) set district and track records, respectively, while she ran the 200 in 25.95. Her effort helped McDonald place second (781/2 points) behind champion South Range (102).
The top four finishers in each event qualified for the regional meet Wednesday and Friday at Navarre Fairless.
"I'm just trying to stay focused," Holmes said. "I'm trying to stay healthy because I've gone through things like mono[nucleosis] and a stress fracture. That's hurt me the last two years, so this year I've been taking my vitamins and doing the best I can."
As a freshman, Holmes was part of McDonald's 4x200 and 4x800 state champion relays and its 4x400 state runner-up team. As a sophomore, she ran a leg on the state champion 4x800 relay.
"So she definitely has state experience," Krumpak said.
Holmes, an Oberlin College recruit, came close to qualifying for state in an individual event last year, finishing sixth in the 200 and 400 at the regional meet.
Her challenge next week lies in a regional field that includes the defending state champion in the 200 and 400 -- Bedford Chanel's Ina Jackson.
Defending champs: Meanwhile, the Maplewood boys team is aiming for a repeat performance of last year when it tied Findlay Liberty-Benton for the state title. The Rockets took the first step toward Dayton by edging Warren JFK in the team standings 101-100 Saturday.
"Things are actually looking better than they did last year," said Maplewood coach David Deeter, who graduated one senior -- Josh Yoder -- off last year's team.
"It's hard to do better than a state championship, and there's a lot more pressure on the guys," Deeter said, "but they've really responded."
Maplewood junior David Pykare won the 1600 (4:31.96) and 3200 (10:14.89) to set new track records, while senior teammate Dave Morrison did the same in the 800 (2:01.80).
"I have enough confidence in myself that I can run other individuals down," said Pykare, who had to do just that in Saturday's races. "That's not in a cocky state of mind -- I just believe in myself."
Raiders rule: The South Range girls team dubbed its three major victories this season -- the Mahoning County, Inter-County League and district meets -- as the Triple Crown.
"We really wanted this one, because we were teasing all week about the Triple Crown," said South Range coach Sandy Toy, whose Raiders won the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x800 relays at the district meet. "We topped it off."
The Raiders got individual wins from senior Kim Nemergut in the 1600 (5:23.97) and senior Heidi Kelecava in the 100 hurdles (16.20).
Other double winners included Columbiana junior Derek Garrod in the 100 (11.19) and 200 (22.78); Warren JFK senior Alvin Shavers in the 110 hurdles (15.64) and 300 hurdles (40.41); and Maplewood junior Christen Clemson in the shot put (37 feet, 11 inches) and discus (131-1).