Amber Bland and Monica Cuevas broke meet records.
By MARK W. MILLER
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
EAST PALESTINE -- A year ago, the Boardman High girls track and field team won the East Palestine Invitational meet by 20 points.
Saturday, the Spartans again dominated the 30th East Palestine Invitational, scoring 102.83 points. North Canton Hoover was a distant second with 64 and Fitch was third with 59.
Twenty-seven schools competed in the event at Reid Stadium, with Boardman scoring in every event but the 4x100-meter relay. Because of a steady rain throughout the meet, the long jump was canceled.
Coach impressed: Boardman coach Denise Gorski said, "This team in the past two weeks has shown a lot of physical and mental toughness in tough conditions.
"We have nice depth and because of our depth and balance it is the most talented team I have had in my 20 years of coaching.
"They just love to compete and that makes it more fun for me," said Gorski.
Amber Bland and Monica Cuevas both set meet records for Boardman. Bland cleared 5 feet, 61/4 inches in winning the high jump, which eclipsed the old standard of 5-6. She also finished fourth in the 100-meter dash (13.0 seconds).
Cuevas sprinted 400 in 58.6 seconds to better the old mark of 58.7. She also placed second in the 200 (27.5).
"I knew I was going to use all my energy somewhere along the way," said Cuevas, "and I pushed all the way or I might not have done as well. God inspires me to do my best because he's the one that gave me the talent.
"Coach Gorski has trained me a lot harder. I have been practicing the 800 to build endurance and strength down the stretch in the 400," she added.
Double winner: Brittany Durkin was a double winner for the Spartans, easily winning the 1600 (5:24.7) and the 800 (2:26.10).
Sarah McCort of North Canton Hoover finished in second place in the 1600 (5:39.3).
About her 800, Durkin said, "I took it out and paced it because I wasn't sure how tired my legs would be after running the mile.
"Once I took the lead and got ahead, I didn't want anyone to get past me so I gave it everything I had left down the stretch."
Christen Clemson of Maplewood was awarded the field events MVP trophy. She won the discus (125-0) and was fourth in the shot put (36-21/2).
"I'd like to find a meet where we have nice weather so I can try out some new parts I have put in," said Clemson. "I had a relatively good day; I like throwing in the rain."
Austintown Fitch's Sarah Baker, ShayVonda Mayes, Stephanie Davis and Sarah Tate won the 4x100 relay in 53.1. North Canton Hoover was second (53.3).
Tate said, "This was the first time we ran this race together. We weren't in a fast heat, [but] our exchanges were good."
Mary Sivulich of Hubbard, a sophomore, took first place in the 3200 (11:55.90) and she was seventh in the 1600.
"Last year I came in fourth in the 3200 and I just wanted to do better," said Sivulich. "I just love to run in the rain."
Career best: Running her career best time, she said, "I stayed behind in the pack early and in the middle of the third lap I made my move into first and stayed there."
Alex Casi of East Palestine took first place in the 200 (27.0) and she was second in the 100 (12.7).