Many of the area's track and field standouts competed in more than one event at the state meet.
Statistics/accomplishments: Anchored state champion 4x800 relay and third place 4x400 relay; state champ in 1600.
Positive influence: All the amazing runners and coaches that have made Maplewood's running program what it is today.
Best memory: Winning the 4x800 for the second time in a row and being state champion in 1600.
Surprised to learn: I like to spend time outdoors hunting and fishing. I would also like to thank God for all the gifts in my life. Through him, all things are possible. Thanks to my friends and family for their support -- especially grandpa for all the running shoes.
Statistics/accomplishments: Member of state champion 4x800 relay and third place 4x400; finished fifth in 1600 at regional meet.
Positive influence: My teammates and coaches. They inspire me to train hard and run well. I didn't have enough willpower to start training early, but they made me do it and I'm thankful.
Best memory: Passing Versailles to give my 4x800 relay team the lead at state and running the 300 hurdles for the first time.
Surprised to learn: I'm also a starter for the varsity baseball team, batting leadoff and playing second base.
RICK BARBONE JR.
School: Western Reserve
Statistics/accomplishments: Won the Mahoning County Meet as an eighth grader, his first year throwing shot put; set school record as a junior (54-31/2); second at district and first at regional; placed seventh at state meet.
Positive influence: My coach, Lou Speece. Ever since my freshman year, he's done so much for me. He has seen me grow the last four years both mentally and physically and probably spends an average of 20 hours a week with me. If it wasn't for him, I would not have done as well. All my throwing knowledge comes from him.
Best memory: Winning the regional. I didn't do so well last year, but this year was great. There is no better feeling than standing on the top step of the podium with a gold medal around your neck.
Surprised to learn: I'm a very big and strong guy, but I hate snakes. Even the harmless ones.
Statistics/accomplishments: Placed first in the discus and second in the shot put at the regional meet to qualify for the state meet in both events.
Positive influence: My senior class that has been playing sports with me since seventh grade (Weis, Tom, Fin, Jay, Mech, Steve, Fee, CJ, Z, Haynes, O'Dea and Key).
Best memory: Seeing my teammate, Steve Vallos, getting picked up by a new girl after every practice. I don't know how he does it.
Surprised to learn: As you read this paper, I am getting screamed at during my plebe summer training at the Naval Academy. I love it.
School: Warren JFK
Statistics/accomplishments: Team MVP; qualified for state in three events (200, 4x100, 4x400), placing in all three events; won district in 100 and 200.
Positive influence: My mother, Karen Cayson. She makes sure I'm on track and never lets me get off track. She taught me to work hard at sports and my schoolwork and to keep God as my top priority.
Best memory: At the regional meet, the 4x400 came down to a battle of the anchors between us, Maplewood and Waterloo. At the 200-meter mark, I broke into a dead sprint, turned it on and was in first until [Maplewood's] Dave Pykare crept up and edged us out. It's the best event on the last race of the meet and I thrive on every moment of it.
Surprised to learn: I'm not a cocky or arrogant guy. I love people. Not all football players or runners are cocky. Just meet me.
Statistics/accomplishments: Steel Valley champion in the 110 hurdles; district champion in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles; state champion in the 300 hurdles.
Positive influence: My coach, Art Cutter III, has been my constant guide on and off the track and has been by my side through the highs and lows. I've looked up to him since I started running. He's not only a coach, but a close friend and a brother. I couldn't have accomplished my goals without him and George Stroia, my head coach.
Best memory: Crossing the finish line after winning the state title. It was a bittersweet victory, especially after falling short in the 110 -- an event I put most of my concentration on during the season. But whether it be first place or last, it's a blessing just to finish.
Surprised to learn: I have had asthma since I was 18 months old. But my mother trained me not to let it stand in the way of my dreams to be great.
Statistics/accomplishments: Placed second in the 200-meter dash at the Salem Invitational, won the 200 and 400 at the City Series Meet and qualified for the state meet in both events, finishing eighth in the 200 to earn All-Ohio honors.
Positive influence: My mother. She has always encouraged me to do my best in anything I do and has always been there for me. She also encouraged me to eat healthy during track season.
Best memory: When I got the MVP trophy at the Liberty Invitational.
Surprised to learn: I watch cartoons from time to time.
Statistics/accomplishments: Set school and Tri-County League record in the 100 (10.9); tied Columbiana County record in 100 (11.0); finished sixth in 100 at state meet as a sophomore; finished sixth in 100 and 200 at state meet as a junior; finished second in 100 and fifth in 200 at state meet this season.
Positive influence: It's been a group effort from my parents to my coaches to the community. But for the most part, I do it for myself. I love sports and I love competition. The day sports are no longer fun is probably the day I'll stop playing.
Best memory: The whole weekend of the state track meet. The season is so long and it all comes down to a two-day meet. It's a weekend with the coaches and most elite athletes in the state. I made a number of memories in Dayton and it was always something I looked forward to.
Surprised to learn: I love to snowboard.
Statistics/accomplishments: Finished third in the state in the high jump (6-4).
Positive influence: My mom. She has never missed one of my athletic events.
Best memory: Placing third in the state was nice, but breaking the school record was my favorite moment of the season.
Statistics/accomplishments: Won 110 and 300 hurdles at Columbiana County, Metro Athletic Conference and West Branch meets; won long jump at WB and Columbiana meets; won 4x400, finished second in 110 and 300 hurdles and third in long jump at district; finished third in 110 and 300 hurdles at regional; finished fifth in 300 hurdles at state meet.
Best memory: Winning the district meet. It was a different experience having so many people go to regionals with me for a change. Also, it made Coach Parks very happy.
Surprised to learn: During track season all four years I refused to rest. I would wait for a few hours after track practice and go back to the track. I was actually doing two practices a day.
School: South Range
Statistics/accomplishments: Qualified for state in the 4x800, finishing 10th, and the 800, finishing sixth. Broke school record in 800 at regional meet (1:59.4) to place second. Won district in both events.
Positive influence: Bo Stewart for pushing me and teaching me how to push myself to my limits.
Best memory: The 4x800 team making it to state by placing fourth at regional meet. We missed the school record by four seconds.
Surprised to learn: I have a 4.0 grade point average; I'm a boy scout, a lifeguard and a hotel employee; I like reading, listening to music and playing music in a small garage band.
Statistics/accomplishments: Member of state champion 4x800 relay; district and regional champion in 3200, placing fifth in the state.
Positive influence: The competition from other schools has really had a positive influence. There's a mood in distance running before each race that most people will never experience. As soon as the race is over, the mood is gone and I make sure I congratulate the other runners. By getting to know your fellow runners, you can learn a lot and make many friendly competitors.
Best memory: Watching my teammate, Dave Pykare, capture the 1600-meter championship sent chills down my spine. In two years of high school running, I have never felt more pride and happiness. Dave will be missed, but never forgotten.
Surprised to learn: I was an academic All-Ohio athlete this year with a 4.0 grade point average.
School: Warren JFK
Statistics/accomplishments: Won state title in 400; qualified for state in the 400 for past three years; placed sixth at state last year.
Positive influence: My coach Tim McNeil. He relates to me and knows how tough things can get. His is younger, but was a state champion and ran at nationals so he's not short of the knowledge of any other great track coach. He motivated me at the times I didn't think I could keep going and pushed me when I thought I had done my best. Without my coach, I wouldn't be a state champion.
Best memory: Breaking the 50.0 mark at the state meet. I had worked so hard to do it and I never thought it would be possible. I ran 49.78 to qualify and then went even lower to win state with a time of 49.38.
Surprised to learn: I'm a level-headed kid. I enjoy winning, but I like to have fun at the meets and I like to see other people I know do well. Running should be fun. The only time I'm serious is that last 100 meters to the finish line.
Statistics/accomplishments: Won discus at Western Reserve Inv.; won shot put at East Palestine Bulldog Inv.; placed first in shot and discus at district; placed first in discus at regional meet and fourth in shot put; placed sixth in shot at state and ninth in the discus.
Positive influence: My dad because he has always been there for me. He has coached, supported and guided me since I was a 5-year-old playing T-ball.
Best memory: Throwing 54-5 in the shot put at the district meet. I had no idea I broke the district record. I also broke the school record with that throw.
Surprised to learn: My family moved to Springfield three years ago, but when I was in fifth grade at Frank Ohl Middle School in Austintown, I picked up the shot and discus for the first time and broke the field day records for both events.
Statistics/accomplishments: Part of state-title winning 4x800 relay team and third place 4x400 relay and placed (13th) in 400.
Positive influence: My mom has been my greatest influence in athletics. She is always there to cheer me on and not let me give up. She has taught me determination, which this sport requires.
Best memory: Being called up on the podium after winning the 4x800 relay with a time that was close to the state record. Also being called on the podium for earning the team runner-up trophy.
Surprised to learn: I did tae kwon do for 10 years before I got into running.
Statistics/accomplishments: State champion in the 800 (1:53.04) -- the best time in any division at state this year; undefeated in the event this season.
Positive influence: My father. He always encouraged me, but never forced me to run. He was at every meet by the finish line cheering me on.
Best memory: Breaking and re-breaking my school record in the 800. (The original record was 1:55.7, set by Eric Hatch in 1985.)
Surprised to learn: When I was 10, I had a form of juvenile arthritis that left me in so much pain I had to go to school on crutches. It hurt just to get out of bed in the morning.
Statistics/accomplishments: Won 100 and 200 at Mineral Ridge, Bulldog and Liberty invitationals and at district meet; anchored school record 4x100 relay team (43.8); placed third at regional in the 200 and sixth at state.
Positive influence: Coach Nogay. He has been a positive influence since Middle School. He's always believed in me and given me the confidence to do well in track and football.
Best memory: Placing sixth in the state finals. I didn't know until they announced it. I remember being both excited and surprised.
Surprised to learn: I'm interested in World War II history. I'm also very interested in cars. I used to race micro sprints at the Hickory and Deerfield speedways.
Statistics/accomplishments: Regional champion in the 800, placing fourth at the state meet; member of third place 4x800 relay.
Positive influence: My three brothers. No matter how busy they are with school, they always get out for a run. Watching them do that motivates me.
Best memory: Sitting with my teammates in the hotel room the night before state not saying a word and just listening to our coach play the guitar for us all night.
Surprised to learn: I've collected bumper stickers since I was 5 and now have about 1,000 all over my room.
Statistics/accomplishments: First place in discus at district, SVC, Mahoning County, Cope, Poland, Optimist, Polar Bears Relays and Beford Lions relay; finished second in discus at regionals and third at the state meet; only four-time Vindicator all-star; will attend Wake Forest on football scholarship.
Positive influence: Coach Ed Lewis. He has taught me everything there is to know about throwing and a lot about life.
Best memory: Throwing personal best 178-4 at the SVC Meet at Boardman.
Surprised to learn: I will play in the Big-33 football all-star game on July 20 in Hershey, Pa.
School: Warren Harding
Statistics/accomplishments: Steel Valley, Trumbull County and district champion in 400; regional runner-up in 400, placing sixth at state.
Positive influence: My older brother, William (now at Ohio State), and sister, Kiisha (YSU). My brother excelled in football and baseball and my sister was a four year letterwinner in softball, volleyball and basketball and was the Trumbull County female athlete of the year. I look to both for advice on my future plans.
Best memory: At the end of track season last year, I promised myself I would work hard and would be in Dayton in June. Not only did I make it, I made it to the finals. After pulling my hamstring midway through the season, I wasn't sure I could do it but with the help of my dad and my coaches, I reached my goal and brought home two medals.
Statistics/accomplishments: School long jump record; City Series and district long jump champion; second place at regional meet; placed eighth in state in long jump.
Positive influence: My dad. He's always helped me out with a lot of things on and off the track that have helped me win.
Best memory: Breaking the school record and finding out I was going to state.
Surprised to learn: I was able to do well in the long jump without a coach.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Positive influence: Jim Fox and Denise Gorski have both been very positive influences. They both love working with kids and have a tremendous amount of love and knowledge of track. Jim Fox gave me my first book on coaching sprinters back in 1989. My father was a tremendous influence as well. He taught and coached at Leetonia, Mooney and Poland until he died in 1978. He loved coaching and teaching so much that my three brothers are all teachers and coaches as well.
Best memory: There were too many to choose just one. Watching Brian Zorman set our school pole vault record, having two athletes earn All-Ohio in the same event (Steve Vallos and Evan Beard in the discus) and our team winning the first "total" county championship. Personally, coaching in the Midwest Meet of Champions was a very big thrill.
Surprised to learn: I actually do enjoy life away from the track. I'm a pretty good cook and I like listening to Bob Marley.