They won the event at state a year ago and three starters were back this year.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NAVARRE -- There weren't any predictions. No set time or place. All they expected from each other was their best.
Turns out, their best is the best.
Maplewood's 4x800 relay team of John Palmer, Paul Moser, Derek Armstrong and Dave Pykare ran 8:07.20 to win Thursday's only running final at the Division III regional at Fairless High School.
"We can't predict whether we'll win or lose," Pykare, the team's lone senior, said. "We come in confident in our abilities and hoping for the best. We've got four guys willing to kill themselves in that race."
The Rockets won the event at state last year, running 8:00.28. They lost just one runner to graduation, Dave Morrison.
Paul Moser has filled in nicely.
"I love this race," Moser said. "I love the whole competition. When I cross the finish line, I fall on my knees and I have to rely on [Derek]. I have to have that trust in him."
McDonald's 4x800 relay team of Jason Corman, Matt Isenberg, Tyler Lunn and Kevin Stonestreet took second with a time of 8:12.80.
The top four in each event advance to next weekend's state meet in Dayton.
"It was scary," McDonald coach Chris Rupe said. "A lot of teams were right in the thick of things. We were just hoping to get up and qualify. We were down with three laps to go. Thankfully, our depth took over."
South Range's team of Jim Kusiowski, Jared Oliver, Dan Nemergut and Ritchie Schuler placed fourth in the day's only running event.
Panezich wins discus
Springfield freshman Nick Panezich continued his amazing season by winning the discus with a throw of 157-4.
"I was very nervous coming in," Panezich, who won last week's district title, said. "But I got my best throw out first and that calmed me down. I didn't expect to do this well. Being a freshman, I'm definitely excited about [advancing to state]."
Leetonia senior Kevin Cibula finished second with a throw of 148-1. McDonald junior Todd Crown took fourth with a throw of 144-5.
Lowellville junior Andy Peterson finished third in the long jump with a jump of 20-71/4.
"I'm a little bummed out," Peterson said. "It was a fight for second place. I jumped a 21 and they said I fouled. I would have liked to have done a little better."
Still, Peterson is excited about advancing to state. He made it on Lowellville's 4x100 relay team when he was a freshman.
He hasn't been back since.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "Hopefully, I'll place at state."