Mahoning Valley athletes capture multiple titles at state indoor meet

Staff report


Austintown Fitch junior Gabby Figueroa wasn’t at her best on Saturday, but she was still better than everyone else.

So were Warren JFK’s Chad Zallo, Ursuline’s Lavonte Powell, Maplewood’s Wyatt Hartman, the Rockets’ 4x800 boys relay team and Girard’s 4x400 girls relay team.

Figueroa threw 56 feet in the weight throw to break the state indoor meet record and capture her second straight gold in the event at the Division I meet at the University of Akron.

“Every time I win at a meet, it’s a reminder of all the hard work I’ve put in,” said Figueroa, who surpassed Wayne’s Alexis Thomas, who threw 53-71/2 in 2009. “All the time I’ve put in, all the time my coaches have put in, my teammates, my mom ...

“There’s no better feeling than standing up on top of the podium and being rewarded for all the effort.”

Zallow won the 60-meter hurdles (8.06 seconds) in the Division II-III portion of the meet. His brother Carl was third in the 60-meter dash. Chad was fifth in the same event. Chad finished second and Carl was sixth in the 200-meter dash.

The Zallows also helped the Eagles to seventh place in the 4x400 relay, along with teammates Anthony Fordeley and Zach Watt.

The JFK boys finished second overall.

Powell won the girls 400 (59.31 seconds) and Hartman won the boys 800 (1:57.22). Hartman also helped the Rockets win the 4x800 (8:10.13), along with teammates Derek Morrison, Solomon Yoder and Mike Dahmen.

Girard’s quartet of Tina Boyles, Taylor Harshbarger, Justine Kagy and Destiny Hall won the 4x400 girls race in a time of 4:07.86.

Figuero entered with the nation’s best throw this season (58-11) and was hoping to surpass 60 feet — something only four athletes nationally have done.

“I’m not disappointed,” she said. “I could have done better, but 56 is not a bad throw.

“The best thing is I have a year to come back and try again.”

Her teammate, senior Billy Price, took second in the weight with a throw of 69-10. Lakewood St. Edward’s Aaron Zedella was first with 76-7.

Fitch’s 4x200-meter relays finished second in the boys and girls races.

Joe Harrington, Nathan Bowlen, Gary Gibson and Darrin Hall finished the boys race in 1:29.58 to place behind Cleveland Heights (1:28.96).

Ka’Naylah Cox, Ebony Davis, Jayme Ritchie and Lauren Bower finished the girls races 1:44.91, while Pickerington Central was first in 1:42.05.

Boardman junior Mark Hadley finished second in the 1600 with a time of 4:12.80, while Westerville North’s Jacob Dumfor was first in 4:10.35.

Liberty’s John Helms was fourth in the 400 in Division II-III and LaBrae’s Megan Gunther was fourth in the 200 in the same divisions. Liberty’s Courtney Lukac (fifth, 800), Warren Harding’s Justice Richardson (sixth, 60), Struthers’ Nadiyah Morgan (sixth, 400) also ran well.

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