By Brandon Judeh
Over the past decade the Lakeview track and field team has dominated both the now-defunct Trumbull Athletic Conference-8 and the All-American Conference, winning 10 consecutive league titles.
Runner Eric Harris wasn’t about to let that change as he and many others participated in the preliminaries of the annual Trumbull County Track and Field Meet.
The senior says he doesn’t want to be a part of the team that breaks the winning streak.
“When the streak started, I was in second grade,” Harris said. “I saw my brother run for four years before me and they didn’t lose one. Ever since I saw the success my brother and his teammates had, I wanted to keep it going and win with this team.
“No one wants to be a part of the team that loses and breaks the streak.”
Last season, Harris qualified for state in the 1600-meter run, finishing in sixth place. Getting a taste of state has made Harris hungry for a return.
“Once you go to state everyone expects you to get back the following year,” Harris said. “The great thing is that everyone here at Lakeview is so supportive and when you have supportive people around you it’s easy to succeed and get things done.”
Head coach Mark Swinning says all of his kids come in motivated and ready to continue the winning tradition the Bulldogs have built.
“The kids put in a lot of hard work as do the coaches,” he said. “My staff does a great job of getting the kids to work hard and keeping them motivated and once you win a couple championships in a row then it just keeps building.”
Though Lakeview’s pole vaulting team has only been around for five years, they are quietly becoming a force. Two years ago, Cameron Beebe qualified for state and Swinning says that he hopes to have more success in the event this year.
“We have a guy [A.J. Miller] who is jumping around 13-feet so we are hoping to have continued success,” he said.
Also looking to keep up its winning ways is McDonald.
Sisters Bailee and Abby D’Amore know all about the the Blue Devils’ winning tradition and plan to keep things that way.
“McDonald is based on tradition and it’s really fun to get to not only run with my sister, but also with the other girls on the team,” Abby said.
“I’m really excited to be running on the 4x400 team with my sister this year, especially because this is her senior year,” Bailee said.
Both girls say that they have shared a love for running since they were children and have also played basketball, soccer and cross country together throughout the years.
“My mom started taking Bailee and I running when we were little and it’s great because it’s something fun we can all do together,” Abby said. “It really adds to our relationship.”
The finals of the Trumbull Country track meet will begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday at Lakeview.