Canfield coach gets relay updates by phone

Canfield coach

gets updates from wife’s

hospital room

By StevE wilaj



As a courtesy to his wife and newborn baby, Canfield High track coach Mike Yankey exited the hospital room. He then listened intently over the phone to assistant coach Nick Wagner as the Cardinals boys 4x1600 relay team began its race at the Lakeview Relays on Friday.

“I didn’t want to get too into the race in front of them,” Yankey said. “But it was fun trying to hear where they were at. I was trying to figure if they were ahead or behind pace.”

Safe to say, Yankey liked what he heard.

The Canfield High 4x1600 relay team of Alec Kennedy, Tyler Kennedy, Bryan Kristan and Chase Kern finished first with a stadium record time of 18:52.47.

“He was doing the math the whole time and I’m giving him updates at each lap,” Wagner said of the phone call. “When he heard where we were at, he was all ecstatic. He wished he could be here today.

“But the phone call was outstanding. It was great to be able to give him a second bit of good news in two days.”

Even more, the Cardinals broke the record time (19:01.20) of Canfield’s 2000 squad. Yankey was a member of that team.

“To have the kids I coach beat a record I had since high school is great,” Yankey said. “We wanted to do it last year, but the weather didn’t cooperate. So we really wanted to come in and get that record today.”

Tyler Kennedy said it was a mark the team expected to pass.

“It definitely feels good because this is one we wanted,” he said. “That was our priority.”

Tyler Kennedy, Canfield’s third runner, grabbed the baton four seconds behind the record pace. But the Cardinals were three seconds ahead of pace by the time he handed it to fourth leg Chase Kern.

“Bryan started off with a good race and then I had an OK race,” Alec Kennedy said. “Then Tyler came in really strong and Kern finished off good for us. We felt good with Kern finishing since he’s our strongest and he had quite a lead.”

Ursuline’s 4x100 meter relay girls team of Korree Cotton, Paige Hall, Precious Williams and A.J. Carnathan set a meet record with a time of 50.69.

Makayla Berry, Lavonte Powell, Courtney Teague and Carnathan of the Irish 4x200 meter relay team also set an event record.

Also, Howland’s boys distance medley team of Ben Cole, Victor Williams, Ethan Petrilla and Ryan Sullivan set a meet record 10:48.77.

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