Jackson, Richardson lead Raiders;
Blue Devils’ Johnson wins 1600, 3200
By Brandon Judeh
There seemed little doubt the Warren G. Harding girls track team would dominate Thursday heading into the finals of the Trumbull County Track and Field meet at Lakeview High School.
And indeed the Raiders did, finishing with 151 ponts, easily beating McDonald (111) and Girard (106).
Aisha Jackson got the Raiders off to a smoking start by beating defending state champion Morgan Rice (Warren JFK) in the 100 hurdles with a meet-record time of 14.61.
Jackson is just a sophomore.
“It feels very good to come out in the first event and make a statement like that,” Jackson said. “I have been working very hard in practice for this race and to beat a defending state champion makes it all worth it.”
Jackson’s victory was just the start of the Raiders’ dominating performance.
The 4x200 meter relay team of Gariana Bercheni, Nautica Hill, Chyna Stroud and Justice Richardson (all underclassmen) set a new stadium record with a time of 1:42.08.
Later, the Raiders 4x100 meter relay team ran away with the race and runner Riley Brown says it feels great.
“It feels amazing to dominate a race like that, coming in we knew we were the favorite and to be able to fulfill everyone’s expectations makes it even more special. All of our hard work is really paying off,” Brown said.
Jackson and Richardson each accounted for 30 1/2 points and shared the overall girls meet MVP award. Hill (23 points) was the running MVP.
McDonald (109 points) won the boys team title, followed by Warren JFK (92), Howland (91) and Warren Harding (82).
Warren JFK’s Chad Zallow edged out Harding’s Jermanie Jones in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.32. He said he wanted to make a statement by coming out and winning early.
“I wanted to come out here and do some big things today, win some races and finish high,” said Zallow, whose 30 1/2 points made him the boys running MVP
Zallow also added that the Trumbull County meet is one of his favorite races of the year.
“This meet is definitely something I always look forward to, I love it because the competition is elite and you get all of the local schools out here to compete. It never gets old,” Zallow said.
One of the elder statesmen was McDonald’s Bobby Johnson, a senior who has been one of the premier runners in the area since early on in his track and field career.
He showed why on Thursday.
Johnson slipped and nearly fell on the second turn of the 1600, but kept his balance.
“I got kind of mad when I tripped and I said to my self ‘Man, what is this?’ “ Johnson said. “Then after that my adrenaline really kicked in and I was able to turn that mishap into a positive.”
Johnson finished strong as he ran away from the competition and into first place with a time of 4:22.82.
“I felt in control and felt real good, I just wanted to test myself and see what I could do,” he said.
Johnson also went on to win the 3200 in a time of 9:33.09 to help the Blue Devils to the team title.
McDonald thrower Jai’Lyn Mosley (20 points) was the girls field MVP. Howland’s Taylor Fortson (20 points) was the boys field MVP.