Lumsden returns as Fitch sweeps tri-meet


Lumsden’s return

from injury helps

By Brian Dzenis

bdzenis@vindy.com

AUSTINTOWN

Jakari Lumsden’s numbers in the high jump on Tuesday weren’t up to his usual standards, but the fact that he’s putting up any numbers at all was one of several victories for Austintown Fitch.

Lumsden, the Falcons’ lone male returning state qualifier, has been back in action for about a week after being sidelined with a hamstring injury.

“It’s kind of difficult. [Coaches] tell me to be cautious, but at the same time, I can’t baby anything,” Lumsden said. “I have to focus on getting better. It’s the only way I’ll improve, especially this late in the season.”

In a tri-meet with Boardman and Canfield, Lumsden won his event with a jump of 5 feet, 10 inches. His best jumps have been since coming back have been 6-3. He’d like to get up to 6-6 for the postseason, which starts in two weeks. Lumsden also helped his team win the 4x400 relay.

Lumsden was just two inches short of getting on the podium in the state tournament last year. Last fall, he had a standout year on the football field at running back and at linebacker, earning third-team All-Ohio honors. He’ll play football for Eastern Kentucky later in 2018.

“I have unfinished business,” Lumsden said. “I want to finish this season and do better than I did last year at state.”

The Fitch teams swept both competitions, with the boys totalling 88 points and the girls had 85 points. Ralph Fitzgerald ran the 100 dash in 11 seconds flat and freshman Tyrese Bandy won the 200 dash with a time of 22.2. The results were a promising sign for Saturday.

“We have some guys that can be up in the mix when it comes to a regional final,” Fitch boys coach Seth Steiner said. “[Saturday’s Optimist Invitational] will be a good gauge of that.”

Boardman’s Brian Yauger won both the 100 and 300 hurdles. The lone winners for Canfield were Giovanni Copploe in the 1600 and Ian Kristan in the discus.

Boardman’s Micah Beckwith bested Canfield’s Jake Hostetter in the wheelchair race. No time was reported.

On the girls side, the marquee runners took something of a break, giving some younger runners a chance to impress.

“Our young girls are very strong. We have some talented upperclassmen, but the younger runners really stepped in,” Fitch girls coach Bob Lape said. “We have some freshmen and sophomore hurdlers, jumpers, sprinters, distance — all of it.

“It’s a pleasant surprise. We’re losing some heavy hitters this year, but after [today] we could be good the next couple of years.”

Youngstown State commit Lauren Dolak won the 800 (2:21) and the 1600 (5:49).

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