Salem, Poland relays dominate
Quakers boys, girls win
Division II district titles
By Brian Dzenis
Salem’s 4x400 relay put the finishing touches on another successful stint of hosting the Division II district finals.
The Quakers swept the boys and girls district titles and put on a dominant display in their signature event on Saturday. Both the boys’ and girls’ victories came by at least five and a half seconds.
For the boys team, it was a showcase of depth.
“We had Chase Ackerman in the 4x4 for most of the season and he got injured and we had a another kid ready to set up,” Salem senior Quinlan Rumsey said. “Everyone loves the 4x4. Everyone wants to be apart of it and it’s great. There’s seven kids on our team who could be that fourth runner. It’s a dog fight for it and it’s a blast.”
Junior Jackson Corbisello stepped in for Ackerman and teamed up with Seth Ameduri, Turner Johnson and Rumsey for the victory. Johnson and Rumsey are returning runners from last year’s state runner-up relay squad.
“Time-wise, I personally believe this group will be faster, but last year’s group was pretty close,” Rumsey said. “We’re at that point where we’re really turning into a family — if we’re not already — and that’s the most important part.”
Rumsey also picked up a win in the 400, while Johnson won the high jump for the second straight year.
The girls team needed its 4x400 squad of Halle Cochran, Lydia McKee, Haley Rozeski and Katelin Chilton to win with Salem and Marlington tied in team points heading into the final race. With a time of 4:05.41, the Quakers were about two seconds short of a school record. Marlington had previously defeated Salem in an earlier meet.
“We were prepared for them being ahead of us, but we were confident that we could win this today,” McKee said. “We just gave it our all and ending up winning it.”
While the The Quakers own the 4x400, the other relays belonged to the Poland Bulldogs. The boys took the 4x100 and 4x200 relays, with the 4x100 came down to a close sprint between Poland senior Rocco Almasy and Salem sophomore Zach Murray.
“Since my sophomore year, it’s always been Salem and Poland,” Almasy said. “It’s pretty cool that we won against them.”
Almasy credits spending the indoor season with Youngstown State sprint coach David Townsend for getting the team in gear for the spring.
“It helped me so much. Everything we did helped me get these times,” Almasy said. “He motivated me to get here.”
The Poland girls 4x200 relay squad was also victorious.
Saturday also completed a great postseason debut for West Branch freshman David McKeiver, who won the long jump with a personal-best leap of 21-3.25, won the 200 and qualified for regionals with the 4x200 relay.
“It’s exciting. I didn’t expect to do this great as a freshman,” McKeiver said. “I’m happy that I can come out and contribute to the team.
“I thought I could just take some middle spots and work my way up, so it’s pretty overwhelming right now.”