Graduated Raiders still have some work left in Columbus
By Brian Dzenis
South Range’s track team will travel to Columbus on Thursday to watch the baseball team, then it has its own business to attend to.
The Raiders have four seniors who walked across the stage for graduation on Saturday going to the state meet in Columbus this week after qualifying in the Division II regional at Austintown Fitch.
Discus thrower Kayti Aczel qualified for the second year in a row, while Mathias Combs (100), Cameron Tarr (800) and Ian Pierson (1,600) made state for the first time. Aczel and Pierson were runner-ups in their respective events. Pierson — the school’s record-holder in the event — was just two seconds behind Garfield’s Tyler Klouda.
“His time wasn’t as good as it was last week at district, but the bottom line is the top four punch their ticket to Columbus,” South Range coach Diane Krumpack said. “He is just racing so well this year. He has a good strategy going in and he follows through with it.”
Hubbard’s Jared Southern made the most of his final shot at making the state tournament on Saturday, winning a regional title in the high jump and getting to Columbus.
Southern jumped six feet, five inches to make him just one of two Valley athletes to win a D-II regional title. Salem’s Kaitlyn Marx won in the discus.
The Quakers’ junior dominated with a trow of 143-02.
From a team standpoint, Salem did the best among area schools, placing fourth in both the girls and boys tournaments. The Quakers’ strength are their relays, with the boys sending the 4x800, 4x100 and 4x400 relays to state and the girls 4x800 and 4x400 relays qualiifying. Besides Marx, Salem’s other individual qualifiers are Haley Rozeski (800), Hunter Christopher (3200), Cooper Stockman (discus) and Turner Johnson (high jump).
After a one-year absence from the state tournament, Poland will return to Columbus with 10 athletes in tow. Freshman Chloe Kosco made it as part of the third-place 4x200 relay and by taking fourth in the long jump. Fellow freshman Jackie Grisdale made the most of a postseason that involved balancing track and softball with a third-place finish in the 800. The Poland boys are sending the 4x100 relay of Zaire Fabian, Rocco Almasy, Nico Lattanzio and Mitchell Frederick.