Boys track team runners-up in AAC meet

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The Boardman High School boys track team finished as All-American Conference runners-up for the 2019 season following the closest championship meet in AAC history on May 7.

The Spartans were 1.5 points short of first place Fitch by a score of 148.5-147. Warren Harding was a distant third with 82, Howland was next at 69, followed by Canfield with 46 and Ashtabula Lakeside with 31.5. The Spartans opened the meet with a first place finish in the 4x800 meter relay with the team of senior Payton Torres, junior Mitchel Dunham, sophomore Frank Bero and sophomore Jonah Bacho in a season best time of 8:15. Senior Josh Rodriguez placed fifth in the 200 meter dash and sixth in the 100 meter dash. Junior Brian Yauger finished second in the 110 meter hurdles and was second in the 300 meter hurdles as well.

The 4x200 meter relay team of junior Isaiah Suarez, sophomore Brennan Stratton, freshman DJ Evans and Rodriguez placed third. Dunham and Bero finished second and third in the 1600 meter run. The 4x100 meter relay team of senior Zach Hillard, sophomore Dawaylon Pritchard, Rodriguez and Evans placed fifth. Suarez placed first in the 400 meter run and Stratton was fourth. The 800 meter run saw Bacho place fourth and Torres fifth. The 3200 meter run was won by Dunham with junior River Flatley finishing second. The Spartan 4x400 meter relay team of sophomore Cristian Ortiz, Torres, Yauger and Bero placed first with a season best time of 3:31.07.

Senior Nikitas Missos was first in the discus and junior Dave Merdich was sixth. Merdich placed first in the shot put and Missos finished third. Senior Nick Torres was fourth overall in the long jump and freshman Gerick Angel was sixth in the high jump. Sophomore Teddy Anzevino set a new career best with a 12-foot vault to win the pole vault and classmate Sam Cammack finished third. Sophomore Micah Beckwith placed first in the seated 100 and 400.

“I cannot express how proud I am of our team,” said Spartan head coach John Phillips. “The heart and determination they showed tonight was amazing. They never quit and kept coming back all meet long. Our coaching staff did a phenomenal job preparing our kids, and our kids competed at a level we have not seen since our days in The Federal League. It truly was a great showing.”

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