STATE TRACK: McDonald boys 4×800 relay team places 5th, Salem’s Carlisle 7th in discus
COLUMBUS — Their last performance together was perhaps the most memorable.
Seeded 10th entering the OHSAA Division III State Track and Field Championships, the McDonald boys 4×800 team of Carson Klase, Caleb Domitrovich, Juan Villanueva and Joey Cappuzzello pieced together a time of 8:05.97, well ahead of their seed time of 8:16.20, to take fifth overall and begin a strong day overall for the McDonald boys program. Bluffton took first at 7:52.13.
The Blue Devils were toward the front of the pack for the entire race, and spent the middle portions in first overall before taking the fifth-place spot.
It also was a marked improvement from last year’s 15th-place finish for the Devils’ 4×800 team.
“Last year we struggled here — 15th last year,” said Domitrovich, a senior. “So to go from 15th to fifth, it means a lot to go out on a high note after a lot of hard work.”
The stellar finish marked the swan song for Domitrovich and Villanueva.
“We weren’t even supposed to be on the podium today,” Villanueva said. “It means a lot. It’s a testament to these guys and how hard we worked this year and since the last time we were here.”
DEVIL THROWERS ALSO IMPRESS
In the field, fellow Blue Devils Kyle Crown and Jack Reckard also reached the Division III podium.
Crown capped his senior campaign with a fifth-place finish in the shot put, achieving a mark of 56-7.25 on his third attempt.
Later, Reckard’s last discus throw of the day, a mark of 158-5, earned the sophomore eighth overall. McDonald senior Danny Gray was ninth at 153-1.
Of his performance, Crown noted, “The first two throws, I was just feeling out the ring. It was a little bit slippery and I couldn’t get under it, but the third one I kind of figured it out and went for it.”
His first two marks were 52-7.75 and 50-9.50. He rounded the day out with a toss of 55-7.75 on his fourth attempt.
“It means a lot,” Crown said of finishing his McDonald career on the podium in Columbus. “I put in a lot of work to come out and prove myself at state. It feels good.”
Reckard initially grabbed a podium spot on his second toss with a mark of 157-10. His fourth and fifth attempts went 149-7 and 150-1, respectively, before he finished the day off with his best throw.
“When I got my left foot down, I knew I needed to whip hard,” Reckard said of his last toss. “So that’s what I tried to get on my last one and I got a foot improvement, so it was fun to get that done.”
Reckard is just a sophomore, and will look to build upon the performance as he continues his career with McDonald.
“I hope just to build every year,” Reckard said, noting he’ll be hitting the weight room and working on his throwing during the offseason.
CARLISLE HITS HER GOAL
Salem’s Kaylee Carlisle didn’t have the year she wanted overall, but the Salem junior did hit her biggest goal — reaching the podium in her state meet debut.
Carlisle finished her 2023 track and field season with a seventh-place finish in the Division II discus event Friday, ending a season that saw her throw as far as 126 feet at the district meet.
On Friday, she uncorked a toss of 120-10 on her third attempt to reach the podium.
“My goal was to get on the podium, and it worked out,” Carlisle said. “I was super excited coming in — a little nervous but it wore off once I started warming up.”
She added, “I didn’t have the season I wanted, but I still made it to Columbus, and that was the ultimate goal. So I’m pretty proud of myself.”
Norton’s Morgan Hallett won the event in a repeat and tied the state mark in the process, flinging a toss off 170-08 on her fifth and penultimate attempt.
Carlisle tossed a 113-0 and a 116-2 on her first two attempts before launching the 120-10 on No. 3.
By the third throw, her coach just told her to try and make it out of the preliminaries and then build from there.
Her toss did just that, and wound up being her best. She finished off with throws of 113-05 and 114-07.
Now, she’ll look to build on this experience as she heads into summer and then eventually her senior year.
“We’re going to use this as fuel,” Carlisle said. “I’m hoping to place in the top three next year and hopefully break our school record.”
DIVISION III NOTEBOOK: Mineral Ridge’s Olivia Booth reached the podium in discus. The senior’s mark of 123-11 was good for eighth place. … East Palestine’s Mia Lee reached the podium in the high jump, clearing the 5-2 mark to earn fifth. … In the 110-meter boys hurdles, LaBrae’s David Blackmon took second in the preliminary rounds with a time of 14.89 and advanced to today’s finals. … Michael Ballone, a Lowellville junior, will join Blackmon in the 110 finals as he finished seventh with a time of 15.05. Ballone also qualified in the 300 hurdles with a time of 39.85. … Brookfield’s Aiden Jones advanced to the finals of the 100 with a prelim time of 10.89, seeding him fourth. He also qualified in the 200 with a time of 22.36, also seeding him fourth in that event. … Springfield Local’s girls 4×200 team of Emma Sanders, Cali Matey, Ava Vecchione and Graciella Ebert finished sixth in the prelim round with a time of 1:45.76 to advance to the finals. … Cardinal Mooney’s team of Sammy Rotunno, Talecia Huff, My’Kayla Jones and Sophia Diorio also advanced in the 4×200, nabbing the ninth and final spot with a time of 1:46.79, just .07 ahead of Carey’s time of 1:46.86. That same group also made the 4×400 finals with a time of 4:08.38. … Lowellville’s boys 4×200 team of Braylen Dabney, Vinny Ballone, Drew Modelski and Josh Pazel qualified for the finals with a time of 1:31.13, seeding the Rockets fourth. … Springfield’s 4×100 team of the same girls as the 4×200 team qualified for the finals with a time of 50.71, the eighth-best time. … Valley Christian’s 4×100 team of Jhordan Peete, Phillip Spradley, VeShun Gurley and Marquez Gibbs took the top time in the prelims with a 42.88. The Eagles are seeking a state championship three-peat. … Brookfield’s Christian Davis advanced to the finals in the 400 with a time of 50.01. … Lowellville’s 4×400 team of Dabney, Vinny and Michael Ballone and Matt Lucido qualified for the finals with a time of 3:29.09.
DIVISION II NOTEBOOK: Champion’s Kennady Grace joined Carlisle on the discus podium with a mark of 119-6. … Girard’s boys 4×100 team of Nic Bengala, Domenico SImone, Anthony Bengala and Stephen Sims qualified for the finals with a time of 43.09, good for sixth. … Lakeview’s Stasia Hall moved on to the 300-meter hurdle finals with a time of 45.99, seventh overall. … Girard’s Nic Bengala moved on in the boys 300 hurdles with a time of 39.69, sixth overall. … Liberty’s Dwayne Moody narrowly advanced to the 200-meter finals, clocking a time of 22.02 to take ninth ahead of Napoleon’s Masen Switzer’s time of 22.04.
DIVISION I NOTEBOOK: Austintown Fitch’s Nick Tibolla advanced to the 110-meter hurdle finals with a time of 14.31, seeding him sixth. … The Falcons’ 4×100 team of Gianni Maley, Tibolla, Dan Evans and Jayden Eley narrowly edged Warren G. Harding for the ninth and final qualifying spot. Fitch ran a 42.35, while the Raiders were clocked at 42.39. … Boardman’s Logan Thompson took the ninth and final qualifying spot in the 300 hurdles with a time of 39.18.