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Tiger girls track wins title at Optimist Meet

By STEVE BATKO Correspondent Published: May 10, 2017 12:00 AM
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Capturing the team championship at the Austintown Fitch Optimist Meet is a feather in the cap for the Twinsburg girls track and field team.

The Tigers scored well in winning the 37th annual Optimist Meet May 6 at Greenwood Falcon Stadium.

Twinsburg won the team crown with 98.33 points and easily beating second-place Suburban League rival Stow-Munroe Falls (77).

The Lady Tigers also finished ahead of strong programs from Bedford (47), Canfield (38), Massillon Perry (36), Cleveland Heights (35), Austintown-Fitch (31), and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (26).

"We battled very tough weather conditions," said head coach Sarah Kmet. "On a day when many teams didn't show or scratched in the finals, our kids showed some real toughness in getting out there, and competing."

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Twinsburg is looking towards the Suburban League Championships, which are slated to conclude May 11 at Nordonia at 4 p.m.

"Despite winning only two events the whole meet, the girls won the Optimist and did a great job of scoring across the event board," said Kmet.

"Emily O'Connor and Rebecca Mold also went two and five (places) in the 3,200-meter race," added the mentor.

O'Connor was the runner-up with a time of 11 minutes, and 37.45 seconds. She was second to Badger High freshman standout Miranda Stanhope (11:34.49).

Mold ran fifth with a clocking of 12:02.47, which was the second-best time in the event for a freshman.

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Kmet thought a slew of Tigers performed well at the 37th annual Optimist.

"Morgan Kelley and Alyssa Deeds went 2-3 in the 1,600 race, Nia Robinson and Camari Griffin were 2-6 in the 400, and Nya Bussey and Alyssa Willis ran 2-3 in the 200."

In the 1,600 open race, Kelley had a superb race as the senior ran second overall with a time of 5:25.96. The only runner to beat Kelley was East Palestine's Alexis Cunningham (5:22.94).

Deeds was the first freshman to finish in the race! She was third in the 1,600-meter race with a time of 5:29.34.

Bussey and Willis shined in the 200 race as the emergence of Willis, gives the Tiger staff yet another quality sprinter. Bussey crossed second in 27.39 ticks and Willis was third, 28.41.

The Lady Tigers won a title in the 800-meter relay with a time of 1:47.74 as the crew beat strong teams from Bedford (1:48.34), Cleveland Heights, and Canfield.

Comprising the young and talented 800 relay was Griffin (a junior), plus sophomores Mariah Myles, Robinson, and Bussey.

Twinsburg also captured a crown in the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 4:16.44. The team beat a strong Cleveland Heights crew and running for the Tigers was Myles, sophomore Julia Henderson, Griffin, and Robinson.

Robinson had a huge runner-up finish in the 400-meter dash as she crossed in 1:02.21. Griffin posted a 1:05.08, good for sixth.

The Tigers' young 3,200-meter relay team ran third behind Canfield (9:52.87) and Maplewood (10:17.11).

For Kmet, the 3,200 turned in a time of 10:23.23 with a cast of freshman Gillian McKenna, sophomore Angela DeFabio, Mold, and O'Connor as the anchor.

In the 100, Bussey ran fourth in 13.06 seconds and Willis was the highest finishing freshman eighth at 13.68 ticks.

Sophomore Taryn Vander Weit placed fourth overall in the pole vault with an effort of 7-6 feet. Also scoring in the pole vault, was freshman Kaela Turle, who was eighth at 6 feet.

Junior Kelsey Dunn finished fifth in the discus toss with a throw of 121-feet and 8 inches. Dunn was eighth in the shot put (33-0.50 feet).

DeFabio was sixth in the 800 in 2:38.04 and McKenna ran next at 2:38.61. Henderson finished ninth in the 300 hurdles with a 53.23.

Senior Tayler Gill placed 12th overall in the shot put with a toss of 31-9.7 feet.

Host Twinsburg posted a big 89-48 win over Cuyahoga Falls in a National Conference Suburban League Dual Meet May 2.

Kayley Irwin capped a strong career with a win against Cuyahoga Falls, crossing first in 11 minutes, and 59.19 seconds.

That was a personal and lifetime best for Irwin. Teammate Desha Perera was second at 12:33.

"Kayley Irwin ended her career on the highest note possible, winning the 3200 in a personal best," commented Kmet.

Lauren Johnston was impressive in the long jump as she won with a leap of 15-0.25 feet.

Vander Weit was victorious in the pole vault with a superb effort of 8-6 feet.

Kelley led a sweep in the 1,600 run with a time of 5:23 while O'Connor was at 5:25, and McKenna crossed in 5:27.

O'Connor paced a sweep in the 800 run with a strong clocking of 2:30. McKenna was second and DeFabio, third.

Bussey won the 100 in 12.41 seconds, edging junior Rocki Jones, who crossed in 12.52 ticks.

Myles captured the 400 with a quick time of 61.71 to beat Bussey. Willis edged Myles in the 200 with a time of 27.03. Myles crossed in 27.22.

Henderson won the 300 hurdles in 53.55 seconds. Dunn won the discus with a throw of 117-9.75 feet. Gill placed second in the shot put with a strong heave of 32-1.5 feet.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

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