It took the work of the 1,600-meter relay team -- on the last event in the final regular season league meet -- for the Woodridge boys track team to win the first half of the league championship.

Woodridge wrapped up their dual meet campaign with a hard-fought 69-59 league dual win over Lodi Cloverleaf to seal the regular season portion of the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division title April 25 at home.

The next phase comes when the Bulldogs compete at the PTC Championships May 10 and 12 at Crestwood.

However, Woodridge must first host two events -- the Woodridge Wrap Up May 6 and the Stars of Track and Field May 8 -- prior to the league meet.

"The Bulldogs finished PTC competition undefeated with a thrilling victory over Cloverleaf," said head coach Les Carney.

"Our 1,600-meter relay team sealed the team victory with a win," said a jubilant Carney.

Making up the relay for the Bulldogs was junior Dijon White, junior Zach Conroy, senior Ryan Palm, and senior Max Starvaggi.

A host of other athletes stood out, according to Carney.

"Evan Wagner got his first varsity win in the 300 hurdles, while Josh Mally had a personal best to score the high jump," he said. "Steven Neveadomi had a season best in the pole vault."

In the throws, Will Slimak had a career best in the discus, plus Big King Sanders, Jacob Mally, Starvaggi, andMicah Blair all earned first-place finishes for the Bulldogs.

Woodridge finished just eight points out of second-place at the 50th annual Wooster Triway Invitational April 22. The Bulldogs placed fourth overall.

"We battled a strong field to finish fourth on the day," said the mentor.

Smithville won the team title in Wooster, outscoring host Triway 105-84. North Royalton was second at 80 points, followed by Woodridge 77, and Orrville (55).

Jacob Mally was impressive with three individual runner-up finishes.

Mally ran second in the 110-meter high hurdles in 14.87 seconds and in the 300 hurdles with a time of 41.90 ticks. Smithvilles star hurdler, Cole Smith, won both races in 14.78 and 40.25 seconds, respectively.

In addition, Mally was second in the high jump at 6-0 feet.

"Jacob grabbed three second-place finishes to lead the way," remarked Carney, who also praised King Alfred Sanders for scoring in three events.

Palm raced to a runner-up finish in the 3,200-meter race with a superb time of 9 minutes, 48.15 seconds.

"Ryan ran a season best to place second," said the Bulldog coach. "Sanders, Starvaggi, White, Leon Ramsey, and Yousef Elkurd, and Jack Willett all ran well."

"In the field, Steven Neveadomi delivered a season best in the pole vault and Jiah Bowers had a good day in the discus."

Woodridge (8-0) also was victorious on Senior Day, 81-47, over visiting Akron Firestone on Senior Day April 20. It was the first loss for the Falcons (7-1-1).

"Jiah (Bowers) won the shot and discus and he teamed with fellow throwers Andrew Gilles, Will Slimak, and Caz Cleveland to sweep both events," said Carney.

Bowers and Cleveland are seniors while Gilles and Slimak are sophomores. Bowers won the shot put with a toss of 39-feet, 1 inch and the discus at 118-8 feet.

Jacob Mally won the high jump and King Alfred Sanders, the long jump at 20-feet, 6 inches. Mally won with a lift of 6-2 feet.

"Sanders and Mally continued to impress on the track," added Carney as Sanders won the 100 and 200-meter dashes (11.0 and 22.0 seconds) and Mally, was first in the 110-high hurdles (14.4 ticks) and 300 hurdles (40.7).

Palm was victorious in the 1,600 race in 4:41.6 while Starvaggi won the open 800 in 1:58.8.

"White, DeAndre Smith, Marvin Montgomery, Wagner, Ramsey, Andy Muha, and Reese Mercer also had solid performances," said Carney.

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