The Stow-Munroe Falls girls track and field team is certainly a threat within the National Conference of the Suburban League.

Just ask the Lady Bulldogs' latest opponents, Cuyahoga Falls and Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

On April 20, Stow defeated Falls by the score of 92-45 at home. Two Stow athletes finished first in individual events: seniors Kayla Thompson and Maria Cistone.

Thompson claimed both the 100-meter dash (12.92) and the long jump (16-feet-10.5), while Cistone placed first in the high jump (5-2) and pole vault (8-6).

Stow was very dominant in the track events, winning six more individual events. Claiming victory in those events were sophomore Jordyn Ruth in the 400 (1:06.48); sophomore Mackenzie Cassiday in the 800 (2:29.54); freshman Rachel Pitcovich in the 1,600 (5:27.57); junior Sophi Perez in the 3,200 (12:10.56); senior Sara Kasper in the 100 high hurdles (16.94); and sophomore Tatum Bradley in the 300 intermediate hurdles (49.38).

Junior Katie Dunn also won the discus, claiming victory with a heave of 107-7.

"We had a lot of points scored in the Falls meet," said Stow head coach Aaron Morris. "We had a first-place finish in all but four of the events. We had a nice high jump performance from Maria Cistone. She has been consistently at 5-2 and making nice attempts at 5-3. Tessa Pitcovich dipped her 1,600 time under 6:30 for the first time, and Mackenzie Cassiday was under 2:30 in the 800 for the first time this year."

On April 25, Stow edged visiting Brecksville by the score of 73-64.

Thompson was also a triple winner against Brecksville. She topped the field in the 100 with a time of 13.22, the 100 high hurdles with an effort of 15.22, and the long jump with a leap of 16-8.5.

Also capturing first place in individual track events were Pitcovich in the 1,600 (5:38.8) and Perez in the 3,200 (12:09.67). Among the other first-place finishers in individual field events for Stow were Cistone in the high jump (5-0) and Kasper in the pole vault (10-0).

"The Brecksville meet was exciting right from the beginning," said Morris. "The 3,200 relay set the tone of the meet. Each leg of the relay was going back and forth the entire race, but Tessa Pitcovich proved stronger in the end and pulled out the win with our best time this season by far (10:15.42).

"We finished one-two in the pole vault, high jump, and 3,200. We swept the 1,600 and long jump. Our distance squad came up big for us, too. Out of the 32 distance points available, we took 26. The 3,200 clinched the victory with Sophi Perez's first place and (freshman) Julianna Shatraw's second place."

With those two victories, Stow evened both its dual meet record and its ledger within the conference at 3-3. Morris is satisfied with his team's progress to this point in the campaign.

"So far so good," he said. "We're beating the teams we should beat and putting together nice showings against the powerhouses. We have a lot of freshmen now stepping up to make some team contributions. Rebecca Zeitman has been working her way into a solid number-two 100 runner behind Thompson. Aimee Grimm is really coming along in both hurdle events, especially the 300 hurdles, but she's also contributing in the 800 relay. Veronica Anokhin has been a staple in all of our sprint relays this year, from the 400 relay to the 1,600 relay. She loves to have the baton in her hand last, and she's becoming a good option as anchor."

Also on the positive side, the Lady Bulldogs are relatively healthy with the postseason meets looming on the horizon.

"Fortunately, we haven't had anything too serious," said Morris. "Everyone has the normal aches and pains of the midseason. Thompson is working through a few minor things right now, but still contributing as normal. I plan to rest her a little for the rest of the week so that she will be ready to go by the time our big end-of-the-season meets roll around."

On April 27, Stow was set to compete at the Orange Relays, but results were not available at press time.

On May 2, the Lady Bulldogs will battle conference nemesis North Royalton on the road.

"North Royalton will be a good challenge for us," said Morris. "They have a stronger distance squad than we have seen the past couple of weeks, and our sprinters will need to be on their game to beat them."


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