The Stow-Munroe Falls girls track and field team recently won its final dual meet of the 2017 season, and the Lady Bulldogs also finished second at an invitational.
The invitational in question was the Orange Relays at Orange High School April 27. Solon won the event with 104 points, while Stow was second with 101 points, and Cloverleaf placed third with 61 points.
"Our team performed very well at the Orange Relays," said Stow head coach Aaron Morris. "We came within three points of Solon, and the meet was ended one event early due to inclement weather."
Stow senior Maria Cistone tied the school record in the high jump at the Orange Relays by clearing 5-feet-3 in the event. She's now one of six girls tied at that height. The others are Betty Walgamuth (1980), Justine Garner (2007), Bekah Alexander (2007), Vicki Moga (2009), and Abbie Lawson (2012).
"There is still time for her to claim that record to herself," said Morris.
In addition, Stow's shuttle hurdle relay team of senior Kayla Thompson, sophomore Tatum Bradley, sophomore Ariana Poteat, and senior Sara Kasper qualified for the New Balance Outdoor Nationals, making this the seventh year in a row for that particular relay. The New Balance meet will occur on June 16 to 18 at the University of North Carolina A&T in Greensboro.
On May 2, Stow battled Suburban League National Conference nemesis North Royalton on the road. The Lady Bulldogs emerged victorious, winning by the score of 86-42.
With that victory, Stow finished the dual meet portion of its campaign with a record of 4-3. The Lady Bulldogs were also 4-3 in the National Conference.
"North Royalton has a good team and is pretty well balanced," said Morris. "However, it was not the lineup that I was expecting in the running events. Our girls did very well sticking to the plan that we had set up to maximize our points against Royalton's team. We capitalized on a few events in which Royalton did not have a strong showing, and that made the difference."
Thompson led the way for Stow, winning three individual events. She captured the 100-meter dash (12.92 seconds), the 100 high hurdles (17.31), and the long jump (16-11.5).
Two other Lady Bulldogs finished first in individual track events. They were sophomore Jordyn Ruth in the 400 with a time of 1:07.63 and freshman Rachel Pitcovich in the 1600 with an effort of 5:39.64.
Three Stow athletes captured individual field events. That trio included sophomore Katherine Hall in the shot put (31-4.5), junior Katie Dunn in the discus (108-3), and Cistone in the high jump (5-0). Stow also won the 400 relay in 53.08 and the 1,600 relay in 4:30.71.
"I think we look well going into the postseason," said Morris. "We should be able to do well in the conference meet because we have strong field events and not too many of the other schools in our conference can do what we do in those events.
"We have strong hurdlers and distance runners, as well, so we should place well overall. It will come down to which teams can displace each other in the sprint events. Nordonia is likely the team to beat in our conference."
On May 6, Stow was set to compete in the Optimist Meet at Austintown Fitch High School, but results were not available at press time.
The Suburban League Meet will be held at Nordonia High School May 9 and 11.
"Normally, we look to have stellar performances at the Optimist, as it is our last big meet of the season prior to postseason," said Morris. "However, looking ahead at the weather, I will be satisfied to get out of that meet without any injuries.
"At the conference meet, we will start to peak our athletes for the postseason. I think we should be able to have a good showing at districts and get quite a few athletes to regionals. But again, this comes down to keeping everyone healthy until the weather warms up and dries up."