It takes many things to capture 12 straight league titles, but the Woodridge girls track and field squad has endured much while snaring this year's exciting crown.

With a victory in the meet's final event, the Lady Bulldogs won the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division Championships May 10 and 12 at Crestwood.

Woodridge outscored powerful regular season runner up Lodi Cloverleaf 138-135 in the league meet.

"The girls program overcame a variety of setbacks and injuries throughout the spring and kept it together to win their 12th consecutive PTC Championship," said head coach Jeff Howard.

"Our girls entered the final event trailing Cloverleaf by one point and once again, the girls found a way to get things handled," said the coach. "The girls won the 4x800 relay, the 4x400 relay, and Nicole Fleming won the 1,600-meter race."

In the winning 1,600-meter relay, Woodridge had Fleming (a senior), junior Molly Howard, senior Katie Kearns, and senior Natalie Fleming. Their time was 4 minutes, 10.55 seconds.

Nicole Fleming's title in the 1,600-meter race was entertaining with some gifted runners in Cloverleaf standout Riley Freeland, and Woodridge teammate Libby Howard.

Fleming crossed in 5:13.41 to beat Freeland, who edged Woodridge senior Clare Willett in a strong 3,200-meter race. Libby Howard was timed at 5:23.70 for third in the 1,600.

In the 3,200, Freeland had a time of 11:14.41 to edge Willett, who was clocked at 11:21.26.

Libby Howard ran third in the 3,200-meter race with a time of 12:17.06 for the Lady Bulldogs.

Senior Gracey Radwany excelled in the league meet as she ran second in the 100-meter hurdles and placed third in the 300-meter hurdles at Crestwood.

In the 100 hurdles, Radwany was clocked at 16.39 seconds.

Natalie Fleming had a runner up finish in the 400-meter competition as she crossed in 1:01.07.

Junior Nicole Seff registered a league runner-up showing in the 300 hurdles where she finished in 50.34 seconds. Radwany's time was right there at 50.42 ticks.

Radwany also ran in the runner-up 400-meter relay that posted a time of 53.11 seconds with freshman Erin Eby, junior Adelle Tannous, and junior Kiarra King.

"Willett, Libby Howard, and Nicole Fleming scored big points in the distance races while Molly Howard, Tannous, Natalie Fleming, Kearns, and (sophomore) Jenna Kaiser added points in the middle distance," said Howard.

"Radwany, Eby, and Seff dominated the hurdle events while Kiara King joined a variety of girls to pace the sprint crew," added the coach.

Molly Howard came in third in front of Kearns in the 800-meter race. Howard had a time of 2:25.86 while Kearns crossed in 2:27.22.

Sophomore Julia Adams led off the third-place 800 relay and was followed by Eby, Tannous, and King. Their time was 1:55.31.

Tannous also raced to a fourth in the 200 (27.78 seconds) and to a fifth in the 400 (1:02.85).

Eby had a strong debut as she also ran fourth in the 100 hurdles in 17.33 seconds.

King placed fifth in the 100-meter dash in 13.77 seconds. Then the versatile athlete almost scored in the shot put as she was ninth with an effort of 28-feet, 07.0 inches.

Woodridge will be looking to score big at the Bedford Division II District Championships May 18 and May 20.

The top four finishers at the Bedford District will qualify and advance to the Austintown Fitch Division II Regional Championships May 25 and May 27.

In the PTC meet, Seff finished fifth in the long jump at 15-1 feet and junior Rachel Frierson scored in the shot put. Frierson had a toss of 29-3 feet to place seventh.

"Tremendous efforts were provided by Eleanor Sterling and Rachel Frierson in the throws," said Carney. "Nicole Seff and Shayla Alexander scored well in the jumps."

Alexander is a sophomore while Sterling is a freshman for the Bulldogs, who have never lost a PTC title in the program's history.


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