A few skillful Woodridge girls athletes survived the rugged Austintown Fitch Division II regional track meet to snag a berth to the state championships.

As the top four finishers in each event at Fitch May 25 and 27, qualified for the state meet, Woodridge qualified to states in four events.

The Division II state meet was set for June 2-3 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at Ohio State University. Final results weren't available as of press time.

Woodridge finished ninth out of the 37 scoring teams at Austintown, as Beachwood edged Akron Buchtel for a team crown 51-46.

"The girls qualified a handful of girls to the Ohio State Championships from the Austintown Regional Championship meet," said head coach Jeff Howard.

"Our girls had a slew of great performances," added the coach.

In the 3,200-meter relay field, Woodridge was expected to qualify for states out of Falcon Stadium. The relay placed third overall with a time of 9 minutes, 29.14 seconds.

"On Thursday, the 3,200-meter relay team of Natalie Fleming, Molly Howard, Katie Kearns, and Nicole Fleming will return (to states) after their fourth-place finish in 2016," pointed out Howard.

In regionals, the relay led off with senior Natalie Fleming, followed by twin sister Nicole Fleming, freshman Libby Howard, and Kearns, who is a senior.

Junior Nicole Seff made history by qualifying for states for Woodridge with a fourth-place finish in the pole vault. Seff cleared 9 feet, 4 inches to advance.

"Nicole became the first female pole vaulter in school history to compete at the state level," said Howard.

Also advancing to Columbus was Nicole Fleming in the 1,600-meter race and Libby Howard, in the 3,200-meter run. Both were fourth overall at Fitch.

"The distance crew continued their work on Saturday [at Fitch] with Nicole Fleming finishing third with a lifetime best time in the 1,600 and Libby Howard punched her ticket to Columbus with a fourth-place finish in the 3,200- meter run," said the coach.

Nicole Fleming was clocked at 5:08.99 in the 1,600 while Libby Howard's time in the 3,200 was 11:26.73 to edge St. Vincent-St. Mary's Leah Lisle for the final state berth.

Senior Clare Willett missed out in the 3,200-meter race as she ran sixth with a time of 11:40.40.

Sophomore Cameron Miller also just missed the state cut-off. She placed fifth in the pole vault with an effort of 8-6 feet.

"Cameron scored valuable points in the event with a strong fifth-place showing," remarked Howard.

Molly Howard also scored in the 800, where the junior ran eighth overall with a time of 2:21.46.

The 400-meter relay ran 10th overall with swift clocking of 52.09 seconds.

Making up the 400 relay was senior Gracey Radwany, freshman Erin Eby, junior Adelle Tannous and junior Kiara King.

"The sprinters ran a season-best to wrap up their year," said Howard.

King also competed in the discus at the Fitch regional and may be the first female athlete at Woodridge to compete in a sprint event as well as a weight event in regional track and field action.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

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