The Greater Portage Track Officials Association held its annual banquet June 5 at Longhitano's in Kent and awarded its 2017 Ralph Quisenberry Awards to the outstanding female and male track and field athletes of the year.

Kayla Thompson from Stow-Munroe Falls High School won the Outstanding Female Athlete and Michael Picone of Crestwood High School received the Outstanding Male Athlete award.

Thompson graduated from Stow Munroe Falls High School in May.

In 2015 as a sophomore, Thompson was won of the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division in the 100 meter High Hurdles. She then surprised a lot of people by finishing 3rd in a Division I District at Nordonia in the same event. She barely missed a trip to Columbus that year, finishing 5th at Austintown.

In 2016, Thompson became a regional qualifier in the 100 meter high hurdles, finishing fourth, but won her first district championship in the long jump. At Austintown in the Regionals she qualified for the finals in the High Hurdles, eventually finishing seventh, and she finished with a fifth in the long jump, losing a trip to Columbus in the tie-breaker.

Thompson was able reach states in her senior season, finishing as runner-up finish in the 100 hurdles. She finished 12th at the state meet.

Thompson leaves Stow as the school record holder in the long jump, the third fastest runner in school history in the 100-meter high hurdles, and as the 2017 Suburban League National Division Most Valuable Athlete. She has also been a past OATCC qualifier indoors, and has also competed in the New Balance Nationals with her teammates in the shuttle hurdles.

Thompson graduated with a 3.792 grade-point average, was a member of the National Honor Society, and was also a member of ETC and Show Choir. She volunteers at her church's food drive, is a student youth leader, volunteers for the Polar Express train in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and participates in her church's Friends and Family program. Thompson signed a national letter of intent to attend and compete at Northern Kentucky University.

The Greater Portage Track Officials Association is an OHSAA local chapter and members officiate track and field events in the local communities and counties at the middle school, high school, college and open events, both indoors and outdoors.


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