When it comes to winning, Nordonia head track and field coach Scott Barwidi admits that he and his coaching staff are much more focused on the Knights’ weekday dual meets with Suburban League National Conference rivals than the weekend invitationals on the schedule.
You would have never known that Saturday at the Walsh Jesuit John Hasenstab Warrior Relays, especially when it came to Barwidi’s girls squad.
Nordonia won the 11-team competition going away with 144 points. Massillon Perry and Solon both had 108 points, but Perry won the second-place tiebreaker.
"I thought the girls were fantastic," said Barwidi. "We had some kids who really competed and performed extremely well. We set them up to have one or two events, three at the most, and try to get the best out of them, and they responded very well."
Senior Aja DuVall turned in a season-best time of 12.42 seconds in winning the 100-meter dash.
"It was an exciting race," Barwidi said. "Aja didn’t have the best start that she could’ve had. She came from behind to beat this girl from Bedford in the last 20 meters to win. She now has the 100 and 200 records at the Walsh Relays."
DuVall’s classmate, Lizzy Gurko, won the 1,600 with a time of 5:36, just .51 ahead of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy’s Isabella Payne.
"It was a good mile for Lizzy," said the coach. "She’d run the 6,400 relay before that and had a really nice time, a 5:31-split, and then came back with the 5:36 in the 1,600, so she had a real nice day."
Senior Faith Banks won the 400 with a clocking of 59.08, the only time that was less than one minute. Her classmate, Carmen Licht, won with ease the 800 with a time of 2:24.33.
"Carmen did a good job," Barwidi said. "She took the race out real hard and nobody really went with her, and she was able to cruise to an easy win.
"Faith had a pretty decent run. It was really windy, and running into that wind on the backstretch hampered her performance a little bit."
Licht, DuVall, Banks and senior Katrina Eterovich combined to win the 1,600 relay with a time of 4:09.14.
Gurko joined with juniors Abigail Rice, Kayla Vasarhelyi and Mallory Tedor to capture the 6,400 relay with a time of 22:49.
Senior Nikayla Russ, juniors Arianna Pearson and Kayla Childs and sophomore Eden Kereky combined to win the 800 sprint medley, clocking in at 1:58.06, only .49 ahead of the second-place team from Bedford.
"I thought the kids in those three relays competed really well. I was proud of what they did," said Barwidi.
Licht joined with seniors Caroline Lohm, Elise Jurkovich and Kendra Lippincott to finish second (10:18.28) in the 3,200 relay.
The 800 relay team of Russ, DuVall, Pearson and senior Jasmon Scott finished runner-up (1:49.10).
Lohm, Lippincott, Vasarhelyi and junior Hannah Hover combined to finish second in the distance medley with a time of 13:54.09, just .73 behind the first-place team from CVCA.
Juniors Sarah Shedroff, Morgan Nicholson and sophomore Alexa Riedel joined to finish third in the shot put relay.
Shedroff, Nicholson and junior Kynnidi Knight combined to place third in the discus relay.
In the long jump relay Eterovich, Scott and junior Grace Coghill joined to finish third.
Childs teamed with senior Ariyaun Robinson and freshman Taniah Thomas to finish third in the high jump relay.
Also placing third was the pole vault relay team of Coghill and Russ.
Last Tuesday, the Nordonia girls improved their National Conference dual-meet record to 2-0 with a 100.5-36.5 victory over visiting Stow-Munroe Falls.
Eterovich won the 400 with a time of 1:05.18, the 100 hurdles with a time of 16.60 and the long jump with a leap of 16-9.5. Childs was second (1:06.66) in the 400 and Kereky was second (16.93) in the 100 hurdles.
"Katrina is still working on getting into a better rhythm in the hurdles," said Barwidi. "With a week of practice coming up until our next meet, she should make some big progress there shortly."
Banks won the 200 with a time of 26.20. Licht was second (27.41) and freshman Sydney Hazelton took third (27.87).
Gurko won the 3,200 with a clocking of 12:14.10. Rice placed second (12:38.70) and Hover was third (13:33.30).
In the 100 DuVall finished first with a time of 12.64. Scott was runner-up (13.02).
Lohm won the 800 with a time of 2:35.66. Lippincott was second (2:38.26). Rice won the 1,600 with a time of 5:43.56.
Coghill captured the pole vault with a vault of 9 feet. Russ tied for third (7-6) with a vaulter from Stow.
"Grace has continued to work. She’s kind of hit a plateau, but she’s got a couple things to work on," said the coach. "She’ll probably break through and go 11 feet before too long."
Scott, DuVall, Kereky and Pearson won the 400 relay with a time of 52.60, and Russ, Hazelton, Scott and Banks captured the 800 relay with a time of 1:50.33.
In the 1,600 relay Licht, DuVall, Eterovich and Banks finished first with a time of 4:29.47. Hover, Licht, Lohm and Lippincott combined to win the 3,200 relay, clocking in at 10:23.32.
Shedroff won the shot put with a throw of 35 feet, 2.5 inches and the discus with a toss of 107-5.
Thomas and Hazelton both had leaps of 4-10 in the high jump, but Thomas won the second-place tiebreaker.
Also placing second (53.93) was Russ in the 300 hurdles.
The Nordonia boys team beat Stow-Munroe Falls 94-43.
"Stow has a spectacular 400 runner and a really, really good thrower, but our distance kids just took over and performed really well, scoring a lot of points. That was the biggest difference for us," said Barwidi.
Senior Dan Moore won the 800 with a time of 2:10.30. Junior Mathew Korodi was second (2:13.68).
Korodi won the 1,600 with a time of 4:51.88. His classmate, Tyler Mosher, placed second (4:54.47).
In the 3,200 sophomore Jaden Wimbush finished first with a clocking of 10:35.90. Junior Nick Orzechowski took second (10:38.30).
Senior Sam Hopes and sophomore Brenden Jackson were both double winners individually.
Hopes won the 200 with a time of 23.15 and the 100 with a time of 11.35. Junior Collin Flynn was third (24.23) in the 200.
Jackson captured the 300 hurdles with a time of 44.25 and the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.77. Junior Jason Lewicki took third (45.31) in the 300 hurdles.
Junior Jordan Dearth won the high jump with a leap of 5-8. His classmate, Evan Svendsen, had a leap of 5-6 and won a second-place tiebreaker over a jumper from Stow and teammate Dakota Romantic, a sophomore.
Junior Jonathan DePiero won the pole vault with a vault of 11-6. Freshman Joe Wahl was third (9 feet).
In the long jump senior Larry Hart finished first with a personal-best leap of 19-7.5. Lewicki placed third (18-7).
Hopes, Flynn, senior Eric King and freshman Sanshakir Adeyemi combined to win the 400 relay with a time of 45.68.
Hopes, Hart, Jackson and freshman Jonathan Banks joined to capture the 800 relay with a time of 1:33.79.
Hart, Jackson, Banks and senior Joshua Palmentera teamed to win the 1,600 relay with a time of 3:42.40.
In the 3,200 relay Korodi, Orzechowski, Wimbush and junior James Hayes combined to finish first with a clocking of 8:48.84.
Hart finished second (54.59) and Banks was right behind in third (54.60) in the 400.
Junior Dominic Dasher placed second (44-9) in the shot put and third (126-10) in the discus.
Nordonia finished fourth with 85 points at the Walsh meet. Solon won the 13-team competition with 178 points. Walsh Jesuit finished second with 113 points and Brecksville-Broadview Heights was third with 88 points.
The 800 sprint medley team of Adeyemi, King, Flynn and Palmentera finished second with a time of 1:38.24.
Also placing second was the high jump relay team of Svendsen, Dearth and Romantic.
"The 800 sprint medley guys ran well and the high jump guys jumped really, really well," Barwidi said.
Korodi finished third (10:04.84) in the 3,200.
Hopes, Flynn, Adeyemi and King combined to finish third (44.67) in the 400 relay. Jackson, Hopes, Hart and sophomore Dominick Stockle joined to place third (3:33.62) in the 1,600 relay.
Wimbush, Korodi, Mosher and Orzechowski teamed to finish fourth (19:19.39) in the 6,400 relay. In the 800 relay Jackson, Stockle, Hart and Palmentera joined to also finish fourth (1:34.10).
Dasher, senior David Dorsey and sophomore Tommy Vetrovsky combined to finish fourth in the shot put relay. In the discus relay Dasher, Vetrovsky and freshman Marquez Hart, Larry’s brother, teamed to finish fourth, too.
Stockle, Larry Hart and senior Aundre Hildreth joined to place fourth in the long jump relay. DePiero and Wahl combined to finish fourth in the pole vault relay.
Moore finished fifth (2:07.03) in the 800. He teamed with Hayes, Mosher and senior Jake Vetrovsky, Tommy’s brother, to place fifth (8:41.75) in the 3,200 relay.
Nordonia is scheduled to host National Conference rivals Hudson, Cuyahoga Falls and Brecksville-Broadview Heights in a quad meet Saturday at 11 a.m.
The Knights are set to travel to National Conference rival North Royalton next Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_RPC