Team depth allowed the Woodridge girls track and field team to survive a thrre-way tie to earn a league championship.
Woodridge was expected to challenge at the Portage Trail Conference Championships in the Metro Division at Crestwood May 9 and 11.
As it turned out, the Bulldogs dominated the league meet, winning the crown with a 44 1/2-point advantage over runner-up Field.
Head coach Jeff Howard was thrilled to see that separation from the other first-place clubs from the regular season campaign — Field and Lodi Cloverleaf. The Bulldogs won 148 1/2-104 over Field.
Cloverleaf, which handed Woodridge its lone dual loss (66-62 on April 24), slipped out of contention by placing fourth. Streetsboro was third at 91 1/2, followed by Cloverleaf 90, and Ravenna 79.
"The program entered the PTC Championship meet in a 3-way tie with Field and Cloverleaf," said Howard.
"The girls suffered their first dual-meet loss in the history of the Portage Trail Conference to Cloverleaf to set up the winner-take-all championship," he explained.
Fairly deep this spring, the PTC Metro featured a slew of athletes at Crestwood. Woodridge had many of those standout athletes.
"The Bulldogs used tremendous depth to score in every event and ended up winning their 13th consecutive conference championship," said the coach.
Senior Molly Howard paced the Lady Bulldogs with four titles in the meet.
The coach’s daughter is committed to run at Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, Tennessee) for track and cross country.
"In the distance races, Molly grabbed wins in the 3,200-meter relay, the 1,600-meter run, the 800-meter run, and the 1,600-meter relay to lead the Bulldogs," said coach Howard.
In the 1,600-meter race, Woodridge was led by Howard and sophomore sister Libby Howard, who ran 1-2.
Molly Howard captured the crown with a time of 5 minutes, 25 seconds. Libby Howard crossed in 5:26.43.
Securing another league title in the open 800-meter race, Molly Howard had a clocking of 2:19.31.
"Libby (Howard), Anastasia Bakuhn, Jenna Kaiser, and Adelle Tannous grabbed relay wins while Libby won the 3,200-meter race, and Erin Eby added a win in the 100-meter hurdles to join the other event winners," said the coach.
Eby had a spirited run in winning the 100-meter hurdles as the Bulldog sophomore standout bested Coventry's Gracie Collins in the race. Eby was timed at 17.56 seconds while Collins was at 17.78 seconds.
In the 3,200-meter race, Libby Howard was dominant as she won in 11:58.63.
Coach Howard was also excited to see senior Julianne Dryer, who ran second overall in the 3,200-meter race at the PTC Championships with a time of 12:35.76.
The Bulldogs' 3,200-meter relay crossed first as expected with a time of 9:51.23 with Bakuhn (freshman), Kaiser (junior), Libby Howard, and anchor Molly Howard.
Heading a dangerous 1,600-meter relay for the Bulldogs is Tannous (senior), Bakuhn, Kaiser, and Molly Howard. Their winning time was 4:13.0.
Eby also garnered runner-up honors in the PTC in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 50.80 seconds, just in front of freshman Maddie Karlo, who like Bakuhn, competed in their first-ever league meet.
"Maddie (Karlo) joined Eby in scoring in both hurdles races," said coach Howard.
Karlo ran third in the 300-meter hurdles in 51.16 ticks.
Senior Kara King and sophomore Eleanor Sterling also had second and third-place showing ñ in the discus throw.
King was the league runner-up in the discus with a toss of 108 feet, 5 inches. Sterling was third overall with a heave of 100-8.
"Kiara and Eleanor paced the throwers in the shot and discus," offered Howard.
Woodridge scored well in the sprint relays — gaining third-places in the 800-meter relay (1:52.84) and in the 400-meter relay (53.12).
Comprising the 800 relay was the talented freshman trio of Elise Carey, Megan Woods, and Belle Norris, along with Tannous.
Tannous, who also anchored the 400 relay, is headed to Cleveland State University. Carey, Eby, and Norris ran the first three legs in the relay.
"Elise, Belle, Adelle, and Megan also scored (in the short races)," said Howard, who also got 4th-place points from Bakuhn (2:29.66 in the open 800) and from Norris (15-0 in the long jump).
Kaiser, a veteran who could be a post season threat in the 800-meters, ran fifth in the PTC in the 400-meter race with a time of 1:04.02.
The Lady Bulldogs should be in the mix at the Bedford Division II District Championships May 17 and May 19 with qualifiers (top four in each event) going to the Austintown Fitch Regional Championships May 24 and May 26.
King placed sixth overall in the shot put with a throw that travelled 30-4. Carey ran sixth in the 100-meter dash in 13.75 seconds and was sixth in the 200 (27.65), just ahead of Norris (27.97).
"Evelyn Willett joined Norris and Karlo in scoring in the jumping events," said Howard, of his freshman high jumper.
Karlo finished sixth in the high jump at 4-2 and Willett was eighth overall with the same distance.
Tannous raced to a seventh-place effort in the 400-meter race with a time of 1:06.07 while Karlo ran seventh in the 100 hurdles in 18.62. Senior Rachel Frierson added a 10th-place finish in the shot put (28-5 ).
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_RPC