There was some stiff competition facing the host Tallmadge girls track and field team last Friday at the Bill Barry Invitational at Thomas Rossiaky Stadium.
The Lady Blue Devils did not back down, though. They finished second with 88 points at the eight-team competition.
Highland easily won the competition with 159.33 points and Walsh Jesuit placed third with 63.33 points.
"Highland has a really good team," Lady Blue Devils head coach Mike Srodawa said. "They’re strong across the board. Going in, I felt we’d finish in the top three. There are some strong teams at that meet, but we performed well."
Host Tallmadge also improved to 2-0 after earning a 71-66 victory over Theodore Roosevelt Tuesday.
At the Bill Barry meet, senior Sara Johnson won the long jump title with a leap of 15 feet, 0.5 inches. She edged out teammate Lauren Moses, a junior, who also jumped 15-0.5, by way of a tiebreaker.
"Sara and Lauren did very well," Srodawa said. "Sara obviously has a lot of experience with this event. It’s good for Lauren to be able to jump with Sara because she picks up on stuff, and Lauren is a fantastic athlete, so we’re definitely glad to have her."
Johnson finished second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.91 seconds, while Moses tied for third in the pole vault with a vault of 7-6.
"Sara did a great job in the 100," Srodawa said. "It was a tough field. Lauren did pretty well in the pole vault, considering the nasty conditions that had snow and wind."
Sophomore Ravyn Edge finished second in the 1,600 with a time of 5:40. Her classmate, Kenna Loveless, was right behind her in third with a time of 5:42.
Edge placed second in the 800 with a clocking of 2:37.78. Loveless was runner-up in the 3,200 with a time of 12:19 and freshman Christina Brandenstein finished fifth (13:54).
"Kenna did a great job, especially considering the conditions," Srodawa said. "Her times are where she wants them right now. She’s progressing along.
"Last year, she was injured for the majority of the season. Although this isn’t all new to her, there will be a little bit of an adjustment period for her.
"Ravyn just works super hard and runs smart races. Considering the competition, she did very well."
Senior Lauren Bradshaw finished third in the shot put with a throw of 30-8.25.
Johnson combined with senior Madison Tasich, sophomore Jill Catalano and freshman Maddie Arnold to place third in the 400 relay, clocking in at 54.41.
Also finishing third with a time of 4:41 was the 1,600 relay team of Arnold, Tasich, sophomore Katie Seeker and freshman Kelsie Horner.
Johnson, Arnold, Moses and Tasich joined to finish fourth (2:00) in the 800 relay. Placing fifth were Horner in the 400 (1:09.82) and Tasich in the 300 hurdles (53.77).
Against the Rough Riders, every point was crucial for the Lady Blue Devils.
"I knew it was going to be close," Srodawa said. "Roosevelt has some really good athletes. They have a real good distance runner and they’ve got good sprinters.
"I knew our field events were going to play a big part in how well we did and they stepped up.
In fact, Tallmadge swept the top three spots in both the long jump and the high jump.
Johnson won the long jump with a leap of 15-5. Moses was second (14-5) and Catalano and sophomore Makayla Bechter tied for third (13-6).
Seeker and Arnold tied for first in the high jump with leaps of 4-4. Both won tiebreakers over sophomore Mabinty Kromah, whose 4-4 leap left her in third place.
Edge captured the 3,200 with a time of 12:26. Brandenstein placed second (13:44).
Tasich won the 300 hurdles with a time of 51.64.
"It was a really good, consistent race for Madison," Srodawa said. "Her timing is there. She just needs to work on speed."
Tasich, Johnson, Catalano and Arnold combined to win the 400 relay with a clocking of 53.5.
"That relay has been running really consistent, landing handoffs," Srodawa said. "As the weather warms up, the times will come down."
Brandenstein, junior Ashleigh Hughes, sophomore Clare Cate and freshman Emma Ryder captured the 3,200 relay with a time of 10:54.
Loveless finished second (5:32) and Edge placed third (5:41) in the 1,600. Loveless took second (2:34.03) and Ryder captured third (2:57.5) in the 800.
Freshman Jaidin Scites finished runner-up (20.43) and sophomore Ariyanah Waino took third (21.09) in the 100 hurdles.
In the pole vault, Moses placed second (7-6) and Catalano finished third (6-6). Bradshaw captured second (31 feet) and freshman Lauren Adolph took third (27 feet) in the shot put.
Johnson finished second in both the 100 (13.61) and the 200 (28.09). Also placing second were Horner in the 400 (1:06.92) and Bradshaw in the discus (85-8).
The Lady Blue Devils are scheduled to compete at the Aurora Greenmen Invitational Friday.
They are set to travel to American Conference rival Copley April 17 and are scheduled to host Barberton, another American Conference foe, April 19.
All three meets are set to begin at 4 p.m.