Sara Johnson has been there before, several times in fact, so the Tallmadge senior felt quite at home at a Division II district track and field meet, which concluded Saturday at Bedford High School’s Bearcats Stadium.
She proved it by qualifying for the regional meet in the long jump with a winning leap of 16 feet, 4 inches and the 100-meter dash with a fourth-place time of 13.24 seconds.
"In the long jump, Sara knew what she had to do," Lady Blue Devils head coach Mike Srodawa siad. "In the 100, she had a slow start but closed well to get that fourth spot."
Sophomore Jill Catalano finished sixth (14-11 1/2) in the long jump. Her classmate, Mabinty Kromah, placed seventh (13.48) in the 100.
Johnson and Kromah joined senior Madison Tasich and freshman Maddie Arnold to qualify for regionals in the 800 relay with a second-place time of 1:47.39.
"That was an interesting race," Srodawa said. "The girls had to overcome some adversity. They can run faster."
The regional meet is scheduled to take place Thursday (5 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m.) at Austintown-Fitch High School.
Overall, Tallmadge finished second out of 15 teams with 82 1/2 points. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary won the competition with 87 1/2 points and Akron Buchtel took third with 79 1/2 points.
"Districts is always tough, but I felt, if things went the right way, which they did, we had a shot," Srodawa said. "I’m very proud of how the girls performed."
Tallmadge junior Lauren Moses qualified for the regional competition by winning the pole vault on a tiebreaker with a vault of 9 feet. Freshman Anna Siesel finished fifth (8 feet).
"For her first year doing this, Lauren exceeded all expectations from us," Srodawa said. "She’s one heck of an athlete."
Lauren Bradshaw qualified for regionals by finishing third in the shot put with a throw of 32-3.
"Lauren has been consistently throwing farther all season long," Srodawa said. "She’s a hard-working kid. I’m extremely happy that she made it to regionals as a senior."
Also in the shot put, freshman Lauren Adolph placed eighth (28-1).
Johnson, Kromah, Arnold and Tasich joined to qualify for regionals in the 400 relay with a third-place time of 51.17.
"That relay has been solid all year," Srodawa said. "They had another solid race. They will have to run a little bit faster at regionals, but they’re more than capable."
Also qualifying for the regional competition with fourth-place finishes were Kromah in the 200 (27.04), sophomore Ravyn Edge in the 1,600 (personal-best 5:17.61) and her classmate, Kenna Loveless, in the 3,200 (11:53.09).
"We expected Mabinty to make the finals, which she did, but she ran a great race and that was a little bit unexpected," Srodawa said. "She would probably say the same thing. We’ve known that she’s fast, but she’s gaining confidence as the season progresses.
"Both Ravyn and Kenna ran great races and did what they had to do against tough competition. Kenna’s time was about what she has been running. She was racing for a place, which you’re supposed to do at districts and regionals."
Tasich finished fifth (48.07) in the 300 hurdles. Edge placed sixth (2:28.08) in the 800.
Bradshaw finished seventh (96-9) and Adolph captured eighth (93-11) in the discus.
Also finishing seventh (10:20.16) was the 3,200 relay team of Loveless, Edge, sophomore Katie Hussing and freshman Mackenzie Moran.
Sophomore Morgan Moses tied for eighth (4-6) in the high jump.