A well-rounded league championship kick-started what promises to be another strong postseason for the Woodridge boys track team.
Head coach Scott Mercer saw his club score well with 133 points to easily win a league title this spring — by 35 points.
It was the Bulldogs' 12th league championship in a row and the first for Mercer as a head coach. The Bulldogs netted points in a slew of events at the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division Championships meet, which took place May 8 and 10 at Crestwood.
In the team standings, Coventry (98) and Lodi Cloverleaf (91) were second and third, respectively.
Collecting individual titles for the Bulldogs at the PTC Metro Championships were Micah Blair and Marvin Montgomery.
Mercer was thrilled with the marks as Blair won two crowns in the 1,600-meter race in 4 minutes, 35.94 seconds, as well as nailing down the 3,200-meter championship with a clocking of 9:43.09.
Montgomery was impressive as well for Woodridge.
Montgomery blazed to victory in the 400-meter race with a time of 52.05 as he edged Coventry's Justin Christian (52.32). Montgomery had the fastest time in the preliminary heat as well at 52.26.
Expecting to fare well in the 3,200-meter relay, Woodridge responded with a winning time of 8:14.99. Making up the cast was Caden Hibbs, Aaron Dutt, Brayden Whited, and Zayd Elkurd.
Ryan Champa also excelled for the Bulldogs as he had strong open distance races at Crestwood.
With a lightening quick time of 9:46.14, Champa was the runner-up in the 3,200-meter race behind Blair.
An improving Champa was also third for the Bulldogs in the 1,600-meter run in 4:44.21.
Placing third overall with a strong shot put effort of 46 feet, 6 inches was Rich Fisher, who had a personal best for the Bulldogs.
"Rich had a lifetime best performance," commented Mercer.
As he soared 19-9 3/4, Berkeley Upton had a great long jump to place fourth overall in the Metro Division. Josh Mally also scored as he was sixth at 19-2 3/4. Coming into the PTC meet, Upton was seeded eighth in the long jump.
"Berkeley and Josh both had their lifetime bests," offered Mercer.
The Bulldogs were expected to have a host of regional qualifiers this spring out of the Bedford Meet.
Austintown Fitch will again host this season's Regional Championships May 23 and May 25 at Falcon Stadium.
Blair was expected to be a threat for the Bulldogs in a couple of races and is the defending district champion in the 1,600 meters.
Another athlete who was a returning district champ was Montgomery in the 400-meter race. The district is loaded with impressive 400-meter runners and Woodridge has loads of middle distance and distance talent.
Whited and Ryan Kiley registered a third- and fourth-place effort in the 80-meter race. Whited crossed in 2:03.13 and Kiley's time was 2:03.90.
Mally ran third overall in both hurdle races as he was timed at 15.67 in the 110-meter high hurdles and 42.52 in the 300-meter hurdles.
In addition, Mally took third in the high jump at 5-10 and improving Jeriah Schrack placed sixth with his best jump of 5-6 at Crestwood.
Evan Wagner ran fourth in the 300 hurdles in 42.54 and also was seventh in the 110 highs in 17.02.
Besting his seed throw by over two feet, Angelo Regec grabbed fourth overall in the discus throw with a heave of 129-2.
Carson Lehrer ran fourth in the 200-meter dash with a clocking of 23.57 and was sixth in the 100 (11.63).
With a strong time of 3:33.85, the 1,600-meter relay of Kyle Carey, Whited, Kiley and Hibbs pleased Mercer by grabbing third-place with.
The Bulldogs' 800-meter relay of Lehrer, Dohntay Williams, Carey and Montgomery placed fifth (1:37.73) .
Youthful Woodridge was set to travel to Bedford Thursday and Saturday for the Division II district meet. Last year, Woodridge finished third in districts.
Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary were expected to join the Bulldogs as the top teams at Bedford.