There was a plethora of possibilities for the Twinsburg High track and field program at the Austintown Fitch Regional Championships, which concluded Friday.
Most of those possibilities became reality to the delight of girls head coach Sarah Kmet and boys head coach Dalanda Jackson.
For a record third consecutive season, the Twinsburg girls team captured a regional team championship at Falcon Stadium.
Not to be outdone, the Tiger boys were regional runners-up.
Establishing a school record for points in a regional meet, Twinsburg's girls won the crown by outscoring Mentor (76-65 1/2).
"I am so happy for the kids, they put in the work and now they are reaping the rewards," said Kmet.
Solon won its second straight boys regional title by edging the young and talented Tigers 67-55.
For the Lady Tigers, senior Nya Bussey and junior Alyssa Willis each qualified for regionals in four events, while senior standouts Mariah Myles and Nia Robinson qualified in three events for regionals.
"The performances from the Tigers during this regional competition was truly something to watch," noted Jackson.
Pacing the boys squad were a pair of seniors.
Etaijen Easter won the regional long jump title and broke the Region 1 regional record and the Falcon Stadium record with a leap of 24 feet, 4 1/2 inches. It was also a new school record.
Another huge boys regional championship came by veteran Brad Yates.
Yates captured the pole vault crown with an effort of 14 feet.
Robinson broke her own school record to win the 400-meter regional crown with lightning quick time of 54.89 seconds. Robinson is headed to Cornell University.
"Nia Robinson kept the momentum going, blazing to a first-place finish, setting a new school and personal record," said Jackson.
Without being challenged in girls’ action, Twinsburg's loaded 800-meter relay team was dominant, winning in 1:38.78.
For the 800-meter relay that clocking was a new school, stadium and regional record.
Comprising the talented 800-meter crew was Willis, Myles, Bussey and Robinson.
"These girls truly amaze me," offered Jackson. "They continue to be consistent and dominate in this race. I can't wait to watch them compete next week."
The 1,600-meter relay was also dominant, winning a title by more than five full seconds over Mentor with a time of 3:50.06.
The group included Myles, senior Julia Henderson, Bussey and Robinson.
"They brought it home and had a season-best time," said Jackson.
Possibly one of the most improved athletes in the entire program, gifted junior Darren Robinson, continued his climb as he was the regional runner-up in the 400-meter race.
Darren Robinson's incredible time of 48.78 broke a 27-year school record.
Robinson's time shattered the previous mark of 48.90, set in 1992 by former Ohio Football Player of the Year Robert Davis.
"Darren ran an amazing 400 meters from start to finish," Jackson said. "We knew he was going to run fast, but we didn't know he was going to run 48 fast."
Bussey was the regional runner-up in the 100-meter dash with as she crossed in 12.05, only falling to last year's regional runner-up Paige Floriea (12.02), of Mentor.
Floriea also edged Bussey in the 200-meter race, but Bussey had a great time of 24.48. Floriea's time was 24.25.
The Lady Tigers were runner-up in the 400-meter relay in 48.48 behind senior Brionna McDonald, freshman Rana Thornton, freshman Akira Johnson and Willis.
"Our freshmen, Thornton and Johnson, have been holding their own all season, but the guidance of veterans like McDonald and Willis has helped them to focus and build the confidence that they need to help us be a successful unit," said Jackson.
Easter qualified for state again in the high jump as he reached 6-7 to place third in a strong regional.
"The third-place finish was a disappointment for Easter because he's very hard on himself and he wants to do well all the time, but he has so much left in him, we aren't worried at all," said Jackson.
Grabbing third-place in the 200-meter dash was sophomore Marvahun Johnson, who was timed at 22.43. Johnson had a 22.26 in the preliminary heat.
"Also advancing to Columbus is Marvahun and after he finished fifth in the 100, qualifying in his other open event was the only option," said Jackson. "He did not get down on himself and lose focus; he knew his day was not finished."
For the boys, the top qualifiers advanced to the 112th annual State Division I Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at the Ohio State University May 31 and June 1.
Twinsburg's girls qualifiers will be looking to possibly win a state team championship, which would be the program's first. Last year, the Tigers were Ohio runner-up.
Willis raced to a fourth-place in the 100-meter dash in 12.42.
In addition, Willis also took fourth in the 200-meter race with a time of 25.24.
A young cast of runners in the boys 800-meter relay includes junior Dominick Glenn, senior Ty Yarbrough, junior Darren Robinson and Johnson. They ran fourth in 1:29.42.
In a heated open 400-meter girls field, Myles ran fifth with a fast clocking of 57.40.
Posting a personal-record time of 9:20.63, senior Ryan Adkins finished fifth in the 3,200-meter race.
Both Myles and Adkins qualified for state as the top four finishers in each region make the cut, plus the next two best marks in each event, regardless of region.
"Mariah Myles also ran a new personal record and will be lining up with Nia Robinson in the 400 meters in Columbus as she advanced as a wild card," Jackson said.
That time not only was Adkins' finest, but it broke a school record of 9:20.80 set in 2014 by former Tiger star Garrett Crichlow.
"Ryan finished with a new school record and his time was the fastest fifth-place in the state and therefore, nabbed him an at-large bid to state," said Kmet, who coaches the distance runners in the program.
"As expected, the race went out hard with Ryan in the mix," Kmet added. "He had a great last 400, which is what secured his bid to state. I'm really confident that Ryan can go faster next week."
Jackson is excited for the boys qualifiers.
"Ryan, Brad, and ET have been here before, but this is a new experience for the boy sprinters in my time of coaching, and I'm extremely proud of them and excited for them," she said.
Also running fifth in a strong field was Henderson, who registered a fast time of 47.08 in the 300-meter hurdles.
"Julia didn't even advance to the District finals last year and was an alternate for the 4x100 and 4x400 relays; she worked so hard in the offseason and it showed this season," noted Jackson.
Lady Tiger junior Trisha Singh placed fifth in the long jump with a leap of 16-8 1/4.
"Trish is another athlete who has put in a lot of work in the offseason and she just continues to get better," said Jackson.
Johnson ran fifth in a highly contested 100-meter dash in 11.33. In a heated preliminary heat at Fitch, Johnson was clocked at 10.99.
Twinsburg's 1,600-meter relay team of sophomore Alex Branch, junior Brett Callow, Darren Robinson and Easter also reached the boys finals and crossed in 3:26.95.
The Tiger boys 400-meter relay reached the finals and ran eighth (44.0). The team was made up of Glenn, senior Gilbert Campbell, Callow and Johnson.
Senior Bria Griffin was a first-time, two-event regional qualifier in the 100-meter hurdles where she ran ninth with a blazing fast time of 16.01, and in the 300-meter hurdles (13th at 50.99).
Placing 10th in the 1,600-meter run, junior Rebecca Mold crossed in 5:25.32.
Junior Alyssa Deeds ran 11th in the 3,200-meter race with a clocking of 11:26.82.
"Alyssa (Deeds) and Rebecca failed to advance, but they both put themselves out there and competed well," remarked Kmet. "They've both made improvements in championship racing and we have one more year together to get it done."
Kmet was excited that the girls and boys 3,200-meter relays also qualified for regionals.
Making up the 11th-place boys 3,200-meter relay was Adkins, freshman Aiden Cain, junior Mitchell Suder and senior Jon Szydlowski.
The girls were 14th in 10:02.86 after a season best 9:49.76 in a fourth-place district finish. Making up the 3,200-meter relay was senior Angela DeFabio, sophomore Kate Vasiliauskas, Deeds and Mold.
Boys senior Adam Mays competed in his first regional in the high jump and reached 6-0.