Tallmadge boys track and field breaks two school records in win over Copley
Two school records were broken April 28 during the Tallmadge boys track and field team’s 83-54 victory at home over Suburban League American Conference rival Copley.
The Blue Devils improved to 5-0 on the season.
The 400-meter relay team, anchored by senior Dylan Phelps, turned in a first-place time of 43.83 seconds.
“We thought that sometime along in the season we could break the school record in that event,” Tallmadge head coach Mike Srodawa said. “It’s something we anticipated would happen at some time in the season. We had really good competition in this meet because Copley has some really good sprinters. Our kids stepped up.”
The 800 relay had a time of 1:31.48.
Individually, Phelps captured both the 110-meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 15.54 and the 300 hurdles with a clocking of 41.29. He also finished second in the high jump with a leap of six feet.
“Dylan had a great night. He’s been solid all season long,” said Srodawa. “He’s been extremely solid in both hurdle events. He and junior Riley Murphy have finished one-two in every meet we’ve had so far in the high jump. Our 400 relay team has been consistently getting better each meet.
“Dylan also has been a great leader. The fact that he didn’t have a junior season last year because of the COVID stuff … he’s really making up for lost ground there.”
On April 24 Phelps won both the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.2 and the 300 hurdles with a time of 41.43 in Tallmadge’s 90-47 win at home over American Conference rival Revere.
He also finished second in the high jump with a leap of six feet and was the anchor on the 400 relay that was first with a clocking of 44.75.
Phelps, who also played football for Tallmadge, has improved a ton since his sophomore year.
“Dylan takes track and field more serious than he did back then,” Srodawa said. “In the offseason, he spent time in the weight room. He also has changed his eating habits. He’s eating healthier now. And it’s definitely showed.”
According to his coach, Phelps could be looking at a very successful postseason run.
“Regionals are a definite possibility in all four events,” he said. “He should do really well at the league meet as well.”
Phelps, along with senior Eli Zander, is one of the Blue Devils’ emotional leaders.
“Dylan is a great kid,” said Srodawa, “and I couldn’t be happier for an individual to have the success that he’s had.”
As for the Tallmadge girls track and field team, one team member who has taken the season by storm is Kate Archer.
Archer may only be a freshman, but she is a veteran when it comes to the pole vault.
“Kate started vaulting in middle school,” said Srodawa, also the girls head coach. “She’s put a lot of time in with the pole vault, and the work is definitely paying off. She’s on the verge of having a big jump.”
Archer won the pole vault with a leap of 9-6 during Tallmadge’s 72-65 victory over Revere. She also had a time of 1:11 in the 400.
In the Blue Devils’ 71-66 defeat to Copley, Archer, who also runs cross country, finished second in the pole vault with a leap of nine feet.
Tallmadge dropped to 3-2 on the season.
“We haven’t had a freshman vault that high ever on the girls side. It’s pretty impressive,” the coach said. “Kate has a gymnastics background. She’s just an overall strong kid both physically and mentally. She’s a very hard worker and has great maturity, especially for a freshman.
“As far as districts goes, she’s definitely in the top four right now. If she keeps doing what she’s doing, I can definitely see her progressing to regionals if not beyond.”