No foolin': Woodridge track gets back to work

Steve Batko
Correspondent
Woodridge Bulldogs

You could almost hear a sigh of relief when the Woodridge track and field teams opened up the season.

“Track and field returned to the Mercer Track and Field Facility after nearly two years away,” said Woodridge girls head coach Jeff Howard.

Despite some athletes being out due to spring break, Woodridge performed well in boys and girls’ action in the season opener – the April Fools’ Triangular.

The teams then opened up Metro Athletic Conference action on Tuesday as the Bulldogs hosted Akron Springfield and Field.

Boys head coach Scott Mercer and Howard were not only thrilled with the action, but the Bulldog brass also loved the early season marks the teams are producing.

In the MAC tri-meet, Woodridge girls won 72.5-55.5 over Field and beat the Spartans 113.66-14.33. The boys bested Field 90-38 and Springfield 121-7 with great balance.

Izzy Best netted 30 points for the girls as the junior had a big meet.

Best had big wins in the 100-meter dash (13.2 seconds), 200 (28.0), and in the 400-meter race (60.4).

Senior Catie Meehan edged junior teammate Emma Stekelenburg for high jump honors as both cleared 4-feet, 6.0 inches.

In the pole vault, Woodridge had three athletes reach 8-0 feet – Sophia Davis tied Kathryn Kiley for the win while freshman Rachael Serafimov was third.

“The girls had a great team day, displaying depth in a number of areas on the track and in the jumps,” declared Howard. “We had a ton of PR’s (personal records) from our vaulters and sprinters.”

Corrine Betts won the shot put with a toss of 33-8 feet while Anna Rorrer won the 100 hurdles in 15.5 seconds.

Capturing first in the 400-meter relay in 54.3 ticks was Briajah Garr-Jackson, Megan Woods, Leah Mencer, and Belle Norris.

The 3,200-meter relay won in 10 minutes and 29.8 seconds with Eloise Willett, Leah Ziegler, Anastasia Bakuhn, and Reece Reaman.

Reaman and Willett ran 1-2 in the 1,600 meters with times of 5:22.3 and 5:41.2, respectively. Reaman also won the 800 in 2:28.6.

In boys’ action, junior Daniel Batyrbeav garnered points in a few different ways for Mercer’s troops.

Batyrbaev won the pole vault with an effort of 10-0 feet while junior Will Holland was second at 9-6 feet. Batyrbaev also placed first in the long jump at 18-9 feet with junior Cooper DeFrange took second at 18-8.75 feet.

Joining Batyrbaev on the winning 400-meter relay (46.0) was senior Jacob Looman, senior Dom Stacik, and junior Davey Fritz.

Mercer continues to see his athletes improve in some of the field events.

DeFrange won the high jump at 5-8 feet and also ran in the winning 800 relay (1:36.8) with senior Nic Tafini, junior Keith Carey, and Fritz, who also crossed second in the 100 (11.8).

Grabbing first in the 300 hurdles was Tafini, who was clocked at 42.9 seconds and was second in the 110-high hurdles in 16.6 seconds to Carey, who won in 16.3 ticks. Carey was second in the 300 race in 43.9.

Standout senior Ryan Champa won the 1,600-meter race in 4:36.6 while junior Aaron Dutt was next at 4:39.2.

Champa and Dutt ran in the formidable 3,200-meter relay with seniors Caden Hibbs and Zayd Elkurd. The time was 8:25.

Elkurd also posted victories in the 400 in 50.8 seconds and in the 200 in 23.5 ticks.

Hibbs and Dutt ran 1-2 in the open 800-meter run with times of 2:04 and 2:05.2, respectively.

Woodridge had a big sweep in the 3,200-meter race with Champa (10:06.5), senior Andrew Lauck (10:27.8), and senior Ryan Lauck (10:37).

It figures that the April Fools meet produced a tie for the Bulldogs’ girls squad against league rival Lodi Cloverleaf April 3.

“The girls competed well and managed a 70-70 tie with MAC rival Cloverleaf,” said Howard, whose team beat Orrville (35).

In boys’ action, Woodridge beat Cloverleaf 101-44 and Orrville (20).

Woodridge fared well in the throws as a double winner for the boys was senior Angelo Regec, who won the shot put with a toss of 44-10.5 feet and the discus with a heave of 147-6 feet.

Carey shined in the meet as he amassed 14.25 points for the boys. He crossed first in the 400-merter race in 55.56 seconds, won the 200-meter dash in 23.92 ticks, and ran second in the 110-meter high hurdles (16.96).

In addition, Carey also ran in the winning 1,600 relay (3:39.39) with Kalo Armoutliev, Hibbs, and Elkurd.

Corrine Betts tossed the discus 88-1 feet and the shot put 31-9.5 feet.

“Anna Rorrer had a super high school debut with strong efforts to win both the hurdle events,” said Howard. “She also scored on both the 800 and 1,600-meter relays.”

Rorrer crossed first in the 100 hurdles in 16.12 seconds and was clocked at 48.48 seconds to win the 300 hurdles race.

“In the distance races, Reece Reaman had a monster day for the home team,” Howard said. “She won the 1,600 (5:27.2), the 800 (2:33.2), and ran legs on the winning 3,200 and 1,600-meter relays. Eloise Willett, Anastasia Bakuhn, Evelyn Willett, Leah Ziegler, Joy McFarland, and Leighton Kline all scored in the distance events.”

The girls’ 3,200-meter relay won in 10:37.57 with Kline, Evelyn Willett, Ziegler, and Reaman. Kline had a 2:35.4 leg.

“In the jumps, Emma Stekelenburg grabbed a second-place finish in the high jump (4-6) while Belle Norris scored the long jump and Kathryn Kiley joined Sophia Davis with top four finishes in the pole vault,” said Howard.

Kiley placed second in the pole vault at 8-0 feet, which was the same mark as Davis, who was fourth.

“Mencer, Briajah Garr-Jackson, Sarah Abood, Maddie Karlo, Evelyn Willett, Megan Woods, Rorrer, Reaman, and Norris competed well in the sprint events,” Howard said. “The 400 and 800 relays each grabbed second place finishes.”

Making up the winning 1,600 relay (4:27.85) was Abood, Evelyn Willett, Reaman, and Rorrer.