Back home in Tallmadge, Dixon dominating for Blue Devil track

Roger Gordon
Correspondent
Tallmadge Blue Devils

Collin Dixon attended school in the Tallmadge district through eighth grade. He went to Akron Hoban his freshman year, but returned to Tallmadge this year as a sophomore.

Let's just say Mike Srodawa is thrilled to have him back in Tallmadge.

“We’re extremely glad he’s here and that he decided to come out for track,” the Blue Devils head coach said. “This is his first year running. Even though he still has room to improve, he’s definitely getting the hang of it pretty quickly. It’s a learning process for him from how we practice to how we race. He’s extremely coachable, and he’s an incredible athlete.”

Dixon won two individual events and was part of two winning relay teams April 9 that helped Tallmadge improve to 2-0 with an 85.5-51.5 victory at home over Uniontown Lake.

He dominated from the very start both the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.6 seconds and the 200 with a time of 23.2.

“Considering that Collin was running into a headwind in the 100 because of the way our track is set up – the wind was pretty stiff – he did very well,” said Srodawa. “We had gusts probably close to 20 miles per hour. It was a constant wind.”

The 400 relay finished with a time of 44.53, and the 800 relay had a clocking of 1:32.76.

“Those relays continue to drop time,” Srodawa said. “In the 800 relay, we haven’t had a group go that quickly in quite some time. The 400 relay dropped time again.”

Dixon, who also plays football and basketball, leads by example.

“He works hard, and the other kids notice that,” continued the coach. “He’s a great kid and a great student, too.”

According to Srodawa, the month of May could be pretty special for Dixon.

“If he keeps progressing the way that we think he will, there’s an opportunity for him to do something in the postseason,” he said. “With the relays, there’s an opportunity there with them as well.

“We’ll see what happens as the season progresses.”

As for the Tallmadge girls team, junior Ana Crangle, another athlete new to the Blue Devils track team, had a great meet in her team’s 87-50 victory over Lake, which improved Tallmadge’s record to 1-1.

A transfer from Cuyahoga Falls last year, Crangle missed out on the 2020 track season due to COVID-19.

In the win over Lake, Crangle captured the 3,200 with a personal-best time of 12:00.01.

“Ana ran really well from the very beginning,” said Srodawa, also the girls head coach.

She was also the anchor on the winning 3,200 relay team that clocked in at a season-best 10:27.

“All four girls had very consistent times. They all ran really well,” Srodawa said. “By the time Ana got the baton, she was in a position where she could just run.”

Because she ran cross country the last two years (she also plays basketball), Srodawa was quite familiar with Crangle’s talent.

“We’re just really glad to see that it has transferred over from cross country to track,” he said. “I think Ana’s season is right where she wants it to be. I know that she’s worked extremely hard. She’s very focused. She definitely has a goal in mind and is trying to achieve that. She holds herself to a pretty high standard.

“She’s a very talented runner and is strong mentally as well. She definitely knows how to run distance events. If she has to, she can allow other people to take the pace for a while, and then she’ll make her moves when she needs to. She has a pretty good shot come the postseason. She knows what it takes. She’s a great kid and a hard worker.

“It’s good to see that we’re finally coming together as a team, and Ana is a big part of that.”