Cloverleaf stuns Woodridge girls track to take MAC lead

Steve Batko
Correspondent
Woodridge Bulldogs

If there is one meet to circle coming into the track and field dual meet schedule for the Metro Athletic Conference, it would certainly be Woodridge against Cloverleaf.

Veteran girls head coach Jeff Howard had to tip his cap after the trip to Lodi for the crucial league meet.

“The host team proved too much to handle as the Bulldogs were on the short end of a 77-51 final,” said Howard.

It was a loss that dropped the Bulldogs to 2-1 in the MAC, which has its league championship meet set for May 13 in Ravenna when the two clubs meet again.

As expected, Woodridge fared well in the distance races and had some big-time efforts in the hurdle races.

“On the track, Anna Rorrer grabbed wins in both hurdle races while Reese Reaman won the 1,600 and 800-meter runs,” noted Howard.

Rorrer had some speed in her victory in the 100-meter hurdles as she crossed in 16.0 seconds.

In the 300-meter hurdles, Rorrer finished first with a clocking of 48.2 seconds.

Reaman had a big double win in the 1,600-meter race with a time of 5-minutes and 14.8 seconds, plus a victory in the open 800-meters with a time of 2:24.1.

“Eloise Willett claimed victory in the 3200 and joined Reaman, Evelyn Willett, and Leighton Kline on the winning 3,200-meter relay team,” said Howard.

Behind a time of 12:33.7, Eloise Willett captured the 3,200-meter race. The winning 3,200-meter relay crossed in 10:24.8. Cloverleaf won the three other relays.

Howard was pleased with how his team performed in the field events.

“In the field events, strong performances by Delaney Duve in the long jump and Emma Stekelenburg in the high jump buoyed the Bulldog hopes,” said Howard.

“Aneya Schvartz threw well in the shot put and discus to score some much-needed points for us, and Kathryn Kiley and Raechel Serafimov both cleared lifetime bests in the pole vault with 8-foot, 6-inch clearances.”

With a leap of 14-10.25 feet, Duve was second in the long jump and Stekelenburg reached 4-8 feet in the high jump.

Schvartz had top throws for the team in the discus of 81-6 feet and 24-3.75 feet for the shot put.

The Bulldog boys moved to 3-0 with a strong victory over the Colts by a 72-56 score.

Ryan Champa and Oliver Mayer had big days for the Bulldogs, who got points all over.

Champa was a double winner in the 3,200-meter race and the 1,600-meters as he registered times of 10:09.2 and 4:38.3, respectively.

The team’s gifted 3,200-meter relay won in 8:21.8 with Sam Su, Champa, Aaron Dutt, and Caden Hibbs.

Mayer scored strong in the throws and Angelo Regec also won, claiming the top spot in the discus with a throw of 145-4 feet. Mayer won the shot put with a heave of 42-9 feet and was also second in the discus at 143-10.

Daniel Batyrbaev captured first in the pole vault with an effort of 9-6 feet.

Versatile Zayd Elkurd sped to a win in the 400-meter is 52.8 seconds.

Grabbing first in the 110-meter high hurdles was Kyle Carey, who crossed in 16.5 seconds. Nic Tafini won the 300 hurdles in 43.3 seconds and ran second in the 110 highs in 17.4.

With a time of 2:03.6, Hibbs won the 800-meter race.

Dutt and Andrew Lauck ran second and third in the 1,600 open race with times of 4:40.1 and 4:40.5, respectively.

Despite the girls’ tough loss to the strong Colts, Howard saw other solid efforts – including a personal record time of 50.8 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles by Maddie Karlo.

“In support of the first-place finishers, many Bulldogs competed well,” the coach said. “Maddi Karlo ran a lifetime best in the 300 hurdles to grab a runner up finish. Briajah Garr-Jackson, Livi Strausser, Belle Norris, Izzy Best, Anastasia Bakuhn, Sarah Abood, Chloe Rado, Leah Ziegler, Miya Fellows, and Adeline Mayer also competed well.”

The boys and girls Bulldog teams competed at the Kenston Greg Lusk Co-Ed Relays April 7 in Chagrin Falls.

“The boys team finished second at the Kenston Relays and combined with the girls, Woodridge placed second overall finishing behind Aurora (188-178),” noted boys mentor Scott Mercer, of the co-ed standings.

In boys’ action, Woodridge placed second overall with 91 points. Aurora won the team crown with 98 points. The Bulldogs boys did finish ahead of solid teams from Kenston (53) and Mayfield (51).

“The girls scored in 12 of the 13 events and their performances were good enough to earn a second-place finish,” said Howard. “With the boys, the Woodridge busses carried home a slew of awards.”

In the girls’ standings, Woodridge was edged by Aurora 90-87 for team honors. The Bulldogs beat strong clubs from Uniontown Green (78) and Kenston (60).

Mercer thought a host of his relays raced with real purpose and excelled in a tough boys field.

“The boys earned first place in the 3,200-meter relay in a time of 8:23.49 and that team consisted of Hibbs, Su, Dutt and Elkurd,” said Mercer.

“The sprint medley team of Dom Stacik, Taysear Williams, David Fritz and Elkurd won in a time of 1:39.00,” added Mercer.

Woodridge is also a threat in the throwing events.

“Angelo Regec and Oliver Mayer combined to win the discus with throws of 152-10 feet and 148-0, respectively,” stressed Mercer.

Regec was the runner-up in the discus and Mayer was third. Regec also placed second overall in the shot put with a heave of 45-5.25 feet.

In the high jump, Cooper DeFrange placed second individually with an effort of 6-0 feet.

The team’s 6, 400-meter relay was second behind the running of Elkurd, Ryan Lauck, Dutt, and Ryan Champa with a clocking of 18:39.21.

Also placing second was the shuttle hurdles team of Ian Riccillo, Tafini, Robbie Champa, and Carey. Their time was 1:12.52 led by Carey’s 16.5 leg.

A runner-up showing in the distance medley (10:57.44) was produced by Drew Shaheen, Will Holland, Andrew Lauck, and Ryan Champa.

Woodridge placed second in the pole vault relay, led by Batyrbaev’s third-place effort of 10-6 feet, and Holland, who reached 9-6 feet.

Paced by DeFrange, the high jump crew placed third. Austin Chen (5-0) contributed while DeFrange (19-1 feet) and Batyrbaev (18-5.5) helped the long jump team to a fourth-place.

Regec and Jeremiah Newsom (36-0 feet) helped the shot put team to a third for the Bulldogs.

The 800-relay ran fourth (1:36.65) with Tafini, Carey, Fritz, and DeFrange.

Mercer has been pleased this season.

“Many kids are being asked to compete in events they have either been only briefly acquainted with or have never done before,” offered Mercer.

The action at Kenston was impressive against a solid field of girls as Woodridge had several athletes come up big.

“In the field events, Sophia Davis’ first-place finish in the pole vault combined with Kiley’s strong performance added up to a win in the event,” said Howard.

Davis captured the pole vault championship with an effort of 8-6 feet over a pair of jumpers from Orange High in Katherine Hamilton and Katie Hollington, who both reached 8-0 feet, plus teammate Kiley, who was also at 8-0 feet for Woodridge.

“The 6,200-meter relay team of Best, Kline, Eloise Willett, and Reaman broke the meet record (22:09) in the event only to finish just behind the host Bombers (22:08.57),” said Howard.

“Our shuttle hurdle crew ran well to win the event (1:11.72),” he added. “Anna Kleinhenz and Rorrer combined with Duve and Rado to complete the winning foursome. Rorrer came back to join Garr-Jackson, Megan Woods, and Schwartz and anchored the sprint medley to victory (1:59.76).”

“The distance crew of Best, Eloise Willett, Reaman, and Abood also raced to a win in the distance medley event (13:18.46).”

In impressive fashion, the Woodridge 400-meter relay placed second in the 400-meter relay in 54.78 seconds as only powerful Green was able to beat the Bulldogs. Green’s time was 53.38 ticks.

This relay included Garr-Jackson, Leah Mencer, Woods, and Norris.

For Woodridge, Duve and Rado combined to earn a runner-up finish in the long jump while Catie Meehan teamed up with Stekelenburg to grab third in the high jump.

“Adeline Mayer and Schwartz threw well in the disc to round out the scoring off the track,” stated Howard.

Duve had the second-best long jump of the meet with a leap of 14-10.0 feet. Rado was fifth with a jump of 14-5 feet. In the high jump, Stekelenburg and Meehan were both fourth at 4-3 feet.

Taking third in the Bulldogs’ 800-meter relay in 1:54.50 was Abood, Karlo, Norris, and Rorrer. The 3,200-meter relay took third (10:33.01) with Bakuhn, Evelyn Willett, Eloise Willett, and Ziegler. The 1,600-meter relay of Bakuhn, Ziegler, Thalia Johnston, and Alex Treat rounded out the scoring, running fourth (4:37.36).