Preston doing it all for Stow boys track

Steve Batko
Correspondent
Stow-Munroe Falls Bulldogs

There’s just not enough of Xavier Preston to go around.

The Stow junior is boasting some fast times in the sprints, plus Preston can be used in a few of the Bulldogs’ strong relays, and Preston can also score in the high jump.

Preston and the Stow boys track and field squad fared well at the deep and strong field of talent at the Walsh Jesuit John Hasenstab Warrior Relays.

Head coach J.K. LeSeure has a nice mix of veteran seniors and gifted young athletes this spring and it showed at the Saturday meet.

Clocked at 11.17 seconds, Preston won the 100-meter dash championship as he raced to a time of 11.09 ticks in the preliminary heat. In the finals, he beat Solon freshman sensation Bryce West (11.39).

Already the school record holder in the 100 in 11.04 seconds and second in the high jump at 6-feet and 2.0 inches, Preston also added a school record in the 200-meter dash!

Preston broke the 200-meter mark with a blazing time of 21.67 ticks as Stow moved to 2-1 after a great battle against powerful Wadsworth (3-0) April 14 in a 79-58 dual loss to the Grizzlies.

Breaking both sprint records is impressive with a history of sprinters like Steve Thompson (2007), Scott Cunning ton (2017), Kyle Sommer (2018), T.J. Lawson (2015), Bryan Beltz (2010), and Adrian Woliver (2018).

“Xavier ran a great 100-meters and did very well against a quality field,” said LeSeure. “He did what he needed to do for the team across all of his events.”

LeSeure raved about the 200-meter race against the deep Grizzlies, saying, “Xavier also added the outdoor 200-meter school record to his list of records against Wadsworth.”

A talented Stow 800-meter sprint medley also finished first at Walsh with a time of 1:37.82 behind the efforts of senior Mykal Azar, sophomore Brian Turner, Preston, and junior Bryce Turner.

Behind a time of 2:00.47, senior Seth Macura was the runner-up in the 800-meter race.

In the team standings, Stow finished sixth out of 15 teams with 62.5 points. Solon won 120-104 over Walsh, University School (80), Massillon Perry (76.5), and Nordonia (65).

“Seth ran a solid 800-meters and we have asked a lot of him in the last few weeks between the meets during the week and invites the last two weekends,” explained the coach.

“We also threw Seth into the 1,600-meter relay on Saturday and that wasn’t planned,” added LeSeure. “He’s had to fill so many spots that he hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to focus into a single race or distance since the indoor season.”

Jo Barry crossed with a strong time of 15.48 seconds as the senior ran fourth overall in the 110-meter high hurdles.

That time for Barry puts him second in Stow history!

Barry also ran fourth in a good 200-meter dash field as he was clocked at 23.35 seconds. Barry was timed at 23.13 in the preliminary heat.

“Jo has shown he is very versatile and has been outstanding in both the hurdle and flat races all season,” said his coach. He ran a solid open 200-meters, has been a big piece of our successful 4x200 relay, and he ran the second fastest 300 hurdle race in school history last week as well.”

Barry’s blazing time of 38.99 seconds is second all-time at Stow.

“For every meet, a key consideration is where best to use him to maximize his impact without over using him,” stressed LeSeure.

Sophomore standout Zach Shawala finished fourth in the 3,200-meter race with a sensational time of 9:57.34.

“Zach had a great week overall,” said LeSeure. “His 9:57 is the third fastest by a sophomore in school history. He ran a big double in the 1,600 and 3,200-meters against Wadsworth and then came back, and broke the big 10-minute milestone at Walsh.

“He’s running very well and we expect he's still got some big races in him the rest of the season.”

Running fifth in the distance medley in 11:59.86, Stow’s relay had senior Henry Brosch, junior Tyler Whited, senior Joe Doty, and junior Zach Duffy.

LeSeure saw his high jump relay score as a trio of juniors led the way – Preston (5-6 feet), Bryce Turner (5-2) and Vance Sheppert (5-2).

The Bulldogs’ 6.400-meter relay ran seventh in 20:23.15 with sophomore Connor Scarberry, Duffy, Doty, and freshman Ethan Hammonds.

Stow scored in the discus throw relay as senior Steve Mangira had a toss of 122-05 feet (9th), plus sophomore Gabriel Barnes (115-4 feet) helped the crew as did sophomore Courtney Reynolds (99-1).

Senior Brennan Alder led Stow in the shot put with a toss of 40-0 feet.

Luke Cimera, a junior, led the pole vault crew to score as he was 15th with an effort of 9-0 feet while junior Dustin Horner and senior Erik Polisena added efforts of 8-0 feet. Scarberry also scored in the 1,600-meter race (4:48.19).