Senior Night provides spark for Woodridge track teams

Steve Batko
Correspondent
Woodridge Bulldogs

Prior to producing double wins, the Woodridge boys and girls seniors in the track and field program were recognized before the Metro Athletic Conference double dual against Coventry and Streetsboro at Mercer Track.

Scott Mercer and Jeff Howard realize how important seniors are in a unique season like this spring.

The Bulldog seniors responded to their coaches.

Senior and a host of other athletes scored early and often when Woodridge dominated in boys’ action to the tune of am 84-44 win over Streetsboro and over Coventry, it was 114.2-13.8.

In the MAC, Woodridge is 5-0 in the boys’ standings while the Bulldog girls are 4-1 after the April 20 action.

Mercer was excited about how his boys club competed.

Howard saw his girls squad collect a pair of victories, 74-54 over Streetsboro and 105.5-22.5 over Coventry.

The all-senior 3,200-meter relay won in 8-minutes and 24.2 seconds with the running of Caden Hibbs, Kalo Armoutliev, Andrew Lauck, and Ryan Champa.

Cooper DeFrange won the high jump with an effort of 5-foot and 8.0 inches.

Another reliable junior in the jumps for Woodridge was Daniel Batyrbaev, who leaped the farthest in the long jump at 18-4.75 feet.

Batyrbaev also won the pole vault with a strong effort of 10-6 feet.

Outstanding senior runner Zayd Elkurd captured first in the open 800-meter race with a clocking of 2:01.0. He also had a fast 51.4-second time in his leg of the 1,600-relay.

Angelo Regec tossed the shot put 44-1 feet as the standout senior won and was second in the discus at 128-5 feet behind sophomore winner Oliver Mayer, who had a throw of 141-4 feet in the discus.

Junior Aaron Dutt won the 3,200-meter competition as he ran a 10:53.3 to edge senior teammate Ryan Lauck, who crossed in 10:56.7. Dutt also snagged first-place in the 1,600-meter race with a clocking of 4:46.8.

In a close race, junior Kyle Carey edged senior Nic Tafini in the 300-meter hurdles. Carey’s winning time was 42.9 seconds, which was the same as Tafini.

The Bulldogs’ point leader on the season, Carey also won the 110 high hurdles in 16.6 seconds.

Tafini, who placed second in the long jump at 17-11 feet, also ran second in the 110 highs in 17.5 ticks.

With a pair of runner-up efforts, freshman Samuel Su netted a season-high 12 points and ran well as his 1,600-meter clocking was 4:49.0 and he crossed in 2:06.7 in the 800-meter race. Senior Balin Soful added a third place for the Bulldogs in the 400-meter race. Freshman sprinter Jack Novak had a season-high 6.25 points.

“The girls beat Streetsboro and Coventry to allow our seniors to finish their seasons undefeated in dual meets on our home track,” said Howard.

Woodridge saw its girls team nab the usual loads of points on the track and in the hurdles, plus had big results in the field events.

“Aneya Schvartz had an outstanding day in the throws as she threw personal records in both the shot and the disc,” stated Howard. “Kathryn Kiley jumped a lifetime best in the high jump to win the event while Belle Norris, Delaney Duve, and Leah Mencer swept the top three spots in the long jump.”

Schvartz won the shot put with a PR of 26-0 feet and threw the discus for 96-5 feet, another PR. Schvartz surpassed her total season points in one meet with 18 points!

Posting a personal best of 4-8 feet in the high jump for second-place, Kiley also took first in the pole vault at 7-6 feet, which where teammate Sophia Davis also reached.

Leaping 14-4.75 feet, Norris won the long jump to lead the sweep with Duve (14-3.25 feet), and Mencer (13-10).

“Norris also had her season best effort in the 200-meter dash,” said Howard, of her clocking of 29.1 seconds.

“On the track, the girls raced well in a variety of events. Eloise Willett, Thalia Johnston, Evelyn Willett, and Leah Ziegler opened the evening up with a strong performance in the 3,200 relay,” pointed out Hoard. “Eloise came back to lead Anastasia Bakuhn and Leighton Kline to a 1-2-3 sweep of the 1,600-meter run.”

Led by Eloise Willett’s 2:32.4 leg, the 3,200 relay crossed in 10:20.

Eloise Willet led the charge in the 1,600 with a time of 5:40.1, followed by Bakuhn at 5:43.9, and Kline’s 5:52.

“The sprint crew was once again led by Anna Rorrer as she won the 100 hurdles and the 400 meter-run to pace this group,” stressed Howard. “Megan Woods and Briajah Garr-Jackson had good days in the 100.”

Thanks to a time of 16.4 seconds, Rorrer won the 100 hurdles and crossed in the open 400 in 61.6 ticks. Rorrer exploded for a season-high 23.75 points in the meet!

“Izzy Best won the 800-meter run while Joy McFarland and Jordan Linton each earned valuable points in the 3,200-meter run,” said the coach. Best was clocked 2:24.3.

The 800-meter relay of Best, Maddie Karlo, Norris, and Rorrer won in 1:51.

A trip to Ravenna April 27 wraps up the regular season and MAC slate.

Woodridge scored well in the Gene Kobus Relays at Lake County’s Perry High. The locals competed in the Division B field April 17.

The Bulldog boys won the team crown by outscoring Perry 118-100 along with Mentor Lake Catholic (61) in the seven-team field.

“Our boys earned another well-balanced victory at the Gene Kobus relay meet,” said Mercer.

The Bulldog girls placed second as Perry won 104-99.

Mercer’s boys had scoring in a slew of events and the club’s throwers continue to shine.

“Angelo Regec and Oliver Mayer combined to win both the shot put and discus relays,” noted Mercer.

“In the shot, they had the top two marks of the competition with Regec throwing 43-4 feet and Mayer throwing 40-8 feet,” the coach said. “In the discus, Regec’s throw of 152-2 feet and Mayers’ throw of 140-4 feet were also the top two marks and also a new meet record.”

As expected, the Bulldogs were dominant in the distance events.

The 6,400-meter relay won a title with an all-senior cast of Hibbs, Andrew Lauck, Elkurd, and Champa. “The relay also set a new meet record of 11:08.61,” said Mercer.

Tafini, Ian Raccillo, Aden Land and Carey won the shuttle hurdle race with a clocking of 1:05.53.

In addition, the 3,200-meter relay won with Sam Su, Ryan Lauck, Seth Singer and Soful in a time of 8:41.63.

Andrew Lauck, Tafini, Hibbs and Champa ran 11:08.61 to win the distance medley while Jacob Looman, Dom Stacik, David Fritz and Elkurd won the sprint medley in 1:39.55.

Howard had plenty of praise for his girls’ club in Perry.

“In the field events, Duve had the best long jump of the day and joined Norris to finish second in the event,” he said. “Schvartz threw a season best to pace the shot put group to a scoring afternoon.”

Duve’s title-winning long jump reached 15-3.50 feet. Schvartz tossed the shot put 24-8.50 feet.

“On the track, the Bulldogs grabbed wins in a number of events and the girls won seven of the nine events contested on the track,” declared Howard.

“The distance crew of Best, Bakuhn, Eloise Willett, Reese Reaman, Leah Ziegler, Evelyn Willett, Kathryn Kiley, and Kline teamed up to win the 6,400-meter relay, the 3,200 relay, and the distance medley relays.”

“The shuttle hurdle team of Anna Kleinhenz, Chloe Rado, Duve, and Rorrer won their event for the second weekend in a row,” said the coach. “The throwers got into the running action and won the throwers’ 400-relay. The team of Schvartz, Adeline Mayer, Alex Treat, and Miya Fellows won the event to grab a valuable 10 points.”

Howard went on, “The sprint medley and 1,600-meter relay teams that included Mencer, Schvartz, Garr-Jackson, Evelyn Willett, Rorrer, Sarah Abood, Reaman, and Best who also grabbed wins.”