Balance helping Stow girls track survive Suburban League

Steve Batko
Correspondent
Stow-Munroe Falls Bulldogs

In Suburban League National Conference  girls track and field, it’s a survive-and-advance type of competition this spring.

In the second meet in a row, a balanced Stow girls’ squad was able to notch a victory over a strong club.

Most recent came a 72-65 victory at Twinsburg on Tuesday. That win pushed Stow to 4-1.

A club that always seems to have among the top sprinters and sprint relays in the league, Twinsburg fell short against the Bulldogs’ solid balance in low 80-degree temperatures.

Incredibly, that score was the identical result for Stow in its previous league meet April 22 in winter-like conditions.

“Twinsburg and Nordonia had a lot of things in common when it came to the way we won the meets, however, the weather could not have been more different,” said Bulldog head coach Aaron Morris.

On the track, it was Twinsburg’s short-race talent versus Stow’s middle and distance runners.

“Once again, the girls stepped up to the challenge,” said Morris.

“Twinsburg’s strong sprint squad was scoring major points and we would follow that up with our strong distance squad and once again, it came down to needing to get first and second in the 3200-meters and winning the 4x400-meter relay in order to win the meet,” explained Morris.

Sam Fobean (12:14) and Hannah Hartenburg (12:22) ran 1-2 in the 3,200-meter race.

“Sam and Hannah took care of the 3,200-meters with Sydney Pitcovich completing the sweep,” Morris stressed. “The same quartet (against Nordonia) of Paige Neely, Lydia Payne, Kendra Cassiday, and Jayla Atkinson brought home the meet victory with the 1,600-meter relay win, besting the strong Twinsburg team.”

“This time, the relay ran a year-best of 4:07.70,” added the coach. “Three of the four girls ran their fastest 400’s of the year to date.”

Small things would also enable the Bulldogs to net points and ultimately, a league road win.

“We discovered that we have two new young pole vaulters and one to add to Lily Baker’s already talented performances,” pointed out Morris. “Lily won the event (9-0 feet), but junior Olivia Casalinova placed third in her pole-vaulting debut (7-6 feet).”

“This was all the more impressive considering that Olivia had just started pole vaulting about a week ago,” said an elated Morris.

Stow also showed up strong with standouts like Carly Feckley and Atkinson shining.

“Carly came up big in both jumps by winning the high jump and the long jump,” said Morris. “She jumped 5-0-feet again and only narrowly missed a PR of 5-2. Jayla had to run four events for us this meet to get the win and she won the 1,600, 800 and 1,600-meter relay.”

“Jayla is making big improvements in learning how to manage a meet. She is learning that if the team needs an extra race out of her in order to win the meet that she

does not always have to run a PR in order to keep herself fresher for the next race. In this way, she can still help the team with points while not opening herself to overuse injuries.”

While Twinsburg’s Nighyah Carthen was an easy double winner in the weights, Stow cleaned up with points in three of the four available spots.

“The throwing squad has been very consistent and has been earning all of the points that other teams are leaving available,” noted Morris. “Junior Emma Hedderly and sophomore Brooklyn Fitzgerald were quick to capitalize on the discus by following up Twinsburg’s first place throw with a 95 and a 91-foot throw of their own to earn second and third place.”

“Senior Rosa Tate continues to score in every meet with our best throw of 31-11.5 feet in the shot put, earning second-place.”

Promising junior high jumper Mariah Propst also impressed Morris as she registered a PR of 4-10 feet, after returning from an injury.

In the win over Nordonia, Stow won the same way as the 3,200-meter sweep was produced by Fobean (12:11.6), Hartenburg and junior Emily Garfield.

“Sam, Hannah, and Emily swept the 3,200-meters and we won the 1,600 relay with the same group by 15 seconds,” said Morris.

Coming back from an injury against Nordonia was promising freshman Deena Ingrassia, who was a part of Stow’s indoor state qualifying 3,200-meter relay and 1,600-meter relay.

“Deena made an immediate impact by being a part of the winning 3,200-meter relay and scored in the 400-meters as well,” said Morris.

Morris had more praise for Feckley, who reached 16-5 feet to win the long jump against Nordonia Emily Eterovich.

“Carly continues to be so consistent for us in both jumps and we wouldn’t be the same team without her this year,” he said. “In the long jump, Carly was able to muster the jump we needed to win that event on her last attempt. That was huge for the team.”