Nordonia track coaches excited ahead of postseason run

Steve Batko
Correspondent
Nordonia Knights

It’s that time of year again in the track and field season that coaches look for their athletes to reach towards that far-reaching performance that earmarks what they consider to be a strong league meet and post season package.

Scott Barwidi is thinking the time is now for a slew of his promising boys and girls athletes to put their big-meet itinerary in place.

The Nordonia coach has a lot of threats in many events that are to score for those upcoming meets, starting with hosting the Suburban League championships May 12 and 13.

Even in a loss, there can be immense importance for this critical time of the year.

That occurred for the Lady Knights’ promising 1,600-meter relay team in a 76-61 home victory over Brecksville on Senior Night on April 27.

Nordonia’s second-place crew in the 1,600-meter relay which produced a season best time for the group including senior Hallie Majoros, sophomore Vegas Roganish, freshman Dania Kampe, and senior Sydney Hazelton.

That time by the 1,600-meter relay was 4-minutes and 20.73 seconds. Brecksville also had their best time this spring of 4:18.13.

“It was their best time of the year and those girls in the 1,600 relay are tough-minded kids and they are going in the right direction,” commented Barwidi. “There’s just a little more work to do to be in great position to gain a regional berth.”

One of those Knight seniors – Jahdon Wimbush, came up huge in the long jump competition.

Wimbush reached 22-feet and 1.0 inch in his first-ever competitive long jump competition!

In the Brecksville meet, Winbush led a Knight senior sweep as classmates Joe Wahl and Mike Westbrooks took second and third place with leaps of 19-8 feet and 19-2.5 feet, respectively.

“That was the first time that Jahdon had ever long jumped for us,” stressed an excited Barwidi, whose boys beat Brecksville 103-34.

With a jump of 20-5.5 feet, Wimbush also snagged another first-place in the Knights’ home win (104-33) at Cuyahoga Falls April 29 as the Knight boys joined the girls’ team at 3-3 overall in dual meets.

“We found a long jumper,” proclaimed Barwidi. “Jahdon did a great job and those are exciting marks that could do some things in the district and regional meets.”

Taniah Thomas and Majoros are seniors for the girl’s team who had big meets recently and seemed primed to excel in the high jump and hurdles races, respectively-

With a huge spring of 5-1 feet on her second high jump attempt at that height, Thomas cleared and nailed a personal record (PR) against Brecksville.

“We (Taniah) talked about skipping 4-8 feet and going straight to 5-1 feet, and Taniah got her PR,” stressed Barwidi. “She is having a really nice season and we are looking forward to what she can do.”

Majoros hopes to be a factor in a host of events, including the 300-meter hurdles.

“Hallie is in that 49-to-50-second range and we are just waiting on that big breakthrough race and this is the time of the season to get that,” noted the Knight coach. “We are excited for the league and post season meets.”

Against Brecksville, Majoros was timed at 49.59 seconds in winning the 300-meter race while sophomore teammate Alexis Hives won the 100-meter race in 17.52 ticks. They both won in the 92-45 win at Falls as well.

Junior boys’ standout Matt Hayes continues to excel for the Knights and he does it in so many ways.

Prior to the Brecksville meet, the versatile Hayes came to Barwidi and the Knights’ brass and indicated that he may have an interest in competing in the 400-meter race against Bee star Noah Harshbarger.

Harshbarger is one of the best open 400 runners in the league and in the entire state. Harshbarger has been clocked as fast as 48.74 seconds this spring.

Hayes, who scores all the time in many events for the Knights, took the challenge head on and ran in the 400-meter race and posted a PR of 49.22 seconds, just being edged by Harshbarger, who crossed in 49.02 ticks.

“Matt is one of those young men that knows track in this area and in the state, and he (Hayes) knew that Harshbarger was one of the best in Ohio,” pointed out Barwidi.

“He (Hayes) wanted to race against one of the best in Ohio– he came to us and I said, you got it man,” said Barwidi. “It was an extremely fast race and it really came down to the last 30 meters.”

This season, Hayes has produced or been a part of season best marks or times in six different events for Nordonia!

Another Knight senior who could challenge in the 400-meter is Jonathan Banks, who won at Falls in 53.91 seconds and can be used in a lot of sprint events.

Banks won the 200-meter dash against Brecksville in 23.35 ticks and has a best time of 22.90 seconds. He also ran in the winning 1,600 relay in 3:29.84, along with Hayes and juniors Ryan Kinch and Daylon Brown.

“Jonathan ran by himself and he is trying to get in great shape so he can be better late in the year,” said Barwidi.

Senior DeeDee Adkins won the shot put against the Black Tigers with a throw of 34-10 feet.

Classmate Divine Godspower-Odiong won with the discus heave against Brecksville with a toss of 106-8 feet.

For the boys in the same meet, Knight senior Marquez Hart had an excellent winning discus throw of 119-10 feet and a winning shot-put toss of 45-4 feet!

Barwidi likes his veteran throwers.

“DeeDee has been pretty consistent in the shot-put throw and is at 35-feet, which with one more big jump in distance, can hopefully, happen at the right time,” explained the coach.

Wahl registered a pole vault of 13-0 feet to equal his season best in a victory over Brecksville standout Michael Corbo (12-6).

For the girls’ pole vault against Brecksville, Knight junior Emily Eterovich had an outstanding effort of 11-6 feet. She also won the long jump at 16-4 feet.

For the boys at Falls, Nordonia had a sweep in the 100-meter dash with Westbrooks winning in 11.68 seconds, followed by sophomore Logan Villamagna in 11.78 ticks, and Kinch at 11.85. Kinch won the 200-meter race in 23.36 ticks.

A girls’ 400-meter sweep included a Kampe victory in 1:05.26, followed by seniors Autumn Westbrooks (1:06.87) and Greta Heiser (1:10). An 800-meter sweep included Westbrooks (2:43.26), freshman Abbey Colbert (2:47.63), and senior Mikayla Bell (2:52.11).

In the boys’ 800, senior Nathan Lahrmer sophomore Chris Turner ran 1-2 in 2:08.55 and 2:11.16, respectively. In the 3,200-meter race senior Evan White won in 10:50.1, junior teammate Jacob Colbert ran second in 10:50.02, and senior Robert Wolf was third at 11:33.71.

The girls’ 3,200-meter relay won in 10:55.52 behind junior Analeise Artino, Colbert, sophomore Maria Buzogany, and Autumn Westbrooks. Buzogany won the 3,200 in 13:18.69.

Another impressive version of Nordonia’s 1,600-meter relay also won in 4:43.45 with Roganish, junior Maddy Soder, Kampe, and senior Serena Long.

Wimbush also had a 16.95-second win in the 110-meter high hurdles against Brecksville while senior Ridwan Umar won the 100 in 11.95 ticks, ran second in the 200 in 24.12 seconds, and was second in the high jump at 5-10.