Last Chance Meet sets up Knights track for postseason run

Steve Batko
Nordonia Knights

Mapping out a plan is half of the battle when it comes to track and field coaches configuring their lineups for the post season.

Nordonia coach Scott Barwidi got one more sample in as he prepares the Nordonia program for the Suburban League Championships, hosted by the Knights May 12 and 13 for the rugged National Conference.

Ironically, that sample came at the Last Chance Meet, hosted by Medina Friday.

A slew of Knight athletes had strong performances, including many season-best and personal record marks in the eight-team fields at Ken Dukes Stadium.

Senior Divine Godspower-Odiong had a breakout meet.

Godspower-Odiong was a double champion in the throws in Medina – capturing the discus with a throw of 117 feet and 10 inches as well as the shot put with a heave of 35-3 feet.

“Divine had an awesome day,” said Barwidi. “She had a PR in the discus by over eight feet. In the shot put, she had her best throw by 1.5 feet.”

In the discus, Godspower-Odiong easily beat Medina’s Jaylynn King (105-7 feet).

Barwidi saw a 1-2 finish for his club in the shot put as Godspower-Odiong just edged senior classmate DeeDee Adkins, who had a strong toss of 35-2 feet.

Nordonia’s girls placed third overall as Medina won 162.5-121 over Amherst Steele for team honors. Nordonia (113.5) placed ahead of strong programs from Berea-Midpark (100) and Mentor (69).

In the boys’ standings, the Knights won with 195.5 points over Medina (140), Midpark (124.5), Rayland Buckeye (67), and Steele (67).

“We had a good day and we were able to see some things to prepare and look at events for the upcoming district meet,” said Barwidi, as Nordonia also plays host to the Division I District Championships May 19 and 21.

“I think it was really good for us to see and both teams performed well,” added the coach.

Junior scoring leader Matt Hayes had another big meet at Medina.

Hayes won 100-meter dash in 11.11 seconds and also won the 300-meter hurdles in 39.66 seconds.

“Matt had a fantastic day,” declared Barwidi. “He had a season best in the 100-meter dash and was crushing the 300-hurdles until he hit the sixth hurdle. He won the high jump too. It was a great meet.”

Senior Jahdon Wimbush also had a big day as he won the 110-meter-high hurdles as Hayes did not compete in the event.

Wimbush won 110 high hurdles in 16.50 seconds and captured the long jump title by leaping 21-5.75 feet, but his top effort may have come in the 300 hurdles, where he ran second to Hayes in 42.35 seconds.

“Jahdon’s best performance of the day came in the 300 hurdles,” said his coach.

Barwidi was thrilled about his 800-meter relay nearly reaching a season best despite not having its top two runners in senior Jonathan Banks and Hayes, as Barwidi used the athletes in other events.

“I was really excited about the 800-meter relay almost getting a season best without our top two kids – it was a great time and it really shows our depth,” explained the coach.

The winning 800-meter relay crossed in 1:30.72 behind senior Joe Wahl, junior Ryan Kinch, senior Ridwan Umar, and sophomore Matt Cooper.

Barwidi was also pumped about Umar and senior Zack Liederbach also having huge meets for Nordonia.

Liederbach ran in the team’s winning 400-meter relay that was timed at 43.78 seconds and also won the 200-meter dash title in 23.65 seconds, besting Umar, who was timed at 23.68 ticks.

The 400-relay also had junior Bryan Russ, senior Mike Westbrooks, and Wahl.

With Hayes winning the high jump with an effort of 6-1 feet, Umar also shined as he reached his best of 6-0 feet, good for second-place in Medina.

“Ridwan equaled his best in the high jump and had a really good meet as he also ran well in the 200,” said the coach.

The Knight’s 1,600-meter relay (3:30.47) and the 3,200-meter relay (8:41.71) added runner-up finishes.

Comprising the 1,600-relay was Cooper, Hayes, Kinch, and Banks while sophomore Chris Turner, sophomore James Jackson, senior Robert Wolf, and senior Nathan Lahrmer made up the 3,200-meter relay.

Nordonia scored big in the 3,200-meter open race as Turner was the runner-up in 10:27.36, junior Jacob Colbert ran third in 10:46.51 and junior Eddie Orzel was fifth in 10:48.37.

Banks grabbed second in the 400-meter race in 52.21 seconds while junior Daylon Brown was third in 53.11.

Finishing third in the long jump was Westbrooks, who reached 19-4.5 feet.

Senior Marquez Hart snagged third in the discus (124-10 feet) and fourth in the shot put (42-7) while Liederbach added a fourth in the 100 (11.48).

In the pole vault, Nordonia had strong efforts from Wahl, who was fourth at 13-0 feet, and senior Alex Hungerford, who reached 12 feet. Russ ran fifth in the 200 (24.20) and senior Shane Robinson also gave Nordonia great scoring (19 points) in the long jump as he was sixth at 19-2.5 feet.

For the Knight girls, the club’s 800-meter relay continues to show why they are a threat for the post season.

With a time of 1:49.06, Nordonia won the 800-meter relay crown behind sophomore Rachel Dudich, senior Hallie Majoros, sophomore Vegas Roganish and sophomore Tamia Hameed.

“We were really excited by that finish in the 800-meter relay,” said Barwidi.

Junior Emily Eterovich added a title in the pole vault by reaching 11-6 feet.

Grabbing second was the 400-meter relay (51.20) of Dudich, Majoros, sophomore Alexis Hives and Hameed.

Senior Sydney Hazelton impressed with a runner-up finish in the 200-meter dash in 28.38 ticks while sophomore Sade Lewis was fourth (28.53).

Taking third in the 100 hurdles was Hives, who crossed in 17.13 seconds.

Sophomore Emma McCabe ran third in the 1,600-meter race in 5:32.50 while senior Taniah Thomas was third in the high jump at 5-0 feet, Eterovich was fourth in the long jump at 16-1.75 feet, and Majoros ran fourth in a loaded 300 hurdles race in 51.07 ticks.