Woodridge boys dominate the field at MAC Track meet
Showcasing balance, the Woodridge track and field program shined at the first-ever Metro Athletic Conference Championships and the Bulldog brass is hoping that success will spill into the district championships
The Bulldog boys registered a 71-point victory in the MAC Meet while the girls from Woodridge featured a close second-place finish at Ravenna’s Community Bank Stadium.
“The boys capped off a very strong regular season with a rather dominating victory in the Metro Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships,” said boys head coach Scott Mercer.
“It was a complete team effort with the boys scoring points in every event,” added Mercer.
Woodridge was expected to fare well on both sides and challenge for a top four finish at the Cortland Lakeview Division II District Meet on May 20 and 22 to secure a berth to the regional championship.
In boys MAC standings, Woodridge amassed 183 points, followed by Field (112) and Lodi Cloverleaf (109).
For the girls, Woodridge was defeated by Cloverleaf 161-134 for the MAC crown. Field was third at 131.5 points.
“The girls finished second to a strong contingent of Cloverleaf Colts in the inaugural Metro Athletic Conference Championship meet,” said head coach Jeff Howard. “The girls scored in every event and still came up short.”
While the boys dominated the open races in the distance and middle distance as expected, the Bulldogs also fared quite well in a batch of other events, including many of the field events.
“Cooper DeFrange won both the long jump and the high jump,” said a pleased Mercer. “Cooper put it all together in this meet.”
DeFrange leaped 20-feet and 0.25 inches to triumph in the long jump and hit 6-0 feet in the high jump.
“The boys started the running events off with a victory in the 3,200-meter relay,” Mercer proclaimed.
That relay included Ryan Champa, Sam Su, Aaron Dutt and Zayd Elkurd and they finished in a time of 8-minutes and 11.35 seconds.
Mercer also liked how the Bulldogs fared in the open races with some veteran talent.
“Champa came back and won the 1600-meter run in 4:37.25,” he said. “Elkurd won the 400-meter dash (51.31), and Dutt won the 3200-meter run (9:54.98) with Andrew Lauck running second in 9:57.59.”
Veteran Caden Hibbs won the 800-meters for Woodridge in a time of 1:59.16 with Champa running second at 1:59.74.
“Obviously our distance has always been strong and it is nice to have that core present and we are able to have fresh legs, which is a nice luxury to have,” explained Mercer.
“We don’t have to double up kids as much because we have depth, but the program has been building that balance all over the place in our lineup,” added Mercer, alluding to the fact that Woodridge is not just a distance running juggernaut.
Mercer will take that theme into districts and he feels good about kids qualifying beyond districts – all the way to states.
Woodridge had plenty of scoring in the hurdles as well in Ravenna.
“Kyle Carey won the 300-meter hurdles in a time of 40.39 seconds with Nic Tafini placing second (41.93),” offered Mercer. “Kyle finished second in the 110-meter hurdles (16.07) with Nic coming in third (16.92).”
Mercer loved what he saw in the throws – both from the veteran senior in Angelo Regec and the youngster in Oliver Mayer, just a sophomore.
“Angelo took second in the discus with a school record throw of 161-3.5 feet and was third in the shot put (47-3.5 feet),” he said. “Teammate Oliver Mayer also scored well in the same two events, just a place behind in each – he was third in the disc (144-2) and fourth in the shot (44-1.5).”
“Our throwers have had an outstanding season and we have developed very good depth in our program,” added Mercer.
The Woodridge girls were also dominant in the hurdles, distance and middle distance races, plus relays.
“On the track, the Bulldogs competed well,” said Howard. “Anna Rorrer beat strong hurdle fields to finish first in both events.”
In the 100-meter hurdles, Rorrer had a fast time of 15.36 seconds to beat Hannah Siudak (15.63), of Field.
Rorrer also bested Siudak in the 300 hurdles in 45.09 seconds to Siudak’s 45.82. In the preliminary heat, Siudak just edged Rorrer with a time of 47.16. Rorrer’s time in the prelims was 47.46.
A sophomore, Rorrer gives Woodridge a bright future along with freshman sensation Reese Reaman.
“Reese paced the distance crew and won the 1,600-meter and 800-meter events,” noted Howard. “Evelyn Willett ran a lifetime best to finish second in the 800.”
With a time of 5:10.42, Reaman triumphed in the 1,600-meters, beating Cloverleaf rival Alyssa Stoner (5:14.38) with ease.
For the 800-meters, Reaman crossed in 2:22.10 and Willett had a time of 2:25.40.
“The relay events were an absolute bright spot for the girls,” declared Howard. “The winning 3,200-meter relay did an outstanding job. Izzy Best, our top 800-meter runner, filled in the sprints and the crew of Evelyn Willett, Eloise Willett, Anastasia Bakuhn, and Reaman still ran a season best 9:49.”
Woodridge also shined in the 1,600-meter relay as the Bulldogs look to do damage in the post season in these relays.
“Reaman and Best joined Rorrer and Maddie Karlo to run one of the best 1,600-meter relay times in the state,” Howard said. “The last event, the 1,600-meter relay, needed to beat a highly ranked Field team to secure second place in the meet. The girls ran an outstanding time of 4:04 for the win.”
Corrine Betts also produced in the throws for the Bulldogs.
Tossing the shot put 35-1 feet, Betts placed second overall and also was fourth in the discus throw with a heave of 100-5 feet.
“In the throwing events, Corinne continues to improve and compete well in bigger and bigger meets,” explained Howard. “Her lifetime best in the shot was good for a runner-up spot and she threw well enough to grab a fourth in the shot.”
The Bulldogs scored big in the pole vault competition, held in Cloverleaf May 14.
Sofia Davis finished second in the pole vault by nailing her first attempt at 8-6 feet, just edging teammate Kathryn Kiley, who reached 8-6 as well. Izzy Davis added an effort of 6-0 feet to place sixth overall.
“The jumps featured the return of Delaney Duve in the long jump and Delaney jumped a lifetime best to finish fifth in the event,” said Howard. “Kiley scored valuable points in the high jump while Sofia and Kathryn teamed up to finish among the top three in the pole vault competition.”
Duve’s superlative effort in the long jump was 16-9.25 feet while Kiley reached 4-8 in the high jump.
Best continues to show her value for the team in a slew of events this spring.
“Izzy ran well when asked to fill in the 800-metr relay and came back in the next event to grab fourth in the 1,600,” said Howard. “Eloise Willett and Anastasia (Bakuhn) had solid efforts to finish third and fourth in the 3,200-meter run.”
Behind a time of 1:49.94, the 800-meter relay ran third with Best, Belle Norris, Karlo, and Rorrer. Best was clocked at 5:2252 in the 1,600-meters while Eloise Willett had a time of 12:16.14 in the 3,200-meter race, where Bakuhn turned in a time of 12:28.41.
The 400-meter relay ran fourth in 54.02 ticks with Briajah Garr-Jackson, Leah Mencer, Livi Strausser, and Megan Woods.
“Maddie (Karlo) ran a lifetime best (49.96 seconds) in the 300 hurdles to finish fifth in the conference,” said the coach.
“Belle Norris led the sprint crew with strong efforts in the 100 (13.73 for sixth) and 200-meter (28.32) events,” Howard added. “Izzy ran well to score the 200 (27.94) as well. Leighton Kline made her 400-meter run debut and finished fifth in the conference.
Kline was clocked at 63.28 seconds in the 400-meters.
“Aneya Schvartz also threw a lifetime best (92-4 feet) to grab a sixth in the discus,” said Howard. “Sarah Abood also scored the 400 with a strong series of races.”
The boys scored huge points in the pole vault as well.
With an effort of 10-6 feet, Danny Batyrbaev garnered second-place honors! Veterans Will Holland and Conrad Haas also finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Holland cleared 9-6 feet and Haas, 9-0 feet.
Showing great depth for the boys squad was a runner-up 1,600-meter relay crew of Kalo Armoutliev, Andrew Shaheen, Owen Howell and Elkurd. Their time was 3:30.54.
“Our relays did a great job and I was very happy with our sprinters,” said Mercer.
The 400-meter relay of Jack Novak, Taysear Williams, David Fritz and Jacob Looman finished third in 46.21 seconds while the 800-meter relay was also third at 1:34.66 with Tafini, Carey, Fritz and Elkurd.
Batyrbaev added a fourth-place in the long jump at 18-5 feet while Fritz crossed fourth in the 200-meter dash in 23.67 seconds and Looman finished seventh in the 100-meters and was timed at 12.24 in the preliminary heat.
Making first-team All-MAC was Carey, Champa, DeFrange, Dutt, Elkurd, Hibbs, and Su.
Second-team honors went to Armoutliev, Batyrbaev, Howell, Lauck, Regec, Shaheen, and Tafini.
For the girls, first-team All-MAC athletes includes Bakuhn, Best, Karlo, Reaman, Rorrer, Evelyn Willett, and Eloise Willett. Second-team honors went to Betts and Sofia Davis while Duve and Norris made honorable mention.