Total team effort leads Woodridge girls to district track title

Steve Batko
Woodridge’s Corinne Betts placed second in the shot put event during the Metro Athletic Conference Championships earlier this month.

Showing that the Woodridge girls track squad is much more than just a quality track team with a branch from its powerful cross-country program, the Bulldogs stamped that declaration with huge effort in district action.

Woodridge netted points all over the place.

Battling the searing heat, Woodridge exploded for 123 team points to capture a district team championship in resounding fashion in the 13-team field at the Cortland Lakeview Division II District meet.

“The girls scored in 15 of the 17 events contested and advanced in nine events onto the Regional Championships in Austintown,” said head coach Jeff Howard.

It has been since 2016 when Woodridge last won a district title as the Bulldogs won the Bedford Division II district crown.

In all, Woodridge captured its fifth district team championship.

The top four finishers in Cortland in each event qualified to the Austintown Fitch Division II Regional Championships May 27 and 29.

“Our girls will compete for top four spots and state berths this weekend in what is a really tough region,” stressed Howard, prior to the regionals as complete meet results weren’t available as of press time.

Thanks to having great length and athletic ability, sophomore Anna Rorrer has had an amazing spring in the hurdles and relay events for Woodridge and that dominance in the hurdles continued at Don Richards Stadium in Cortland.

Rorrer snagged a pair of district hurdle titles and advanced to regionals in four different events!

“On the track, Anna continued her strong performances in the hurdle events,” noted Howard. “Anna grabbed two district titles in her individual races and helped advance the 800-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams to the regional meet.”

With a fast time of 15.62 seconds, Rorrer easily beat the field of hurdlers in the 100-meter race. In the 300-meter hurdles, Rorrer cruised to victory in 47.22 ticks.

Izzy Best sped to a district title in the 800-meter race with a time of 2-minutes and 22.38 seconds.

Freshman standout Reese Reaman also claimed a title by winning the 1,600-meter race in a season best time of 5:08.85.

Having a tremendous meet, Reaman also ran second to Best in the 800-meter race to give Woodridge a 1-2 finish with a clocking of 2:24.34.

“Reese and Izzy each qualified in the 1,600 and 800-meter runs,” said Howard. “Reese won the 1,600 while Izzy grabbed victory in the 800. Izzy was third in the 1,600.”

“The distance squad won the 3,200-meter relay and advanced two girls in each of the distance races,” pointed out the coach. “Best, Evelyn Willett, Eloise Willett, and Reaman teamed up in the relay.”

“Our 1,600-meter relay team of Best, Maddie Karlo, Reaman, and Rorrer won the district championship as well,” Howard said.

Woodridge won the 3,200-meter relay easily in 9:45.84. Evelyn Willett is the only senior in the relay while Karlo is the lone senior in the 1,600-meter relay, which cruised to a win in 4:08.71.

Howard saw his club excel in other field events as well.

Senior Sofia Davis had a huge PR in placing second overall in the pole vault competition.

Going on a roll, Davis got into a strong rhythm and cleared 9-feet and 3.0 inches to garner runner-up honors behind Jefferson star Megan Brand, who won at 9-6 feet.

“In the field events, Sofia had a monster day in the pole vault as she cleared her personal best jump on three consecutive heights to finish second in the event,” pointed out Howard.

“Corinne Betts responded from a fifth-place finish in the shot put by throwing a lifetime best 105-feet in the discus to finish third in the event,” added Howard, of yet another athlete grabbing a regional berth. Betts scored nine points in the meet.

Best raced to a third-place in the 1,600-meters in 5:29.08 and is a threat in each race she competes in.

“Eloise Willett and Anastasia Bakuhn finished third and fourth, respectively, to advance in the 3,200-meter run,” said Howard.

Bakuhn is headed to John Carroll University to run.

Competing in her first district meet as a freshman, Eloise Willett was timed at 12:21.45 while Bakuhn crossed in 12:23.50. Willett totaled 8.5 points at districts!

“Maddie Karlo, Sarah Abood, and Belle Norris joined Rorrer on the 800-meter relay team to advance,” said Howard, of his quartet that crossed in 1:51.30. Norris, Karlo and Abood are seniors.

Woodridge also had some close calls on strong efforts that just missed the cut for regionals.

“Senior Delaney Duve ended her outstanding season with a fifth-place finish (15-0.25 feet) in the long jump,” said Howard.

“Kathryn Kiley narrowly missed advancing with her fifth-place finish (7-9 feet) in the pole vault,” he added.

“Chloe Rado also ran a personal best (18.27 seconds) in the short hurdles to grab some much-needed team points,” Howard went on.

“Megan Woods finished seventh (13.93) in the open 100-meter dash,” offered Howard, of his senior scorer. “Leighton Kline ran well to score the 400-meter run (seventh in 1:04.57) as well. Emma Stekelenburg scored the high jump (4-6 feet for sixth-place). Aneya Schvartz also threw a personal best (94-5 feet) in the discus.”