AUSTINTOWN: Firestone senior Sarah Meek had hopes of going to prom as a Division I state track and field qualifier.
Meek won a regional title in the 3,200 meters at Austintown Fitch in a time of 11:13.02 on Friday and then dashed back to Akron for prom at Greystone Hall.
“It’s no big deal. I’d rather run a race,” Meek said after winning and dealing with the fact that she was going to be arriving at the prom a little late.
Meek will make her first appearance at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus next weekend, and she will be joined by several other area athletes.
Green won the 1,600 relay in 3:19.74 to conclude the boys’ portion of the meet. Junior Zachary Wieland ran the first leg for the Bulldogs and was followed by seniors Mike Kapeluck, Brandon Simmons and Andrew Pratt.
Cleveland Glenville (3:19.86), Hudson (3:20.17) and Lake (3:21.56) narrowly lost to Green in the event.
“It is incredible to get this win,” Pratt said. “We never thought anything like this would happen. It is an unbelievable feeling. I can’t even describe it. All those teams are so fast. Watching them run, they all look like men.”
Pratt competed Friday after having his appendix taken out two weeks ago.
Solon won the girls and boys team titles with 87 points and 60 points, respectively.
The top four in each event advance to the state meet.
“It was hot [Friday], but it was also exciting because there was really good competition,” Meek said. “I enjoyed that because it pushed me.
“A really good friend of mine [2011 Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy graduate Christina Blair] who was a state champion in the two-mile last year in [Division II] told me this week to put a scripture verse in your head and remember that is where your strength is from. That is what I was doing as I was going.”
Green junior Morgan Estes won the girls pole vault with a vault of 12-foot-5. Cuyahoga Falls sophomore Nicole Rozsa (11-4) and junior Nicole Waibel (11-0) were second and third.
“I am very excited, especially because I got over 12 feet,” Estes said. “That is always a goal of mine.
“I am excited to experience the bus ride down with my teammates. It is going to be a lot of fun.”
Copley senior Nick Pupino won the boys 3,200 in 9:17.92.
“That was a good race,” Pupino said. “I just tried to go out and set the pace. A couple of guys stayed with me and pushed me, and then as the race continued, I just wanted to finish strong at the end.”
Jackson senior Matt Olinger placed first in the boys 800 in a personal-best time of 1:56.16 after being boxed in with about 200 meters to go.
“I was confident in my speed the last 100 meters,” Olinger said. “I was just focused on running through the finish line as fast as I could.”
Canton McKinley seniors Ruben Burrows and Elijah Beach went 1-2 in the 300 hurdles with times of 38.34 seconds and 38.69 seconds, respectively.
The Bulldogs also won the boys 800 relay with sophomore Malik Kimbrough, senior Christian Thompson, junior Jeff Richardson and senior Jermaine Edmondson combining for a time of 1:27.59.
GlenOak senior Cody Jones won the high jump at 6-6. Massillon junior Damion Smith jumped 6-6, but took second based on the number of misses.
Nordonia junior Taylor McDonald (girls 300 hurdles, 42.98) and Lake senior Karli Oprian (girls 100, 12.07) also won titles.
Twinsburg sophomore Garrett Crichlow (1,600, 4:15.97) and Louisville senior Chad Gentry (400, 48.93) each won a boys event.
Area athletes who were second individually were Hudson junior Caroline Sauers (1,600, 5:08.98), Highland senior Natalie Zidd (800, 2:13.91), Hudson junior Leighton Antonio (200, 21.57), McKinley sophomore Korrin Taylor (long jump, 17-4.75) and Marlington junior Anthony Wilks (shot put, 56-0.25).
Stow senior Melanie Winters advanced to state in three events with fourth-place finishes in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and long jump.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sports.abj.