TALLMADGE: Sunshine and warmer than normal early April temperatures greeted the track and field athletes Saturday at the 12th annual Bill Barry Track and Field Invitational.
The pleasant conditions appeared to lift the competitors, especially on the girls side where nine meet records were set in the 17 events.
St. Vincent-St. Mary was responsible for five records, as the Fighting Irish won the title in the 10-team field with 132 points.
Highland (80), Lake (77) and Rocky River (71) rounded out the top four teams.
Walsh Jesuit was victorious in the 10-team boys meet with 115 points. Three boys meet records were set with St. V-M setting two. The Irish placed second with 104 points. Lake (85) and Highland (53) rounded out the top four.
“I think the warm weather has a lot to do with the records,” St. V-M coach Dan Lancianese said. “This has been an unusually warm spring for everyone. We are progressing and the kids are gaining confidence.”
Freshman Imani Davis placed first in all three events she competed in.
Davis won the 400 meters in 59.40 seconds and the 200 meters in 26.00 seconds.
She then took part in the 1,600 relay with junior Chelsea Laury, sophomore Julia Mendiola and senior Tessa Weigand. The quartet won in a meet-record time of 4:05.60.
St. V-M senior Megan Tomei set meet records in the shot put (41 feet, 3 inches) and discus throw (134-02).
The other Irish meet records came on relays.
The 3,200 relay with Mendiola, junior Marissa Rossetti, freshman Cynthia Haas and Weigand clocked 9 minutes, 31.40 seconds. The 800 relay of sophomore Katie Goedecke, sophomore Marie Hammer, Laury and junior Kyla Crater finished in 1:48.80.
Rossetti (1,600, 5:27.10) and Hammer (100 hurdles, 15.80) also placed first individually.
Lancianese said he is being cautious with his athletes.
“We are going to kind of keep them like caged animals until May and not overwork them,” Lancianese said. “I don’t want them to overrun. It’s tempting for them with the warm weather, but I want them to get their work in and not overdo.”
The other girls who set meet records were Lake’s Karli Oprian (100, 12.50), Highland’s Natalie Zidd (800, 2:15.80), Tallmadge’s Kaycee Harris (300 hurdles, 46.80) and Highland’s 400 relay unit of Sam Duale, Paige Springhetti, Hallie Sours and Sarah Carpenter in 50.70.
Other area winners were Highland’s Karissa Steffas (high jump, 5-2), Tallmadge’s Angelina Siesel (pole vault, 9-0) and Field’s Savannah Gearhart (long jump, 15-11¤).
Walsh won the boys side with its depth and a first-place finish by senior Tony Howkins in the 1,600 at 4:28.50.
“Our goal is always to score in every event and we did that, except for the 100 and 300 hurdles,” Walsh coach Pat Ritchie said.
“We went 1-2 in the 1,600 [with Howkins and Brian Brennan] and 2-3 in the shot put [with Kevin Enright and Ryan Budny].
“Team depth is what we strive for. We double-scored in seven events.”
Ritchie said Walsh is undefeated as a team with other wins at the Lakewood St. Edward Invitational and dual triumphs over Stow and St. Edward.
The St. V-M boys established meet records in two relays.
The 3,200 unit of senior Patrick O’Brien, junior Mick Iacofano, senior Mike Hurley and senior Sean Poholski won in 8:10.40.
Senior Matt Matuska anchored the 800 relay that also included sophomore Parris Campbell and seniors Tyler Bischof and Sae’Von Fitzgerald won in 1:29.30.
St. V-M won five other events; the 100 (Matsuka, 11.00), 800 (Poholski, 1:59.10), 3,200 (Iacofano, 9:42.80), 200 (junior Franshon Bickley, 22.90) and shot put (senior Drew Laury, 48-02).
Lake’s Jake Viscounte set a meet record in the 400 with a time of 49.90. Blue Streaks teammate Phil Burt won the 100 hurdles in 15.40 and the 300 hurdles in 40.40.
Viscounte and Burt also helped Lake win two relays. They joined Tony Horton and Jared Milhoan to win the 400 relay in 45.00. Burt, Milhoan, Viscounte and Jordon Smith formed the winning 1,600 relay in 3:30.10.
Highland’s Calvin Rhoads (pole vault, 13-00) and Cory Moncol (long jump, 19-07) each placed first, and Field’s Zach Fertig won the discus with a throw of 144-05.5.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.