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Track and Field Report: A season of bad weather opens to a run toward the postseason

Track and Field Report: A season of bad weather opens to a run toward the postseason


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The start of the 2024 track and field season was filled with a lot of rain and cold weather.

Far from peak running conditions.

However, track runners in Northeast Ohio are ready for anything.

Teams continued to train for league meets in late April and May’s race toward the state championships and now here we are.

Here is a snapshot of the county and their perspective on their seasons up to this point.




Perspective from coach Greg Cicero.

“The early part of the season was tough for kids to stay engaged as they were worried about staying both warm and dry often. With a spate of cancellations, it was difficult to replicate meet conditions in practice so most athletes had more “hard” days.

“In a way, the weather also helped the team bond at meets and made the team closer than before. We are only scheduled to compete twice a week, so a few cancellations has an impact on longterm plans.

“My biggest takeaway from the girls through many difficult weather meets is their ability to compete and support each other. It has been evident at West Geauga, Don Faix and Hudson. The compete-and-rally switch has been turned on for the Aurora girls and it is paying off.”

Aurora standouts

“We are led by a strong group, including seniors Kassidy Fry and Eva Logan, who have really pushed the team to achieve as much as possible with positive outlooks and great competition in difficult meets.

Juniors Felicite Williams, Carolyn Jakosh and Sydney Langell have been consistent this year in improving from their sophomore year and are relied upon week in and week out. The sophomore duo of Ella Cicero and Izzy Leindecker are doing amazing work on the track, forming a dangerous duo in the 400, 200 and 4×400, where they have excelled this year. A stated team goal is to improve on the number of regional qualifiers and regional finalists from a year ago.”




Perspective from coach Ed Conroy

“It was a great preseason, with the boys winning three invitationals and the girls winning one. The team has strong leadership from captains Reagan Daugintis, Savannah Rahe, Kristin Toepke, Emma Norman, Brady McCoy, Mason Wetzel, Billy Silk and Sean Silk. We are currently working on solidifying our relay teams for the postseason, and we are excited for a strong showing at the Salem district.”




Perspective from coach DeMonte Powell

“We had hardly any good PR weather, but we did train in all of the bad weather so it’s honestly a mentality.

“It’s peak season for us, so it is fine-tuning what we need and not really changing the recipe. Instead, just adding some more ingredients to hopefully propel ourselves to a state-championship shot.

Ravenna standouts

“The injury bug sort of got us, so we needed to get healthy, but standouts have included Robert Melzer, Bryant Thompson, Mason Scott, Malachi Prissy, Tykwon Ward and D’Anthony Allen.

“Robert has been a stud for us doing things you normally don’t see. He will go throw the shot and disc, win it, then turn around and help us on relays or any open sprint and score points there, too. Bobby has posted a 50 in the shot and 136 in the disc, ranking him amongst some of the best in our area.

“Bryant has been the go-to guy for points, along with Robert. Bryant has posted a 10.90 in the 100, 23.0 in the 200 and long jumped 21 feet. He has grown tremendously and is key to our team.

“Mason is formally a distance kid, we tried him in the intermediate hurdles and the kid is a stud. He ran a 43.0, and he gets better each time he runs the lows. Mason also helps in the 4×4 and sometimes 4×2, then he is still able to run the 800 for us, partnering with freshman Zander Mahalic.

“Malachi has been our next-best sprinter, running 23.4 in the 200. He is versatile and helps in all sprint races when called upon and also helps us in the high and long jump. Malachi is one of those athletes that can jump out of the gym.

“Tykwon has been a dependable relay guy for us all season, Tykwon recently has been asked to do more for us in open areas to get more points due to the injury of Kaelan Edwards, and he has now ran away from the pressure.

“D’Anthony, our freshman, has scored a lot of points in the 110 hurdles and is also a kid who gets better meet to meet. This is one of the most confident kids you’ll ever meet, D’Anthony also helps out in relays when he’s needed.




Perspective from coach Larry Bailey

“We were able to get in most of our meets. The team has worked hard, and we have made steady progress in our performances. We always focus on improving ourselves as athletes to better ourselves as people.

Rootstown standouts

Aiden Rodstrom

“Aiden Rodstrom is having an outstanding season. He has won every meet this year in the high hurdles and has some of the best times in the region in both the high hurdles and intermediate hurdles. In addition to that, he has been our best 100-meter and 200-meter runner this year.”

Gavin Cone and Derek Schindler

“They are having breakout seasons. Gavin in the 100, 200 and 400 and is doing a great job. Derek, in both hurdles, has been a pleasant surprise as a first-year hurdler, taking second at the Mogadore Invitational and placing in all of our other invitationals.”

Brady Fillmore

“He was a state qualifier last year in the 400 meters, and he is starting to come around in the 400 and 800 after battling an early illness and some minor, nagging injuries.”

More from Coach Bailey

“Mason Lisi, Mason Fleck and Mason Marik are all starting to perform well. Hurdlers Carson Cutright and Logan Brooks have given us a lot of depth in the hurdles. Our distance squad is starting to drop their times. Eric Baughman, Wyatt Sheila, Jacob Sturm, Brayden Dougherty and Damien Reuting have begun to become very competitive, and all but Eric in that group are freshmen and sophomores.

“Dominic Siglow and Braden Wright, along with Gianni Damicone and Ben Kline, have done an excellent job in the shot put and discus.

“Freshmen Anthony Pratt (both jumps and 100), Blake Mullaly, Caleb Fillmore, Dean Abdlrasul have all been outstanding in the jumps. They, along with Zach Hays and Logan Brooks, have made us competitive in both jumps.

“Dylan Wilfong, Isaach Simkanin and Tycho Smolk are performing very well in the distance events and Owen Burrell is having an excellent season running the 200, 400 and 800. He is a vital member of both the 4×800 and 4×400 relays and is a lot stronger this year.”




Perspective from coach Kyle Rodstrom

“Early in the season, our athletes really adjusted to the weather and performed well, in spite of the weather. Each day, the ladies are understanding how to prepare better and how to compete well when the weather is not ideal.

“Currently, we are working to prepare to compete at our best at the end of the season.”

Rootstown standouts

“Brooklynn McIntyre has been as consistent as anyone in the region and continues to throw personal bests throughout the course of the season. Melanie Plecko has also solidified herself as one of the fastest girls in the league.

“Porter Smith has also solidified herself as one of the top 300 hurdlers in the region and continues to improve each and every race. These three girls are just a few pieces that have led to our success this year.”




Perspective from coach Melinda Furr

“The early season really gave us a chance to see what we have and who fits best in each event. It gave our athletes a chance to see where they were and to make personal goals to improve. There is nothing like race shape — and it has been really neat to see the girls make improvements from meet to meet.”

Southeast standouts

“Our 4×800 and 4×400 relay teams of Claire Dillner, Kristen Campbell, Jenna Canale and Julia Wheeler have been consistent and reliable putting up great times.

“Individually, Wheeler has a relentless effort to better herself each day. This shows in her times in the relays and the 1,600 and 3,200. Her work ethic is second to none.

“Campbell and Canale have been tremendous in the 400 and 800 and 4×200 relay, earning valuable points. They are both fierce competitors and work hard pushing each other in practice.

“Sarah Craver has earned consistent points in the long jump and hurdles for us. She’s extremely versatile and has been willing to compete in several events for the team.”

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