Taylor advances with second-place finish
NEW MIDDLETOWN – Crestview sophomore Maura Belding ran the 400-meter dash a handful of times this season. After Friday’s record-breaking run, she’ll be running it from now on.
Belding broke a 32-year-old school record on the way to winning a Division III district title at Springfield High School.
“I’m real surprised,” she said.
Belding ran away from the field with a winning time of 60.63 seconds. Mineral Ridge’s Alyssa Harkins was a distant second (63.18).
Lisbon junior Bobbi Jo Evans placed third (63.73) for her third straight regional berth.
The top four advance to the Navarre regional on Wednesday.
“I’ve only run it four or five times this season,” Belding said. “I started the 4×1 and tried to switch it up to get more points for the team.”
She broke the school record of 61.4 seconds set by Lisa Benson in 1982 and didn’t have anything left her next two races.
“Not too much, but I wasn’t too upset after getting that first place,” Belding said.
She finished fifth in the 200 dash (28.38) and anchored the 1600 relay team that was eighth (4:44.57).
After Makenna Perorazio, Kaitlyn Dewell and Alexis Jayne ran their legs, Belding started her lap with a laugh as she looked at the deficit.
“We’ve been hurting and sick,” she said. “I told them to go out and have fun. I would have liked to qualify in that, but these teams here are good.”
She will be returning to the Navarre regional after racing there in the 100 and 200 dashes last year.
“I’m pretty nervous, but I’m feeling good about it,” Belding said.
East Palestine sophomore Hannah Hall won the 800 run in a personal-best 2 minutes, 25.06 seconds.
She joined Haley Hall, Korynn Crawford and Blair Nulf on the 1600 relay team that finished third (a season-best 4:17.19) and also will run on the 3200 relay team that qualified for regionals on Wednesday.
Wellsville senior Shartece Taylor came up short of her fourth straight 100 dash district title, but still advanced with a second-place finish (12.97 seconds).
Taylor, who stood on the podium in the 100 and 200 dashes at state last year, pulled out the 200 dash Friday.
Before that, she made up a lot of ground on the anchor leg of Wellsville’s 400 relay team that placed fifth.
Warren JFK’s Antonella LaMonica won the 100 dash (12.63) and 200 dash (26.13).
Lisbon senior Carmen Phillips was fourth in the 1600 run (a personal-best 5:36.95).
Western Reserve freshman Ashleigh Rowley was third in the 1600 run (5:36.53) and fourth in the 3200 run (12:39.05), while junior Taylor Smith was third in the 3200 run (12:29.18).
Springfield’s Courtney Cyrus was third in the 100 hurdles (16.09) and fourth in the 300 hurdles (48.02).
She also ran on two qualifying relay teams as she joined Ashlee Butryn, Caitlin Cyrus and Ceclia Bieznieks and Courtney Cyrus on the third-place 400 relay (52.05) and Samantha Bertin, Caitlyn Cyrus and Bieznieks on the third-place 800 relay (1:48.99).
Western Reserve’s 400 relay team of Baylee Harley, Hannah Grace, Lauren Falasca and Paige Ewing was fourth (52.47).
The McDonald girls captured their third straight district team title with 164 points. Warren JFK was second with 74 1/2 points and Mineral Ridge took third with 63.