Area athletes start journey
The climb to the top of the podium starts this week for area track standouts.
Lisbon senior high jumper Seth Stokes, Crestview junior shot putter Dominic Perry and Salem junior discus thrower Caitlyn Marx have produced some of the top marks in the state this season.
Stokes placed second in the Division III high jump last year after taking third as a sophomore. He has the area’s top jump at 6-foot-6 in a season that saw athletes get off to a slow start due to inclement weather.
Perry was third in the Division II shot put last season, but the Crestview boys have moved to Division III this year.
His school-record toss of 59-feet-1 3/4 at the All-American Conference Meet last week is the best in the area in the last six years.
Marx set a Columbiana County record with a toss of 155-feet-1, one of the top marks in the state this year. She placed 12th in Division II state meet last season.
Crestview and Lisbon will be among the teams 22 boys and 22 girls teams at the Division III district meet at Springfield Local High School on Wednesday and Friday.
Columbiana, Heartland Christian, Leetonia, Southern Local, Springfield, United, Wellsville, Western Reserve and the East Palestine girls will also be there.
Seniors Camryn Jarrett of United, Alexis Cunningham of East Palestine and Shantel Springer of Springfield and sophomore Matt Henry of Western Reserve will try to earn return trips to state in Division III.
Jarrett is seeking a third straight trip to state in the high jump. She was ninth last year (5-5) after placing fifth as a sophomore (5-4).
Cunningham was the only individual distance runner to qualify for state last year, finishing ninth in the 1600-meter run.
Springer is going for a fourth straight state berth in the long jump. She was 12th in 2017 and 2016 after placing 10th as a freshman.
Springfield seniors Cierra Latronica and Haley LaMorticella have ran on the Tigers’ 800 relay teams at state the last three years.
They were joined by Springer and senior Anna Ohlin on the squad that was eighth last year (1:48.27). Ohlin also ran on the 2016 squad that was seventh in 2016 and Springer on the 2015 squad that was 14th.
Henry was 14th in the Division III shot put last year.
Wednesday’s district meet at Springfield will open at 4 p.m. with the finals in the boys discus and long jump and girls shot put and high jump.
The finals in the 3200-meter relay will be held at 4:45 p.m., followed by the running preliminaries.
The remaining field events will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, followed by the running finals at 5 p.m.
The top four in each event advance to the regional at Massillon Perry High School next week.
The Salem Division II district meet will be held at Reilly Stadium on Thursday and Saturday with 13 boys and 14 girls teams, including host Salem, West Branch, South Range, the East Palestine boys and the Crestview girls.
The last event will be one of the best as senior Quinlan Rumsey and junior Turner Johnson return after leading the Quakers’ 1600 relay team to a state runner-up finish last year.
Action starts at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday with the finals in the boys discus and long jump and girls shot put and high jump. The finals in the 3200-meter relay will be held at 5 p.m., followed by the running preliminaries.
The remaining field events will be contested at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by the running finals at 12:30 p.m.
The top four in each event advance to the Austintown Fitch regional next week.
Also in Division II, there will be 14 boys and 12 girls teams at the East district meet at West Holmes High School on Thursday and Saturday.
Beaver Local, East Liverpool and Minerva will be competing.
Minerva senior Ava Burman and juniors Amanda Kukunis and Alyssa Markins ran on the Lions’ 800-meter relay team that was fifth in the Division II state meet last year.
The 111th annual state track meet will be held June 1-2 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University.