Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Blue Devils compete at Trinity Invitational

Independence was one of just two Division III school to compete at the Trinity Invitational at Bedford Bearcat Stadium on Friday.

Despite their size, the Blue Devils turned in a strong performance.

“A large meet like the one in Friday really benefits a few of our athletes,” said senior Mason Crist, who finished second in the pole vault and sixth in both the 110-meter hurdles and long jump. “We have a handful of runners, throwers, and jumpers who need higher competition to push us to PR. I am one of those athletes. When there is someone running faster than me or jumping farther than me, it gives me the push I need to compete well. Larger meets help me to focus on the big picture and realize what state of mind I need to be in to compete at the best of my ability this postseason.”

Crist finished the 110 hurdles in 16.15 and cleared 18-feet, 11-inches in the long jump. He cleared 11-feet in the pole vault to finish behind teammate Robert Artrip, a junior, who set a PR of 13-feet, 1-inch to win the event.

“I would’ve liked to pick up a little more distance on my long jump and cut a little more time from my 110s,” Crist said. “I’m not satisfied with my performances and I never will be. I was told in youth track, ‘the moment you become satisfied with your performances is the moment your career is over.’ I will continue to strive for longer and higher jumps and faster times in my running events.”

Artrip also finished sixth in the shot put (41-4.25) and seventh in the discus (121-11). Sophomore Luke Clymer finished third in the shot (42-4.5) and fifth in the discus (129-11).

Senior Christina Brunsman had a strong day for the Independence girls as she finished seventh in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:05.67 and also ran a leg in the 4×800-meter relay, which finished fifth with a time of 10:45.94.

Freshman Makenna McGhee, sophomore Emily Skoczen, and freshman Paige Westerburg also competed in the 4×8.

“I was not very satisfied with my placing,” Brunsman said. “My times were not as good as they usually are and at this point in the season. I should be shooting for personal records each time I compete. Even though the meet was tough, it provided our team and me with some great competition that will push us harder against a league meet. I think with the weather being nice in the upcoming weeks, this will also help the team dramatically for conference and districts.”

Skoczen finished eighth in the 800 (2:36.44) and McGhee was sixth in the 32-00 (12:45.60).

Freshman Willow Crist placed eighth in the 100-meter hurdles (18.99) and juniors Sam Richardson and Lauren St. Andrew tied for seventh in the high jump (4-3). Junior Emma Wensink took seventh in the pole vault (7-6) and senior Martha Clymer placed in both the shot put and discus. She finished fifth in the shot (30-04) and seventh in the discus (84-5).

The Blue Devils host the Dan Potopsky Invitational on Tuesday.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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