KIRTLAND—Cardinal coach Greg Cicero knew his team had a chance to beat Berkshire for the team title at the 2015 Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division track championships on Tuesday. To do it, the Huskies would need to have the lead entering the two-mile race.
Cicero saw his plan unfold and the Huskies were tied with the Badgers entering the final event of the meet. The Badgers dominated the 4×400-meter relay to edge their rivals, 119-117. Cardinal’s girls’ team finished third behind Kirtland and Berkshire.
“We knew it was going to come down to how many points we could get before the two-mile,” Cicero said. “We knew that wasn’t our area of strength. We just didn’t have enough (points) beforehand.”
Cardinal’s relay team of seniors Christian Noreika and Ryan Riebe, junior Craig Shanower and freshman Jacob Revak finished second, 15 seconds behind Berkshire’s team of seniors Vince Noce, David Pelletier, Nate Walker and Kyle Storm.
Shanower took the baton with the Huskies in third place. He passed the Kirtland runner to move Cardinal into second but there was no way he was catching Storm, who won the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes.
“Craig Shanower had a good day,” Cicero said. “He led off the 4×8 with a good leg for us and took second in the 200 and third in the 300 hurdles and took third and then anchored our 4×4. It’s a hard feeling when you’re standing in that bullpen and you hear the tie score and then you look and see somebody the caliber of Kyle across from you. It’s not a settling feeling for anybody.”
Brandon Wicks won three events and placed second in another to help the Huskies finish second overall. He won the 110 and 300 meter hurdles as well as the long jump and he finished second to Storm in the 100.
Trisha Cesar also claimed a CVC title in the long jump with a leap of 14 feet, 7 inches.
Shanower, Kyle Simms and Nate Peters all claimed runner-up finishes for the Huskies. Shanower was second in the 200 (25.19), Simms finished second to Wicks in the 110 hurdles (17.10) and Peters was runner-up in the shot put (43-00).
“Kyle Simms had a really good day,” Cicero said. “He was second in the 110 hurdles, third in the high jump and ran in our 4×1 and 4×2 teams, which both took second. He had a really strong performance. He’s a part-time track guy and part-time baseball guy so anytime we get a really good performance from him is a bonus for us.”
Cardinal’s boys’ 4×1, 4×2 and 4×8 relays and the girls’ 4×100 also claimed second place finishes.
The girls’ 4×2 relay suffered a setback when it dropped the baton and was disqualified from the race. The girls responded with a strong finish at the meet.
“The girls could have folded it up after that 4×2 when they got disqualified,” Cicero said. “The 4×2 was moving pretty well but they dropped the baton and it rolled all over the place. They got disqualified but they had their moment of realizing, ‘We can come back from this.’ That was good because our girls haven’t really faced challenges like that very often. Usually things go pretty well for them. They had a good attitude throughout the meet of fighting and trying to get better. The girls’ team is very young. We only have two seniors. I think that’s going to help next year.”
Ashley Lucarelli, Erin Ross, Emily Kruse and Caitlyn Lechene combined to finish third in the 4×4 relay and Kruse, Paige Webb, Shelby Miller and Noel Springer finished third in the 4×8.
Jordyn Schultz finished third in the shot put and discus and Anna Avalon claimed a fourth place finish in the discus and was fifth in the shot.
“They both did pretty well,” Cicero said. “Jordyn, who has only really been throwing disc, has improved from last Thursday. That’s our furthest disc throw this season by any girl. She came out and performed well. Anna is a freshman. The disc didn’t go her way and kind of carried over into shot and affected that. As a freshman you’re going to have moments like that. She’s going to learn from it. She was already talking in the right tone after the meet about how she has to move on from event to event.”
Other third place finishers for the Huskies included Jacob Revak (200 and 400), Hayden Cummins (3200 and high jump), Lester Troyer (discus and shot) and Peters in the long jump.
“I feel a little disappointed for the kids more than anything,” Cicero said. “We’ve grown a lot this season. We would get (disqualified) in relays in the beginning of the year and missed races. They were prepared and came to compete. They did a great job tonight. We just fell a little bit short.”