CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS—Cardinal advanced 10 athletes in six different events to the Division III Massillon Perry Regional Track Meet next week after a strong showing at Friday’s district meet at Cuyahoga Heights High School.
The Huskies finished third in the girls’ event while the boys placed 10th.
Senior Anna Avalon claimed the Huskies lone district championship by throwing the discus 111-feet, 8-inches.
“It’s extremely exciting,” Avalon said of returning to the regional meet. “My whole season has led up to this meet and I’m beyond happy that I was able to perform and continue onto regionals. I would say I was happy with my throw, but there is always room to improve. I’m happy with the improvements I’ve made this season and I hope that going into regionals will give me another chance to PR.”
Avalon placed 13th at regionals last season and that experience has prepared her for her final shot at continuing on to state.
“Going into regionals, I plan to stay relaxed and perform my best,” she said. “I plan to adjust a few things and go compete to the best of my ability.”
Avalon also placed seventh in the shot put (31-5).
Junior Kaylee Klepper will join Avalon at regionals as she finished third in the discus (108-3) and sixth in the shot (32-6).
“I’m so glad I get to throw next week,” Klepper said. “This season just flew by and I don’t feel like I’m ready for it to end. Before districts, I felt I had hit a bit of a rough patch and wasn’t performing as well as I wanted to for a few weeks. I was very uneasy in the ring because I was so concerned on my marks and where I placed that I stressed myself out. Today, I didn’t have high expectations for myself, and I had no idea what the competition was like, so I just did my thing. That’s my strategy for next week at regionals; I am going to do the best I can and not worry about my stats.”
Senior Taylor Zeigler finished third in the 300-meter hurdles and also will compete next weekend at Massillon Perry.
She finished the race in 49.25 seconds and also ran a leg in the 4×100-meter relay to lead the Huskies to a fourth-place finish in 54.07 seconds. Seniors Sarah Shahan and Marina Cooper and freshman Jessica Proch also competed in that event.
“I’m very satisfied with the events I’m qualifying in for regionals next week,” Zeigler said. “With this opportunity comes with more preparation so I’m really going to focus on my events. With this being my senior year it’s a bittersweet moment. I’m glad my last season running has extended into next week and I’m excited to see what’s ahead for me at regionals.”
Shahan narrowly missed qualifying for regionals in two other events, the 200-meter dash and 4×400-meter relay, but she is excited to compete next week in the 4×100.
“Qualifying for regionals during my final season of track feels amazing,” Shahan said. “I am honestly so grateful to have made it this far. It makes all the tough days on the track leading up to now feel even more worth it. Next week my individual goal is to PR and my overall goal is to have my relay team make it as far as we can. We all worked so hard and wanted this so badly.”
Cardinal’s 4×200 and 4×400-meter relay teams also finished among the top four and will compete next week.
Seniors Jacob Revak and Ben Lobdell, junior Tyson Sinclair and sophomore Michael Lucarelli placed third in the 4×200 with a time of 1:34.79 and that same group finished second in the 4×400 (3:35.68).
“I thought the boys performed well and were ready for the competition,” said Cardinal coach Greg Cicero. “Jake and Ben have had great careers and this is a great way to cap it off. Michael and Tyson are running great middle legs for us. It starts with Jake and his leadoff legs putting us in good position.”