Saturday, January 28, 2023

Hornets win third straight George Gross Invitational

Katie Straus picked up right where she left off last spring.

The Kirtland senior turned in a dominating performance to lead the Hornets to the team championship at the 2016 George Gross Invitational at Cuyahoga Heights on Tuesday.

“We had a great meet at Cuyahoga Heights to finally open our season after meet cancellations due to weather conditions,” said Kirtland girls coach JP Moran. “The times were very promising for early in the season and all girls competed hard and contributed to our third consecutive George Gross Invitational.”

The Hornets scored 164 points to beat out Cardinal (119.5) for the team title. Beachwood was third (112), Cuyahoga Heights (110) was fourth and Independence rounded out the top five with 93 points.

Straus broke her own school record with a 5-foot, 5-inch mark in the high jump and also won the 100 and 300-meter hurdles and anchored the first place team in the 4×400-meter relay.

She won the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.88 and finished the 300 hurdles in 47.05 seconds. The 4×4 team of Straus, freshman Jenna Sayle, sophomore Sydney Snyder and junior Grace Powers won the event with a time of 4:20.73.

Kirtland won the other relay events as well.

Seniors Christine Walsh and Claire Neibecker teamed up with Sayle and Snyder to win the 4×800-meter relay in 10:59.02 seconds and senior Julia Ricketti, Kadas, Powers and sophomore Jessica Hepper won the 4×200-meter relay in 1:52.83 seconds. Kadas, Powers, Ricketti and Zuberer won the 4×1 in 53.55 seconds.

Snyder gave Kirtland another individual event title with her first place finish in the 800-meter run (2:36.63).

Kadas was second in the 100-meter dash (13.86) while Sayle was the runner-up in the 1600-meter run with a new personal record of 5:35.97 and freshman Lilly Keleman finished second in the 400-meter dash (1:06.71).

Zuberer finished third in both hurdles with a time of 17.83 in the 100 and 53.25 in the 300. Sophomore Danielle Bryll was third in the 400 (1:07.43), Neibecker placed third in the long jump (13-9.5) and Powers was third in the 200 (28.07).

Fourth place finishers included sophomore Kristi Bryll in the 100-meter dash (14.75), sophomore Holly Samf in the long jump (13-9.5), Kadas in the 200 (28.92) and Walsh in the 3200-meter run (13:21.54).

Junior Kara Aquila was fifth in the shot put with a toss of 26-feet, 3 ½ inches.

Kirtland’s boys finished in fourth place with 69 ½ points.

Senior Peter Gabor was the Hornets’ only individual champion. He won the 400-meter dash with a time of 53.26 and he helped Kirtland finish second in the 4×400-meter relay. Gabor teamed up with sophomore Dylan Aquila, junior Jeremy Davis and senior Jonathan Guenther to finish in 3:51.60.

Gabor also helped the Hornets finish third in the 4×200-meter relay with a time of 1:43.01. Guenther, Davis and freshman Jake Neibecker also competed in that event.

Senior Jake Knox had a solid day with four top five finishes. He was fourth in the 110-meter hurdles (18.92) and fifth in the discus (113-7), high jump (5-4) and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (48.66).

Other fourth place finishers included junior Antonio Rini with a 12.55 time in the 100-meter dash and senior Kevin Cummings, who ran the 1600 in 5:15.73.

Guenther finished fifth in the 200 (25.29).


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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