Madeline Chambers fights off a hard-charging Natalie Zidd of
Highland in the final meters of the 800 last Friday at the Amherst
Division I regional meet. (West Life photo by Larry Bennet)
move on to Columbus
By Jim Horvath
Published June 3, 2009
was a little bit of everything at last Friday’s Division I regional
track meet at Amherst.
There were the expected fantastic finishes, and some
stunning disqualifications. Oh, and a monsoon-like storm and another
record performance by a girl named Katie.
Overall, it was a strong showing by the Westshore
area at Richard S. Cooley Track as a number of athletes qualified
for this week’s state track and field championships at Ohio State’s
Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Magnificat, which qualified nine athletes in seven
events, finished second in the team standings with 68 points behind
champion Whitehouse Anthony Wayne. The North Olmsted boys finished
eighth overall and qualified four events for Columbus.
is all smiles after setting a new Division I state record in
the pole vault last Friday at Amherst. Nageotte broke her won
record with a vault of 13-0. (West Life photos by Larry Bennet)
Among the individuals heading into this week’s championships
is Olmsted Falls’ Katie Nageotte. The Bulldog senior, who had broken
the Division I pole vault record just two weeks earlier at the Southwestern
Conference meet, broke it again and tied an overall state record
with a vault of 13-0 before the sky opened up and the rains swept
Nageotte, who scored a vault of 12-10 at the SWC meet
in Brecksville, had already locked up the regional championship
when Midpark’s Domenica Rossi could not get past 12-0. She missed
on her first two attempts, but nailed it cleanly on the third and
final attempt to break her own Division I record.
She attempted three vaults at 13-3 before the rains
came in an attempt to gain the overall record. She now shares the
record with Mackenzie Wells of Troy Christian. Wells got her 13-0
If Nageotte was excited after her SWC vault, she was
more so this time around.
“It’s crazy!” she exclaimed as she made the rounds
of congratulatory hugs. “It’s just an incredible feeling right now,”
she said as her coaches rushed her off the infield and the rains
began to fall.
It was an interesting meet as well for Magnificat,
which originally had finished third in the overall standings behind
Anthony Wayne and Midpark. But the Meteors violated a participation
rule when they ran an athlete in more than four events.
That disqualified Midpark in five events and elevated
the Blue Streaks’ 1600 relay into the fourth and final state qualifying
Last Wednesday, Magnificat got off to a strong start
with a record-setting performance of its own. The 3200 relay of
Erin Riley, Mary Whitmore, Kat Stultz and Madeline Chambers won
the event with a new meet and school record of 9:07.20. The previous
school record was set back in 1985.
“Setting that school and meet record was a huge accomplishment
for the ladies,” said Blue Streaks head coach Anjanette Arabian
Whitman. “They worked very hard to put together such a great effort.
“We’ve had a great season, and we’re looking forward
to competing as a team in Columbus,” she added.
Last Friday, Chambers had a big day, just missing
a meet record in the 1600. The junior dominated the race from start
to finish and turned in a time of 4:49.38. The meet record was 4:48.52
set by Maggie Infeld of Beaumont. Stultz finished second and qualified
for state with her time of 4:59.34.
Chambers didn’t have too much time to enjoy her big
win. She came right back minutes later and won the 800 with a time
of 2:11.49, fighting off Highland’s Natalie Zidd in the final 100
meters. Chambers’ time also set a new school record.
Clare and Abby Fischer qualified in the 3200, with
Clare taking third in 11:04.11 and Abby fourth in 11:05.53. And
the 1600 relay team of Sam Birchfield, Abbie Marquard, Whitmore
and Rachel Hlatky took fourth with a time of 3:58.9. Hlatky just
missed qualifying in the 200, taking fifth with a 25.39.
Olmsted 400 relay team of Phil Tomko, Josh Price, Pat Tomko
and Jordan Joppel met their goal and qualified for this week’s
state meet in Columbus.
For the North Olmsted boys, Josh Price qualified in
the long jump last Wednesday by turning in a first-place leap of
22-8¼. The next closest competitor was Shaun Joplin of Sylvania
Southview with his 22-3¾. Also that day, the Eagles’ John Taylor
qualified in the discus by taking fourth with a throw of 150-0.
It was a frustrating time for Jordan Hoppel as he
false started in the 100 preliminaries. But he came back strong
on Saturday, qualifying in the 200 by taking second in a blazing
22.17. Seth Cunningham of St. Edward won it with a time of 21.90.
It was also a big day for Hoppel and his teammates
in the 400 relay. The relay, frustrated late in the season by dropped
batons at the Westlake Relays and the SWC meet, qualified for state
by finishing third.
Phil Tomko, Price, Pat Tomko and Hoppel turned in
a time of 42.59.
“Team chemistry has been big for us this season,”
said Hoppel after he and his teammates received their awards. “Because
of that, we’ve been able to come back from bad performances. Today,
we didn’t have our best exchanges. If we do that, I think we can
“We’ve reached our goal. I think we’re going to get
to the podium at state,” he added.
North Olmsted made a little noise on the girls’ side
as well. Junior Mary Bridges, who had already dethroned Westlake’s
Bridget McNeill for the SWC discus title, qualified for her first
trip to state with a throw of 132-7. It was another personal best
for Bridges, and it was good enough for third place.
McNeill failed to qualify for a return trip to Columbus,
“Another PR was all it took,” said Bridges after receiving
her medal. “The coaching and my teammates have made all the difference.
I’ve never had more supportive teammates. They’re never-ending with
“At the beginning of the season, I set the goal of
making it to state,” she said. “I didn’t care where I placed, I
just wanted to make it. Today was about what I had hoped for. I’m
just hoping for another PR next week.”
Westlake’s Kalpana Beach will be making her second
trip to Columbus after taking third overall in the high jump with
a leap of 5-2. Her rival from Medina, sophomore Taylor Burke, took
first with a meet record 5-8¼.
Andie Hobson of Rocky River qualified for state in
the pole vault, taking the fourth and final spot with a 10-4. Teammate
Megan Grey, still hobbled by lower leg problems, finished ninth
with a 9-8.
Some area athletes just missed making it to the final
meet of the season.
McNeill turned in a best toss of 131-0 in the discus,
but missed out on the fourth and final qualifying spot to Shatora
Lewis of Toledo Scott. Lewis turned in a 131-3. Westlake’s 1600
relay finished fifth with a time of 3:59.80, while freshman Charlotte
Tate was fifth in the 1600 with a time of 5:10.88.