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The Suburbanite
  • Green girls track chases school records

  • Led by a near-school record effort from senior pole vaulter Morgan Estes, a new school record by freshman high jumper Olga Branney and the middle distance efforts of senior Erika Rector, the Green Bulldogs pulled out a 75-62 Suburban League win against visiting Tallmadge.

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  • Led by a near-school record effort from senior pole vaulter Morgan Estes, a new school record by freshman high jumper Olga Branney and the middle distance efforts of senior Erika Rector, the Green Bulldogs pulled out a 75-62 Suburban League win against visiting Tallmadge.
    Estes, the defending state pole vault champion in Division I, easily won with a jump of 12-3 and narrowly missed out on setting a new school record with a miss in her final attempt at 12-9. In fact, because of the gap between Estes and the rest of the field, the rest of the pole vaulters from both schools took all of their jumps and determined the second- and third-place finishers before the bar was moved up to 12 feet for Estes to start her attempts. With her family and longtime Green head coach and current assistant Dan Gourley looking on and encouraging her on each attempt, Estes tried several tweaks to her approach in her three tries at the record-breaking height.
    The changes almost paid off on her third try, as she cleared the bar by plenty, only to clip it with her lower leg on the way down. Afterward, the emotion on her face was evident as the realization sunk in that she would have to wait another meet to top the mark set by former University of Akron standout Carrie Kayes, who holds the school record at 12-8.
    “I made 12-3 on my first try, which was very good,” Estes said. “It was a bigger pole and a newer pole for me, but 12-9 1/2 … 12-9 is our school record and all I needed to do was bring my feet back a little more and I did, but the wind got it (the bar). I have plenty of meets left to get it and I’ll get there, I just need more practice and more work on my big poles.”
    “She was real close to a school record and just bumped the bar coming down,” Gourley added. “She had real good form today and put a lot of heart into it and I know she’s disappointed, but I know she’ll get that 13 feet later.”
    While Estes was seeking records at the pole vault pit, Rector was leading the Bulldogs on the track. The 5-foot-7 senior, also a standout for Tracy Miller’s girls basketball team, paced the 4x800 relay team to an easy win in a time of 10:26.25. With Rector running the opening leg, the Bulldogs opened up a large lead of nearly 100 meters and never relinquished it as sophomore Catharine Hammes, junior Hannah Smith and senior Taylor Conner held off the Blue Devils for the win.
    Rector paired the relay win with a first-place finish in the 800, once again building a big lead and coasting home with a time of 2:21.27 to add five more points to her team’s total.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Bulldogs needed every point possible as Tallmadge scored consistently in the sprint relays and hurdles events. The Blue Devils won the 4x200 relay and won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles.
    However, those results were not enough to overcome Green’s dominance in the field events. In addition to Estes’s high jump win, the Bulldogs were victorious in the shot put, discus and high jump. Cailyn McLaughlin (34-6 in the shot put), Elizabeth Mogus (101-0 in the discus) and Olga Branney (5-6 in the high jump) came out on top to pad the Bulldogs’ lead and even a win in the meet’s final event, the 4x400 relay, wasn’t enough for the Blue Devils to climb out of the hole they’d dug for themselves.
    “We have  had consistent help from our throwers. Our shot putters swept and also swept the discus with Liz Mogus, Hailey Ruth and Cassie Solonika,” head coach Maedene Pfouts said.
    Branney set a new personal best and a school record with her final jump and Pfouts pointed to another impressive effort from her freshman jumper as an enouraging sign.
    “I was pleased with the performance of Olga Branny, she broke the school record for the third time this year,” Pfouts said.With contributions from across the roster and a motivated state champion with something left to prove – at least to herself – a win on a sunny spring evening should provide a confidence boost for the Bulldogs entering the latter stages of their season.
    Reach Andy at 330-899-2872 or Andy.Harris@TheSuburbanite.com.
    On Twitter: @aharrisBURB