|
|
The Suburbanite
  • Lake Center girls win Christian Invitational, boys second

  • In a season full of individual success and overall challenges due to their small roster size, the Lake Center Christian boys and girls track teams found themselves on equal footing against a collection of Christian schools from across Ohio at the nine-team Lake Center Christian Invitational May 12.

    • email print
  • In a season full of individual success and overall challenges due to their small roster size, the Lake Center Christian boys and girls track teams found themselves on equal footing against a collection of Christian schools from across Ohio at the nine-team Lake Center Christian Invitational May 12.
    The Tigers were able to host their largest meet ever and welcome in a group of smaller schools that gave them a good idea of what to expect heading into the Creston Div. III district meet at Norwayne. With that opportunity in front of them, the Tigers rose to the occasion with the girls winning the meet and the boys placing second. For the LCCS girls, the margin of victory was thin, with 116 points to edge out Youngstown Christian (109) and Open Door Christian (102). On the boys’ side, Youngstown Christian snagged the title with 147 points, followed by LCCS (116) and Gilead Christian (87).
    Making both squads’ success all the more remarkable, they achieved their high finishes without a slew of first-place finishes. The field events, where the area of the meet the Tigers dominated on both sides, as Mark Slayman won the shot put (43’0.5”) and discus (121’5.25”) for the boys and field event standout Jenae Linville was her usual dominant self in the same events for the girls.
    Linville’s victory in the discus was especially impressive, as she stepped into the cage for her first throw and on a warm, windless spring morning, uncorked a new personal-best throw of 144’4.5”. The toss was more than twice that of her nearest competitor in the first flight of the event and left several of her competitors wondering how a 5-foot-5 athlete could unleash such a throw. Several remarked that the boys’ discus throwers on their team didn’t reach the distance Linville achieved. Her shot put effort of 37’7” also easily outpaced the field.
    With points from the field events getting them off to a great start, the Tigers built with a series of top-four finishes included a first place finish from the 4x100-meter relay team of Wade Kyser, Rico Miller, Wyatt Kyser and Joey Zavarelli with a time of 49.9.
    The 4x200 and 4x400-meter relay teams, which have been the strength of the team for most of the season, performed well but didn’t win as first-year head coach Wayne Schultz admitted his team may have been a little too amped up in the big meet atmosphere.
    “It was kind of a tough meet, everybody was off a little bit,” Schutlz said. “There was a lot of excitement for us being the host school and the energy was really good. Everyone was really positive even though we were a little off.”
    Along with the three high finishes for the sprint relays, LCCS was also able to net key points with a third place finish for the 4x800 relay, which took place early in the meet and saw Mitch Clamut, Kai Wagler, Chris McQuistion and Zack Starcher run well enough to beat the majority of the field.
    Page 2 of 2 - Linville was far from the only LCCS girls competitor to post a high finish, with junior Bethany Schroll ending up fourth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 20.9 and sophomore Sidney Schultz second in the 300-meter hurdles with a new personal best of 49.8. In a close meet with a large field, every point was valuable and Schroll and Shultz helped stake the Tigers to a lead they would not relinquish. Schroll also won the high jump with a leap of 4’6”.
    Senior Elena McCarty had a big meet as well and in the final regular season meet of her LCCS career was able to go out in style with a win in the 200 meters in 29.3 seconds.
    “For Elena being a senior, I thought it was great for her going out and winning in this meet,” Schultz said.
    Continuing a theme that has been woven throughout the year, multiple competitors notched personal bests at the meet. This included senior Adi Fulmer, whose second-place result in the 400 meters with a time of 65.6 hinted at the progress she has made in the event since taking it up during the season.
    For Wayne Schultz, the meet was challenging because running a large invitational and coaching one’s own team is a tall task, to say the least. Organizing events, tasking helpers and keeping the event running smoothly and keeping an eye on several dozen athletes can be difficult, but he became something of a perpetual motion machine for the day, rotating between meet organizer and coach.
    “I tried to hit all of the events as much as I can and keep an eye on them, kind of see how they’re working out,” he said.
    With their invitational success fresh in their minds, the Tigers move on to district competition looking to surprise. Despite their improving performance this season, they will go into the postseason as underdogs for the most part. That’s just fine with Schultz, who has reminded his young charges where the pressure lies.
    “I think some times with that many young athletes, it can be an advantage,” he said in speaking about his underclassmen-heavy roster. “I’ve told our kids that all of the pressure is on the top runners and that all they can do is go out there and better themselves. Ultimately, it’s going to be a plus either way, no matter how they finish, as long as they do that.”
    Regardless of how many competitors they advance to the regional meet, one positive result of the season is the hope of starting a cross country program at LCCS based on the growth the team has seen. Schultz would like to launch the cross country squad and hopes the improving times and resulting enthusiasm with athletes and parents will make such an endeavor possible. Of course, a group of LCCS athletes journeying to compete in Columbus wouldn’t hurt either.