Monday, June 27

    CVC athletes leave a mark at Division III regional track meet

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    Several athletes from the Chagrin Valley Conference already have left their mark on the first day of the Division III Massillon Perry Regional track & field meet on Wednesday.

    Independence’s Robert Artrip punched his ticket to the state meet by placing among the top four in two events, Cuyahoga Heights’ Kyle Wolff also earned his ticket to Columbus and the Independence girls’ 4×800-meter relay team also qualified for the state meet.

    Several other athletes will compete in Friday’s finals.

    Artrip placed third in both the pole vault and discus.

    “It is super exciting to be moving on in two events and I’m honestly surprised I made it in the discus but everything came together today,” Artrip said. “With pole vault, I was just trying to qualify. I struggled last week with some injuries so my goal was to save my legs and make whatever height I needed to (in order) to move on.”

    Artrip cleared 14-feet in the pole vault and threw a new personal best in the discus with a toss of 156-10.

    “My qualifying throw was really a surprise, it was a two-foot PR and just what I needed today,” he said. “I had two bad throws to start prelims and was nervous that I might not make finals, but managed to pull one together on my third throw.”

    Wolff placed fourth in the pole vault with a top height of 14-feet.

    Austin Knaack of Cuyahoga Heights advanced to the finals in two events. He placed sixth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.37 seconds and second in the 200 with a time of 22.65 seconds.

    Richmond Heights’ Malikee Sonie claimed the eighth spot in the 100-meter dash prelims with a time of 11.53 seconds. He also will compete in Friday’s finals.

    Independence’s 4×800-meter relay team of Erica Esper, Andrea Klima, Emily Skoczen and Paige Westerburg is state-bound after finishing fourth in the event with a school-record time of 9:54.

    “I was very proud of our team’s time,” Westerburg said. “We had set goals for the 4×8 at the beginning of the season. Breaking the school record, on top of qualifying for state, is awesome for us to accomplish as a team.”

    Esper, who also will compete in Friday’s finals in the 1600 and 3200, was thrilled to punch her ticket to state.

    “It was pure excitement,” she said. “I was so happy and proud of what my teammates and I had accomplished. Each leg ran hard and we also broke the school record, which was another one of our goals.”

    For Skoczen, earning a spot at the state meet is a dream come true.

    “One of my goals since freshman year was to advance to the state meet in the 4×800 and I felt so proud and excited for my team when we finished,” she said. “Next week, I think our goals should be to drop our time even more and place eighth or better to make it on the podium.”

    Other CVC athletes who will compete in Friday’s finals include Berkshire’s Madison Romask (3200) and Dana Shale (pole vault), Cardinal’s Kaylee Klepper (Discus), Cuyahoga Heights’ Stefani Attewell (Pole Vault), Curtis Davis (high jump), Acacia May (Pole Vault) and Darien Tillet (1600), Independence’s Makenna McGhee (3200), Braden Sears (Shot Put), Luke Clymer (Shot Put) and Skoczen (800), and Kirtland’s Luke Gogolin (high jump).

    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. 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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