Independence hurdles, Kirtland distance highlight Cuyahoga Relays

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Independence’s shuttle hurdle team and Kirtland’s distance medley relay squad both took home first place awards at the 62nd Annual Cuyahoga Heights Relays on Saturday.

The Blue Devils won the shuttle hurdles with a time of 1:06.86.

Mason Crist, Alex Nelson, Jimmy Senick and Trevor Thompson combined to win that event.

“The team really strapped down to put in a competitive time,” Crist said. “Alex Nelson led us off with a strong time to give us a little bit of a lead right off the bat. Senick then maintained that lead pretty well. Thompson, one of our non-hurdlers, did what he could to keep the race close. I was fortunate enough to run a good time and catch up from behind to take first by just a lean. It was an all-around great race by my teammates. Being the anchor, my only real job is to finish. The other three runners do the most work. Those other three did extraordinarily well and gave us a really good shot.”

Isabel Anness, Kristi Bryll, Danielle Bryll and Jenna Sayle combined to win the distance medley in 9:59.70.

“Today was a lot of fun and I think the whole team worked super hard, especially because of the freezing weather,” Kristi Bryll said. “I ended up in hurdles, which is always interesting because I don’t hurdle, but everyone had such a solid effort I couldn’t be happier with the results of today, even if it maybe was not our best times and distances. Personally, I love relays so today was a lot of fun. Things like the medleys are interesting, especially the distance one because the 200 is a part of it even though it’s a sprint. The handoff with the 800 to the 200 was super awkward because everyone had already cut in, but other than that, I think relay meets are super fun.”

Independence also claimed top-three finishes in the distance medley, pole vault relay, shot put relay, discus relay, high jump relay, 1600-meter relay, 3200-meter relay and the 6400-meter relay.

Emily Skoczen, Marisa Silverstro, Lauren St. Andrew and Makenna McGhee finished the girls distance medley in 10:33.79, good for third place, while the boys’ team of P.J. Oschmann, Anthony Trombetta, Jimmy Senick, and Collin Patton finished second in 8:52.14. Crist, Patton, and Senick combined to finish second in the pole vault relay with a total of 24-feet cleared.

Martha Clymer, Linzy Jedrzejek, and Grace Smotek finished third in the shot put relay (78-4.5) and third in the discus relay (236-1). Sam Richardson, Smotek and St. Andrew finished second in the high jump relay (13-4), Jedrzejek, Emma Wensink and Arabella Zambito were third in the pole vault relay (19-6) and Josie Lee, McGhee, Emily Skoczen and Paige Westerburg combined to finish third in the 6400 (25:05.43) and the 3200 (10:54.15).

Willow Crist, Lee, St. Andrew and Stralka claimed second place in the shuttle hurdles with a time of 1:18.20 and Christina Brunsman, Lee, Skoczen, and Westerburg finished third in the 1600-meter relay (4:31.04).

“High Jump went pretty well today,” St. Andrew said. “I believe we all jumped as well as we possibly could have considering the weather, but we are never completely satisfied with our results. We always strive to jump higher. It would have been nice to be able to go head to head with the first place team (in the hurdle relay), however, with our time being a 1:19 we were pretty happy with our performance today.”

Cardinal finished the day with six runner-up finishes and five more top three placements.

Trey Shirkey, Spencer Starr, and Set Peters combined to finished second in the discus relay (303-11), Michael Lucarelli, Peters and Connor Sodee placed second in the long jump relay (50-0.75), while Ben Lobdell and Todd Wright finished third in the pole vault relay (16-6), Jacob Revak, Lucarelli, Tyson Sinclair and Sodee finished the 800-meter relay in 1:38.91 to finish third and Hayden Cummins, Ben Lobdell, Revak, and Sinclair ran the 1600-meter relay in 3:46.45, good for third.

“I enjoy these relay meets a lot due to the fact that you can work with a team, which can bring the team closer together,” Lucarelli said.

The Huskies finished second in the girls’ 800 and 1600-meter relays.

Mackenzie Conley, Sarah Shahan, Taylor Zeigler and Anna Blubaugh finished the 800 in 1:58.63 while Jenna Ayer, Shahan, Zeigler, and Blubaugh finished the 1600 in 4:29.72. Conley, Daisy Robinson, and Sydney Spitler finished third in the long jump relay (38-8.25).

Anna Avalon, Kaylee Klepper, and Megan Maddox teamed up to finish second in the shot put relay (86-1.5) and Klepper, Avalon and Camille Cummins finished third in the discus relay (263-2).

“It was totally different and so much fun,” Maddox said of throwing the shot. “I was a little nervous to throw in the meet because I had only practiced once, but I am so thankful that I had Anna and Kaylee to teach me and to laugh at my mistakes. I was shocked to find out that we placed second. I was very excited. I’m happy that I was able to help Anna and Kaylee get that good of a place. I know that I am proud of our performances and I’m sure that they are too.”

Kirtland took home second place finishes in the girls 800-meter relay and the boys’ shot put relay.

Brooke Alfieri, Kristi Bryll, Danielle Bryll and Sayle ran the 800 in 2:02.45 while Jack Bailey, Austin Fulco, and Brayden Lyon combined to throw the shot 117-feet, 4 ½ inches.

Kirtland’s discus relay team of Fulco, Lyon, and Logan Snodell finished third (288-1) and Anthony Blasini, Luke Gogolin and Alex Weaver teamed up to place third in the long jump relay (48-11).

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, 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 IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com 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.