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    Independence wraps up season at state meet


    WESTERVILLE—Independence’s track & field team closed out the 2021 season in style at the OHSAA Division III state meet at Westerville North High School on Saturday.

    Five different Blue Devils earned All-Ohio honors by finishing among the top eight in their respective events.

    Junior Emmett Stralka earned three medals as he finished sixth in the 100-meter dash, third in the 200, and he ran a leg in the 4×200-meter relay, which placed third.

    Stralka ran a time of 11.38 in the 100 and 22.68 in the 200. He teamed up with juniors Jack Taliaferro and Kyle Zygmunt, and senior Josh Belitz to run the 4×200 in a new school record time of 1:30.85.

    Zygmunt also placed in the 400 as he finished sixth in 49.87, a new personal record.

    Freshman Casey Adams earned a spot on the podium in the long jump. She finished eighth with a best leap of 16-feet, 5 ½-inches.

    Senior Madison Stepanik closed out her career with a 15th-place finish in the shot put. Her best throw was 33-feet, 7-inches.

    Independence’s boys’ team tied for 10th with 18 points.

    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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