CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS—Julie Namciu won the MVP of the running events and Reilly Greenlee also had a big day for Kirtland at the 64th Annual Cuyahoga Heights Relays on Saturday.
Kirtland’s girls’ team finished in third place while the Hornets were fourth on the boys’ side.
“I’m really proud of how resilient and willing to do different events depending on the needs of the team our athletes were today,” said Kirtland coach J.P. Moran. “The distance crew was really dialed in today and raced very hard and very competitively and secured three victories in the 4×1600, 4×800, and Distance Medley.”
Namciu and Greenlee both were part of those three victories and also claimed a third-place finish on the day.
Namciu took home the George Gross Award for her outstanding performance on the track. She anchored the winning 4×1600-meter relay that finished with a time of 25:50.04. Aimee Baldrey, Greenlee, and Delaney Kuczkowski also competed in that event.
The Hornets also won the 4×800 in 11:12.14. Greenlee, Kuczkowski, Namciu, and Sophia DeMarco all ran in that event and Namciu, Elin Connor, Alyssa Bryll, and Greenlee teamed up to win the Distance Medley in 10:42.57.
Namciu earned a third-place finish with Bryll, Connor, and Payton VanArnhem in the 800-meter sprint medley (2:05.91).
Greenlee’s third-place finish came in the 4×100-meter shuttle hurdle relay. She teamed up with Maria Alfieri, Ava Golem, and Kuczkowski to finish among the top three in that event.
Other top three finishers for Kirtland included the boys’ 4×800-meter relay team of Andrew Beinhardt, Ian McGreal, Ian Borthwick, and Austin Leland, who placed third in 9:27.67. Luke Gogolin, Chloe Ungrady, and Megan Yarborough all finished second in their respective events.
Gogolin cleared 19-4 in the long jump relay, Ungrady tossed the shot 29-feet, 7.75-inches, and Yarborough threw the discus 87-feet, 11-inches.
Overall, Moran couldn’t have been more pleased with his athletes.
“Kids like Payton VanArnhem went from one event to three or four events overnight and distance runners like Delaney Kuczkowski did hurdles for the first time along with her events,” Moran said. “We had girls like Leah (LaVerde) and Sophia doing field events they only practiced for this week and Maria was in three different field events. And then to cap it all off was Julie winning the MVP for women’s running events. I’m just so happy for her today.”