MASSILLON—Independence’s Robert Artrip placed fifth in the pole vault and the Blue Devils’ 4×800-meter relay team took home sixth place on the first day of the Division III regional track meet at Massillon Perry High School on Wednesday.
Kirtland’s Joey Torok and Cardinal’s 4×400-meter relay team advanced to Friday’s finals.
Artrip, a junior who also placed ninth in the discus, narrowly missed qualifying for the state meet in the pole vault after clearing 13-feet, 6-inches. He tied for fourth but had one more miss at 13-6 than Shadyside’s Dale Hawthorne.
“It hurts to come so close to advancing, especially to get kicked out due to missed attempts,” Artrip said. “I think it showed me that I need to work on consistency in my vaulting and that every attempt I take, no matter what height, can influence the outcome of the competition.
Artrip will use his regional experience and the disappointment that came with finishing fifth as the motivation to come back stronger and more consistent next season.
“Coming so close is definitely going to push me to train harder next year to make sure I don’t miss out next year,” he said. “Like I said, it showed me that I need to work on consistency and getting above the top of my poles. To reach the next level I need to get a stronger push off the top and consistency will allow me to change small aspects of my technique depending on how I’m jumping that day.”
Independence’s girls’ 4×800-meter relay team of senior Christina Brunsman, sophomores Emily Skoczen and Josie Lee and freshman Makenna McGhee finished sixth with a time of 10:01.56.
Senior Mason Crist finished ninth in the 110-meter hurdle preliminary round with a time of 16.07 seconds, 10th in the 300-meter hurdle prelims (42.51) and ninth in the pole vault (12-6). Senior Ryan Zygmunt and sophomore Luke Clymer also competed for the Blue Devils. Zygmunt finished 12th in the 400 (52.63) and Clymer was 10th in the discus (126-2).
Skoczen will compete in Friday’s open 800 final.
Torok, a junior, advanced to Friday’s 100-meter dash finals with a time of 11.02, the third fastest among the two heats.
“Advancing to the finals got me super pumped,” Torok said. “I was just excited to run today and see where I’m at compared to my competition. Now that I’m in the finals, I just have to run the same race, if not better than the one I did today. I feel good about an 11.02 but I feel that there is always room to improve.”
Kirtland junior Austin Fulco will compete in Friday’s shot put final.
Cardinal’s 4×400-meter relay team of seniors Jacob Revak and Ben Lobdell, junior Tyson Sinclair and sophomore Michael Lucarelli qualified for Friday’s final with a time of 3:33.93, good for sixth place in the preliminary heats.
In advancing to the finals, the team ran a season-best time shortly after a disappointing 12th place finish in the 4×200-meter relay.
“They lost their nerves in the 4×2 and were able to complete a great race,” said Cardinal coach Greg Cicero. “Ben Lobdell ran a huge anchor leg for us to get us where we wanted to be.”
Cardinal’s girls’ 4×100-meter relay team finished 16th with a time of 54.29 seconds. Seniors Sarah Shahan, Marina Cooper and Taylor Zeigler and freshman Jessica Proch competed in that event.
Zeigler was disqualified in the 300-meter hurdles after a false start and Anna Avalon and Kaylee Klepper both will compete in Friday’s discus final.