The Wildcats will have plenty of representation in Columbus next weekend.
The Saint Ignatius track and field team will have 10 Wildcats in 7 events, with John Wetula leading the way.
The star senior continued his breakout year on Wednesday and Friday at the Amherst Regional Meet at Marion Steele High School. Wetula led the team to third at Regionals, punching a ticket to States in THREE events. Yes, that's right. Wetula will be a busy man at The Ohio State University next weekend.
Wetula started his points bonanza with the 110m hurdles. The West Parker dropped .18 seconds from prelims to finals, galloping past other competitors to earn second-place. His time of 14.23 netted him eight points and his first qualifier of the evening.
His show continued with the 4x100m relay, combining with three other excellent runners in Dominic Devengencie, Jack Kennedy, and Henry Cook. The quartet dropped .26 seconds from prelims to finals, catapulting to second in the race with a time of 42.56. Their efforts glassed eight points and a spot at Jesse Owens Memorial Track.
Wetula completed his efforts in the 300m hurdles. The senior barely made the cut in the prelims with an eighth-place time of 40.03. But he turned on the jets during the finals on Friday. Hawking several other runners, Wetula careered to fourth place with a time of 38.74. His efforts totaled 15 points for the team, a huge get for the Wildcats.
Meanwhile, Devengencie and Kennedy almost qualified for the finals of the 100m dash. But the junior and senior barely missed out with times of 11.26 and 11.33. In Devengencie's case, he fell to the eight place finisher by just .001 seconds. The heartbreaker photo finish does not take away from what has been an excellent year for the speedy junior, and you'll see him next week in the 4x100.
The lengthy 4x800 saw the veteran bunch of Nick Saul, John Mayer, Steve Zucca, and Matt Blouch punch a ticket to Columbus. The quartet, made up of two seniors and two juniors, snatched a time of 7:54.52, good for third place and six big points. These four will be men to watch next weekend.
Saul made another glorious appearance in the 1600m. The senior ran the mile race quite well, clocking in at 4:19.37 to card second place. His effort locked in eight points for the blue and gold.
Zucca did nearly as well in the 3200m run. The junior shattered his previous personal record in the race, and smashed his seed time by 17 seconds. That's incredible. His perseverance this season has paid off with a time of 9:20.06, fourth place at Regionals, and a spot in the race in Columbus next weekend.
The Wildcats' youthful relay in the 4x400 could not pull a rabbit out of a hat amidst a tough field. Jack McCarthy, Luke Griffiths, Liam Reilly, and Cormac Nolan battled valiantly but finished ninth in the prelims with a mark of 3:26.72. All of these bright Cats will be back next year.
Three competitors repped the Cats in the field events – Dante Frabotta, Dan Dreillishak, and John Wiberg.
Frabotta just barely missed the cut for States in the high jump. The senior surpassed 6-02.00, but lost to the fourth place jumper on tiebreakers. Even still, Frabotta earned four points for the Wildcats.
Drellishak enjoyed a great day, snatching second. The junior leaped to his best height of 14-06.00, leaping over the height on his second bound. Tre Young of Whitmer bested him, as the senior leaped to a height of 15-00.00. Regardless, you'll see Drellishak competing in Columbus next weekend.
The Wildcats finished third as a team to Strongsville (69) and Whitmer (59). Medina (39), Sandusky (34), St. Francis (32), Rocky River (28), Lexington (25), Ashland (22), and Avon Lake (19) rounded out the top ten.