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A First Place Finish at The Strongsville Invitational

By Matt Kelly '22, 03/28/21, 2:30PM EDT


In their first outdoor meet of 2021, the Wildcats place first in impressive fashion.

In the first outdoor meet since 2019, the Track and Field Wildcats crushed the Strongsville Elite Meet field and won first place to start the season! The Cats made the most of a beautiful 60 degree and sunny day to engage in an every-event encompassing attack in their debut. Scoring 141.5 points on the day, the Cats balanced well among individual track events, relays, and field events.

For Saturday’s track meet and many others, team scores come from totaling the placement of relay teams and individuals based on 10 points for a first-place team/athlete, eight for second, six for third, four for fourth, three for fifth, two for sixth, and one for seventh. Getting as many athletes in the top seven is the goal for every event. At Saturday’s meet, only two athletes per team per event could score in every event, but the relays, where one relay per team could score.

The Cats packed two athletes into the top five in the Long Jump, Shot Put, and Discus to score high points in the field. Sophomore Owen Czyzynski and Senior Anthony Santagata went second and third in the Long Jump, hitting marks of 19-07 and 18-10 for eight and six points. Senior Eric Shyne jumped 16-04 for 14th. At the Shot Put, seniors Nick Velotta and Brice Cerar joined Sophomore Mitch Hyland against Brunswick’s 6’6”, 300 lb Tomas Rimac, one of the best shotputters in the state. Rimac won by 10 feet, but Velotta went 46-03 for third, and Hyland finished with 45-04.5 for a fourth-place tie. Cerar threw 39-06.5 in 11th, and the cats took 9.5 points total. At Discus, Velotta and Junior Joe Kause launched 135-05 and 124-6.5 for second and fourth, and Senior Dylan Sofish threw 89-10 for 16th place. The Cats earned 12 from the Discus and a total of 35.5 from just these three events!

At Long Jump, Junior Peter McGreal jumped 5’ for 11th. In the Pole Vault, Junior Ethan Pulice finished 9th with 10-06 while the ambitious Jack Bush and Noah Zebrak finished with NH. The Cats finished with 35.5 points from the field, which is very impressive for an early-season meet!

In the sprints, Eric Shyne, Sophomore Ryan Kennedy, and Junior Frank Pike competed in the 100m dash. They finished in 11.71, 12.01, and 12.23, respectively, featuring third place (six points) finish from Shyne and 10th and 12th from Kennedy and Pike. In the 200m, Senior Jack McCarthy won first from three heats with a time of 22.68 (10 points), Junior Edwin Abiakl finished third in 23.40 (six points), and Mike Glinatsis finished 10th place with a time of 24.89. In the 400m, McGreal scored two points in sixth with a time of 55.1, and Sophomore Bobby Starck ran 57.08 for the Cats in ninth. From these three events, the Cats earned 24 points!

The relays were where the Cats really did well and could have pulled even further away in scoring had it not been for the one relay team scoring per team limit. Finishing first and fifth in the 4x1, second and fifth in the 4x2, third in the 4x4, and first and third in the 4x8, the Cats scored an astounding 34 points (and what could have been 46) Pike, Abiakl, Shyne, and McCarthy ran 43.22 to win the 4x1 and Muresan, Tompkins, Spencer, and Vytosky ran 45.97 for fifth. In the 4x2, Kennedy, Glinatsis, Chung, and Mursean ran 1:34.84 for second, and Norris, Favazzo, Haney, and Krebs ran 1:38.05 for fifth. Next, with a mix of distance runners and sprinters, Showman, Mayer, Starck, and Chung ran 3:34.23 (an average of 53.56!) for third in the 4x4. In the 4x8, Wildcats of every grade level made up two teams: Showman, Mayer, Paliga, and Fitzpatrick vs. Zelinski, Ripepi, Sepesy, and Corrigan. The older group, led by seniors Fitzpatrick and Mayer, won first overall with a time of 8:22.90, and Ripepi’s squad finished third in 8:49.30. Again, with 10 in the 4x1, eight in the 4x2, six in the 4x4, and 10 in the 4x8, a balanced attack got the job done for the Cats.

In the distance events, jamming athletes in the top four was again the Wildcats’ approach. Doubling back from the 4x8, Peter Fitzpatrick and Alex Paliga ran the 800m in 2:06.3 and 2:06.57 for third and fourth, and Luke Chesney ran 2:12.22 for a total of 10 points. In the 1600m, Aidan Monroe, Joseph Maloney, and Connor McAndrews finished second, third, and fourth for 14 points. Aidan ran 4:30, Joseph 4:33, and Connor 4:37, all impressive times for the challenging winds. In the 3200m, Matt Kelly finished first in 9:50, and Christian Wolke ran 10:36 for 10th place. In total, the Distance Cats contributed 34 points to the team total.

Damon Frabotta finished third overall in the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.71, and Jacob Rutkowski finished 7th with 19.18. In the 300m hurdles, Damon again finished third in 44.37, Owen Zyzynski finished seventh in 46.93, and Rutkowski ran 48.01 for 12th. The Cats earned a total of 14 points from the hurdlers!      

With the Field Cats scoring 35.5, sprints giving 24, relays totaling 34, distance adding 34, and sprinters providing 14, the Cats won the meet by 12.5 points! In second was the home Strongsville, third Brunswick, and fourth Berea. The Cats’ next races, jumps, vaults, and throws will be next Saturday at the Avon Lake invitational!