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Track and Field Cats Take Second in Season Opener

By Matt Kelly '22, 04/04/22, 5:15PM EDT


The Wildcats opened their season at the Avon Lake Invitational as they would tie for second place with GlenOak.

AVON LAKE, Oh - After the Strongsville Elite Meet was canceled last Saturday, the Wildcats were forced to wait an extra week and began the season at the Avon Lake Invitational. From the start of the 110m to the end of DMR, the Track and Field Cats showed up to their debut meet this outdoor season, ready to compete. But long before Saturday’s meet, the Wildcats showed up to practices and workouts, going back to the first day back from winter break.

For most of the athletes on the team, this meet or this week’s JV Meet will be their first chance to compete and capitalize on their three months of work. At one of the largest meets in the state this week, 21 boys and girls teams were present, with Ohio Milesplit picking this meet as their “featured meet” of the weekend.

Due to the large size of the meet, each team was allowed only one athlete per track event, two athletes per field event and one team in each relay. The Wildcats entered one athlete in the 100m, 110m hurdles, 200m, 300m hurdles, 400m, 800m, 1600m and 3200m. Two athletes for the Wildcats contested the long jump, high jump, pole vault, shot put and discus. One relay team for the Cats competed in the 4x200m, 4x800m, and Distance Medley Relay. The Cats did not contest the 4x100m or 4x400m.

In the sprint events, Nick Hille finished ninth in the 100m in 11.61, Max Muresan took fourth in the prelims of the 200m in 23.10 and an equal fourth in the final in 23.10 and Samurai Chung finished sixth in the 400m in 53.46. The 4x200m relay of Frankie Pike, Logan Hill, Robert McFarren and Troy Bell finished 12th in 1:37.08. With three points from Muresan and six from Chung, the sprint Cats totaled nine points. The Legion of Zoom, in their depth, did not have a chance to showcase their strength in numbers at this meet due to the limited entries.

Additionally, the 4x100m and 4x400m relays, which went to the state meet last year for the Cats, decided to wait one more week to debut. Look out for a big statement next weekend, including a sprint medley relay opportunity at the Medina Relays.

Damon Frabotta swept both the high and low hurdle races in the hurdle events, winning the 110h and 300h. His marks of 15.16p, 14.90h, and 39.02f (meet record for 300h) earned the Wildcats 20 points. Frabotta set a PR in the 110h by .66 and the 300h by 2.18. Frabotta is set out on making the state meet and placing highly and has set himself up among the best in the state so far early in the season. Next week, we might see Damon Frabotta, Jacob Rutkowski and others in the hurdle shuttle relay.

In the distance events, Alex Paliga ran 2:01.66 for second in the 800m, Sean Uhran finished in 4:27.31 for fifth in the 1600m and Matt Kelly clocked 9:37.42 for second in the 3200m. The 4x800m team of Dan Becker, Ronan Donnelly, Aidan Zielinski and Alex Paliga finished fifth in 8:27.97. The Distance Medley Relay team of Aiden Walter, John Corrigan, Owen Rodstrom and Bobby Starck was DQed for a uniform violation but ran 11:27. Altogether, with eight each from Paliga and Kelly and four from Uhran and the 4x800m, the distance team garnered 24 points for the Wildcats. Next week at the Medina Relays, the Cats will compete in the 4x1600m, DMR and 4x800m and have a chance to combine many of their successes from Avon Lake into a relay win.

In the jumps, Frankie Pike and Chris Cupp finished 18th and 20th with 18-04.00 and 18-02.25, respectively, in the long jump. Chris Cupp and Jordan Rodman both finished with NH in the high jump. In the pole vault, Andre Jakubowicz and Chris Kondas vaulted 10-00.00 and 12-06.00 for 16th and eighth, respectively. From the throws, Will Robinson and Will Witalis earned 10th and 25th in the shot put with 44-00.25 and 36-05.00, respectively. In the discus, Leo Rick and Robinson launched 117-09 and 90-00, ending on 13th and 26th. Kondas added one point from the pole vault. The very young field event athletes for the Cats have been progressing quickly in practice and are looking forward to more competition opportunities.

As a team, the Wildcats scored 53 points for a share of second place with GlenOak, well behind Solon’s impressive 102.5. Following Saturday’s meet will be at the Medina Relays. Follow the team on @SIHSXCTF.