DANIEL MELOGRANA/ MANSFIELD NEWS JOURNAL Enlarge
LEXINGTON, Ohio — Tim Hoodlebrink and the Eastwood boys track team did it again.
The Eagles won the Division II regional track and field championship for the second year in a row.
Hoodlebrink led the way by winning the 800-meter race and running on the winning 1600 and 3200 relay teams.
PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to view more photos from the meet
“This is really awesome,” said Hoodlebrink. “We broke three school records today, and it felt pretty good running. Knowing that the guys broke records got me really pumped up to run really fast.”
The Eagles set team records while winning the 400 relay and 1600 relay, and hurdler Devin Snowden set a team record on his way to placing second in the 300 hurdles.
“We had great team spirit today, and the guys just wanted to fight for each other, and the staff wants to fight for them,” Eastwood coach Brian Sabo said. “It‘’s the Eastwood family of track and field. The effort was phenomenal.”
Eastwood finished with 61 points, followed by River Valley (44) and Ontario (40).
In the girls competition, Orrville won the championship with 63 points, followed by Liberty-Benton with 55 points and Oak Harbor with 32.
Hoodlebrink, who was Eastwood’s lone individual event winner, ran with Brennan Seifert, Joe Salinas, and Snowden to win the 1600 relay in a school-record time of 3 minutes, 18.01 seconds.
Hoodlebrink teamed with Gabe Fredericks, Logan Baugher, and Noah Smith to win the 3200 relay with a time of 7:52.65 two days earlier.
Hoodlebrink’s highlight was pulling away from the 800 field during the last 150 meters to give him a title a year after running a disappointing second in the meet.
“It feels pretty good knowing I can come back and run it again and run pretty fast,” he said. “I felt real confident because I’d been here before, and I knew how to run it.”
Eastwood’s 400 relay (Grant Geiser, Snowden, Brennan Seifert, Jake Hoodlebrink) qualified for a state meet appearance by finishing second to Watterson (42.71). Yet the Eagles turned in a team-record time of 42.82.
Snowden wasn’t successful in repeating as 300 hurdles champion, but he accounted for Eastwood’s third school record-performance when he posted a time of 38.12, finishing second behind Watterson’s Dominic Lombardi (37.99). Snowden also qualified for state in the long jump by finishing third with a jump of 21 feet, 3¾ inches.
“It was just great to help out my team,” Snowden said.
The top four finishers in each event qualified for the state meet in Columbus.
Genoa’s Logan Bryer will head to state as a regional champion in two events.
The senior topped the shot put competition with a throw of 59-7½ and captured the discus with a mark of 172-9.
“To make it out in both events as regional champion is great,” Bryer said. “Last year I fouled out in the shot put and did make it out in the discus. The whole year has been coming around just fantastic, and I can’t wait and want to keep my confidence going into the state meet.”
Liberty-Benton’s Michaela Butler started the day off right for the Eagles by winning the 100 with a time of 12.26 and returned to the track to take the 200 with a time of 25.10.
Rossford freshman Regan Clay outran the 400 field and crossed the finish line in a time of 57.45. She qualified for state in two other events, placing third in the 200 (25.66) and running a leg on the 800 relay team (Taylor Stolar, Jessica Pietrasz, Shelby Redway, Clay) that placed third (1:44.83).
“It’s always kind of been one of those things that I wanted to make it to state, but I never imagined myself as being No. 1 going in as a regional champion,” Clay said.
Genoa’s Carly Gose earned a title by winning the 800 with a swift time of 2:17.39. Liberty-Benton’s Leah Recker ran fourth in 2:19.52.
“Coming back and winning this year was good, and now I’m shooting for the podium at state,” said Gose, who placed fourth at regional last year. “I felt good. My confidence was high. I knew I had it in me. I just had to keep belieiving, and I did.”
Port Clinton’s Morissa Mallory will compete at state in two events after winning the discus with a heave of 119-2. She also placed second in the shot put at 40-1.
Liberty-Benton’s Meghan Bartel took third in the 1600 with a time of 5:12.53.
L-B’s Devony Miller, Taylor Thomas, Leah Recker, and Mackenzie Briggs qualified for state after placing fourth in the 3200 relay with a time of 9:48.37.
Liberty-Benton (Katie Hyre, Kelsey May, Megan Peplinski, Michaela Butler) and Oak Harbor (Allie Jett, Rebekah Rayburn, Cydney St. Clair, Athena Eli) finished third and fourth in the 400 relay with times of 49.68 and 50.22, respectively.
Oak Harbor’s Karis DeWalt, Cydney St. Clair, Athena Eli, and Allie Jett took first in the 1600 relay in 4:00.91.
Jett, DeWalt, Eli, and Rebekah Rayburn nearly won the 800 relay, finishing second at 1:44.28.
Liberty-Benton pole vaulter Sam Johnson earned a trip to the state competition after clearing 10-4, which gave her fourth place.
Eastwood’s 3200 relay (Maddie Jackson, Sarah Bettinger, Meagan Kaminski, Hannah Sponaugle) was second with a time of 9:45.81.
Eastwood’s Brittany Brittian (119-2) and Oak Harbor’s Jordyn Dunn (114-0) placed third and fourth in the discus.