Eric Gerwin runs to victory for Eastwood in the 800 relay. The Eagles scored a school-record 193 points in the meet.
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GENOA - The Eastwood boys and girls track teams have dominated the Suburban Lakes League over the past four years, and it was no different at the league meet yesterday as they both won by wide margins.
The Eagles boys and girls captured their fifth straight SLL titles while enduring a steady, cool drizzle at Genoa High School. The boys won 11 of 17 events and scored a school-record 193 points. The girls won eight events and outdistanced second-place Woodmore 171.5 to 133. The Wildcat boys also finished second with 102 points.
Eastwood's Jimmy O'Brien, Jack Schemenauer and Katie Lahey all were double winners in individual events. O'Brien, a senior who was named the SLL male athlete of the year, won the 800 meter in 2:01.3 and the 1600 in 4:44.31. He also was a member of the Eagles' first-place 3200 and 1600 relay teams.
"You can't ask for anything more. It's been a great day," O'Brien said. "Our No. 1 goal is always to win the league. Coach has a great program going. We just all do what the coaches say and good things happen."
Schemenauer, a sophomore, won both the 110 (15.02 seconds) and 300 hurdles (40.8).
Junior twin sisters Katie and Lizzie Lahey combined to score 45.5 points for Eastwood. Katie won the 100 and 200 and was a member of the first-place 400 relay team. Lizzie took second in the pole vault and ran on the winning 800 and 1600 relay teams.
Otsego senior Julia Weisenborn also won two events and was named female athlete of the year after setting a new SLL meet record in the 1600 with a time of 5:18.06.
"It was a great way for me to leave my mark," Weisenborn said. "It's just such a nice way to finish off high school."
Weisenborn also nearly broke the record in the 3200, falling just two seconds short. But she still won by 55 seconds with a personal-best and school-record time of 11:25.4. Weisenborn said the breezy, light rain was perfect running weather for her.
"Today has been great. It's been nice and cool with rain," she said. "I was feeling good and I went out and pushed it. It's nice to know that I can run these kind of times going into the districts and regionals."
Woodmore's Emily Pendleton had the longest throw in the discus and shot put. Pendleton's throw in the discus of 143 feet, 6 inches established a league mark.
Katie Lahey played a large role in helping Eastwood's girls win their ninth title in the last 10 years. She captured the 100 by just one one-hundredth of a second, clocking a 12.95, just ahead of Gibsonburg's Rebekah Paul (12.96).
"It was exciting," Lahey said. "I think I did pretty well. The 100 was very hard. The girl almost beat me."
Katie Lahey's time of 26.8 seconds in the 200 beat out teammate Danielle Thornton, who clocked in at 27 seconds flat.
Other female winners for the Eagles included Melissa Schulte in the long jump (16-5) and Leesa Corken in the 100 hurdles (16.52).
Richard Morgan, who has coached the Eastwood girls since 1988, said his team was young and deep this year.
"The kids performed as well or better than I expected in every single event. It was a good day," Morgan said. "Woodmore really pushed us."
Pendleton gave the Wildcats 20 points in the field events, while teammates Danielle Lowry (high jump) and Danielle Thomas (800) added first-place finishes. Woodmore also won the 3200 relay.
The Eastwood boys received 10 points for wins from Trey Hunter (11.44 in the 100), Sean Zimmerman (23.10 in the 200) and Corey Johnson (10:09.50 in the 3200). Zimmerman and Hunter teamed up with Eric Gerwin and Andy Stickel to win the 400 relay.
The Eagle boys have won eight of the last nine SLL championships. But when that string started in 1997, it was the first time the Eagles had ever captured a league crown.
Gary White, who has been at Eastwood since 1989, said he also has a young team and many sophomores and freshmen "came out of nowhere."
"Jimmy [O'Brien] obviously had a great day," White said. "All the kids knew if they performed, they were going to win."
White said track and field has become a priority for both boys and girls at Eastwood.
"That's why we are getting great athletes out," he said. "We have a tradition established where they expect to win. We cheer for each other. It's good for the school in general, the programs are heading in the right direction."
O'Brien said he was most proud of his team's victory in the 3200 relay.
"We owe it to the people that worked so hard before us to keep the tradition going," he said.
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6110.