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Published: Saturday, 5/2/2009

St. Francis' Dedo stars in first Knight

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Blake Dedo spent the first three springs of high school playing elite soccer.

The St. Francis de Sales senior decided to run track this spring.

Dedo, who last ran track in the eighth grade, doesn't appear to have lost a step.

He made his only experience in the Knight Relays one to remember by winning the 200 meters in a meet record time of 22.35 and finished second in the 100 with a time of 11.16 to earn most valuable recognition for running events at the 11th annual Knight Relays.

Dedo also teamed with Miquel Naguit, Noel Gerhart and Austin Sargent to win the 800 relay with a time of 1:31.96, and Chirs Castro, Sargent and Naguit to win the 400 relay with a time of 44.30.

"Everyone had been heckling me about running track my first three years," Dedo said. "I finally decided I would come out and run this year."

St. John's Jesuit's Cody Riffle also put together a meet to remember while leading the Titans to the team championship for the third year in a row. Riffle, a junior, produced the top marks in the discus and shot put events.

He hurled a school-record discus toss measuring 188 feet, 10 inches and recorded solid mark of 54-2 1/2 in the shot put to earn most valuable recognition for the field events.

"It was definitely better than usual," Riffle said of his discus performance, which was more than 14 feet better than his previous best. "It was good overall and a good day for the team."

St. John's won by finishing with 112 1/2 points, followed closely by Whitmer with 106, Northview 82, Clay 78, St. Francis 70 1/2, Bedford 70, Findlay 57 1/2, Central Catholic 54, Southview 43, Springfield 33, Toledo Christian 17, Start 11 1/2 and Scott 1.

St. John's coach Steve Spenthoff was pleased with the Titans' overall effort.

"It's one of the best track meets in northwest Ohio and it was one of the best meets we've performed in to date this season," Spenthoff said.

St. John's Kevin Buno won the 100 with a time of 11.13 while teammate Kevin Yarnell claimed first in the 1600 (4:16.60) by beating Bedford's Nick Kaiser (4:16.64) to the finish line.

"I knew it would be a good race," Yarnell said of facing Kaiser. "I knew it would be a good chance to run a good time, and that's what I wanted to do."

Whitmer's Mike Bell streaked to victory in the 400 (51.51) while teammate Moise Frisch had little trouble winning the 800 (1:57.60).

"I just wanted to go out hard and keep it," Bell said of his victory.

Frisch, a state qualifier in the 800 last season, came up short of victory in the event at the Knight Relays a year ago. So the Panthers senior was focused on winning at the Knight Relays this season.

"I'm feeling pretty good right now," Frisch said "I think I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be right now."

Clay's Garrett Ondrus topped the field in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.06.

Northview's Jarred Bowens won the 300 hurdles (40.48) by holding off Ondrus (40.58) down the stretch.

"I felt a little high over a couple of the hurdles but I had the determination to win," Bowens said.

Southview's Shaun Joplin swept the long jump (21-2) and high jump (6-6).

Springfield's James Howe cleared 13 feet to win the pole vault.

Northview's Jacob Barnes ran away from the field to win the 3200 (9:43.74).

Bedford's Chad Machinski, Ian Fleetwood, Tommy Valade and Kaiser won the distance medley with a time of 10:31.42.

Whitmer's Sean White, Addison Powell, Eric Spates and Jordan Brown finished first in the 110 shuttle hurdle (1:02.97) while Bell, Aaron Bronson, Mark Meyers and Frisch won the 1600 relay

(3:28.89).

Clay's John Zam, Frankie Kouts, Robert Hoffman and Matt Row claimed victory in the 3200 relay (8:10.61).

Contact Donald Emmons at:

demmons@theblade.com

or 419-724-6302.



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