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Published: Saturday, 5/30/2009

Anthony Wayne girls win title

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Erik Kynard of Rogers clears the bar at 6 feet, 7 inches to advance
to the state meet. An injury kept him from going higher. Erik Kynard of Rogers clears the bar at 6 feet, 7 inches to advance to the state meet. An injury kept him from going higher.
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AMHERST, Ohio - Anthony Wayne will be well-represented at the Division I girls state track meet in Columbus.

AW seniors Ashley Zaper and Erika Schmidt lead the list of Generals who qualified for the state meet while also helping AW capture the regional team championship Friday at Steele High.

Anthony Wayne's Ashley Zaper won the 300 hurdles and long jump on her way to qualifying for state in four events, including three individual events. Schmidt won the 200 and also qualified for state in four events, which includes running anchor on AW's 400 and 800-relay teams that placed second in each event.

AW won the girls championship with 77 points, followed by Middleburg Heights Midpark 70, Magnificat 66, Medina Highland 46, Brunswick and Medina 29 points apiece, to round out the top five girls teams.

Medina won the boys team title with 69 points, followed by Cleveland St. Ignatius 55, St. John's Jesuit 47, Lakewood St. Edward 43 and Cleveland John Adams 39 to complete the top five.

"What can you say about these girls, they won a district championship and now a regional championship," AW coach Jim Lopez said. "The senior girls want to leave on a good note. As the season has gone on they seem to keep pulling it out."

Zaper came through for the Generals by winning the long jump (17-11) and 300 hurdles (44.39) while also finishing fourth in the 100 hurdles (15.05). Her twin sister, Alecia, ran third in the 100 hurdles (15.00) to give them a chance to go to state for the first time in the same individual event.

"I was hoping to finish a little better in the 100 [hurdles] but I was happy with the 300 [hurdles] and pretty happy with the long jump," Ashley said.

Schmidt also came through with a strong effort by winning the 200 (24.50) and finishing second in the 100 (12.19) plus the anchor legs on the relay qualifiers.

Schmidt, a state runner-up in the 200 last spring, is looking forward to state competition.

"I'm getting stronger," she said. "It's the competition. I know I had a slow start to the season, but we had some early cancellations."

St. John's Cody Riffle is also among athletes from northwest Ohio heading to the state meet in multiple events.

Riffle completed his two-day work with a winning toss in the shot put (61-7 1/2), coming two days after dominating the discus competition by launching a meet record throw measuring 187 feet, 5 inches.

"I'm really just glad I'm going to state in both," Riffle said.

The Titans' record-holder in both events arrived at the regional with confidence coming off a district sweep.

"I just like the consistency," he said. "I think a lot of it is just technique."

Kevin Yarnell also came through with a first for St. John's by winning the 1600 (4:13.57).

"The first thing was to put myself in position to qualify for state," Yarnell said of his approach to the 1600. "I wanted to finish strong and I wanted to win the race."

Rogers' Der Juan Gambrell is headed to state as a regional champion after running a personal-best time of 48.74 in the 400. At the finish he edged Southview's Bernard Pinckney, who ran second in 48.81. Bowsher's Denzel Fitzgerald was fourth (49.06).

The top four finishers in each event qualify for the state meet scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday at Ohio State University's Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Rogers high jumper Erik Kynard and Southview's Shaun Joplin finished 1-2 in the district with both clearing seven feet. Both showed up at the regional hurting. Kynard, nursing a groin and hip injury suffered at the district meet, and Joplin, suffering from shin splints, were concerned more with qualifying for state than winning a regional title.

They accomplished their goals, each clearing 6-7 with Joplin placing third and Kynard fourth. Joplin had already qualified for the long jump on Wednesday by finishing second at 22-3 3/4.

Whitmer's Moise Frisch placed third in the 800 (1:51.82) while Northview's Jacob Barnes ran fourth in the 3200 (9:33.81). Scott's Armon Richardson placed third in the 100 (11.21) and Clay's Garrett Ondrus finished fourth in the 110 hurdles (14.89).

Rogers' Dalante Heard finished third in the shot (53-9) while Bowsher's Daniel Hardin-Wallace finished tied for third in the pole vault at 14-4.

St. John's and Clay ran third

(7:53.12) and fourth (7:55.66),

respectively, in the 3200 relay. Whitmer and Rogers ran third

(3:22.07) and fourth (3:22.27),

respectively, in the 1600 relay.

In the girls meet, Scott's Shatora Lewis qualified for state in a pair of events after winning the shot put on Wednesday and coming back yesterday to finish fourth in the discus with a throw of 131-3. Bowling Green's Lywanna Melvin finished second with a throw of 133-2.

Northview's Meredith Wagner didn't allow rainfall to slow her down en route to taking first place in the 3200 (11:00.97) while Findlay's Brier Sterling finished a close second (11:02.62).

Bowsher's Janae Garrett, Joy Franklin, Paris Littleton and Chantel Cross came together to win the 400 relay with a time of 48.30.

Rogers' Brianna Scott-Glover ran second to Zaper in the 300 hurdles with a time of 44.40 while Northview's Noel Luther crossed the finish line in fourth place (44.75).

Perrysburg's Cameron Gardner is headed to state after finishing third in the 100 (12.28) and third in the 200 (24.70).

Whitmer's Samantha Gwin came through with a fourth place effort in the 400 (55.98).

Olmsted Falls' Katie Nageotte won the pole vault while becoming the first girl in Ohio to record a jump of 13 feet. AW's Udoka Okoro was runner-up in the high jump (5-2) while teammate Brittany Green finished fourth in the long jump (17-3 1/2).

Perrysburg's Kaitlyn Llewellyn is headed to state after finishing third in the 1600 (5:03.03).

Tiffin Columbian's Maya Brown placed third in the long jump (17-4 1/4) and fourth in the shot put (38-0).

Notre Dame and Bowsher placed third (1:43.07) and fourth (1:43.16), respectively, in the 800 relay.

Central Catholic's 1600 relay advanced to state by finishing third (3:58.5) while Findlay's 3200 relay advanced by placing second (9:17.73).

Contact Donald Emmons at:

demmons@theblade.com

or 419-724-6302.



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