An overcast and gray sky, along with brisk winds, occasional hail and rainfall, and temperatures in the 40-degree range made the 18th annual University of Toledo High School Invitational quite the early season track and field challenge.
Clearly, it wasn’t the most ideal of circumstances. But that didn’t stop approximately 100 competitors from pushing through.
Woodmore senior Megan Pendleton swept the discus and hammer throw events in the girls competition. A state qualifier in the discus last spring, Pendleton bested a field of nearly 30 — divided into two flights — with a winning effort of 131 feet, 9 inches — nearly 30 feet better than the next best throw.
Pendleton also didn’t have any trouble winning the hammer throw with a 122-10.
Northview’s Janelle Noe and Perrysburg’s Courtney Clody closed out the 1600 meters strong, and it turned into a photo-finish to determine the winner. Noe, a senior, earned the victory and was timed at 5 minutes, 26.19 seconds. Clody, a junior, was timed at 5:26.31, while Notre Dame’s Lindsey Myers finished a close third in 5:29.58.
“This was my first time running an open 1600 in high school, so I was kind of nervous,” said Noe, who will compete next season at the University of Toledo. “I just went out there and gauged off of the people who were in front of me before I made my move in the last 100 [meters].”
Clody said she went out and wanted to run her own race.
“Of course, the weather wasn’t perfect, but it was a good race overall,” Clody said. “I tried, and I’m happy.”
Notre Dame’s Bridget Smythe and Kirsten Harder outran the competition in the 2000-meter steeplechase. Smythe covered the challenging event in 8:41.11, while Harder placed second (9:02.36).
Central’s Kiana McClendon ran a 1:02.81 to take second in the 400 to Detroit Oak Park’s Anna Jefferson.
Start’s Genova Hooker posted a top time in the 300 hurdles with 53.75.
Perrysburg’s Emily Wyrick won the 800 with a time of 2:19.83.
Maumee’s Kelsey Commanger won the long jump at 15-11. Notre Dame’s Hannah Saba cleared nine feet to win the pole vault.
Northview’'s Alysha Welch won the high jump by clearing 4-10. Toledo Christian’s Melody Critchley won the shot put with a toss of 27-3.
In the boys competition, Northview’s Chris McCown ran a steady pace to win the 1600 with a time of 4:46.08. St. Francis’ Patrick Davis took second at 4:50.46, while Perrysburg’'s Andrew Bayes placed third at 4:52.07.
Perrysburg’s Chance Santus produced a jump of 19-5.75 to claim first place in the long jump.
Maumee’s Nick Grzegorzewski won the hammer throw with a toss of 121-1 and placed third in the shot put (38-5). Perrysburg’s Sean Connor won the shot put with 44-0.75. Start’s Dionte Carey captured the 300 hurdles with a time of 42.99.
Woodmore’s Deric Anthony won the 2000 steeplechase in 7:05.26, followed by Central Catholic’s John McCartney (7:11.46) and Toledo Christian’s Daniel Burket (7:13.41).