Published in The Chagrin Valley Times
May 16, 2019
The Kenston girls track and field team repeated a runner-up finish during the Western Reserve Conference meet, but the Kenston boys had a decade string of league banners come to a halt last Thursday at Wildcat Stadium in Mayfield.
Behind senior Izzy Gabram’s triumphant and runner-up performances in the hurdles, as well as the third leg of Kenston’s victorious four-by-100-meter relay, the Lady Bombers scored 133 points and were besting only by defending champion Chardon, 156 points, in the eight-team field.
The Kenston boys were motored by senior Jakob McConnell’s victories in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs, but the Bombers scored 92 1/2 points to finish third in the team standings – behind Chardon, 160 points, and Mayfield, 101 points – to disrupt 10 straight seasons with conference titles under head coach Chris Ickes, three coming in the WRC and seven in the Chagrin Valley Conference.
McConnell clocked a 4:29.14 in the 1,600 run, just 1.12 seconds off his season best, to defeat Chardon runner-up Aidan Macaskill by 6.06 seconds, and then McConnell cruised to victory in the 3,200 in 9:48.76, besting Riverside’s AJ Haffa’s runner-up performance of 9:53.21.
In the girls competition, Kenston’s Gabram won the 300 hurdles in a lifetime best 47.98 seconds, defeating Mayfield runner-up Josephine Conti by 0.67 seconds. Gabram’s performance ranks fifth in her program’s history.
Also in the 300 hurdles, Kenston freshman Miranda Wood took sixth in 52.24 seconds, while junior Zoe Koch took eighth in 53.05 seconds.
In the 100 hurdles, Gabram finished runner-up in 16.14 seconds, while Mayfield’s Conti won the WRC title in 15.45 seconds. Gabram’s season best is 15.44 seconds, which ranks her second among the Lady Bombers’ all-time performances, only behind Jolie Hillier’s 15.3-second race in 1999.
Gabram also was a member of Kenston’s four-by-100 relay, along with senior Megan Randall, senior Rhianna Patrick and sophomore Nyla Morrison, who circled the track in a triumphant 51.20 seconds, just 0.20 second shy of a WRC record, despite not having their fastest sprinter on that quartet.
In the open 100 dash, Kenston junior Elyse Myles took fourth in 13.09 seconds, while Randall took fifth in 13.68 seconds.
In the 200 dash, Myles took third in 26.79 seconds, Patrick was fourth in 27.35 seconds, and Randall finished fifth in 27.91 seconds.
And in the 400 dash, Myles took fifth in 1:01.96.
Winning that sprint triple, meanwhile, Chardon sophomore Jenna Oriani clocked 12.47 seconds in the 100 dash, a meet-record 25.34 seconds in the 200 dash and 59.08 seconds in the 400 dash.
Although the Lady Bombers went three-four-five in the 200 dash, their four-by-200 relay of Randall, Patrick, Gabram and Morrison had the fastest seed in the field but was disqualified on an exchange-zone infraction – an 11-point swing in favor of Chardon in a meet that came down to 23 points.
Kenston’s distance crew, meanwhile, was led by senior Kate Taylor, who finished third in the 800 run in a season-best 2:22.96. She was bested by Chardon’s one-two punch of Brianna Nieset, 2:20.79, and Denali Selent, 2:21.89.
Also in the 800 run, Kenston sophomores Kate Haynes, 2:30.61, and Micayla Paglia, 2:35.66, finished fifth and seventh.
Earlier in the meet, Chardon’s Selent won the 1,600 run in 5:21.81, while Kenston’s Taylor finished fourth in 5:26.66, Kenston sophomore Ellie Pleune took seventh in 5:29.81, and freshman Jenny Kapcio finished eighth in 5:42.26.
Completing the distance double, Pleune went on to take third in the 3,200 run in 12:03.38, and Kapcio finished seventh in 12:22.48. Mayfield’s Nicole DiCicco won the race in a meet-record 11:38.73.
In the four-by-400 relay, Kenston freshman Jocelyn Van Skyhock, Haynes, Myles and Taylor clocked a season-best 4:08.86 to finish runners-up, bested by Chardon’s triumph in 4:05.84.
And in the four-by-800 relay, Haynes, Van Skyhock, senior Brianna Yurkovich and Paglia finished runners-up in 9:59.16, while Chardon won the race in 9:39.94.
In the field, Kenston’s Morrison marked 15 feet, 10 1/4 inches, to finish runner-up in the long jump, while senior teammate Victoria Hammerle finished third in 15 feet, 7 3/4 inches. Mayfield’s Conti marked a triumphant 16 feet, 3 3/4 inches.
Kenston sophomore Cameryn Walters, who has a torn pectoral muscle, finished third in the discus throw at 110 feet, although her season best of 128 feet ranks second in Kenston’s record book behind 2011 graduate Kim Gallavan’s mark of 132 feet.
In the pole vault, Kenston freshman Rebecca Rengers and Paglia cleared 7 feet, 6 inches, to finish fourth and fifth in wet conditions.
And in the high jump, Kenston senior Ariana Vaughan cleared 4 feet, 10 inches, to finish seventh, while Willoughby South’s Katherine Mendenhall cleared a meet-record 5 feet, 4 inches.
Back in the boys competition, while McConnell was busy winning the 1,600 run, junior teammate Casey Pleune took third in 4:38.75, and sophomore brother Garrett McConnell was fourth in 4:40.07.
Kenston also racked up points in the 3,200 run, with the elder McConnell’s victory, as well as a four-five finish from sophomore Dennis Princic, 10:06.46, and junior David Rosinski, 10:11.16.
In the 800 run, sophomore Jack Turk finished third in 2:05.04 for the Bombers, while Pleune took fourth in 2:06.24.
In the four-by-800 relay, junior Joe Secura, Pleune, Rosinski and senior Kyle Silk finished third in 8:27.11.
And in the four-by-100 relay, Kenston’s quartet of junior Jay Middleton, junior Tyler Mintz, senior Dorion Talley and senior Matt Iklodi took third in a season-best 44.79 seconds.
In the open sprints, Talley took seventh in the 100 dash in 11.88 seconds and sixth in the 200 dash in 24.33 seconds, while Middleton took seventh in the 200 dash in 24.42 seconds.
In the 400 dash, Secura took fourth in 53.18 seconds, while Chardon senior Jon McKnight clocked a meet-record 49.39 seconds.
In the field, Kenston senior Mark Bereck cleared 5 feet, 8 inches, to finish fifth in the high jump, while freshman teammate Will Lauer took seventh at 5 feet, 6 inches.
In the long jump, Lauer marked 18 feet, 10 3/4 inches, to finish sixth.
And in the 300 hurdles, junior Alex Castro took eighth in 44.82 seconds.
Also a highlight of the meet, Madison senior Nolan Landis tossed the shot put 64 feet, 4 1/4 inches, good enough for a meet record and a 2019 state-best mark. He also owns the best discus throw in the state this season at 191 feet, 10 inches.
Up next, Kenston is competing in the 14-team Division I Austintown District meet this
Wednesday and Friday, with field events beginning at 5 p.m. and track events at 6 p.m. both
days, at Fitch High School. The top four finishers in each event advance to regionals.
Visit The Chagrin Valley Times to view their photo.
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