The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


May 6, 2012

Jefferson boys fly high

ANDOVER TOWNSHIP — A second-place finish in the 400- meter relay and a first-place finish in the 400-meter dash by David Chase, put the Jefferson Falcons into a first-place position Saturday at the Ashtabula County Track Meet. The Falcons would hold that lead the rest of the way at Laker Stadium.

Jefferson trailed Lakeside much of the early part of the meet as the Dragons got their normal efforts from throwers Bryce McMullen, Josh Wells, and Reggie McHenry.

Then, in the aforementioned relay race, Jefferson's team of Joey Babic, Jacob Dengg, Connor Cleveland and anchor Jon Hubler, came in second to the Pymatuning Valley team of Nick Stasiak, Kyle Comanescu, Matt Silvers and Quintin Ratliff.

Jefferson ended the day with 115.5 points. Geneva finished strong to take second with 95 points, Lakeside held on for third with 92. Edgewood used a balanced effort for fourth at 84.5, PV used success in the sprint events for a total of 82, Conneaut tallied 51, and the Grand Valley Mustangs brought up the rear with seven points.

“Our seniors did a great job of leading us this year,” Jefferson coach T. J. Furman said. “We have pretty good depth, too, and we have a nice blend of younger and older kids in a lot of events.”

Cleveland and Dengg, both seniors keyed several Falcon relay teams that turned the tide in the Falcons’ favor. They ran the first two legs of the day's final event, the 1600-meter relay, with junior Jerry Scott and sophomore David Chase running the last two portions to come home first and cement the win mett title.

Chase also took a first in the high jump with a leap of 6-feet-3 and the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.80. Seniors Adam Chase and Daran Woodin took first and fourth, respectively, in the 800-meter run.

Jacob Hamilton claimed the top spot in the pole vault for the Falcons.

Cleveland and Hubler took fourth and fifth in the long jump. Add in a sixth-place shot put finish for Matt Volanski and a second in the discus for the Falcon senior, and the balance Jefferson managed is evident.

“We came in wanting to win today,” Furman said. “At the same time, there are some good athletes here, so we expected it to be close. I'd say the key was our sprint relay teams and the huge boost we got when Jacob Hamilton won the pole vault for us.”

Marshall LaRiche spurred the Geneva finish to second place. with a win in the 110-meter hurdles, took sixth in the long jump, anchored a second place 1600-meter relay, as well.

The Geneva 800-meter team took second as well, and got an early boost when the 3,200-meter team of Mac Parker, Gabe McLeod, Erik Braun and Travis Blake captured the top prize in that event.

McLeod took the top spot in the 1,600-meter run and Brandon Lopez of Lakeside took a second in that event before winning his specialty, the 3,200.

Pymatuning Valley got a three-time winner in Ratliff, who captured the 100-meter dash in 11.67 seconds, the 200 as well with a time of 23.30, and the long jump with a leap of 20-10. Tyler Gruskiewicz led a good part of the 3,200 before Lopez kicked by him on the back stretch to win going away.

Tyler Rose of Conneaut took a third place finish in the 800 meter run, Geoffrey Johnson grabbed second in the long jump, and Christian Tusai took third in that event behind his teammate.

The best results for Edgewood came in the high jump, where Kameron Manhard was second with a leap of 6-2. James Lyle was second in the pole vault and junior Connor Lynch, who edged Jefferson runner Jerry Scott with a time of 41.57, in the 300-meter hurdles.

Beside their throwers and Lopez in the distance runs, Lakeside had Otis Conel finishing high up in several sprint events.

The best the Grand Valley Mustangs could do was a fourth place finish in the 400-meter relay.

Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.

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