The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


June 7, 2014

Stewart, Chase come up just short

Spartan looks to next year; Falcon turns his focus to today’s high jump

Both Conneaut’s Levi Stewart and Jefferson’s David Chase knew they would need to run good times to get out of the preliminary races of each of their events at the Division II state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Friday.

In Stewart’s case in the 110-meter hurdles, a sub-15 second time was required.

Unfortunately, the junior Spartan was unable to do that, running a 15.14 to finish 11th.

For Chase, he was unable to replicate the 49.35 seconds he ran in the 400-meter dash at the regional meet, finishing in 50.43 seconds which was also good enough for 11th place.

Failing to qualify ended Stewart’s season, but he was still satisfied with his race.

“I was pretty happy with the performance,” Stewart said, “15.14 is my PR for the season by more than a tenth of a second so I’m pretty satisfied. I mean, I have one more year so hopefully, the goal will be placing top 8 next year.”

Conversely, Chase was less than thrilled with his performance, but he’ll have a chance to atone for it when he competes in the high jump this morning.

“It’s not what I hoped to run, it’s not even close to what I ran last week,” Chase said. “I mean, it’s a different week, different stage. Obviously, it’s not what you’re hoping for, especially your senior year, but it’s OK. I still have tomorrow.”

Stewart needed to get into the 14.80 range to qualify as Lynk Tranter of Carrolton ran a 14.88 to qualify in ninth place.

The Spartan, who trains on blacktop unlike the all-weather track he ran on on Saturday, said he thought he performed well, given the conditions.

“Without a track, it’s tough for me to run competively against runners like that,” he said. “I think I did pretty good for practicing on black top.”

Stewart, who has struggled getting out of the blocks throughout the year, thought he got off to a good start and is excited about how the experience could help him in the future.

“I feel like the start was a little quicker today, but I have to get lower over the hurdles which should shave some time off,” he said. “I think the experience will be very beneficial. I really enjoyed it. All the people down here, the crowd was nice. It’s a little different from any other meet I’ve ran at, for sure.

“This is a huge motivating factor. Hopefully, I can get into the mid to lows 14s. That would be the goal.”

Chase was within reach of qualifying as Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s Jordan Sensabaugh qualified in ninth with a time of 50.09.

The Falcon senior said he got out to a solid start, but could tell early in the race he didn’t have what he needed to make it through.

“I don’t know, I felt like I got out of the blocks decent, about 70 meters in I just felt like I wasn’t getting any response out of my legs,” he said. “Bad timing to pick a bad day to run. It is what it is.”

Although he may be disappointed, Chase won’t dwell on it as he looks to refocus for his main event at 9 a.m. today.

A three-time regional champion in the high jump, Chase enters the event with the highest qualifying jump, clearing 6-foot-8 so he plans to quickly shift his focus past the disappointment of Friday to the excitement of today.

“Of course you can dwell on, ‘oh I could’ve ran that better,’” he said. “But I have a big event tomorrow. I gotta bounce back and get refocused tonight. I’ll get some rest and get my legs rejuvenated and get ready to go for the high jump.”

Also competing in the Division II field events on Friday was Perry pole vaulter Nicholas Lauria, who took home a tie for 8th place by clearing 14-feet.

He split with Norwayne’s Brok Morris.

Ostego senior Cole Gorski took home the state championship by clearing 16-2.

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