By BOB ETTINGER
For the Star Beacon
With cold temperatures and high winds, running for time or trying to reach certain heights and distances in the field events was a futile effort at the Perry Relays on Saturday at Alumni Stadium.
Geneva girls track coach Bobby McQuoid had the perfect answer for the conditions, however.
“Once we got going, with the weather, trying to get times and performances got put on the back burner,” McQuoid said. “We knew we were competing against Stow-Munroe Falls. I told the girls they just had to go and finish in front of them to give us that two-point advantage (for placing higher in an event). In the end it became a race with Stow.
“That’s something I’ve done more of the past couple of years as we’ve been going after more invitationals. We want to get as many points as we can.
“Once the girls knew what was going on, they changed (their approach). It was a different mentality. It was a hard meet with 30-degree temperatures and 20-mile per hour winds. It turned into a race like when we were kids. Just go out and run faster than that person. Once they grabbed the concept, it was fun to watch.”
The approach worked as the Eagles out-pointed Stow-Munroe Falls 142-137 for the A Division title.
“This year they added some open events,” McQuoid said. “With a small team it’s difficult. You try and pull girls out of relays to get points in the open events and you have to go find girls to fill in on the relays.
“We knew Stow was a really good team and we knew they’d be a challenge. At the end of the day, we did really well. We were exactly where we needed to be.”
Perry was third in the B Division with 95 points. Wickliffe won with 134 and Western Reserve was second with 97.
The Eagles’ 3,200-meter relay team of Hailey VanHoy, Summer Arndt, Emily O’Dell and Emily Deering continued its early-season run of dominance in winning. Those same four girls teamed to win the 1,600-meter relay, too.
O’Dell pulled an impressive triple in also winning the 800-meter run.
“The (3,200-meter) team has not lost,” McQuoid said. “They’ve come every meet and blown me away with their performance. They ran really well.
“Emily O’Dell had a tremendous day. They all had an awesome day.”
Deering ran an event she doesn’t typically in leading off the 400-meter relay. She teamed with Alivia Puckrin, Desha Repko and Hailey Sandlin to finish second.
“We had Emily Deering run the (400-meter relay) and come out of the blocks for a hundred,” McQuoid said. “There were two reasons for that. One, she’s confident coming out of the blocks and, two, she needed some speed work.
“That was huge in my eyes.”
Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.