By RICH KELLY
For the Star Beacon
ANDOVER TOWNSHIP —
The winds were howling at Pymatuning Valley High for the Laker Invitational on Saturday. So were the Harvey Red Raider girls as they used depth and balance in jumping out to a big lead early and outdistancing a tough McDonald team for the title. It took a big effort, and that is what coach Rick Coleman got.
“We’ve only got 1 senior this season,” he said in the finish line building, where the winds did not howl with much authority.
“We’re pretty much a freshman- and junior-dominated team, and we’re strong in field events. I think we double scored in each of the field events, or in most of them. The girls have done a nice job in invitational events this season, placing high in all of them. This is our first win, though, so I’m really glad for the girls. This is a good way to get ready for next Friday night, when we host the Dick Beeler Invitational. There will be a lot of good teams from Cleveland there, and competition will be intense.”
A 1-2 finish in the shot put gave the Red Raiders an early edge, and they built on it later.
Thelma Pagan won the shot with a 35-0.125 effort, and Cherish Montgomery was right behind with a 34-4 put.
Harvey won the 400 relay, and got solid efforts from Alexi Daniel to grab top points.
“Daniel is our horse, no doubt,” Coleman said. “She’s a good, solid athlete who competes every second. Daniel won the 400 and took second in the 200.
Harvey totalled 133 points, McDonald was second with 106, Edgewood came in third wtih 88, Jefferson was fourth with 77.50, Lakeside added 57, Beachwood had 57, Pymatuning Valley had 40.50, Brookfield had 21, Our Lady of the Elms added 19, Chalker tallied 14, as did Lowellville , Conneaut had 10, Mathews had 8, LaBrae had 6, Grand Valley had 5, and Cornerstone Christian brought up the rear with a single point.
Lakeside coach Christina Powers, while shivering in her shoes, was happy with the day.
“It was cold, for sure,” she said. “It really wasn’t such a bad day, though, and the kids worked hard.”
McDonald made it a contest by scoring early and late in the day, paced by the efforts of sophomore Iva Domitrovich. She won the discus and 200-meter dash and was part of the winning 1600 relay team that closed out the days action.
Jefferson received a big day from Kaydee DeVivo. She won both the pole vault and 100-meter hurdles while running a leg on the third place 800 relay team. Edgewood got a good show from Cortney Humphrey. She placed second in the discus and third in the shot put.
PV’s Geena Gabriel showed why she is having a dominating senior season in everything she tries with a winning effort in the long jump and a fourth place in the shot put.
Keyed by Daniel, though, and the balance of the Harvey team, the early lead they got proved to be pretty safe.
Edgewood coach Beth Simpson was pleased with the results of the day, though.
“I think we had a good day today,” she said. “Cortney was solid with her throws, and some of the younger girls came out and ran hard all the way.”
Lakeside got solid efforts in long distance running.
Carlie Watt took third in the 1600, Karen Barrientos took second in the 3200, and the Dragon relay teams, paced by Watt and Barrientos, took second in the 3200 relay and fourth in the 400 relay for their solid finish.
Youth was served as well on the day. Freshman runner Nicole Squatrito of Jefferson took second in the 800 and fourth in the 400 to aid DeVivo’s effort. Jefferson’s Colleen O’Connor took second in the 1600.
Edgewood showed well in the relays. They took a second in the 800, thirds in the 400 and relay and a fourth in the 3200.
Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.