The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


June 2, 2014

A Don McCormack column: Our best are on track to Columbus

Paying a Monday morning visit to the variety store...

State-ment time!

It’s that time of year, again, when some of the best high school athletes in the Star Beacon coverage area head south to Columbus for the annual state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

This spring, 14 athletes from schools in our coverage area will be making the journey to compete at the state meet Thursday and Friday.

Here’s the list of the competitors from our coverage area who will competing against the best in the Buckeye State:


  • Conneaut — Levi Stewart, 110-meter hurdles.
  • Edgewood — Matt Fitchet, shotput, and Chris Lemay, 3200-meter run.
  • Jefferson — David Chase, high jump and 400-meter dash.
  • Perry — Nicholas Lauria, pole vault.


  • Geneva — 3200-meter relay team of Hailey VanHoy, Dareion Marrison, Brittany Aveni and Emily Deering; 1600-meter relay team of Summer Arndt, Aveni, VanHoy and Deering; Ally Thompson, pole vault, and Deering and Marrison, 800-meter run, Hannah Ellsworth, discus.
  • Perry — Kayla Cool, pole vault, Dana Crofoot, long jump.

Once again, we will be sending writer Vince Peluso and photographer Warren Dillaway to Columbus to provide coverage for us during the two-day event.

Look for Peluso’s previews of the state meet to tip off later this week on these pages.

Best wishes

For all of my time here at the Star Beacon — which kicked off on Nov. 9, 1986 — Nicki Wilpula has worked 15 feet from me here in the office.

Especially during the fall, meaning high school football season, Nicki would arrive at the office around 7:30 a.m. and find me still sitting here at my desk, shake her head, smile and say, “Don, you obviously love what you do. You’re fortunate.”

As mentioned, her desk was just across the aisle from mine, on the left.

Until today.

Nicki, our community life editor, retired after more than three decades here at the Star Beacon on Friday.

Enjoy your retirement, Nicki. You’ve earned it.

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at

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