The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


April 27, 2014

Smooth sailing at Laker Invitational

Edgewood, Jefferson top area boys

ANDOVER TOWNSHIP — With Reggie Browley getting things off to an excellent start for the Harvey Red Raiders by setting a new meet record in the shot put of 54-3 inches, the stage was set for the Red Raiders to get a lead against the rest of the field in the Laker Invitational on Saturday at Pymatuning Valley High School.

Browley’s efforts proved very important as Harvey scored in every event while extending its lead. The winners were challenged briefly by first the Jefferson Falcons and then the Edgewood Warriors, but their balance was the key to a runaway victory for the kids from Painesville.

“We’ve got a smaller team this year than we have in the past,” Harvey coach Mark Yokum said. “When that happens, kids need to step up and fill roles. I’m really thankful we scored in every event like we did. We got off to a strong lead in field events, especially with Reggie’s event win, and then the kids hung right in there in track events, with multiple scoring a couple times being big for us. All the kids have done a great job of just doing what they are asked to do.”

Harvey won with 151 points. McDonald sneaked into second place late in the day to finish wtih 95 points. Edgewood tallied 89.50, Jefferson had 67, Pymatuning Valley had 63, Conneaut tallied 48, Lowellville scored 44.50, Lakeside earned 33, Mathews had 25, Grand Valley scored 16, Chalker added 13, Brookfield had 11, and Cornerstone Christian finished at the bottom of the list with 5 points.

Jefferson kept itself in reasonable striking distance of the Red Raiders for much of the day behind the superb day enjoyed by senior David Chase. The 6-foot-7 Falcons is capping his high school career with great efforts, paced by a meet and school record effort in the high jump of 6-8. Three times after his success he tried to take the height up to 6-10, and the closest he came was the third attempt, when his leg tipped the crossbar after the rest of his body was over the bar.

He wasn’t done.

In the 100-meter dash, a brief slip coming out of the starting block cost him a winning effort. Riis Smith of Edgewood came out fast and stayed that way to win the event.

Chase came back to win both the 200 and 400 events, giving himself a 38-point afternoon.

Edgewood was solid if not spectacular all day as well. Smith won the 100, took second in the 200 to Chase, and anchored the 400 relay team. Chris Lemay won the 1600, took second in the 3200, and ran a solid leg in a relay team in the 3200 relay that took fifth.

Conneaut’s Levi Stewart claimed the top spot in the 110-meter hurdles and took second in the 300-meter event.

Pymatuning Valley’s Quintin Ratliff gave his team some good moments with a winning long-jump effort of 20-10.75 inches ,while also finishing second to Chase in the high jump.

Grand Valley got some points from Zach Oscar’s efforts in field events. He finished fifth in the long jump and sixth in the discus.

PV’s Ryan Harte claimed first in the pole vault with an 11-6 effort.

Lakeside’s Caleb Henery won the 800 meter run , Edgewood’s Chris Lemay claimed the 1600 title and the Dan Dunlap 3200 Meter Award for the top distance effort of the day went to Danny Loomis of McDonald.

Several coaches were pleased with how things went for their teams on a day that began with a threat of cold , wet weather, and ended up just cold and very windy.

“This was a fun day for everybody I think,” Lakeside coach Olajuwon Cooper said. “There are a  lot of things going on right now, including the prom, so there were some kids not here, but the kids that made it put out a great effort for us.”

Edgewood coach Jim Sanchez was satisfied with his team, but knew that Harvey put on a show as well in winning.

“Our kids did well today,” he said. “You just have to admit that Harvey is loaded with talent. They’ve got good balance, too, in all the events, and that’s important in team competition. There are a lot of good athletes out here, so it’s been fun to just watch. There’s been some close races, and David Chase has put on a show himself. If he had gotten a better start in the 100, he had a chance to win that, too.”

Chase’s coach , T.J.Furman, appreciated what he could get from his team in this meet.

“The kids really gave out some good effort today,” he said. “We looked pretty good all day. David did a great job, and fortunately, even though it was cold and windy, we did a good job. We were kind of depleted due to our school’s prom tonight, so a bunch of kids had to leave early, and we just didn’t have enough point scorers left late in the day.”

Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.

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