The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


May 25, 2013

Warriors roll to district title

Sanchez’s guys earn seventh crown; Furman’s Falcons finish as runner-up

In Jim Sanchez’s first 14 seasons as boys track coach at Edgewood, his teams earned six Division II district championships, not to mention, won 89 dual meets.

However, if you think — for a second — the Geneva and Ohio State product takes the seventh district crown his Warriors earned Saturday at the Perry district, or the 19-0 season they produced leading up to it, think again.

“It’s truly a dream type of team for us and it’s a dream season,” he said after Edgewood ran away with one of the two district meets being staged at Perry, piling up 120.60 points. The next-best effort was turned in by coach T.J. Furman’s Jefferson Falcons, who finished with 90 points.

The top four individuals and relay teams advanced to the Division II regional Thursday (preliminaries) and Saturday (finals) at Bedford.

“We have so much love between the guys, we really have a track family,” Sanchez said. “Considering we were seeded 12th going into the district (by the coaches of the teams involved), well, to say we weren’t motivated by that would not be true.

“But district championships are pretty hard to come by, so we take nothing... nothing, for granted, I assure you.

“We appreciate every moment we spend together.”

The Warriors didn’t run away with the district being top-heavy. They did it with depth.

In fact, Matt Fitchet’s championship in the shot put was Edgewood’s only first-place finish. The junior threw 49.0.

“This has truly been a dream year for the guys because, really, we have two guys who are strong in a lot of events,” Sanchez said.

Here are the Edgewood qualifiers for the regional:

First place

Shot put — Fitchet, 49.0

Second place

3200 — Chris Lemay, sophomore, 10:13.23.

300 hurdles – Connor Lynch, senior, 39.05.

High jump — Kameron Manhard, senior, 6-3.

Discus — Fitchet, 135-01.

Third place

3200 — Josh Lemay, sophomore, 10:19.85.

110 hurdles — Joe Pendleton, senior, 15.23.

400 relay — Jacob Cardona, junior, James Lyle, senior, Mike DiDonato, senior, Riis Smith, junior, 45.31.

1600 relay — Pendleton, DiDonato, Lynch, Brandon Kluge, senior, 3:35.84.

Pole vault — Zac Hutchinson, senior, 12-0.

Fourth place

100 — Smith, 11.27.

200 — DiDonato, 52.04.

300 hurdles — Pendleton, 40.64.

Long jump — Manhard, 19-11.5.

Not to mention, Edgewood placed a slew of competitors in the top 8 of pretty much every event to overwhelm the field with its blanket of depth.

And while it gives the Warriors a seventh district championship in Sanchez’s decorated 15 seasons at the helm, it is their first since 2007. Edgewood won the district at Lakeview in 2002, then followed it with five consecutive gold trophies at Pymatuning Valley.

“It’s kind of neat to have seven spread out over three locations,” Sanchez said with a laugh. “To have so many guys contribute in so many events, that is what makes this so special.”

So Saturday was a good day to be a Warrior?

“Nope,” he said. “It was a great day! I’m so proud of the guys and, more importantly, happy for them.

“Nothing was given to them and they’ve worked very, very hard — and done so together — it’s a pleasure to be their coach.”

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