By RICH KELLY
For the Star Beacon
ANDOVER TOWNSHIP —
Spectators at Laker Stadium may have thought they were seeing double at the Karl Pearson All-County Track Meet on Saturday.
Edgewood’s twin distance runners Chris and Josh Lemay finished first and second in the 3,200-meter run — the second-to-last event of the meet — to give the Warriors a narrow team win for the over Jefferson, 137-127.
The teams battled back and forth for the lead throughout the day until the final push gave the title to Edgewood.
Although falling just short as a team, it was a banner day for Jefferson’s David Chase, who set a pair of meet records while being part of another winning relay team and taking a third place on his own in the 200-meter dash.
“I had a much better day than I did at the Laker Invitational a few weeks ago,” Chase said. “I was really sick with the stomach flu that day and the coaches gave me a lot of time off because I just wasn’t well.”
Chase earned a first-place in the high jump, then capped it off by going for the record of 6-foot-5 by attempting 6-51⁄2. He barely missed the first two tries, and on the third, easily glided over the bar for the record.
Then, he dashed to a meet record of 50.05 seconds in the 400-meter dash after anchoring the 800-relay team. That group took first place, as well. His third-place finish in the 200-meter dash gave the Falcons a brief lead.
Edgewood got big points from the Lemay brothers in both long distance races.
Chris edged out Josh in both races, as they took the top two spots in the decisive 3200 after ending up second and third in the 1600 earlier in the day.
“I can’t say enough about those two Lemay kids,” Edgewood coach Jim Sanchez said. “They really sealed the deal for us today. All year long, they’ve come up with great performances. This is one of the best track meets around and the support from our parents and athletes in supporting something to honor a great man like Karl Pearson is just so good to be part of.
“We won at Perry Relays, at Grand Valley and the Laker Invitational, so we’ve had a great season.”
The Warriors got first-place finishes from Jon Pendleton in the 110-meter hurdles and Connor Lynch in the 300 hurdles, in which Pendleton took third. Brandon Kluge put Edgewood into the team lead midway through the day with a second-place finish in the 800. Add in a third-place effort in the 100-meter dash for Mike DiDonato, and it was a good day for Warrior runners.
Edgewood’s field events faired well, too.
Zac Hutchinson took second in the pole vault, James Lyle was fifth in that event, Matt Fitchet won the shot put with a heave of 49-8.5 feet and Kameron Manhard won the long jump with an effort of 18-4 and claimed second in the high jump.
Jefferson’s Nathan O’Connor won the discus with a toss of 133 feet and took third in the shot.
Chase’s effort in the high jump was complimented by a fifth-place effort of 5-6 by Lucas Hitchcock. James Jackson was third in the long jump and Jerry Scott was fourth.
Jacob Hamilton took home first in the pole vault to go with his sixth-place in the 100-meter dash, and the balance of both Edgewood and Jefferson contributed in their high placing.
Grand Valley’s 400-meter relay team of Peter Tropp, Jason Hart, Jake Vormelker and Nathan Pilarczyk finished on top while Jefferson’s Matt Kantor won the 1600 ahead of the Lemays. Austin Clutter of Geneva won the 200-meter dash.
The Lakeside Dragons had a pair of first-place finishes.
One came from Otis Conel, who turned in a blistering 11.64 effort in the 100-meter dash and their 3200-meter relay team put one into the Lakeside record books with a 8:21.41 effort.
“The boys came into this meet today with the idea of going for our school record in the 3200,” Lakeside coach Olajuwon Cooper said. “The kids wanted to do it, they mapped out their times to get it, and then executed what they planned to near perfection.”
Brandon Lopez also contributed with a first-place finish in the 800.
Geneva was third as a team with 105 points, Lakeside was fourth with 70, Grand Valley was ffith with 46, Pymatuning Valley, limited by the flu and missing several key performers, including 2012 state qualifier Quintin Ratliff, tallied 28 points to place sixth and the Conneaut Spartans were seventh with 13 points.
Chase was named meet MVP.
Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.