Coming off a sizzling winter slate of competition, West Holmes speed-burner Brayden Chaney wanted to prove himself in the early going of the spring track and field season. It was message received for the competition at the Tri-County Invitational track and field meet at Fairless High School on Saturday, March 31.
Chaney posted a winning time of 50.66 in the 400 and fended off All-Ohioan Mitch Mitchell of East Canton, who blazed to second place in 51:49.
While defending Div. III state champion East Canton dominated the team portion of the meet for the boys, winning by a mile with 161 points, the Knights parlayed a solid team effort into a second-place finish in a tight battle for spots two through five. West Holmes tallied 78 points to sneak past third-place CVCA’s 76. Northwest was fourth with 70, and Claymont finished fifth with 67 in the field of 13 teams.
The Knights 4×800 relay team of Jonathan Kandel, Ian Jones, Jackson Iamarino and Caden Zeigler churned out a seventh-place finish in 9:26.19, but it was East Canton who set the early tone by watching its monstrously successful group of Demetrius Snellenberger, Colt Hemphill, Kyeem Newell-Owens and Tony Capillo win in a gorgeous time of 8:23.51.
East Canton’s Joel Berger took home a win in the 110-meter hurdles while West Holmes’ talented 4×200 relay team of Chaney, Michael Taylor, Grady Hay and Travett Boughman finished third in 1:37.06 behind only CVCA and East Canton.
The EC Hornets took first and second in the 1600, where Josh Conrad edged Snellenberger by just over two seconds, winning in 4:37.80.
West Holmes’ 4×100 relay team of Michael Taylor, Cale Ogi, Boughman and Brady Taylor grabbed a spot on the podium with a seventh-place finish.
East Canton’s Joel Berger continued to build the Hornets’ lead by capturing a win in the 300-meter hurdles. In the 800 Conrad and Hemphill went one and two for East Canton in times of 2:02.51 and 2:05.20, but the Knights picked up valuable points with Kandel placing fourth in 2:07 and Ethan Raber grabbing sixth in 2:16.79.
In a mesmerizing 200, both Mitchell and Chaney had to take a back seat to CVCA burner Tre Tucker, who won in 23:00. Mitchell stole second at 23.64, inches ahead of Chaney’s third-place finish in 23.84.
East Canton continued its onslaught in the track events, going one-two in the 3200, where Newell-Owens ran a winning time of 10:23.55 and Capillo took silver in 10:28.04.
The Hornets won the 4×400 in 3:32.48 with Nathanael Suntheimer, Snellenberger, Hemphill and Conrad running away from runner-up West Holmes. The Knights got a nice effort from Ethan Kinsey, Michael Taylor, Hay and Boughman, who ran a 3:38.85, easily beating third-place Northwest.
Claymont’s Blake Linard won the discus with a heave of 140-00 while the Knights put two on the podium in Eric Barbey and Jacob Goudy, Barbey taking fifth at 128-01 and Goudy earning seventh at 126-04.
Dion Morris of Northwest won the high jump with an effort of 6-00 with Knight Jacob Goudy grabbing sixth at 5-06.
The long jump crown went to CVCA’s Tucker at 22-09.25 while Michael Taylor finished fourth with a leap of 20-02.75 and Kinsey placed eighth at 18-04.00.
Claymont’s Linard returned to the shot put to clean up a second throwing title with a toss of 48-02.5, but the Knights put two more athletes on the podium with Mark Lowe taking fourth at 42-02 and Barbey taking seventh at 39-07.
In the pole vault it was Hay all day as the Knights earned their second title on the day with his winning vault of 12-06. Freshman teammate Emmett Myers earned fourth with a vault of 10-00.
The Lady Knights didn’t fare as well as the boys, placing ninth in the 13-team field, but that didn’t stop sophomore Kaylin Martin from having a great day. Martin soared 16-feet even in the long jump to inch her way to a gold medal effort, and she also churned out a 28.46 in the 200, good for fourth place there.
For the team title, Carrollton snuck by Fairless 94 to 92.5. The Lady Knights earned 41 points.
While Martin stood out, she wasn’t the only champion to return to Millersburg. Freshman Katie Sprang quickly proved she belonged by running a 5:40.61 in the 1600, which pushed her ahead of runner-up Isabella Payne of CVCA by one second.
There were other fine efforts for the Lady Knights. Maiah Geib took eight in the 100-meter hurdles as did the 4×200 relay team of Rebecca Kashuba, Daybria Yerian, Brooklynn Adkins and Megan Mellor.
The 4×100 relay team of Kashuba, Adkins, Geib and Brogan Steimel earned seventh place with Geib taking the eighth and final spot in the 300-meter hurdles.
The best relay finish for the West Holmes girls went to the 4×400 team, where Yerian, Adkins, Hannah Rohr and Sprang belted out a third-place finish in 4:34.23, six seconds behind winner Fairless and less than two seconds out of second place.