All season long the Garaway Pirates really haven’t won much in the way of invitationals. Always competitive but never on top, part of the reason for that is the rugged schedule in which Garaway usually faces bigger schools.
Thus when it comes time to compete at the district meet, they are more than ready.
As it has done so often in the past, Garaway put forth a strong team effort and came away with another district title on the boys’ side and a runner-up trophy for the girls.
The boys totaled 78 points, which was 11 better than runner-up Shadyside. Shenandoah (62) was third, Barnesville (57) was fourth, Hiland (51) placed fifth, and Caldwell, Strasburg and Buckeye Trail all tied for sixth with 42, just ahead of Fort Frye (40), Newcomerstown (39) and Steubenville Catholic Central (38), among the challenging field of 20 teams.
The Lady Pirates racked up 80 points, which was good but not quite good enough to eclipse Ridgewood’s winning total of 91. It was good enough to fend off third-place Malvern (77) and Steubenville Catholic Central (65). Caldwell, Shadyside, Newcomerstown, Buckeye Trail, Bellaire and River rounded out the top-10 teams among the field of 20.
Both the Pirates and Lady Pirates produced big days simply by being consistent across the board. Garaway didn’t have a ton of winners but seemed to score quality points in just about every category.
For the girls, 20 of their points came courtesy of hurdling sensation Carly Jacobs, who won both the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles. She barely fended off good friend and training partner Alexis Prater of Ridgewood in the shorter of the two races.
Another win on the boys’ side came from the 4-by-800 relay team of Andrew West, Kristian Stocksdale, Noah Wentworth and Julian Shrock, who fired off an 8:35.20, well ahead of runner-up Fort Frye’s time of 8:40.80.
That would be the sum total of Garaway’s victories at the district meet, meaning that in order to compete, they had to do well in a lot of events. They did more than just compete.
Garaway’s girls began their march to second in the 4-by-800 relay, where Helena Immel, Hailey Troyer, Arin Frey and Lauren Goehring qualified for regionals by placing fourth.
The 4-by-200 relay team of Ashton Gerber, Sara Beachy, Lauren Foster and Jacobs then ran a 1:49.45, four-tenths of a second off of Malvern’s winning time.
Mallory Millet snuck in and picked up a point in the 1600 with an eighth-place finish while the Lady P’s 4-by-100 relay team of Lizzie Mullet, Beachy, Page Gerber and Ashton Gerber qualified for regionals by placing fourth. Hailey Troyer and Kallie Regula helped out the cause with fourth- and eighth-place finishes, respectively, in the 400 meters, and Immel took sixth in the 800.
Beachy and Ashton Gerber then both narrowly missed qualifying for regionals, placing fifth and sixth in the 200 meters, as did Goehring, who ended up sixth in the 3200.
The Lady P’s 4-by-400 relay team of Regula, Troyer, Ashton Gerber and Jacobs rounded out the running events by placing second in 4:15.89, five seconds behind the winning effort of Steubenville Catholic Central.
Freshman Mykala Sitzler worked her way into a regional berth by placing fourth in the shot with a throw of 32-03.50. That was not far off the winning toss of 35-00.00 by Bellaire senior Brittany Falcone. Sophomore Ali Yackey added a point by placing eighth in the discus.
Olivia Young and Mykala Miller went fifth and sixth, respectively, in the pole vault to round out the Lady Pirates’ day.
Over on the guys’ side of the ledger, it was more of the same as Garaway managed to put up points at just about every turn. Lonnie Weaver got things going with a seventh-place finish in the 100 meters, and West, Brendan Chapman, Connar Angel and Ethan Miller racked up a fourth-place finish in the 4-by-200 relay.
Wentworth qualified ninth in the 1600 meters but turned it on in the finals, where he qualified for regionals with a third-place finish. He qualified in 5:02, then went on to post a finals time of 4:42.39, an incredible run.
The 4-by-100 relay team of Weaver, Angel, Ethan Miller and West also qualified for regionals, sprinting to a second-place finish in 46.07, less than three-tenths of a second behind Hiland’s winning time of 45.80.
The freshman Chapman then earned a spot in regionals in the 400 meters in 52.76, where River’s Cooper Brown set a meet record with a run of 49.82, while Stocksdale collected a couple more points for the Pirates with a seventh in the 800 meters.
Chapman then worked his way into a second regional appearance by claiming fourth place in the 200 meters, where he ran a 24.30, six-hundredths of a second ahead of the fifth-place finisher.
In a spirited run in the 3200, Pirates senior Julian Shrock set sail with Shadyside’s Chase Stewart and Tuscarawas Central Catholic’s Jackson Triplett. That trio ran away from the field and ran together until the end when Stewart won in 9:46.67. Triplett took second in 9:50.75, and Shrock settled into a third-place finish in 9:56.27, good enough to easily move on to regionals.
In the running events Garaway capped off its day with a 4-by-400 relay effort that saw them snag second. That quartet included Ethan Miller, West, Stocksdale and Chapman.
Junior Austin Miller produced a strong second-place finish in the shot, where his throw of 45-05.5 was ahead of everyone except Shenandoah’s Tanner Brown, who uncorked a throw of 48-09. Mason Steiner grabbed a few more points for the Pirates when he finished fifth in the discus.
Lonnie Weaver qualified fifth in the long jump, then went into the finals and leaped from just outside a regional berth into one when his leap of 20-01.75 improved him 2 feet and placed him third. Weaver also earned three Pirates’ points by placing sixth in the high jump.