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Wadsworth 4x8 relay breaks 26-year-old meet record

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BRUNSWICK — Wadsworth junior Nick Miller has dared to dream big all season. There is good reason why junior Gabe Szalay and seniors Matt Galek and Kyle Hibinger haven’t discouraged him one bit.

The aforementioned Grizzlies broke a 26-year-old meet record Thursday in decisively winning the boys 4x800-meter relay at the Brunswick Division I District.

Wadsworth’s time of 7:54.78 was almost 12 seconds better than runner-up Berea-Midpark and erased Cleveland John Adams’ time of 7:56.05 in 1991 as the district mark.

“Nick’s goal for us is to set the state record (7:36.33) in the 4x8,” smiling two-time state qualifier Szalay said. “Since we went to the Penn Relays and ran 7:45 — and with three returning members from state last year — we aren’t counting it out.

“We definitely want to win state, and I’m confident we can do it and go down in history.”

Szalay, Miller and Galek were part of the 4x8 that finished fourth at the 2016 state meet with a time of 7:44.66. Miller pointed out the quartet is ahead of its pace from one year ago but expects stiff competition at regionals from Medina, which placed third at districts.

“The goal for today was just to qualify,” he said. “We’ll focus on dropping our times next week as we get closer to state. I have full confidence we can do that, and full confidence that we can do a lot of great things before we’re done.”

Brunswick’s girls 4x800 also has lofty goals and was almost as dominant in its race. Sophomores Felicia Pasadyn and Hailey Borges, senior Rebecca Craddock, and freshman Emily Bardwell posted a winning time of 9:25.05 to beat second-place Medina by 10.12 seconds.

“All of us kick each other’s butts in practice because we want to reach the podium at state,” Borges said. “Hard work definitely can pay off, and I’m proud of everybody on the team. I’m very happy to be part of it.”

All four Blue Devils ran cross country in the fall, helping them control the pace from the get-go. When University of Dayton recruit Craddock took the baton for the anchor leg, she left the competition in the dust.

“I love watching Rebecca do that,” Borges said. “She’s been a great role model for all of our underclassmen.”

Medina County athletes took the top two spots in the girls shot put as Medina senior Carolyn Wilder, the reigning Gazette MVP, won the title with a top throw of 42 feet, 3 inches. Wadsworth junior Hailey Montgomery was second at 37-10.

Four competitors topped 37 feet, but Wilder said her focus was solely on being her best.

“I usually put on my headphones and just worry about myself,” she said. “The (90-degree) heat was kind of bad today, but I tried to keep a level head and mentally prepare myself for the road to state.”

Brunswick seniors Colin Sustersic and Alan Strauss both claimed boys individual titles. The top four finishers in each event advance to regionals.

Sustersic won the discus with a 162-5, while Strauss captured the pole vault at 13-9. Medina’s Jacob Wickey was second in the former and Wadsworth’s Jacob Atlas was the runner-up in the latter.

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.

Results

BRUNSWICK — Results Thursday from the Brunswick Division I District at Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium (top four in each event to regionals):

Boys

4x800: 1. Wadsworth (Nick Miller, Matt Galek, Kyle Hibinger, Gabe Szalay) 7:54.78, 2. Berea-Midpark 8:06.53, 3. Medina (Matthew Stump, Alex Stamper, Jakob Wickert, Harry Custer) 8:07.68, 4. Copley 8:16.34. Discus: 1. Colin Sustersic (Brunswick) 162-5, 2. Jacob Wickey (Medina) 155-7, 3. Sam Ferguson (North Royalton) 145-2, 4. Hunter Petit (North Royalton) 144-10. Long jump: 1. Jullian Sallee (Berea-Midpark) 21-4, 2. Da’One Jordan (Medina) 21-0.5, 3. Jason Buike (Strongsville) 20-11, 4. Jordan Hill (Garfield Heights) 20-10. Pole vault: 1. Alan Strauss (Brunswick) 13-9, 2. Jacob Atlas (Wadsworth) 12-9, 3. Jacob Binkley (Copley) 12-6, 4. Jason Buike (Strongsville) 12-6.

Girls

4x800: 1. Brunswick (Felicia Pasadyn, Emily Bardwell, Hailey Borges, Rebecca Craddock) 9:25.05, 2. Medina (Jessica Campbell, Ava Tenaglia, Angela Dobson, Juliette Keller) 9:35.17, 3. Wadsworth (Payton Grigsby, Emily Kurtz, Lindsey Leatherman, Sami Shaffer) 9:48.56, 4. St. Joseph Academy 9:43.92. High jump: 1. Emilia Lesniak (Strongsville) 5-8, 2. Kelly McCafferty (Strongsville) 5-3, 3. Tianna McCormick (Wadsworth) 5-2, 4. Ava Mastrianni (Highland) 5-1. Shot put: 1. Carolyn Wilder (Medina) 42-3, 2. Hailey Montgomery (Wadsworth) 37-10, 3. Emma Pesicka (St. Joseph) 37-9, 4. Emily Andrews (Wadsworth) 37-1.

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