Tiger tandem one of the state’s best

CORTLAND – Kayla Barreca knew the day was coming.

It happened during Saturday’s Poland Invitational when the Newton Falls junior felt the school girls discus record was hers before the implement even hit the ground.

Barreca threw 148-feet to snap the Tigers’ record of 146-5 set by 2008 Division II state champion KaiCee Kubicina.

“I’ve been really hoping to get the school record this year,” said Barreca, who won Tuesday’s Trumbull County Meet girls discus title at Lakeview High School. “At the Poland meet, Mr. Culp kept telling me to keep my arm back. He would adjust my throw each time. On the last throw, everything just clicked. I let go and I knew I broke the record with that throw.”

She wasn’t the only one with a personal-best throw that day. Her teammate and Newton Falls sophomore Izzy Kline threw 39-3 1/2 in the shot put at Poland.

“Izzy has come a long way this year,” Barreca said. “She originally was throwing 35 and 36. She’s really improved her shot put ability. She’s probably going to hit 40 by the end of this year and break the school record as a sophomore.”

Kubicina holds the shot put record (40-11 1/2).

Barreca and Kline work well in practice, but Kline, who will compete in the shot put Thursday, isn’t fond of the discus.

“She hates discus,” said Newton Falls throws coach Jon Culp. “Absolutely hates it. You ask her, she’ll tell you. She’s not a very big fan of the discus, just yet.”

“Ever since I started throwing last year I took to the shot more,” Kline said. “I really didn’t click with this one. I’m trying to get better at it.”

Newton Falls has had discus state champions like Kubicina and Walsh University thrower Bucyrus Palo and plenty of state finalists as well.

“We’ve had great athletes too, so that helps out a ton,” Culp said. “You have good athletes do what they’re supposed to do, good things will happen.”

Barreca is hoping, just once, she’ll beat Garfield’s Lauren Jones. Both are juniors and face one another quite often. Jones won the discus and shot put at Poland, including throwing 157-8, which is a Poland record.

Barreca said competing against Jones, the defending Division II state champion, keeps her sharp.

“Her beating me really doesn’t affect me any more,” Barreca said. “I’m really striving to beat her before I graduate because we’re in the same grade.”

REPEAT CHAMPS: The Maplewood boys, which are the defending Division III 4×800-meter relay state champs, won the Trumbull County title for the fifth straight season. McDonald’s girls won the 4×800 for the second straight year.

FIELD EVENT FINALS: Lakeview’s Jackie Smith and Jake Giesy won the girls and boys pole vault, respectively. Smith set a meet record of 9-8. … Champion’s Zach Page won the boys shot put. … Hubbard’s Jared Southern took the boys high jump. … Mathews’ Maike Westphal captured the girls long jump.

HEADING INTO THURSDAY: Lakeview girls lead after four events with 22 points, while Howland has 19. Maplewood and McDonald are tied for third with 18 each. McDonald, the two-time defending boys champ, is ahead of Howland, 27 to 23. Lakeview is third with 22. … The county meet concludes Thursday, starting with the field events at 4:30 p.m., followed by the running finals beginning at 5 p.m.