McDonald girls finish 2nd

Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo The McDonald 4x400 relay team, from left, Abbie Matig, Bella Wolford, Malina Mitchell and Jessica Stamp, won the relay at the Division III Massillon Perry Regional on Thursday.

MASSILLON — Sometimes they’re running along, happy with what they’ve already earned.

That was the McDonald girls.

They just won the 4×400-meter relay, seeing Jessica Stamp cross the finish line on Friday.

Then, some reporter comes up to senior Malina Mitchell, who was part of that group, asking how they felt about being the Division III Massillon Perry Regional runners-up to Gilmour Academy, 84 to 68.5.

“We placed second? Sweet,” she said.

She said that trophy they take home to McDonald shows how deep this team is. It goes without saying the distance and middle distance events are strong. The sprinting events are pretty darn good, too.

That’s maybe why the McDonald girls have such a good 4×400 team, combining the best of both worlds.

“We always joke around and say the 4×800 is the 4×200’s biggest fan and the 4×200 is the 4x800s biggest fan,” she said. “Then, we kind of come together and make the 4×400. It’s a real neat group of girls to be part of.”

Mitchell, who advanced to state in the 1,600 by taking second Friday, remembers two years ago when that 4×400 relay she was a part of won the Division III state championship in that event.

“The 4×400 has a special place in my heart,” said Mitchell, who will run at West Virginia University next season. “Obviously I have a chance to run other events as well, but the mile and the 4×400 are my favorites. That’s how I want to go out my senior year, running those two events.”

GOING TO STATE WITH A SMILE: Maplewood senior Charlotte Crouch usually has a smile on her face.

Friday was no exception as she won the 800, after taking third at regionals last season. She went on to the state meet and finished fourth.

She’s looking forward to Columbus next weekend.

“I’m excited to have a chance to run the best I can again,” Crouch said.

BETTER THIS TIME: Wednesday’s second-place finish in the boys discus frustrated the heck out of McDonald junior Zach Gray after a couple of fouls.

This time, he took third in the shot put.

That gives him two events at state this time. Last year, he went to state in the discus and didn’t make finals. He wants something different this year, and it comes from the shot put.

He competes at state in that first, then the discus.

“(It) helps me stay calm,” he said. “Disc is more of my thing, so I can let loose in shot. I’ll be all right and come back for disc later on, and hopefully perform better.”

MULTIPLE WINNERS: Grand Valley’s Allie Holmes moves on to state by taking second in the 300 hurdles and fourth in the 100 hurdles and long jump. … Liberty’s Justin Clark took third in the 110 and 300 hurdles. … Newton Falls’ Izzy Kline was fourth in the discus, making three events for state. She moved on in the high jump and shot put Wednesday. … Maplewood’s Ethan Sparks took third in the 1,600. His 4×800 relay team was third on Wednesday. … McDonald’s Anna Guerra and Bella Wolford, whose 4×800 relay team took second Wednesday, placed third in the 3,200 and second in the 800, respectively.