Four for four

Trumbull girls own shot put

Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo Mathews’ Claire Miller, left, Newton Falls’ Libby Barreca, kneeling, Liberty’s Alyssa Wilson, standing middle, and Bristol’s Sydney Fenstermaker, right, pose for a photo. The foursome dominated the regional shot put event Wednesday.

MASSILLON — Liberty’s Alyssa Wilson talked about her making state in the Division III girls shot put.

To the left of her was Newton Falls’ Libby Barreca, flipping a half-full gallon water jug from an attached handle.

Earlier, the two were sitting in the infield of the track facility at Massillon Perry High School. Barreca successfully flipped two times with Wilson nearby as they waited to reach the podium where the top eight finishers in the girls shot put were honored.

“She’s made two,” Wilson said. “I have faith. Not really. It’s whatever.”

Just then, Barreca landed a third flip and looked over.

Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo Badger's Kiersten Tricker went 5-5.25 to win the Division III regional girls high jump at Massillon Perry High School.

“Are you talking about me?” she said.

“I am talking about you. What about it?” Wilson said.

It’s like the two have been friends since they were young, even though they’ve only seen each other at two or three meets a year.

It’s just not them, it’s Mathews’ Claire Miller and Bristol’s Sydney Fenstermaker too.

Miller, who won last week’s Cuyahoga Heights district title, claimed the regional title this week with a throw of 37 feet, 11 inches. Barreca was second (37-8.5), Fenstermaker took third (36-6.75) and Wilson was fourth (36-3). The top four in each regional final head to state. The four Trumbull County girls took the top spots at Wednesday’s D-III Massillon Perry Regional track and field meet.

Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo Mathews' Claire Miller warms up prior to throwing in Wednesday's Division III girls shot put. She won the title at Massillon Perry High School.

“This is so awesome because we’re all going to know each other when we go to state, kind of like a unity thing,” Miller said.

Fenstermaker is just enjoying the surroundings.

“You try to be serious, but at the same time you have to have fun with it,” she said.

Barreca’s throwing coach Jon Culp told her the girls from Trumbull County were her competition. Wilson beat out six other girls who had higher-seeded throws.

So, what was better for Barreca, the runner-up or her third successful flip of an enormous water bottle?

Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo McDonald's Anna Guerra runs the second leg of Wednesday's girls 4x800-meter relay. Guerra gave McDonald the lead as the Blue Devils won the Division III Massillon Perry regional title.

“I didn’t think I was going to get a third one,” Barreca said. “Whatever. I’m a professional now.”

This is the same fun-loving person who was trying to get the other three to dab on the podium. She did convince them to flex muscles in front of the crowd.

GRAY AREA: Zach Gray leads Division III discus with his state-leading throw of 182-0 at this year’s Trumbull County Meet.

The McDonald senior had two previous fouls during Wednesday’s regional and thought a third was out of bounds. It sailed to the right and seemingly went out near the 160 mark. Then, it hooked in and landed just short of 180 at 179-2 — his winning throw.

“I thought it was going to go foul,” Gray said. “Something happened and it curved back in. Apparently it got in. It was crazy. I thought it was definitely going foul.”

Special to Tribune Chronicle / Suzanne Hill McDonald's Zach Gray finishes throwing the boys discus at Wednesday's Division III Massillon Perry District. Gray, the D-III leader in the state, won the regional title with a throw of 179-2.

BADGERING THE COMPETITION: Badger senior Kiersten Tricker just cleared 5-4 in the high jump. She had already won the girls high jump, then went over 5-5.25 on her first attempt — breaking her own school record set in early April at East Canton.

She hasn’t consistently cleared it until Wednesday.

“I just got it, and it was amazing,” Tricker said.

She goes from barely making state last season to a regional champion. Tricker is taking her sophomore teammate Suzanne Shaffer, who placed second at 5-2, with her. This is the first time Badger has sent two high-jumpers to state.

“I wasn’t even expecting to get up in that top four,” she said. “It’s incredible for me, especially Kiersten for getting the championship.”

PV’s Jenna Harvey placed fourth in the high jump.

PASS TO GO TO FIRST: McDonald’s Sela Jones was about 20 meters behind a Gilmour Academy runner in the first two laps of girls 4×800-meter relay.

Jones then handed off to teammate Anna Guerra. She passed Gilmour Academy’s second runner about 600 meters into her leg of the race.

McDonald was up by about 100 meters when Guerra handed off to Janessa Martinelli and finished it with Bella Wolford. The Blue Devils ran a season-best 9:40.16, 7 seconds ahead of second-place Canton Central Catholic. Gilmour Academy was third.

“I made eye contact with my teammate Sela Jones,” Guerra said. “She said, ‘Go reel ’em in.’ I said, ‘Got to do it.’ I tried my best to come close to her and ended up passing her.”

McDonald’s boys took third in the boys 4×800 relay with 8:11.74, a season-best time for the Blue Devils.

The Division III Massillon Perry meet finishes Friday, starting at 4:30 p.m.

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