The race to state

Howland’s Mauri wins 3200; Clinkscale, Fitch runners qualify

Special to Tribune Chronicle / Charles Marsh Niles’ Chante Clinkscale, left, runs in the 100-meter dash with Mentor’s Paige Floriea on Friday. Clinkscale finished third and qualified for state.

AUSTINTOWN — Records are made to be broken. Howland senior distance runner Vincent Mauri broke his personal best time of 9:04 in the 3200 meter run, which he set at last year’s Division I state meet.

Mauri set his new mark of 9:03.63 at Friday’s Division I regional final at Austintown Fitch High School. After running side by side with Hudson’s Adam Beucler, Mauri ran the first seven laps in 8 minutes. When the gun sounded for the final lap, Mauri took off in an all out sprint to the finish line. Winning by 11 seconds, he’s now on his way back to Columbus where he finished as runner-up last year.

“I was actually going for sub-nine if the conditions held,” Mauri said. “They did. I honestly couldn’t attest this to anything but Adam. Him and I go and trade off laps. We were just having fun with it, and being good friends to each other. We even knew before the race we were going to be friendly about it, and try to run some fast times. We got half way at 4:30, which was pretty good. After that it’s mental, being on the track, and just pouring it in.”

Mauri’s Howland teammate, junior William Hines, qualified for state by finishing third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.24 seconds.

Niles sophomore Chante Clinkscale will be going to Columbus after placing third in the 100-meter dash in 12.26 seconds.

Her coaches boast about her academics and how important family is to her.

“It’s an honor,” Clinkscale said. “First thing I want to do is thank God because I didn’t make it here last year. I placed 15th in the prelims in the 100 last year. I’m not done yet. I’m ready for state.”

“She knows what she wants, and she goes out and gets it,” Niles track coach Alan Caldwell said. “I’m just as impressed with her 3.9 GPA and how family oriented she is.”

Clinkscale brings it all to the Red Dragons. Aside from wit and talent, she drives her teammates as well.

“She contributes leadership,” Niles sprint coach Mark Greene said. “She inspires others with her work ethic. She never quits and always goes the extra mile. She’s a special one.”

Warren G. Harding senior JeSean Sledge set his personal-best time of 38.36 seconds in the 300 meter hurdles. He narrowly finished second by five one hundredths of a second.

“I wasn’t really going for second,” Sledge said. “I was going for first, but I’ll take it. I’m going to work really hard for state. I’m going to make sure I get through these hurdles even better, and cleaner. I’m going to run a better race at state.”

The host Fitch Falcons will be sending junior pole vaulter Madison Skelly to Columbus after she won the regional with a vault of 11 feet 4 inches.

“I was not expecting this,” Skelly said. “I was never close last year. I trained non stop this year just to see if I could make it. I made indoor, and now I made outdoor. That’s just a great experience. I’m excited!”

The Falcons 4×100 meter relay team also qualified by finishing third with a time of 48.84 seconds. Team members are juniors Logan Franczkowski and Alena Williams, sophomore Jenna Rodgers and senior Hallie Renda.

“I really love our team,” said Renda, who is Fitch’s valedictorian. ” We always work hard. The girls grew really close this year. That really helped with our success. We’re like a family. We want to do better for each other.”

“The girls are doing a great job,” Fitch track coach Seth Steiner said. “They’ve become such a close-knit group. As we got closer to postseason, the girls kept getting better and better. They’re running their best when it matters most.”