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Area’s best seek place on state podium

The last 100 meters lie directly in front of an area athlete. A second-place competitor is closing fast. Who crosses the line first?

The allure of being a track and field state champion is like no other. This May 31 and June 1, some area athletes have a great opportunity to be high atop the illustrious track and field stage in the state’s capitol.

Vinny Mauri is seeking his elusive state title before heading to Arizona State University. He’s ranked No. 1 in the state in the 3,200 (9:12.28) and No. 2 in the state in the 1,600 (4:12.73).

Lakeview junior Ashleigh Bowker leads Division II girls 300 hurdles (45.65) and is third in the 100 hurdles (14.67).

Garfield’s Tyler Klouda is No. 4 in the boys Division II 1,600 (4:22.11) and 3,200 (9:35.75).

Miranda Stanhope, the defending D-III girls cross country champion, is the top girls 1,600 runner with a time of 5:04.70. McDonald’s Anna Guerra set the county meet mark in the 3,200 with 11:05.12 to rank first, while Stanhope is second (11:14.55).

It was a matter of time before McDonald’s Zach Gray popped off a good discus throw. Thursday at the Trumbull County Meet he threw 182-0, tops among D-III boys discus throwers.

There are other D-III athletes who can place in the top eight at state and thus reach the podium.

Badger’s Brandon Greathouse has run 15.43 in the boys 110 and 41.05 in the 300 hurdles.

McDonald’s Brody Rupe is one of the best in the boys 800, while Mineral Ridge’s Nathan Chiclowe and Gray have good throws in the shot put.

McDonald’s Cam Tucker looks to get back his early-season glory as he went 6-4 in an early April meet at Western Reserve.

Liberty’s boys have the need for speed as the Leopards clocked times in the top five in the 4×100 and 4×200.

Badger’s 4×400 relay looks to make more than a return trip with a 3:29.02 time so far.

McDonald’s boys 4×800 relay wants to drop time from its 8:21.82, trying to dip under that 8-minute mark.

McDonald’s girls have three of its four state qualifiers back from last season and recently dipped under 10 minutes (9:59.83), while Maplewood’s young crew of freshmen and sophomores went about 25 seconds faster at 10:00.73.

The Badger high jumping duo of Kiersten Tricker, who barely made it to state last season, and Suzanne Shaffer want to get the heights they had at the early April East Canton Invitational. Tricker went 5-5, while Shaffer was 5-2.

Mathews’ Claire Miller is steadily improving in the girls shot put, inching toward 38 feet.

McDonald’s Bella Wolford is proficient in the girls 800, trying to get under 2:20.

Finally, LaBrae senior Dynesty Ervin has solid times in the 100 (12.50), 200 (25.94) and 400 (1:00.58). She’s looking to cut time and return to Columbus to stand on the podium, just as a lot of area athletes aim to do as well.

For now, it’s a week of league meets followed by the districts starting May 15.

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