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Unfortunately for the Stow-Munroe Falls girls track and field team, the Lady Bulldogs are facing division opponents that are strong in the areas that Stow currently experiencing growing pains.
That pattern continued last week, as Stow faced Suburban League National Division opponent Twinsburg on the road April 11. The Lady Tigers clipped the Lady Bulldogs by the score of 75-62.
"We did really well in the field events and the hurdles," said Stow head coach Aaron Morris. "However, we really struggled to get points in the other running events. Twinsburg has strong distance runners and sprinters, and they have a lot of those talented runners to choose from."
With the loss, Stow fell to 1-2, both overall and within the National Division. However, the Lady Bulldogs boasted many top performers against the Lady Tigers.
Stow swept the long jump, as senior Kayla Thompson finished first (16-feet-9), sophomore Peyton Balawender was second (15-9.5), and junior Madison Merlene placed third (15-8.5).
The Lady Bulldogs also swept the high jump. Doing so were senior Maria Cistone in first place, senior Christine Demarino in second place, and freshman Rachel Pitcovich in third place. All three leaped a height of 4-10.
Stow swept two other individual events, as well. One was the pole vault with senior Sara Kasper (first at 10 feet), Balawender (second at 8-6) and senior Hannah Whitlock (third at 7 feet).
Sweeping the 100 high hurdles were Thompson (first in 15.4 second), Kasper (second in 16.6) and sophomore Tatum Bradley (third in 17.1).
In addition, the Lady Bulldogs finished first and second in two individual events. Junior Katie Dunn placed first in the discus with a throw of 99-9, while sophomore Katherine Hall was second in the event with a heave of 92-1.
Sophomore Ariana Poteat captured first place in the 300 intermediate hurdles with a time of 50.18. Bradley claimed second place in the event with an effort of 51.59.
Sophomore Mackenzie Cassiday also won an individual event for Stow, accomplishing the feat in the 3,200 with a time of 11:56.62.
"We are still very young in the sprints," said Morris. "The girls are improving, but the conference teams we have faced so far are strong in those areas. Right now, most of our sprint relays are comprised of a lot of freshmen and sophomores. They are getting a lot of good experience that should help them as they progress through the next four years."
Stow also competed at the Knight Relays at Nordonia High School April 8. The Lady Bulldogs finished seventh overall with a total of 44 points. Brunswick was first with 95 points, Mentor placed second (77 points), and Nordonia finished third (74 points).
Thompson produced the best long jump of the day with a leap of 17-10.5. She was also second in the 100 high hurdles with a time of 15.09.
Kasper recorded the best pole vault of the meet with a height of 10 feet, while Demarino tied for second place in the high jump (4-10). Hall and Merlene accounted for the fourth-best efforts in both the discus relay (102-2) and the long jump relay (15-9.5), respectively.
In addition, Stow's 400 weight relay team finished in second place with a time of 1:01.7. The members of that unit were Hall, freshman Ellie Rieger, freshman Jenna Madgar, and Dunn.
On April 15, Stow was set to travel to the Walsh Relays, but results were not available at press time.
On April 18, the Lady Bulldogs will visit division adversary Hudson at 4 p.m. On April 20, they'll host division foe Cuyahoga Falls at 4 p.m.