AVON — For both the host Avon girls and the Amherst boys, it took a bit of doing from everyone as the teams ruled the 73rd Lorain County Track and Field Invitational on Friday evening at Joe Firment Stadium.
The Avon girls won the county classic for the third time since 2014 and 19th overall by outdistancing two-time defending champ Amherst, 170-134. The Amherst boys won the meet for the second time in three years and 20th time overall by holding off defending champ Avon, 137-112.
It was by no means an easy task for either team as temperatures dropped nearly 30 degrees from a high of 75 degrees when the meet started at 3 p.m. to when it ended at around 9:50.
Seniors Kamryn Sharer and Lexie Firment were the main catalysts for Avon.
Sharer defended her meet title in the 100-meter hurdles (15.74) and won long jump (16-8.25). She also handled the second leg of the winning 4x100 (52.09), pinch-hitting for teammate Melanie Farmer who was nursing a slight muscle pull. Sharer wrapped the night with a second to Avon Lake junior Amber Achladis in the 300 hurdles, 49.37 to 49.78.
“Tonight felt good,” said Sharer, a 2017 Division I state qualifier in long jump. “I’ll see a lot of this competition at conference and districts. I didn’t mind the temperature that much. We’ve run in a lot worse. It’s a little cold now, but earlier when I was running I didn’t notice it too much.”
Sharer switched over to the 4x100 from the 4x400 to help out. Firment stepped into Sharer’s spot in the 4x400 to help the Eagles win their third relay in four attempts on the evening. A regular on the 4x400, Sharer had only run the 4x100 once since the start of the 2017 season.
In addition to being a part of the winning 4x400 (4:10.36), Lexie Firment was a part of the meet-record 4x800 (9:54.59) along with twin sister Sydnie, Jules Frombach and Evelyn Pelfrey.
Lexie Firment had win No. 3 as she edged Pelfrey to win the 800, 2:27.02 to 2:27.36.
“Our team overall is getting stronger and stronger,” Lexie Firment said. “I think with the warmer weather we’re getter better. Today’s weather made it hard. For the 4x800 we were really sweating, but by 4x400 we were freezing. Since this is our home field it’s nice winning this meet and going out senior year with a bang. It feels very nice.”
Injuries made things tough for the Amherst girls. Junior Taylor Hooks, two-time defending county champ in the 100 and 200, pulled her right hamstring in the 200-meter prelims and had to scratch for the rest of the meet. Sophomore Alexis Alston, the meet record-holder for the 400 (58.34), was bothered by a tight quad and had to scratch the 4x400 after fading at the end of the 400 and getting second to teammate Gracen Siegenthaler, 1:00.46 to 1:01. Senior sprinter Audrey Fayer had a 103-degree fever.
Senior Josh Hill, along with juniors Jaret Prete and Erik Henderson, led the Amherst boys.
Hill led off the meet with a 1:59 split for the winning 4x800 (8:19.83). He came back to win the 1,600 (4:33.44) and 3,200 (9:41.00), the latter in a meet-record time. Hill’s wins in the 4x800 and 1,600 mirrored his wins last year.
“It’s great,” said Hill, a 2017 Division I state qualifier for the 3,200. “There is a lot of teams out here. Obviously, we’re pleased to do as well as we did. I’m proud of both myself and my team. We have a lot of underclassmen helping. They keep getting better and better.”
Prete won the discus (149-20) by over 9 feet and was second in the shot (44-10.25) by around 5 inches. Henderson triumphed in pole vault (12-0).
“Josh stepped up and won three events,” Amherst coach Rob Glatz said. “Devin (Baumgartner) was big for us running in four events. He was part of the (winning) 4x800 and second-place 4x400. Nick Keron was third in long jump (19-9.25). All around we had a very good showing. It was a team effort. That’s what we’re looking for, helping each other out.”
The Comets also a got a big boost from junior Michael Shorts in the 110 (15.62) and 300 hurdles (42.92).
“Other than the Tennessee meet, today’s meet is our ‘preseason’ indicator of what we would like to do this season,” Glatz said. “We’re ready to get into the heart of the season and execute at the championship level.”
Lorain senior sprinter Zion Cross enjoyed a stellar meet. The 2016 Division I 100-meter state champ set meet records for the 100 (10.66) and 200 (21.72) in the prelims before winning both in the finals with times of 10.73 and 22.32.
“I raced against a good group of guys,” he said. “It’s always good to race against people that work hard. It pushes me as well as everyone else. I was actually surprised that I ran that fast in the prelims. That’s something that wasn’t expected. I’ve just been working trying to get stronger. It just happened.”
Avon senior Michael Rennette defended his meet titles in the 110 (15.19) and 300 (41.87) hurdles.
Elyria junior Jayvion Benton also had a big night with three wins. He tied the meet record in winning the 400 (50.77) and was on two winning relays. He teamed with twin brother Tayvion, along with Aaron Frost and Jordan Lucky-Baker in the 4x200 (1:31.41), and later with Frost, Lucky-Baker and Deviian Williams in 4x100 (43.80).
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or email@example.com.