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by Steve Batko
Even with the Newton Falls Invitational under its belt, Streetsboro track and field head coach Tom Fesemyer still thinks his boys and girls teams need plenty of work and practice outside.
The boys finished fourth out of 15 teams with 72 points at the cold and windy Tiger Invitational April 5.
Tallmadge won with 118 points and Field (87) and Hanoverton United Local (81) placed second and third, respectively.
In girls' action, the Streetsboro finished sixth out of 13 teams with 48 points.
Girard won with 124 points. Tallmadge (99) and United (82.5) were next at second and third.
"It's early and we did not have everyone compete for various reasons, but it was a good meet overall," Fesemyer said. "We had a lot of races early go into a head wind and our times were not too bad.
"We just need more practice time.
"This was the first time we have gone over 10 hurdles in quite some time. It was really the first time out, without having our own track. It has been tough."
Streetsboro has been practicing at Ravenna. It has affected the team as the Rockets need more repetitions. In the relays, the program had two disqualifications for infractions. The high jumpers had only one practice.
One area that thrilled the coaching staff came in the boys sprint events.
The young and talented Rocket sprinters shined.
Freshman Dakari Carter showed why he is so promising as he won the Tiger 100-meter dash championship in his varsity debut. Carter, who was timed at 11.03 seconds, ran well in the brisk and breezy conditions early in the day.
Junior Prince Franklin blazed to a second-place in the 100, just behind Carter. Franklin was clocked at 11.33.
The fantastic Rocket duo also ran one-two in the 200 dash in Newton Falls. Carter won at 22.85 and Franklin was second at 23.35.
"It was nice to sweep the 100 and 200," Fesemyer said. "I knew Dakari was fast, but he was really fast in his first live meet. It was good to see.
"Prince was right there too along with Carter. Prince gives us a nice one-two punch."
Another crown for Streetsboro boys came in the 3,200 relay.
The Rockets won with a time of 9:30.45, besting Campbell and Girard.
The relay included junior Tyler Garman, freshmen Alec Bindus and Jake Suttell and junior Malik Todd.
In the 400 relay, the Rockets raced to a second place with a 45.28.
This cast had junior Brandon Board, sophomore Donovan Booker, junior Dante Tamburro and senior Parris Burton.
Senior Reggie Dublin placed third in the high jump at 5 feet, 6 inches. Freshman Myron Jones added a third in the 400 (56.18).
Placing fourth was senior Nick Fazio, who threw the shot put 42-7.5.
Junior Thomas Benson also was fourth in the discus with a heave of 129-8.
Garman placed sixth in the 1,600 with a time of 5:27.37 and finished sixth in the 800 (2:18.1).
Todd placed seventh in the 800 with a time of 2:18.16 and junior Victor Glass captured eighth in the 300 hurdles in 46.01.
In girls' action, senior Marra Woods had a solid opening meet as she captured the title in the high jump (5 feet) and placed third in the 200 with a time of 28.39 seconds.
Streetsboro's 400 relay finished second with a time of 52.71 seconds.
Making up this group was senior Destiny King, sophomore Delisha McMiller, senior Kailyn Williams and Woods.
King also placed third in the long jump (15-2.5) and a fourth in the 100 hurdles (17.86).
Freshman Savannah Nevels added a third in the 100 (13.4). Also taking third was the 1,600 relay of Shamia Mitchell, Jayana Taylor, Chapman and Melice (4:55.59).
The 800 relay of Williams, Haley Franklin, Taylor and Woods finished fifth (1:58.7). Also placing for the Rokets were Aajah Chapman (sixth, 1:08.82) and Taylor (eighth, 1:09.49) and the 3,200 relay team of Meghan Westerh, Madison Westerh, Dana Bindus and Megan Melice (eighth, 11:54.07).
"We ran some younger athletes overall and we still have some unanswered questions in some events, but it is early," Fesemyer said.
Streetsboro was scheduled to visit Portage Trail Conference rival Ravenna April 8. Results were not available at press time.
The Rockets are set to compete at Lakeview High School April 11 in Cortland. The action is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.
Streetsboro is set to visit PTC County Division foe Woodridge April 15 at 4 p.m.