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by Steve Batko
A rare weekend off during the regular season hopes to give the Streetsboro boys track and field team a spark.
There was no large invitational or relay meet. The Rockets were off and focusing on the Portage Trail Conference.
In a double dual meet in the County Division April 24, Streetsboro ran into league favorite Woodridge at Mercer Family Track in Peninsula.
The Rockets suffered their first loss of the year by a 74-54 score. It dropped Streetsboro to 2-1 in the division and 4-1 overall. Woodridge improved to 3-0 in the County Division and 5-0 overall.
Woodridge showed that it is more than just a distance running powerhouse.
"We knew their distance people would be tough to compete with, but overall, this was probably one of our better performances as a team," said head coach Tom Fesemyer. "I thought we were close. It was fun to watch everyone battle."
The Rockets showed why freshman sensation Dakari Carter may be the best newcomer in the conference.
Carter won four events, including the 100-meter dash in a blazing 10.8 seconds. That is a new stadium record at Mercer Family Track, according to the Woodridge coaching staff.
"Dakari ran well and it was not my time, but it was hand held," said Fesemyer. "I don't know if it was a record. We don't recognize records."
Carter also raced to a win in the 200 in 22.7 ticks. In both races, junior Prince Franklin placed second. Franklin's 100 time was 11 seconds and he ran the 200 in 23.1.
Fesemyer's new-look 800-meter relay continues to grow as a unit with one of its finest days at Woodridge.
The 800 relay recorded an incredible time of 1:31.2. It included Myron Jones, Carter, Franklin and senior Daniel Sapp.
Sapp also won the 400 in 52.2 seconds.
"I thought our sprinters and relays really stepped it up with a lot of season bests," said Fesemyer.
Junior Tyler Garman ran a strong 800 race of 2:11.2 as he faced the Bulldogs depth of distance runners. John Harry won the 800 for Woodridge in 2:09.7.
Another bright newcomer, junior Victor Glass, also is coming on. He ran the 300 hurdles in 44.5 seconds, but was edged by Woodridge veteran Anthony Thurman (44.4).
Senior Nick Fazio won the shot put with a toss of 45 feet, 3 inches, while junior Thomas Benson took second at 41-7. Benson also placed second in the discus at 126-9. Reggie Dublin captured second in the high jump at 5-10.
On April 22, visiting Streetsboro earned a 91-36 win over Countuy Division rival Mogadore.
"Mogadore is an intriguing matchup for us because they are very strong in field events," said Fesemyer.
Streetsboro had some success as Benson won the discus (130-7), while senior Paul Jenkins won the 110 high hurdles (16.7) and high jump (5-6). Jake Gould, a junior, won the 3,200 in 11:26.
The 3,200 relay won in 9:05 with Garman, Alec Bindus, Jake Suttell and Malik Todd. Garman also won the 800 in 2:13.
Carter won the 200 in 22.6 and ran in the winning 800-meter relay in 1:34.8 with Franklin, Jones and Glass. Glass also won the 300 hurdles (45.4).
Sapp won the open 400 in 56.5, while the 1,600 relay won in 4:55 with Donovan Booker, Brandon Board, Scott Howell and Ethan Buescher.
The Rockets' 400 relay suffered its first loss of the year as the Wildcats won with a time of 44.7 seconds.
Streetsboro was scheduled to visit Rootstown for a County Division tri-meet that also featured Southeast April 29. Results were not available at press time.
The Rockets are set to compete at the Mogadore Invitational May 2 at 4 p.m.