by Steve Batko | Correspondent
After a strong district meet, the Streetsboro girls track and field team's regional qualifiers will hope to keep up with the hectic pace of the upcoming regional championships at Austintown-Fitch High School.
The Rockets placed fourth with 56 points at the 14-team Cortland Division II district meet, which concluded May 24 at Lakeview High School.
Girard won the team crown with 124 points and Youngstown Ursuline (90) and Crestwood (81) placed second and third, respectively.
"We had a very good overall district," Streetsboro head coach Tom Fesemyer said.
The top four finishers in each event for the Austintown-Fitch regional meet, which is scheduled for May 29 (5 p.m.) and 31 (11:30 a.m.).
"I think we have to be ready and prepared for the fast pace of the postseason meets," Fesemyer said.
Fesemyer has athletes that compete in field events as well as relay races.
Timing is everything as meet officials stick to starting times, just as athletes are wrapping one competition, they have to hustle just to make starting lines in another event.
"It's not like a league meet where they take their time," Fesemyer said. "We have to be ready for the fast pace and the time to recover. We have to be mentally ready and this regional is very strong."
Senior Destiny King is one of those versatile Rocket athletes, who competes in several events.
King won the 100-meter hurdle race with a time of 15.09 seconds. She just missed her own district meet record of 15.05 ticks that she set in 2013.
King added a win in the long jump at 16 feet, 8 inches.
"Destiny almost beat her district record in the hurdles," Fesemyer said. "It was a strong race."
King also joined sophomore Delisha McMiller, seniors Kailyn Williams and Marra Woods on the second-place 400 relay team (50.56). Ursuline set the new Lakeview district meet record with a time of 49.68 seconds.
"Our senior leaders, Williams, Woods and King, have really stood out in the big meets like this," Fesemyer said.
In the 400 relay, the Rockets' staff used freshman Savannah Nevels in the preliminary heat to rest King.
The 800 relay team of Williams, McMiller, Nevels and Woods captured third place in 1:45.56, which broke another school record.
Streetsboro was one of three 800 relay crews that broke the Lakeview district record. Ursuline holds it now after winning in 1:44.88, followed by Girard (1:45.36), which just nipped Streetsboro.
"Our 800 relay shattered the previous record (1:47) and they ran their hearts out," Fesemyer said. "A third place shows just how strong this district is."
Woods added a third (5-4) in the high jump as Girard took the top two spots. She had about 10 minutes of rest after the two relays.
"Marra couldn't succeed as much as we wanted just because of the timing of the events," Fesemyer said. "She earned a regional spot and we're looking to move on. There's not a lot of room for error in the regionals in the jumps."
Junior Meghan Westerh just missed qualifying for regionals with a fifth-place effort in the 3,200 (13:06.1). She also finished sixth in the 1,600 with a season best of 5:56.81.
"Our distance runners had some of their best times of the year, but this district is so strong, you don't even notice it," Fesemyer said.
Nevels also just missed, taking fifth in the 100 with a time of 13.18 ticks.
The 3,200 relay of juniors Ewelina Siwik and Madison Westerh, Meghan Westerh and senior Megan Melice took seventh (11:14.61).
McMiller added seventh in the 300 hurdles (50.77) and freshman Aajah Chapman placed eighth (1:05.71).