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by Steve Batko | Correspondent
A pair of battle-tested seniors will be making the journey to the state track and field championships.
Streetsboro's Destiny King and Marra Woods are used to coming up large in big meets. They did just that at the Division II, Region 5 meet, which concluded May 31.
The Rockets placed ninth out of a strong 42-team field with 26 points. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary won the title with 53 points over runner-up Girard (43) and third-place Cleveland Heights Beaumont (41).
Head coach Tom Fesemyer enjoyed seeing his two seniors qualify for the state meet in three combined events (two for King and one for Woods).
He also saw his squad finish ahead of Portage Trail Conference County Division champion Woodridge (25) and league rival James A. Garfield (25).
"It's a fun time for Streetsboro track," Fesemyer said. "In all, we had 13 athletes between the girls and the boys teams reach the regional final. That's the most since I have been here."
The top four individuals in each event and the top four relay teams qualified for the Division II state meet, which is set for June 6 and 7 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
For the third consecutive year, King advanced with to the state meet in the 100-meter hurdles.
King had a second-place time of 15.26 seconds. Canal Fulton Northwest standout Meredith Fennell won the event in 14.94 ticks.
After kicking the first hurdle, King came on strong and was leading when she hit the fifth hurdle.
Last year, King was sixth in Ohio in the hurdles.
"Destiny hit the hurdle and that was just enough for Fennell to win, but she [King] performed well," Fesemyer said. "King did what she needed to do to get to states."
The versatile King also advanced in the long jump with a fourth-place leap of 16 feet, 5 inches.
Fennell also won that event with a leap of 17-1. King will be making her second appearance at the state meet in the long jump.
"It takes a while to get used to those college jump boards [at Falcon Stadium] and she got it [the state berth]," Fesemyer said.
Woods also qualified for the state meet for the first time ever in the high jump. She was a regional runner-up (5-2).
"We ran into the same timing issues as we had in districts because Marra runs in both sprint relays as well," Fesemyer said.
A resilient Woods battled a slew of jumpers and four athletes who tied at 5-2 feet May 29.
Savannah Teter (Girard) won the title based on the number of misses. Woods reached 5-2 on her second attempt.
Akron Manchester's Alyssa Matheny and Girard's Brandi Shonce also reached 5-2.
Woods was unable to clear 5-4. After that jump, she had to sprint over to the 400 relay and barely made it on time for the race.
"She missed her first attempt and I was afraid it would come back to haunt her, but it didn't," Fesemeyer said. "Marra qualified out of a good group."
Woods and King joined senior Kailyn Williams and freshman Savannah Nevels on the sixth-place 400 relay team (50.02).
With a 49.69 in the preliminaries, Streetsboro crushed its time of 50.56 at districts.
"If we [the 400 relay] run a season best time, we are in the state meet," Fesemyer said.
The 800 relay team of Williams, sophomore Delisha McMiller, Nevels and Woods broke yet another school record with a time of 1:45.26 in the preliminary heat and then ran a 1:45.51 for seventh in the finals.
"They had a great race and needed to be faster in a strong field," Fesemyer said.