Week in Sports: Cleveland Heights Boys' Track and Field Takes Second in LEL Championships
Meet finally completed after multiple weather delays
After rescheduling and site changes, the Lake Erie League finally completed its track and field championships on Saturday morning.
The meet began Tuesday, was postponed Thursday due to inclement weather at Bedford and finished Saturday morning at Cleveland Heights High School before a downpour drenched the area.
Coaches kept hand times and exact team and individual scores weren’t immediately available as official timekeepers were unable to attend the meet, said Cleveland Heights head coach Nick Continenza.
Continenza said the Cleveland Heights boys’ team finished second to Mentor.
Sophomore sprinter Shelton Gibson won the 100-meter dash in 10.7 seconds and the 200 in 21.5. Gibson anchored the 4x100 team that featured Marcus McShepard, Damon Legget and Dionte Saffo (42.4).
Legget, Gibson, Isaac Korb and Rashawn Dickerson combined to win the 4x400 (3:30.1), and Bryce Jones won the 110 hurdles (15.5).
For the Tigers girls’ track and field team, Krystal Ubani and Daija Lee finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the shot put. Freshman Hadly Seidman was second in the long jump.
The district meet will be held with preliminaries on Wednesday and finals on Friday at Mentor. The field finals will be at 4 p.m. and the track finals will be at 6 p.m.
The top four qualify for regionals and Continenza believes those with the best chance at advancing include Gibson (100, 200), Ryan Bounds (100), Diontre Delk (200), Korb (800) and James Moore (1600) for the boys and Seidman (long jump) for the girls.
The Tigers had a bittersweet finish to the season, winning their final two dual matches against Garfield Heights and Brush on Tuesday and Wednesday, but no player advanced beyond the sectional round on Thursday.
Cleveland Heights defeated both Garfield Heights and Brush, 4-1, for its sixth straight dual match victory. The Cleveland Heights varsity team finished 6-5 and junior varsity finished 10-1.
At sectionals, the Tigers’ No.1 singles player Aleksi Vihanto won two matches before falling to top seed Tommy Marx of Shaker Heights, 6-1, 6-0, in the quarterfinals. No. 2 singles player Jake Stern and the No. 2 doubles team of Brandon Fernando and Nathan Adkins each won a single match.
“We’re optimistic about our season next year. The challenge I have for the boys is they must, if we’re going to go to that next level, play tennis all year round,” Tigers coach John Laskarides said.
The team will play an inter-squad match titled the Wooden Racquets Tournament on Monday with, yes, wooden racquets like those used up until the early '80s before the advent of graphite racquets. They’ll play eight-game pro sets.
Team awards for MVP and most improved player, along with a coaches’ award, will announced on May 30.
Bad weather left the Tigers with just the memory of losing their opening-round sectional game against Shaker Heights, 8-2, at home Tuesday afternoon.
Rain took care of the week’s remaining schedule that was supposed to include two games against Shaw on Thursday and Friday and a pair against Aurora and Brush in the Cheyfitz Tournament at Brush on Saturday.
Tigers baseball coach Mike Dillon hopes his Tigers will face Benedictine at Case Western Reserve at 5 p.m. Monday and find a way to squeeze in those two league games against Shaw and one more against LEL rival Maple Heights. No day or time has been selected for the league games.
The Cheyfitz Tournament games against Aurora (12:30 p.m.) and Brush (3 p.m.) will be held Saturday at the same scheduled times as last week.
“The team is pretty down after the Shaker game. We’re going to try to regroup next week if and when we ever play. It’s conceivable that (baseball officials) will cancel the rest of the games, I don’t know,” Dillon said.
The Tigers endured another rough week, losing all four of their games, wrapping up a tough stretch with a 12-5 loss at Westlake on Saturday.
Earlier in the week, Benedictine defeated host Cleveland Heights, 16-7, on Monday, and a trip to Hawken the following day wasn’t much more pleasant as the Tigers fell, 16-5. The week’s difficulties continued with a 15-3 loss at Shaker Heights on Friday night.
On Monday, the Tigers (3-11) host Chagrin Falls at 5 p.m. and play their first playoff game on Saturday. The opponent, site and time of the game are to be determined.