The Cleveland Heights 4x100-meter relay team won with a time of 42.63 seconds at the OHSAA Division I Regional I Track and Field meet held at Austintown Fitch High School on Friday evening.
Marcus McShepard, Damon Legget, Ryan Bounds and Shelton Gibson ran on the team that qualified for the OHSAA Division I Track and Field meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
The top four in each event qualified for state competition. The four also combined to finish fourth (1:28.98) in the 4x200 relay.
Run-offs and leg injuries to Diontre Delk prompted the change in the 4x200 relay team from the regional team of McShepard, Legget, Dionte Saffo and Delk. Cleveland Heights track and field coach Nick Continenza believes Delk could have compartment syndrome, which might require surgery.
Individually, Gibson, who has been battling a cold for a week, qualified for state with third-place finishes in the 100 (10.88) and 200 (22.12).
Junior Bryce Jones didn’t qualify for state competition in any of his four events, finishing eighth in the 110-meter hurdles final (15.86) and 10th in the long jump (20-8¾). Jones didn’t qualify for the 300 hurdles regional final and didn’t place in the high jump.
Freshman Hadly Seidman, Cleveland Heights’ lone girls’ qualifier, took 15th in the long jump (15-3).
“We’re just happy everybody did what’s required of them, and we’re moving on to the next level,” Continenza said.
The Tigers (10-6) face perhaps their toughest test of the playoffs on Tuesday when they face No. 3 ranked and defending Division I state champion Medina (13-2) in a regional final.
The Ohio Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association tournament game is set for 6 p.m. and will be played at Hawken School, site of the state championships.
The Tigers haven’t beaten the Bees since 2006, the year Cleveland Heights last won the state title. The teams were originally scheduled to play May 12, but bad weather canceled the regular season game.
So far this postseason, the Tigers have handled Westerville South, 17-4, in the first round and Perrysburg, 16-2, on Wednesday.
Over the weekend, Cleveland Heights’ Meg Lentz, Kyra Schoonover and Isabel Collins were three of 20 players from Northeast Ohio on the Great Lakes North Coast Region Team that played in the Women's Division National Tournament held at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y.
Heights girls’ lacrosse coach Terry Saylor was the team’s head coach.
The Tigers won the Lake Erie League Erie Division title for the fourth straight season, although they played only one game in the last three weeks, losing to Shaker Heights in the sectional round of the playoffs on May 10.
Cleveland Heights finished the season 12-8 overall and 8-1 in the league with a barrage of weather-related cancellations that wiped out the remainder of the schedule leaving the team with 20 games instead of the customary 25.
League officials decided to end the league season on May 19 and felt there was not enough time to make up the remaining games.
“It was a significant accomplishment to win our fourth straight Erie Division title, but the way the weather disrupted our season was extremely frustrating. … The kids put in all the work and they ended up getting short-changed. (It was) very frustrating, but at least our seniors can say they were part of four LEL championship teams,” Heights coach Mike Dillon said.
Senior Eric Becker (shortstop), senior Sam Gillispie (pitcher), junior Trey Hopkins (outfielder), junior Tyler Rudy (first base) and senior Wil Sharon (pitcher) were named First Team All-Lake Erie League, while senior Sam Collins (outfielder), junior Ardell Cloud (catcher) and junior Joe Eyerman (pitcher) were named Second Team All-Lake Erie League.
Becker has been nominated for LEL player of year, but an announcement hasn’t been made yet on the winner. Becker led the Tigers with a .473 batting average and 17 stolen bases. Becker tied Hopkins with four doubles.
Hopkins led the team with 21 RBI and batted .357 for third best on the team and tied Rudy with three home runs. Rudy batted .471 and had 18 home runs which were both second on the team.
In pitching, Eyerman went 2-2 on the year and had an ERA of 1.20 along with Gillispie (3-2, 1.38) and Sharon (4-2, 1.62).