by Steve Batko
The host Tallmadge girls track and field team improved to 1-1 in the Suburban League after posting a 70-66.5 victory over Copley April 8 at Rossiaky Stadium.
"Copley has strong relays for the girls, but we had a strong showing in field events and had some great personal bests to get a win," Lady Blue Devils head coach Mike Srodawa said.
In only her third meet of her career, freshman Brin Stralka made a huge impact.
"Brin had a great meet and won three open events and ran in our winning relay [1,600-meter]," Srodawa said.
Stralka cleared 5 feet to capture the high jump, plus posted open wins in the 800 meters (2 minutes, 29 seconds) and in the 1,600 (5:36).
The versatile Stralka also ran on the winning 1,600 relay (4:19) that clinched the team win along with senior Hallie Allen, freshman Rochelle Haught and senior Maddie Fairchild.
Haught added a win in the 300 hurdles with a personal best of 50 seconds.
Srodawa was thrilled with Haught as well as his senior distance runners, Mary Hillegas and Nicole Rinaldi, who finished first and second, respectively. Hillegas won the 3,200 in 12:32.
"Those seniors gave us some huge points in going one-two in the 3,200," Srodawa said. "Mary and Nicole both had great races and stepped up like seniors do."
Fairchild won the long jump (15 feet), while juniors Lexi Zehner and Emily Schott won the pole vault and 100 high hurdles, respectively. Zehner reached 8 feet in the pole vault and Schott was timed at 17.1 seconds.
Tallmadge also finished second with 99 points at the 13-team Tiger Invitational April 5 in Newton Falls.
Girard won with 124 points and Hanoverton United Local took third (82.5).
Sophomore Sadie Bennett won the long jump with an effort of 15-7.
"That was a nice win for Sadie in the long jump and I thought our relays placed well overall," Srodawa said.
In the 300 hurdles, the Lady Blue Devils' freshman duo took the second and third spots. Haught placed second at 51.37, followed by Brittney Harris at 51.77.
The 1,600 relay placed second (4:23.27) behind Allen, Haught, junior Julia Schreck and Fairchild.
Schott took third in the 100 hurdles (17.85) while Stralka posted thirds in the 1,600 (5:38.66) and high jump (4-10). Zehner finished fourth in the high jump at 4-8.
Fairchild placed fifth in the long jump (15-2).
Running fifth in the 1,600 was Rinaldi (5:52.24), while Tallmadge had a fifth and sixth-place showing in the 3,200 with Hillegas (12:41.43) and sophomore Anna Bartlett (12:52.56).
Also placing fifth was Bennett (13.87 in the 100) and freshman Ally Warmenhoven (1:08.57 in the 400).
The sprint relays captured third. The 800 relay of Allen, Schreck, Bennett and Fairchild was timed at 1:54.81. The 400 relay (53.52) featured Schott, Bennett, Allen and freshman Emma Brown.
Placing fourth was the 3,200 relay of Hillegas, sophomore Amanda Peters, senior Jacquelyn Brown and Bartlett. Their time was 10:47.46.
Schreck ran seventh in the 400 (1:08.87) and Peters finished seventh in the 800 (2:41.53).
Tallmadge was scheduled to host the Bill Barry Invitational April 12. Results were not available at press time.
The Lady Blue Devils are set to entertain league rival Highland April 15 at 4 p.m. before heading to the Frank Rossi Valkyrie Invitational in Ravenna April 19 at 9 a.m.