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The Tallmadge boys track and field team lost 71-66 April 25 to Revere in a Suburban League American Conference meet at Thomas Rossiaky Stadium.
The fact that the Blue Devils lost by only five points to the talented Minutemen might not sound overly impressive, but compared to last year when Revere amassed upwards of 100 points against Tallmadge, it was reason to celebrate.
"It was definitely a step in the right direction," Blue Devils head coach Mike Srodawa said.
On April 20, host Tallmadge lost 90-47 to Highland, another conference rival.
Against Revere, Lucca Passarelli led the way for the Blue Devils.
The sophomore had four first-place finishes. He won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.7 seconds and the 300 hurdles with a time of 41.41.
Passarelli also won the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 8 inches and the long jump with a length of 17-6.
"Lucca is a special kid," Srodawa said. "He's a hard worker and is having a really, really good year."
Junior Ryan Riter also had a tremendous meet.
He won two individual events and was part of a winning relay team. He won the 800 with a time of 2:07 and the 1,600 with a time of 4:40.
Sophomore Zach Brown and junior Vince Labosky both finished with a time of 4:48 in the 1,600, but Brown was second by a hair over Labosky, who took third.
Riter, Brown, Vince Labosky and John Labosky won the 3,200 relay, clocking in at 8:56.
Brown won the 3,200 with a time of 10:54.
Vince Labosky joined Alex Vaughan and seniors Vincent Sgro and Dan Hepler to win the 1,600 relay with a time of 4:40.
Sophomore Garrett Ansley won the pole vault with a leap of 11 feet. Lawrence Strebler placed third (8-6).
"Garrett works hard in that event," Srodawa said. "He's placed pretty consistently in our conference meets."
Vaughan finished first in the 400 with a time of 56.15 and Hepler was third (56.46).
Junior Blake Bockus won the shot put with a throw of 46-1 and his classmate, Matt Kieke, was third in the discus with a toss of 112 feet.
Tallmadge (1-4, 1-4) had a much tougher time against Highland.
"Highland finished second in the conference last year and didn't lose anybody," Srodawa said. "They're in first place this year. They're a really good team and they're still missing two of their better sprinters."
Passarelli won the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.98. He won the 300 hurdles with a time of 42.93. He also won the high jump with a leap of 5-8.
Riter finished second in the 1,600 with a time of 4:46. Vince Labosky took third (5:00).
Vince Labosky also placed second in the 400 with a time of 54.23. Vaughan was third (56.29).
Riter finished third in the 800, clocking in at 2:09.
"Ryan has had a great season just in general," Srodawa said. "I'm really interested to see what he does in the postseason. He has been a great addition."
Placing third in the 200 was junior Ricky Clark with a time of 26.2.
"We're working hard in practice, but with a team as young as ours, sometimes that hard work doesn't necessarily transfer to what's happening in meets," Srodawa said. "We just need to learn how to win. We're getting close, we're getting better, but there's still a learning curve."
The Blue Devils were scheduled to participate in the Buckeye Relays April 28 at Buckeye High School in Medina. Results were not available at press time.
Tallmadge is set to visit Aurora in its conference final May 2. The Blue Devils are scheduled to host the T-Con Relays May 4. Both meets are set to begin at 4 p.m.