At the time, he was talking about the

By David Carducci Record-Courier staff writer Published:

At the time, he was talking about the Crestwood girls track team.

And he was right.

Despite being riddled with injuries, the Red Devils' girls put the exclamation point on an undefeated regular season by winning the Portage County League championship meet 92-90 over Rootstown at Kent Roosevelt High School Saturday.

What Faix didn't know at the start of the season was that Crestwood's boys team would be just as devastating.

On the heels of an undefeated regular season of their own, the Red Devils' boys ran away with the league meet Saturday, beating runner-up and defending champion Garfield by 33 points, 114-81.

"With the boys at the beginning of the year, I had no idea what we had," said Faix. "We were missing a couple of sprinters, and it's like God sent them to us in Tom Divis and Adam Moticak."

The emergence of Divis and Moticak gave Crestwood "the complete package," according to Faix.

"Just about everybody set records for us," he said. "It was amazing to watch."

The 4x100 meter relay team of Moticak, Divis, Brian Stenger and Scott Weinkamer tied a meet record and set a school record, winning in 43.8 seconds.

Eric Berg gave Crestwood another school and meet record by winning the 800 in 1:55.8.

Also setting a school record was the 4x400 team of Berg, Weinkamer, Dan Lynch and Nathan Harjung, which took first place with a time of 3:26.3.

"We've talked about it all year, that we could be champions," said Berg, whose victory in the 800 was 2.1 seconds faster than the previous meet record. "Coach told us he didn't know we would be the powerhouse that we were. We had a lot of keys. Nathan McClintock, who won the mile (4:20.3) and the two mile (9:43.9), was a key. Stenger in the shot and the 200 (first, 22.8) was a key. Weinkamer in the 100 (first, 11.2) was a key. Everyone had a great day."

With five events left to run, Crestwood held a slim seven-point lead over Field. But the Red Devils took control in the 800 with first and third-place points from Berg and Harjung, then sealed the victory with wins in the final three events of the day: the 200, 3,200, 4x400 relay.

The girls meet, however, was not decided until the final event of the afternoon.

Crestwood came into the meet-ending 4x400 relay leading by a mere six points over Rootstown.

In the final leg of the relay, Rootstown was in second place coming into the final stretch with Crestwood a lock to finish fifth. If those positions had held over the final 20 yards, the Rovers would have forced a 92-92 tie in the meet.

But Field's Michele Moyers played the part of spoiler, out-kicking Rootstown down the stretch to capture second place by a split second, allowing Crestwood to finish first, 92-90.

"Rootstown was a big surprise to us," said Faix. "If you go back to the beginning of the year, we ran them and won by around 20, and their coach (Bob Halliwell) said 'we are going to be a good team by the end of the year.' He made that prediction way back then and by God, they are a good team."

The Rovers were led by Rachelle Garner, who won the 100 with a time of 12.8, and Carly Burkhart, who won the long jump with a 16-2 3/4 effort.

The second-place finish has Halliwell excited about next week's district tournament at Austintown Fitch.

"I don't know what part of the season it was exactly that this team started believing that they are a pretty good team," said Halliwell. "It was probably at Lakeview, where we won the championship at their relays. I think from that point on, they started to believe in themselves. There is no doubt that this is the best group of girls I've ever coached.

"We broke four school records with Garner (100 and 200), Ashley Rykaceski (200), and the 4x100 and 4x200, and Burkhart was just one inch from the record in the long jump. We are ready for the districts, there is no doubt about it. We are peaking."

Crestwood's first-place overall finish was helped along by two individual victories Saturday.

Sophomore Erika Waickman won the shot with a 37-5 1/2, and the 4x200 team of Erin Christofaris, Sonya Romo, Gretchen Moss and Holly Pero took first in a time of 1:48.8.

Southeast's girls team finished in third place overall with 86 points, paced by the performance of junior Bobbi Stewart, who played a part in both of the Pirates' victories.

Stewart won the 400 by three seconds, finishing with a time of 60.5, then teamed with Megan Wygle, Angie Finch and Chelsea Linzey to win the 4x400 with a time of 4:16.

Waterloo's Stacey Van Horn had a record-setting meet, breaking the previous fastest times in both the 100 and 300 hurdles.

The Vikings' junior won the 100 hurdles with a time of 15.1, which beat former Waterloo star Shannon Beach's record of 15.2 set in 1993. She followed with a time of 45.4 in the 300 hurdles, again breaking a meet mark set by Beach (47.1) in 1993.

Van Horn also teamed with Holly Murphy, Sarah Wise and Sarah Schultz to win the 4x100 relay with a time of 51.8.

Schultz gave Waterloo its fourth victory of the day, winning the 200 in 26.2. As a team, the Vikings scored 56 points to take fifth.

Field's Emily Mars finished first in both the mile (11:52.5) and the two mile (11:52.5), helping the Falcons to a fourth-place finish with 86 points.

Mogadore's boys dominated the field events with three first-place finishes. After the Wildcats won both the shot and the long jump Wednesday, Andy McCain gave Mogadore its third victory Saturday, winning the high jump with a PCL record of 6-8 3/4. The mark was one inch better than the previous record set by Greg Mercer of Woodridge in 1986.

McCain's victory gave him his fourth consecutive PCL championship in the high jump.

The Wildcats finished sixth overall with 45 points.

Garfield's second-place finish included a meet record in the 110 hurdles by John Oliver with a time of 14.1. Oliver also won the 300 hurdles in 39.1.

Field finished in third place overall with 75 points, led by senior Jonathon Norman's victory in the discus (146-5).

Nate Mugford of Woodridge ran a 51.5 in the 400 to help the Bulldogs finish fifth with 47 points, two behind fourth-place Southeast.

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