David Kelly in the boys 3,200, Erin Anderson in the girls 1,600 and Jen Hollinger in the girls 3,200 meters all advanced to next week's state championships in Columbus to offset a disappointing day for Kent Roosevelt's relay teams.
Both the boys 4x100 and the girls 4x400 teams had a good chance to win a trip to Columbus, but disaster struck both teams.
"In the 4x100 we botched up the last exchange," said Roosevelt boys coach Aaron Carlton. "They were running a real good race and it looked like they had a good chance at advancing, but then they ended up running out of the exchange zone on the third and fourth leg."
The mistake forced a disqualification for the team of Millon Blackshear, Sam Moore, David Mentlow and Marc Mitalski, which ran a 43.0 for the fifth-fastest time in Thursday's preliminary.
"I thought they had a pretty good shot coming in on getting to state," said Carlton. "But I knew it would be tough. They did a great job to get this far. They've really dropped their time from midseason on through."
The girls 4x400 team of Anderson, Courtney Williams, Richelle Wardell and Samantha Broaddus was in fourth place midway through the third leg of the finals before a collision between Wardell and a runner from Orange knocked both teams out of the race.
"The 4x4 ran their hearts out," said girls coach Brian Botzman. "All I saw was the fact that someone else went down and then Richelle went down over top of her. It looked like the girl from Orange tripped herself and basically laid down in front of Richelle, and that's what tripped up Richelle ... It was a tough race; 3:59 made it out, and our girls are capable of running 3:57 or 3:58. I have no doubt they would have made it out.
"But that won't be what I remember about this meet. I'll remember what a great group this was, and how well they ran. There is nothing you can do about the rest."
The disappointment was also tempered by the fact that all the girls on the 4x4 are in their sophomore seasons.
"We were in pretty good position, so not advancing was pretty discouraging," said Anderson. "But we are all just sophomores, so it isn't too bad because we can look forward to next season."
After finishing the 1,600 meter run in second place with a school-record time of 5:11.8, Anderson still has a lot to look forward to this season.
"I was pretty nervous because I didn't want to get fifth in the 1,600 like I did last year," said Anderson. "I really wanted to make it down. I just want to go there and get a good time and be happy with what I do, to just go down for the experience."
Hollinger, another Roosevelt sophomore, will also make her first trip to Columbus after finishing third in the 3,200 with another school-record time of 11:23.46.
"The race was really hard for me because it was very hot out there," said Hollinger. "I think God definitely gave me the strength to get through that one. I didn't make it to state last year because I was injured for half the year and I only ran the mile and got sixth in the regional. I didn't know I'd be running the two mile this year ... But I'm really excited to go to Columbus. I really wanted to go because I enjoy the competition."
Kelly ran a 9:31.61 to finish third in the boys 3,200 and earn his second consecutive trip to the state championship.
Last year, the Roosevelt senior finished 10th overall in the state.
"David knew coming in that this was going to be a tough one because it was such a strong field, but he ran a good time today," said Carlton. "He was a little off his best time (9:26), but it was real humid out there and obviously the two mile is as tough as it can get in the hot weather.
"I think David's goal this year is to place down at state. He will definitely have to drop because the two (Nile's McKinley's Chris Arcs and Madison's Nick Cordes) who finished ahead of him (Saturday) are real tough and I'm sure there will be other good runners from the other regionals."
Kelly's finish earned Kent Roosevelt six points and a tie for 25th-place with Wadsworth, Eastlake North and host Austintown-Fitch, all with six. Bedford won the boys regional championship with 42 points, two better than runner-up Madison.
Roosevelt's girls finished in an 11th-place tie with Solon and Massillon Jackson with 14 points, 80 behind regional champion Cleveland Collinwood.
Stow qualified two girls for the state meet Saturday and finished tied for 14th with Mayfield and Alliance with 12 points.
Bulldogs sophomore Mallory McDonald advanced with a fourth-place finish in the discus, throwing 131-11.
Fellow Stow sophomore Treniere Clement finished second in the 800 with a time of 2:13.81, three seconds behind winner Kimberly Jordan of Collinwood.