It was also a day for Woodridge's Stan

By David Carducci Record-Courier staff writer Published:

It was also a day for Woodridge's Stan Stammen to bid fairwell to coaching after 35 years, including 17 in girls track.

Stammen, who is retiring as a teacher and coach of the school's cross country, wrestling and girls track teams, finished his career with a pair of state qualifiers in the 3,200.

Tiffany Monegan, who also qualified in the 1,600 but was pulled out to focus on the two-mile, finished sixth (11:31.54) and Emily Hampshire finished 12th (11:50.90).

"Those were their best times of the year, so I'm very happy for them," said Stammen. "This is sentimental to me both because this is my last time coaching and it's the last dance at the `Shoe.' It's good to have Tiffany and Emily here. You want to have someone dancing at the last dance.

"I have a lot of fond memories of coaching and of this stadium ... I'll never forget watching the girls finish second in the state three years ago when it all came down to the two-mile run and we finished one-two."

A tradition of success on the field of play is not the only imprint Stammen will leave at Woodridge.

"I feel very fortunate to have coached with Stan," said Woodridge boys coach Kevin Hearty. "I came in on his last eight years here and (assistant coach) Jeff Howard was here for his last five. We were both lucky to know him. He is really a legend at Woodridge. He has had such a great influence on these kids."

Stammen did leave the door open to returning to coaching.

"I could always come back if I miss it," he said. "But for now, I know its time. Coaching three sports all these years takes a lot out of you ... For now I'll focus on enjoying my retirement and brush the dust off my golf clubs. We have our faculty golf outing a week from Tuesday and I haven't picked up a club in over a year, so it could be an ugly start to my retirement."

The weekend also brought the curtain down on one of the most successful boys track classes in Woodridge history.

The Bulldogs 4x400 relay team of seniors Bryan Herbst, Jim Misencik, Nate Mugford and Detrick Williams ran a 3:32 Friday to miss out on qualifying for Saturday's finals by two seconds.

Fellow senior Andrew Schmidt, suffering from a pulled abdominal muscle suffered in practice Monday, finished 11th in the pole vault

"I've never coached a class like this," said Hearty. "They are just a super group. Very coachable and very self motivated to go out and do their best. The 4x400 team didn't quite do what they needed to get to the finals, but they had a great season ... Probably my best memory of this class was when that team won the regional. We got our picture taken together all holding up the `number-one'sign on top of the podium. That picture will be on my desk forever.

"Andrew had a super year also. He was hurt but he gave it all he had. I know Andrew wanted to break his brother Jamie's record of 12-11 (set in 1991), but really he one-upped his brother by making it here to Columbus. He's the first pole vaulter from Woodridge ever to qualify for state."

Ties for the team championship are rare at the state meet. In the 91 year history of the boys meet, the state title has only been shared seven times. Since the girls meet began in 1975, there have only been four ties.

Those numbers make the final standings from the Division I meet all the more unusual as both the boys and girls meets finished in a tie.

Brunswick and Westerville North shared the boys meet 30-30, while Cleveland Collinwood and Columbus Brookhaven tied the girls meet 58-58.

The Division I girls meet was the coronation of Collinwood's Khalilah Carpenter as the fastest girl in Ohio.

Carpenter, who is only a freshman, matched the best performances in the history of the state meet with four victories in four events Saturday, winning the 100 (11.74), anchoring the first-place 4x200 and 4x100 relay teams and setting the meet record in the 200 with a 23.96.

Walsh Jesuit's Mary Varga ended her high-school career with her fourth consecutive state championship in the Division II high jump.

Last year, Varga cleared 5-10 for the '97 victory. She followed that performance with a jump of 5-7 Saturday.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.