Halfway through Wednesday's Western Reserve Conference South Division meet against visiting Cuyahoga Falls, Brian Botzman glanced at his scoresheet.
It read: Kent Roosevelt 27, Cuyahoga Falls 26.
Considering the Rough Rider girls were beaten by Stow in their opener last week and another WRC South loss would be devastating to their title hopes, you would think the Roosevelt coach would wheel out his heavy artillery and blast his way to victory, ensuring win No. 1 on the season.
Botzman simply stuck to his plan of keeping his athletes fresh for this weekend's Bill Cox Lady Rough Rider Invitational, mixing and matching his lineup as originally intended, and let talent take over _ and it did, as the Rough Riders cruised to an 82-44 win over the Black Tigers.
In the boys meet, Cuyahoga Falls posted an impressive 78-54 win over the defending South Division champion Rough Riders, giving the Black Tigers the inside track to the title.
The Rough Rider girls won 13 of the 16 events and three of the four relays, with junior Richelle Wardell leading the way with victories in three individual events, the long jump and the 100- and 300-meter hurdles. Sophomore Kristen Benjamin was a double-winner, taking the shot put and discus.
All the while, Botzman switched his lineup around in preparation for the upcoming Lady Rough Rider Invitational _ at the same time making sure the Black Tigers remained caged.
"It was a one-point meet up until the 4x1," said Botzman, whose team is now 1-1 overall and in the South, as are the Black Tigers. "I sat down, looked at our lineup and what we had coming up, and I wasn't too worried. The only thing I was worried about was the 200, and (Samantha Broaddus) won that.
"I had the girls run events they don't normally do. That way they won't go into the Lady Rough Rider running the same events they just ran today. It gives the girls a chance to try different events, and it keeps them fresh. Plus it's fun."
The Rough Riders piled up points in the distances, going one-two in both the 1,600 and 3,200, Tiffany White winning the former and Sarah Hensley the latter.
Other winners for Roosevelt were Erin Anderson (400), Jen Hollinger (800) and Broaddus (200).
Hollinger may have had the most impressive victory. A 3,200 specialist, she found herself way behind Cuyahoga Falls' Beth Lane at the halfway point of the 800 and was forced to sprint the second lap, nipping Lane at the finish for the win.
"She ran real strong," said Botzman. "That girl had about a 50-meter lead on her and she still came back to win."
Benjamin's winning throws of 35-8 in the shot put and 96-8 1/2 in the discus were both personal-bests.
The Cuyahoga Falls boys made a living in the field events, winning four of the five and going one-two in the discus and sweeping the pole vault. The Black Tigers also won two of the three relays.
They didn't do too badly in the hurdles either, sweeping the 110s and finishing one-two in the 300s. And in a display of solid depth, the Black Tigers went two-three in the 1,600 and 400 and one-three in the 3,200.
"I felt going in that this was the WRC South championship," said Roosevelt boys coach Aaron Carlton, whose team dropped to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the division while Cuyahoga Falls improved to 2-0 in the South. "I think this was it and they were the better team, no doubt about it. A 24-point win isn't a fluke. Coming in, their coach (Rick Lieberman) felt this was the best team he's had in a long time."
The Rough Riders had three double-winners: Nick Jones in the long jump and 400, David Mentlow in the 100 and 200, and Ofer Barniv in the 1,600 and 800.
Barniv's 4:31 in the 1,600 was a personal-best, as was Mike Stephens' second-place effort of 44-8 in the shot put. And Jones turned in a winning leap of 20-4 in the long jump _ the first time this season he's competed in that event.
"I felt we had to have a couple upsets here and there and everything had to work out perfectly for us to win, and unfortunately it didn't happen. That's a credit to Falls. Their kids gutted out some wins they had to have."
Cuyahoga Falls 78, Kent Roosevelt 54
(At Kent Roosevelt)
SHOT PUT (46-9 1/2 ) _ 1. Allen (CF); 2. Stephens (KR); 3. Robart (CF).
DISCUS (145-5) _ 1. Allen (CF); 2. Robart (CF); 3. Stephens (KR).
LONG JUMP (20-4) _ 1. Jones (KR); 2. Mentlow (KR); 3. Pierson (CF).
HIGH JUMP (6-0) _ 1. Murphy (CF); 2. Badejo (KR); 3. Bullock (CF).
POLE VAULT (13-7) _ 1. Sabino (CF); 2. Shannon (CF); 3. Wilson (CF).
4x800-METER RELAY (8:43) _ 1. Kent Roosevelt (Barniv, Mikusa, Schnee, Emig).
110-METER HURDLES (15.4) _ 1. Kehres (CF); 2. Walsh (CF); 3. Khodry (CF).
100 METERS (11.2) _ 1. Mentlow (KR); 2. Moore (KR); 3. Perrow (CF).
1,600 METERS (4:31) _ 1. Barniv (KR); 2. Murphy (CF); 3. Gramlich (CF).
4x100-METER RELAY (44.5) _ 1. Cuyahoga Falls (Pierson, Kehres, Perrow, Rhines).
400 METERS (52.3) _ 1. Jones (KR); 2. Perrow (CF); 3. Megenhart (CF).
300-METER HURDLES (41.1) _ 1. Kehres (CF); 2. Heil (CF); 3. Gray (KR).
800 METERS (2:01.5) _ 1. Barniv (KR); 2. Murphy (CF); 3. Mikusa (KR).
200 METERS (22.9) _ 1. Mentlow (KR); 2. Perrow (CF); 3. Moore (KR).
3,200 METERS (10:05) _ 1. Gramlich (CF); 2. Galizio (KR); 3. Murphy (CF).
4x400-METER RELAY (3:31) _ 1. Cuyahoga Falls (Pierson, Megenhart, Walsh, Kehres).
Kent Roosevelt 82, Cuyahoga Falls 44
(At Kent Roosevelt)
SHOT PUT (35-8) _ 1. Benjamin (KR); 2. Anderson (CF); 3. Blue (CF).
DISCUS (96-8 1/2 ) _ 1. Benjamin (KR); 2. Anderson (CF); 3. Chestnutwood (KR).
LONG JUMP (14-5) _ 1. Wardell (KR); 2. Page (CF); 3. Killius (KR).
HIGH JUMP (5-0) _ 1. Page (CF); 2. Williams (KR); 3. Sidebotham (CF).
4x800-METER RELAY (10:45.85) _ 1. Kent Roosevelt (Hollinger, Hensley, White, Felter).
100-METER HURDLES (17.13) _ 1. Wardell (KR); 2. Whitfield (CF); 3. Haubert (CF).
100 METERS (12.97) _ 1. Huntington (CF); 2. Broaddus (KR); 3. Williams (KR).
4x200-METER RELAY (1:55.15) _ 1. Cuyahoga Falls (Zim, Weaklend, McDonald, Huntington).
1,600 METERS (5:53) _ 1. White (KR); 2. Felter (KR); 3. Fechter (CF).
4x100-METER RELAY (52.83) _ 1. Kent Roosevelt (Williams, Childs, Wardell, Broaddus).
400 METERS (1:02.62) _ 1. Anderson (KR); 2. Capotosta (CF); 3. Hensley (KR).
300-METER HURDLES (48.75) _ 1. Wardell (KR); 2. Williams (KR); 3. Hobbert (CF).
800 METERS (2:34.4) _ 1. Hollinger (KR); 2. Lane (CF); 3. Karalanua (CF).
200 METERS (27.0) _ 1. Broaddus (KR); 2. Huntington (CF); 3. Childs (KR).
3,200 METERS (12:03) _ 1. Hensley (KR); 2. Anderson (KR); 3. Comici (CF).
4x400-METER RELAY (4:32.28) _ 1. Kent Roosevelt (Anderson, Hollinger, White, Killius).