Which makes you wonder this: what happens when

By Tom Hardesty Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Which makes you wonder this: what happens when the Roosevelt girls are in top form?

After all, the Rough Riders finished second overall to team champion Bedford for the second straight year, 104-91. They crowned two individual district titlists and advanced a total of three athletes Saturday _ including two each in two different events _ and a relay team to next week's Austintown Fitch regional.

And that's not counting what they accomplished Wednesday, when an additional three individuals and another relay unit qualified for regionals.

Still, Botzman said his team just wasn't sharp in the district meet compared to its performance at last week's Western Reserve Conference championships, when the Rough Riders edged two-time defending champ Solon by a single point.

"We were flat Wednesday and today," he said. "We just didn't look like we were into the meet at all. There was a world of difference between our intensity level for the conference meet and our intensity level for the district meet. But I think the girls realize how important next week's meet is and they'll be up for that.

"I wasn't disappointed today. Taking second to a team like Bedford, and having the number of kids we had qualify in individual events and qualifying two relays, I was happy with that. But our lack of emotion might have cost us in a couple events, either getting out (to regionals) or running the times we wanted."

The Stow girls, who finished seventh with 33 points, qualified two individuals to regionals on Saturday. On Wednesday the Bulldogs had qualified an individual and a relay team.

Bedford also won the boys meet, finishing with 98 points. Roosevelt took fourth (61 points) and Stow 12th (21).

The Rough Rider boys qualified three individuals and a relay team to regionals Saturday, to go with an individual and relay that had qualified Wednesday.

"I'm real happy with the number of kids we got out," said Roosevelt boys coach Aaron Carlton. "We got more kids out than we have in quite a while."

Stow had no regional qualifiers Saturday, but did advance an individual in two different events on Wednesday.

The Ravenna boys had no regional qualifiers and did not score in the team standings.

Junior Erin Anderson and senior Sarah Hensley paced the Roosevelt girls, Anderson winning the 1,600-meter championship for the second year in a row (5:11.1) and Hensley capturing the 3,200 title (11:23.8).

Anderson also placed second in the 800 (2:17.1), while Hensley was runner-up to Anderson in the 1,600 (5:12.6). Sophomore Tiffany White placed second to Hensley in the 3,200 (12:09.4), illustrating Roosevelt's depth and dominance in the distance events.

The 4x400 team of junior Samantha Broaddus, junior Courtney Williams, junior Richelle Wardell and Anderson also earned a regional berth, placing third in 4:01.6.

Just as they had done a week earlier in the WRC meet, Anderson and Hensley ran away from the field in the 1,600.

"I told them to go out and run comfortably the first half-mile, then go from there," said Botzman. "Even going into the second half Erin didn't look like she was pushing too hard. She started pushing on the last lap, and even then she looked smooth."

Anderson and Stow junior Treniere Clement put on their usual dual in the 800, Clement coming out ahead this time in a meet-record 2:14.9.

"I was happy with Erin's 800," said Botzman. "It was the second-fastest time she's ever run. She was coming off the mile and Treniere had decided not to run the mile and was fresh for the 800, and Erin still finished second and ran a great time.

"I was definitely very happy with her performance today. I thought she ran real well. I think we'll go into the regionals with her focusing on the mile, and whatever happens in the half (800), happens."

Hensley must have felt lonesome in the 3,200 _ by the start of the fourth lap she was already running all by herself.

"She did exactly what we wanted her to do in the mile," said Botzman, "and then she came back in the two-mile and wasn't pushed at all and still ran her second-best time ever. And Tiffany was all alone in second place most of the race. There's no way you can run your best time when nobody's there to push you."

The Rough Riders did have three near-misses: Broaddus (400, 1:01.9), Wardell (300 hurdles, 47.5) and Williams (200, 26.8) all placed fifth in their respective events, one spot from making the trip to Austintown.

Junior Ofer Barniv was the Rough Rider boys' leader Saturday, placing second in both the 1,600 (4:28.7) and 800 (1:56.2). In both races he lost to Brecksville stalwart Josh McAdams, who edged Barniv by three-tenths of a second in the 1,600 and by one second in the 800.

"He lost to a dynamite kid in McAdams," said Carlton. "McAdams went out quick in the half (800) and just dominated. I thought Ofer went out with the pack other than McAdams, and he used his kick to pull away and close on McAdams.

"In the mile McAdams outkicked Ofer at the end. He just had a little more speed."

Senior David Mentlow is also headed to the regional in two events. After qualifying in the long jump Wednesday, Mentlow survived a slip coming out of the blocks in the 100 on Saturday to finish third in 11.0.

"David recovered real nice," said Carlton. "There was water in his lane and he slipped and got a slow start, but he finished real strong."

Senior Jon Mikusa earned a spot in the regional by placing fourth in the 1,600 (4:33.6), while the 4x400 relay of Barniv, junior Nick Jones, Mentlow and senior Sam Moore qualified in third with a season-best time of 3:22.6.

"I was very happy to see him qualify in the mile," said Carlton of Mikusa. "He's very much deserving of it. He's worked real hard all four years he's been here, so it's nice for him to finish fourth and advance to the regional."

Placing but not qualifying were junior Aaron Emig in the 800 (5th, 1:58.0), Mentlow in the 400 (6th, 51.8), Mikusa in the 3,200 (6th, 10:22.6) and Jones in the 200 (7th, 23.7).

Clement's victory in the 800 paced the Stow girls, while Abbey Hermann also advanced to the regional by taking third in the 3,200 (12:27.9). Senior Danielle Greenleaf missed a regional spot, placing eighth in the 100 hurdles (16.5).

Placing but not qualifying for the Stow boys were the 4x100 team of Todd Frank, Shane Skinner, Jamoni Robinson and Marvin Parms (7th, 44.9), and Nathan Carleton in the 3,200 (8th, 10:29.0).

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