Sunday, April 20, 2003
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
EAST PALESTINE -- What do you get when you add two running preliminaries, two running semifinals, two running finals, and a full slate in the long jump and high jump?
Well, you get tired.
"My legs feel like rubber," Beaver Local senior Paula Ferry said with a laugh. "They can barely hold me up."
So what do you do to celebrate winning three events and being named field event co-MVP at Saturday's Bulldog Invitational at East Palestine High's Reid Stadium?
Well, you do nothing.
"I'm going to go home and sleep," Ferry said.
By the time the meet was over, Ferry had a sore shoulder, a sore ankle and, more than likely, a sunburn.
She even had spiders in her gym bag.
"I didn't think I'd do this well," said Ferry, who won the 200-meter dash, long jump and high jump. "I sort of surprised myself."
She was just one of the pleasant surprises for Beaver Local. Dave Kinsey won the boys field MVP and Scott Weiser won the boys running MVP as the Beavers' boys team placed second and the girls finished sixth.
"I really wanted to do everything I could to win a team title," Weiser said. "We've never won a team trophy and since this is my senior year, it was my last chance."
He came close -- Trinity edged the Beavers 99-83. But Beaver Local did beat two-time defending champion Warren JFK, which finished third.
As a bonus, Weiser edged JFK senior Ben Nolan in the 400 -- the first time he's ever done that in a race.
"He beat me last year every time we raced," Weiser said. "That really motivated me, but it also made me a better runner. It's such a big boost because it took me over half a year just to get the mental thing out of my head."
Losing to Nolan wasn't all mental, of course -- he is the defending Division II state champion in the 400.
But on Saturday, Weiser was better, winning by almost three seconds.
"I just gave everything I had," he said.
Weiser capped his day by winning the 200 and Kinsey won the high jump and finished third in the long jump.
Kinsey's brother, Dan, won the long jump and finished with the most points of any athlete.
"I'm really proud of our team," Ferry said. "Everyone did really well."
St. Thomas Aquinas' Stephanie Hunt won the running MVP to lead the Knights to the girls title.
Warren JFK senior Michelle Rossio shared field MVP honors with Ferry to lead the Eagles to a second place finish.
Poland's Colleen Moran won the 1600, anchored the winning 4x800 relay and placed third in the 800 as the Bulldogs placed third.
Rossio continued her outstanding spring by breaking the meet record in the discus with a throw of 140-feet, 1-inch.
McDonald's Perpetua Domitrovich set the old record of 135-2 in 1987.
After being in the shadow of Maplewood's Christen Clemson the last two years, Rossio has emerged as the area's best thrower.
"It's a little lonely," Rossio said of not throwing with Clemson. "But I'll get enough of her over the next four or five years."
Clemson throws at Penn State. Rossio is headed to Big Ten rival Michigan State.
She finished second to Clemson at state last year and has lofty goals for this season.
"I'm just trying to get more consistent with my throws," she said. "I usually have that one throw that I know is good. But I want to get more consistent. There's still a little jump that I'm looking to do."
The improving weather will help.
Salem's early season Cope Invitational usually gives you a choice between freezing to death, drowning or being struck by lightning. (This year's had the latter two.)
But the Bulldog Invitational -- Rossio's third invitational this season -- usually brings sunny and warm weather.
"At Salem it's cold and snowy, but it's always been nice here," she said. "I like this meet."