School/grade: Springfield, junior
Statistics/accomplishments: Division III state champion in shot put and discus; MVP of Western Reserve Inv., Poland Inv., Bulldog Inv., Ward Inv. and Cope Inv.; won shot put and discus at Inter-County League meet (set records in both), Mahoning County meet (set records in both), district (set record in discus) and regional (set records in both); set shot put record at Jesse Owens Classic.
Name a person who has been a positive influence in your athletic career: My Springfield coaches, Don Evans Jr. and Glen Windram, my dad and my summer coach with USATF, Ed Wilson. I couldn't ask for better coaches. Whenever I get down on myself at practice, they are always there with encouragement and a positive can-do attitude. I would like to thank my coaches for being so positive and uplifting -- they are the best!
Best memory from the season: Winning the shot and discus at the state meet. It's a feeling I'll never forget and hope I can feel it again next year. Also, the sound of the change in Coach Evans' pocket which he jiggled every meet to push me to break the 60-foot barrier in the shot put for a free steak dinner.
Something people don't know about you or would be surprised to learn: In my spare time, I enjoy playing the soprano saxophone.
School/grade: Warren JFK, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Ran first leg of 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams. The 4x200 relay won the state meet and set the state meet record with a time of 1:30.47. The 4x100 was second at state with a personal-best time of 43.22. Led off the 4x100 the past three seasons.
Positive influence: Our head track coach, Tim McNeil. He has been the biggest leader and inspiration throughout my track career. He has done this through his success through hard work. He has taught me that anything is possible through hard work.
Best memory: At the state meet, watching our anchor of the 4x200 get the baton and run his way to our state championship. After he crossed the finish line, I've never felt so happy. It was so great to celebrate with my teammates because we became a family throughout the season.
Surprised to learn: I never truly took track seriously until this year. I always did it to get better for football, but this year I loved it. This past season was one of the most memorable times of my life and I'll never forget it.
School/grade: Newton Falls, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Tied for first at the state meet in the long jump but received second place; two years All-Ohio in the long jump; represented Ohio on Team Ohio in the Midwest Meet of Champions, finishing fourth in the long jump; set school record and stadium record in the long jump; anchor of 4x200 relay that broke the school record; anchor of 4x400 relay that qualified for regionals; set Trumbull County long jump record, breaking it by 91/4 inches; broke 33-year-old TAC-8 record in the long jump (22-6); Salem district record in the long jump.
Positive influence: My grandmother, Pat Barnes, who was at nearly every meet for me and always cheering me on and always being proud, no matter how I finished.
Best memory: At the county meet at Lakeview, I fouled two huge jumps in the finals. On my last attempt I hit the board good and landed at 22-101/4. The whole stadium cheered when they posted the distance and it felt great to be in that moment. That is also the jump that qualified me for the Midwest Meet of Champions.
Surprised to learn: I've only competed in track and field for two years. I played baseball in my ninth- and 10th-grade years. Now I'm already a college-level jumper -- 22-9 won the Horizon League in long jump last season, and I could've won that meet this year in high school.
School/grade: Struthers, junior
Statistics/accomplishments: Member of state-championship 4x100 relay; 4x100 and 4x200 relays went undefeated all season.
Positive influence: God, for without him I would have nothing. My mom and my dad. My dad always tells me to keep faith and never give up, give 100 percent always, thank God always and you will go far in life and be humble and kind.
Best memory: Running a 10.8 100-meter dash and running a 10.36 100-meter split to win the state 4x100 relay.
Surprised to learn: I look to God always and thank him for all I have. I have the best mom and dad in the world. I love to play guitar. I hope someday to play in the NFL. If I did, I would never change and help everyone who needs help. I make the sign of the cross before all sports in football and track.
School/grade: Fitch, sophomore
Statistics/accomplishments: Finished third in the discus in Division I at state meet -- the only sophomore to qualify in the event in Div. I. Placed first at Federal League and Mahoning County meets. Had personal-best throw of 175-7.
Positive influence: My dad. He has always been there for me. He has been a great encouragement to me. He was also one of my junior high track coaches and has devoted a lot of time and money to help me be the best thrower I can be. I greatly appreciate all he has done for me.
Best memory: Throwing 175-7 [at the regional meet] to qualify for the state meet.
Surprised to learn: I am a two-time Junior National qualifier and placed sixth in the nation last year.
School/grade: Warren JFK, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Member of state-championship 4x200 relay, which set a state-record time (1:30.47); member of state runner-up 4x100 relay. Member of three district championship relays (4x100, 4x200 and 4x400) and two regional runner-up relays (4x100 and 4x200).
Positive influence: My older brother, Patrick Clemente, has been very influential not only in my athletic career but also my life. He is the kind of brother everyone wishes they had. His guidance and support have been unwavering. My parents, Uncle Tim, Aunt Mary Rose and grandma have always encouraged me to excel and have always been supportive. I credit them with influencing my athletic career also. Lastly, but not less important, is Mr. Tim McNeil. There is no better coach and role model.
Best memory: Winning the state 4x200 relay. Running in front of 12,000 people with great friends is a memory etched in my mind forever.
Surprised to learn: I decided just this spring to run track. I had never run track before, but with good guidance and hard work, I was able to earn All-Ohio honors. I also have a 3.88 grade point average and earned All-Ohio in golf and basketball.
School/grade: McDonald, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: 3200 relay state champions, state 1600 relay third place, state 800 seventh place, Poland Invitational 800 champion.
Positive influence: My brother Kevin was the whole reason I started running, and he pushed me to work as hard as I could.
Best memory: Being atop the podium with my three teammates after the state 4x800 race.
Surprised to learn: My friends used to hide from me in junior high.
School/grade: LaBrae, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Highest jump of season (6-6, first place) on April 20 at Newton Falls. The very next meet I pulled my hamstring and was out the rest of the season, until districts. Won districts with a jump of 6-4, which was my first meet back. Went to regionals and got second with a jump of 6-4. At state I jumped 6-6 and got second place.
Positive influence: My coach, Miss Ambrose. She taught me everything I know my 10th grade year. Without her I don't know where I would be in my track and field career. She is a great coach and friend. Secondly, my parents for everything they have sacrificed for me to become who I am today.
Best memory: At state, when I checked in, they checked my spikes, and they were probably a centimeter too long. So while all the high jumpers were warming up, I was changing my spikes. As soon as I got done putting my spikes in, I ran to make my first attempt. Turned out, my first attempt didn't go as smoothly as I thought it would. There was a spot in front of the mat, where the all-weather track was worn away and I couldn't get my footing. So on my first attempt I slipped and slammed straight into the bar. It wasn't pretty. I thought I had adjusted my steps good enough so I wouldn't slip again, but sure enough I missed the opening height at 5-10 once again. I thought I was done for sure, but luckily my coach was there to calm me down, and I finally got over 5-10. Then I went to 6 feet, 6-2 and 6-4 and was able to get over those heights successfully. The next height was 6-5; everyone had missed it on their first try, so I knew this would be my chance to regain some of my lost ground, and luckily I got it. The next height was 6-6, and there were two jumpers left -- Jake Dalassandra of Dalton and myself. We both cleared 6-6, but we weren't able to get 6-7, and Jake won due to fewer misses. I'm just proud of myself due to the fact that I overcame the impossible and was able to regain most of the ground I lost at the opening height and take second place.
Surprised to learn: There isn't much about me that people don't know. I'm usually really open when people talk to me, and I don't try to hide anything about myself.
School/grade: Mineral Ridge, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Set ICL and school record in long jump (22-6). Finished second at state meet.
Positive influence: My coach, Mr. Toth. He showed me a great deal of interest (as well as the other team members) not only in sports, but in life. He opened my heart to God, whom I've reached out to help me reach my goals.
Best memory: With one single jump at the ICL meet, I broke the ICL record, school record and our school's senior record.
Surprised to learn: I'm a person with a lot of feelings but it's hard for me to express them. I am also loyal to the people who are loyal to me.
School/grade: Warren JFK, junior
Statistics/accomplishments: 4x200 relay state champion, 4x100 state runner-up, 4x100 regional runner-up, 4x200 regional runner-up, 4x100 and 4x200 district champions, 4x100 third place Poland Invitational, 4x200 third place county, 4x100 third place county, 4x100 second place Lakeview Invitational, fourth place 200 Lakeview Invitational, fifth place long jump Lakeview Invitational.
Positive influence: My track coach because he would always point out the good things that happened. He would also bring up the bad points and say how we could improve those negatives and turn them into positives.
Best memory: Coming in first place in the 4x200-meter relay at state because then I knew that hard work and continued persistence/practice pays off.
Surprised to learn: I'm a drummer at New Jerusalem Fellowship Church. I can also read music, and I like to fish. I love and thank God for giving me the ability to achieve these things.
School/grade: Warren JFK, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Member of state-championship 4x200 relay and runner-up 4x100 relay; won 100 and 200 to earn Trumbull County Meet MVP; district and regional champion in 200; ranks fourth all-time in JFK history with 640 points; won Bogan Reed Award for outstanding achievement at state meet; team MVP.
Positive influence: My brother, Steven. He is an athlete himself so he has guided me, along with our father, to be the best athlete I can be. No matter how down I am about a game or a race, he has always been there to pick me up and tell me it's OK. I thank God for having him in my life.
Best memory: When our relay won the state title. Our 4x200 relay set the state record and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to run at the state meet and win with three of my best friends.
Surprised to learn: I am a very open person. I am open to all sorts of things and I adapt to any situation that comes my way. That is why I am a warm-hearted person. I always make people around me feel like they are someone special. God created us as equal, so I am going to treat you like an individual. Also, I listen to all types of music. From rock, pop, rap, reggae, R & amp;B, soul, opera, classic, funk, I listen to it all. I just love music so much and I pursue a music career. I just love it all.
School/grade: McDonald, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Member of state-championship 4x800 relay, which also won Poland, ICL, Trumbull County, district and regional titles; district champion in 1600; regional qualifier in 1600 and 3200.
Positive influence: My brother Tim. He was the first person I trained with during the summers when I was starting to run. He showed me early in my career how to fight through the pain during training and races. More specifically, this track season I was inspired by him because he has been through a lot this winter and spring, but has come out of it as strong as ever.
Best memory: Taking the lead during my leg of our 4x800 race at state and celebrating with the five guys who got that team down to state. Being on top of that podium was a great way to finish my senior year.
Surprised to learn: Down at state this year I bought a handheld bass fishing video game and started a two-day craze. I believe Aaron Thornton holds the record right now with a 100-pound bass, edging out my own 95-pounder. Anthony Puntel claims he caught a 110-pound on his own game, but he has no witnesses and therefore it is not legitimate.
School/grade: Mineral Ridge, junior
Statistics/accomplishments: State champion 110 hurdles, fifth place at state 300 hurdles, regional champion in both hurdles events, sixth place at regional 4x100 relay, district champion in both hurdles events, fifth place at district 4x400 relay, ICL champ in both hurdles events, second place at Trumbull County meet 300 hurdles and third place 110 hurdles, Joe Lane Invitational champion in 110 hurdles, Boots Hawkin champion in both hurdles events, MVP award. Best times: 110 hurdles (14.67), 300 hurdles (39.59).
Positive influence: Coach Ron Toth, Coach Rod Hice and Dr. Michael Turkali. First, "CT" has transformed my life since my freshman year. He has helped me see the bigger picture of things. Coach Hice is the "hurdle genius" and it's said here. Dr. Turkali has made it possible for me to compete at high levels and overcome injuries. All three are significant factors.
Best memory: Standing on the podium after the 300 hurdles, looking up at the crowd for the first time, realizing there were a lot of people there and hearing friends and family yelling my name, thinking it's finished for this year.
Surprised to learn: I started running hurdles in junior high because I was too slow to be a sprinter.
School/grade: Boardman, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Mahoning County, Federal League and Cope Invitational champion in 110 hurdles; Mahoning champion in 300 hurdles; placed third at state meet, fourth at regional meet and 14th at Nike Indoor National Championships; ran in Midwest Meet and Adidas Outdoor Championships.
Positive influence: My hurdles coach, John DiPietro. He has always kept me positive and striving to be the best I can be. We've had a lot of fun and a lot of wins together. He's a great guy and one of my favorite people to be with.
Best memory: Running at Jesse Owens Memorial Track for the state meet and finishing third by .004 seconds [behind the second place finisher] and setting a new personal and school record of 13.96.
Surprised to learn: I play trombone in band and orchestra. I'm also the varsity goalie for the boys soccer team.
School/grade: McDonald, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Ran 51.3 in the 400 and 2:00 in the 800.
Positive influence: Coach Chris Rupe. He has taught me how to be a competitive runner, but more importantly he has taught me how to bring my Christianity into my running. I think the world of him, and I love him very much.
Best memory: Winning state in the 4x800 relay. It was the best feeling in the world. We all had such a great day.
Surprised to learn: I play the guitar.
School/grade: Jackson-Milton, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Regional, district, ICL and Optimist champion in 1600 and 3200; Poland Invitational and county champion in 1600; set ICL records in both events; Mahoning County MVP; Optimist MVP.
Positive influence: My coach, Ronnie, for believing in me and always expecting the best out of me. And my friends on the track team for supporting me.
Best memory: My last run at state was disappointing to me, but it is always nice to get on the podium.
Surprised to learn: I was a singer in a band.
School/grade: McDonald, junior
Statistics/accomplishments: Member of state-championship 4x800 relay, which also won Poland Inv., ICL, Trumbull County, district and regional titles; placed fourth at district and regional meet in 800, second at ICL, fifth at Poland Inv. and 12th at state meet.
Positive influence: My parents. My dad always pushed me very hard in sports so I think my work ethic has come from the hours upon hours I've spent with him since I was little. No matter what, there isn't a bigger fan than my mom. She always gets to the finish line. There is no way that I would have the drive without them. They really shaped me into what I am today.
Best memory: Winning the state title in the 4x800 relay and finally getting gold. Just being on the team with those four other guys meant the world to me. I'll never forget how much we smiled that day, especially on the podium.
Surprised to learn: Before this year I hated middle distance.
School/grade: Warren Harding, junior
Statistics/accomplishments: District and Trumbull County champion in the 200; state qualifier.
Positive influence: My mother, because she was a track star in high school.
Best memory: When I found out I was going to state.
Surprised to learn: I'm very nice and outgoing.
School/grade: Lordstown, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: Runner-up in 800 in Div. III at state meet; state qualifier in 4x800 relay; overall MVP at Trumbull County meet; holds school records in 800 (1:56.37), 1600 (4:32.2) and 3200 (9:55.2); district and regional champion in 800; Liberty Inv. MVP.
Positive influence: My coaches, Frank Rahde and Chris Flenoury. They were very supportive and encouraging and always pushed me to do my best.
Best memory from this season: Being the state runner-up in the 800.
Surprised to learn: I only began running to get in shape for basketball, but I found out that I really enjoyed it and my interest grew from there.
School/grade: Ursuline, junior
Statistics/accomplishments: Helped lead Irish to district and Steel Valley Conference titles; MVP of Mahoning County meet; placed first in 300 hurdles and 4x400 relay at district meet; regional champion in 300 hurdles, placing third at state meet with new school record (37.81).
Positive influence: My parents. They are the ones who influenced me the most. When I didn't think I could do it, they pushed me to do it. And when I was hurt this season, they made sure I did what I had to do so that I would feel better.
Best memory: The state meet and being able to run with state-wide competition and run with a lot of people locally. And when I got done running, to look up at the big screen TV and see that I had placed third for the second year in a row, breaking the school record that stood for two years.
School/grade: Beaver Local, senior
Statistics/accomplishments: First place Div. II state high jump (6-10), first place Midwest Meet of Champions high jump (6-8), first place OVAC Class AAAA high jump (6-11) to set OVAC, stadium and school record; first place Columbiana County meet high jump (6-7 1/2) to set meet record; named Top Male Senior Performer of Columbiana County by the Greater Youngstown Track Officials Association, named captain of the OVAC all-star track team by the Wheeling News Register.
Positive influence: My dad. He was a good athlete and I inherited my abilities from him. He was also my baseball coach for many years. When he died, just after we had won a 12-year-old sectional championship, I lost my love for baseball. I turned my attention to other sports, like track and basketball. Dad taught me more than just how to play a game. He said to never argue with the officials and to keep a good attitude whether we were winning or losing. He said that would take me far. He was right! All of my other coaches have also been great coaches and friends.
Best memory: Competing in the state meet at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at Ohio State University was definitely a high point. Winning first place with my family and friends there cheering for me made it even better!
School/grade: Struthers, sophomore
Statistics/accomplishments: Member of state-championship 4x100 relay and runner-up 4x200 relay.
Positive influence: My parents, my teammates and the Campanas, who help provide encouragement. Also, my coach, Mark Carden, who never let me give up.
Best memory: Winning the state title. It was a fun experience for me because it was my first time.
Surprised to learn: I'm learning how to play guitar from my friend and teammate, Ty. I'm pretty good at it, but I still need a few pointers on how to play better.
COACH OF THE YEAR
School: Warren Harding, first year
Statistics/accomplishments: Team won the F.E. Cope Invitational, Poland Invitational, Trumbull County meet and Div. I district meet; finished second at the SVC meet; set new record and stadium records for 4x200 relay at Cope Invitational, Poland Invitational, Optimist meet, Trumbull County meet and SVC meet. Sent four boys to the state meet, finishing ninth in the 200 and 10th in the 4x200 relay.
Positive influence: Larry Kehres, head football coach at Mount Union. He has a great knowledge of the game, a positive outlook, very determined, always wants to achieve more, never satisfied. A perfectionist.
Best memory: Winning the district championship. Nobody thought we had a chance, from the community to our close friends. We knew as a team and coaching staff, and we wanted to prove everyone wrong and win with class. That was awesome.
Surprised to learn: I hate to lose more than I love to win.
Note: Anthony Puntel, Mark Lipinsky, Derrick Stewart and B.J. Provitt did not return a photo. Struthers' Eric Anderson and Justin Penson were selected to the team, but did not respond.