TRI-COUNTY LEAGUE United girls end E.P.'s title hold
Jessica Foster and Scott Martin were named MVPs.
EAST PALESTINE -- This is turning out to be a memorable season for the United High girls track team.
After winning the Columbiana County meet for the first time in school history, the Golden Eagles entered Thursday's Tri-County League meet with a lot of confidence as well as a challenge.
East Palestine has dominated the event on its home track, winning a record eight straight team titles.
United made sure it wasn't nine in a row though, using its balance to score points in nearly every event to notch a 172-105 victory over the Bulldogs.
"East Palestine has a great program and we respect what they have done, but this was just our year," United coach Nancy Miller said. "We figured that we'd probably win it, but we weren't sure of the margin.
"We have a good combination of kids and can score two athletes in most events and that really gave us an advantage and was the key for us tonight," Miller said. "The girls really feel good about what they've been doing this season."
Bulldogs boys win
In the boys' meet, East Palestine claimed its fifth straight team crown, scoring 147 points. United (105) was second and Crestview (71) was third.
The Bulldogs were led by distance ace Cory Chick, who scored 22.5 points. The senior posted victories in the 1600- and 3200-meter runs and was part of the winning 4x800 relay. Chick's triumph in the 3200 was his third straight in the event.
"The approach we took was that it was our championship until someone takes it away from us," East Palestine coach John Daubenspeck said. "It was just our job to go out and make sure that didn't happen.
"The kids just try to go out and improve each time out and they know if they do that, then the team scores will take care of themselves. This is a great group of kids and their hard work paid off tonight."
The meet featured several strong individual performances and a pair of meet records were broken.
The boys MVP was United's Scott Martin, who scored 32 points. The senior won the 100, 200, 300 hurdles and was a member of the Golden Eagles' second-place 4x100 relay.
The girls MVP was East Palestine's Jessica Foster as she tallied 25 points. She was victorious in the 100 and 200 and was part of the winning 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
Leetonia's Aaron Merrill won his third straight TCL championship in the shot put, establishing a new meet record with a personal best throw of 60 feet, 3 inches. He broke the old record of 57-1/4 by United's Chad Stoffer in 1997.
In the other throwing event, Lisbon's Dom DeFilippo claimed the meet record with a toss of 174-3 in the finals. The old TCL record was 167-5 by East Palestine's Dave Tatarek in 1990. It is the third record DeFilippo has broken in the last month, earning the county mark a few weeks ago and the 34-year-old school record last week.
The only other multiple winner was East Palestine's Sam DiCello, who won the long jump and was on the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. He also was second in the 200.