AMHERST, Ohio (May 19, 2023) -- Rocky River has qualified into a combined 14 event slots in the next round of the Buckeye State track & field postseason. The River girls took fourth place at this week's (Wednesday, Friday) DI Amherst District Qualifier
; they qualified athletes into seven slots for next week's (Wednesday, Friday) DI Region 2 Qualifier. The Pirate boys took third; they also qualified into seven events for the region tournament, which, like this week's meet, will be contested at Amherst Steele High School. [results
In the girls competition, Rocky River boasted two district champions: junior Ellie Harkins in the 300-meter hurdles and junior Mary Sollars in the 100-meter hurdles. Those podium-top-step performances marked continuations of excellent months for both athletes.
Harkins also won gold in the 300 hurdles in the Bell Invitational (May 5) and was the Great Lakes Conference champion in that event (May 18). She also qualified in the 100 hurdles. Sollars -- a regional qualifier in three events (100H, 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash) -- was a big point producer in the Bell and was tabbed for the program's Pirate Award that meet; she had two seconds and two thirds in the GLC meet. In this week's meet at Steele High School, Sollars registered school-record times in the 100H (14.93) and 200 (25.82).
Also qualifying on the girls' side were Grace Lavelle (800-meter run) and River's 4x800-meter relay (Katie Stirm-Clare Duffy-Brianna Chaves-Lavelle). The Maroon & White tallied 65.17 points to finish in fourth place in a crowded-at-the-top 12-team field. Westlake won the district crown with 81 points. Runner-up Avon filed 71; Olmsted Falls took third at 66.17.
On the boys side, the GLC-champion Pirates clocked district titles in the 4x8 (Guillaume Carroll-Luke Dorenkott-Grant Preto-Majid Abuaun) and the 800 (Abuaun). In the 800, River placed 1-2, with Carroll qualifying for a region run. Abuaun, Carroll, and Preto qualified three times over: all three were in a qualifying 4x400-meter quartet (along with Henry Lange); Preto took fourth to qualify in the 400.
Also qualifying for the Double-R boys were Abel Sereika (discus) and Colin Slomka (high jump).
The Sons of Blackbeard have swept their way to three May wins in the Bell, GLC, and district meets in the 4x8. In the 800, River has had two athletes -- Abuaun and Caroll -- share a gold-gold-gold run over those same meets. The Double-R nearly doubled its regional qualifying slots from a year ago when River qualified into four slots.
Rocky River earned 76 points in the boys' competition. Avon won the boys title with 133.5 points.
by Skip Snow