SALEM - Being prepared has been a credo for the Salem track and field team all season. Boys head coach Todd Huda makes sure his kids know how fast they need to run, how high or long they need to jump, and what sort of throws they need to make.
"They know where they stand coming in," he said. "They know what they have to do to qualify for state."
After a long and successful season which saw the boys track team go unbeaten in the Northeastern Buckeye Conference, win the Columbiana County Meet, conference meet and finish runner-up in districts, Huda wants his kids to enjoy the rest of the ride starting with the beginning of today's Division II regional meet at Bedford High School.
Salem News illustration by B.J. Lisko
"We just try to tell them to relax and have fun," he said. "Some kids are going to step up and do better, some aren't. All you can do is go and enjoy it. They do the best they can. And we've been lucky in the past that the best they can do has always been enough to make it to state."
The boys team has nine kids competing in Bedford. Scott Lodge will run the 300-hurdles. Caleb Quinn the 110-hurdles. Anthony Shivers will throw both the discus and shot put. Zach Wukotich and Ryan Bush will compete in the high jump. Trent Kenreigh will compete in the long jump, and Bush along with Austin Noel, Marcus Crittenden and Zack Penick will compete in the 4x400 relay.
On the girls' side, Ciera Trybend will compete in both the shot and discus and Megan Lehwald will participate in the long jump.
"The kids have been very consistent all year with what they've done," Huda said. "They did what they had to do last week to move on, and every one of them did a little better than they had before. Lodge and Quinn ran their fastest times. Wukotich and Bush have been good all year at the high jump, and our relay team ran the second fastest time in school history."
Huda thinks that his kids not only have a shot to make the state competition, but also win in multiple events.
"Shivers is sitting in first by about 20 feet in the discus," he said. "Trent in the long jump is in the same boat. There's about 10 guys between 20-10 and 21 feet. He jumped 21-5 last week. But it's not guaranteed. It's gonna be whoever that day is on their game."
Today, Kenreigh and Shivers will compete in the finals of the discus and long jump, and Trybend will compete in the finals of the shot. Everyone else will compete in preliminaries looking to advance to Saturday for the remainder of the finals.
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Salem regional qualifiers
Scott Lodge - 300 hurdles
Caleb Quinn - 110 hurdles
Anthony Shivers - discus and shot
Zack Wukotich - high jump
Ryan Bush - high jump
Trent Kenreigh - long jump
4X400 relay - Austin Noel, Marcus Crittenden, Ryan Bush, Zack Penick
Ciera Trybend - discus and shot
Megan Lehwald - long jump
West Branch regional qualifers
Tyler Ware - 800
Drake Lohnes - 3200
4x800 relay - Caleb Morey, Drake Lohnes, Tyler Ware, Steve Koneval
Andrew Filp - shot
Conner Sharp - discus
4x100 relay - Brettney Lamp, Jaclyn Gaines, Erin Carver, Emily Theil
4x200 relay - Alex Tubbs, Emily Theil, Erin Carver, Briana Rumsey
4x400 relay - Alex Tubbs, Rebekah Zets, Erin Carver, Kyla Sharp
4x800 relay - Briana Rumsey, Rebekah Zets, Kyla Sharp, Sarah Pigza