EAST PALESTINE -The Tigers were small in number, but they produced big results.
The Wellsville girls' track team was hard hit by injuries this season, but all of the injuries did not stop the girls from having a strong season.
One of the highlights for the team this year was the team's performance at the 109th Columbiana County Meet held May 1 at Reid Stadium in East Palestine.
Wellsville’s Cheyene Corbin competes in the long jump April 26 at Beaver Local. (Photo by Aaron?Petchal)
With only seven girls competing at the annual meet, Wellsville ended the day in fourth place with 53 points, and the Tigers brought back three county title to southern Columbiana County.
Individually, Shartece Taylor won county titles in the long jump and in the 100. Wellsville won its third county title of the day when the Tigers' foursome of Mikyla Tipton, Maleya Fultz, Angelica Scarabino and Taylor finished first in the 4x100 relay race.
"It was an excellent day," Wellsville girls' head coach Cissy Wilson said. "We did really well. The warm weather brought out great times. Amanda (Coles) threw her best in the disc. She did iffy in the shot, but her thing is the disc anyway.
"I had another little girl, Rasheeda (Kalam), she threw her best in the disc.
"Our times are going down. We need to get this for the districts coming up. We need to get down. We need to get in the 52s. I have been telling them we need to get these 52s. When they got down to those times, they finally got there, so I am proud of that."
The 4x1 team finished first with a time of 52.59.
Taylor's victory in the long jump was Wellsville third-straight county title in the event.
"That's how we do in the 'Ville," Wilson said. "You didn't know that? We're actually used to excelling in the long jump. You know that. We have got sprinters. You know that. It's just the whole other stuff we don't have. We're trying to build up, but yeah, we did really well."
Shawntae Dillard, a 2011 graduate, finished first in the long jump in each of the two previous years. Wilson said Dillard and Taylor are nothing alike.
"Nothing at all," she said. "They are completely different. They are total opposites. They have completely different demeanors.
"Shartece is more like, 'I'm so nervous I have got to do this. I have got to do everything perfect.'
"Then, Shawntae is just like, 'I don't care. Oh I missed it, I don't care.' That's just her.'
"They are completely different, completely different."
Tipton also competed in the long jump.
"She could have pulled it out," Wilson said. "I told her last year to jump, but she didn't want to listen to me. She started jumping and actually in the smaller meets getting us points. That is what we need with a small team. We need points. She was double dipping for us. She was doing shot and long jump. She was running back and forth sometimes. Yeah, she is doing pretty well in it."
With having so few girls on the team - and having an even smaller number of healthy girls - the Tigers were unable to compete in every event.
For example, Taylor did not run in the 200 at the county meet. She ran in the 100, the 4x100, the 4x200 and she competed in the long jump.
"I'd like to see it in the 200 and win three individual events, but like I said we need her in our relays," Wilson said. "You saw her come from behind and pretty much murder the little girl in the 4x2. You saw that right? If I didn't have her in that, we would have some problems with our relays. She really doesn't like running the 200 anyway.
"We're better off putting her in two relays, the long jump and the 100. People don't know, but she is also good in the high jump. She is just multi-talented. I wish we had like eight of her, but unfortunately I don't, so everybody else has got to come up with it.
"We had a couple of injuries, so we had to beat Scarabino in. She pulled it right in. She plays softball too, so she can't work on handoffs usually. I'm a stickler for handoffs. I'm really serious about it. With my relays, I'm serious. You don't understand. I am really serious about relays. I go hard on my relays, and with her not being able to practice our relays, it is kind of rough for me. It throws me out of rhythm, but she has got it down. She is a quick learner.
"I know she got frustrated the first time when I was like, 'Take off. Get the hand back. Do this,' because I had to give her a crash course, but she pulled it out pretty well. If she didn't, they'd tell her.
"They will. They would be like, 'You need to do this, or you need to do that.' That is what I like about our team. We are like one. Can't anybody say something to someone else that can hurt their feelings because we are only trying to make each other better. Everybody knows it. If somebody needs somebody else, no one gets mad. That's just how we do."
Most teams would be happy winning three county titles and finishing fourth overall at the meet, especially with such a small team. Though it was a good day for the Tigers, Wilson said nothing beats being the overall winner.
"Winning is different," she said. "I like No. 1 first and foremost. Winning is No. 1. It's good. Everybody saw us kick butt out here, but I like to be No. 1. Unfortunately we can't do that with only bringing seven girls today. Unfortunately, we can't do that. Unfortunately, we can't be No. 1 at meets like this, but we do well."
The Tigers also won multiple county titles at last year's county meet at Salem. Wilson said winning doesn't put more pressure on her girls.
"To be honest, we hype ourselves up," she said. "We say, 'We are about to get this. We are about to do this.' That is just how we do. We don't want anybody else to tell us how good we are going to do. We are going to do it for ourselves, and if we mess up ourselves we are going to go back to the lab, draw it out again and switch it up.
"We don't get down on ourselves. We don't do that. There is no room for that. We take it to the lab and we switch it up if needs switched or we push harder. We know what we need to do.
"It is like I told those guys, they need to get in the 52s in the 4x1, and we haven't hit it. The best we have had is a 53 this year, and that was barely. I don't even think it was really a 53. It wasn't automatic timing. I'm happy with it.
"We almost got that record. Did you see that? We almost had it. We will get it next year."
The nice weather at the county meet brought out the best in all of the competitors,
"I'm glad it is a beautiful day," Wilson said. "That's all I'm going to say. It brought everybody. It brought everybody out. It really did.
"Everybody is excelling. You see all of these kids doing well. I like to see kids I know. You know most of these kids. I have been coaching track. I have coached cheerleading before. I have coached basketball before. I have coached since they were little. I coached summer track and stuff like that too.
"I know a lot of these kids, so I like to see other kids excel too. I don't want them to beat us. Don't get me wrong, but I like them to come in a close second to us. I like to see other kids PR and do their best.
"They used to get mad at because when I see a kid messing up doing something and I'll fix it. I'll say, 'You need to do it like this,' and they'll say, 'What are you telling them that for?' You want to see other kids do their best. You just do. Everybody should I think, but yeah, it was a good day."
After their strong showing at the county meet, the Tigers continued to have success the rest of the season. Wellsville ended up in third place at the ITCL Tier 2 Meet with 62 points.
Later, Taylor qualified for the regional event in the 100, the 200 and long jump. Taylor was the district champion in the 100. Also, the 4x1 team also reached the regional meet.
Finally, Coles qualified in the shot put.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, things did not turn out the way they wanted at the regional meet at Navarre as none of the Wellsville girls were able to qualify for the state meet in Columbus.
Despite not reaching the state capital this year, the Tigers still had a successful season, and the future looks bright for them as Wellsville has plenty of talent next season when the team will be led by Fultz, Taylor, Coles and Scarabino.