Rumsey powers Salem boys to Columbiana County championship

EAST PALESTINE – The Salem boys scored early and often at the 111th annual Columbiana County Track and Field Meet.

The Quakers scored in every event and had two athletes place in nine events on the way to their sixth straight county title Tuesday.

“We sit them down and they know how many points they need,” Salem boys coach Todd Huda said.”They got it and more. I’m happy with their performance.”

Salem, led by high-point running events award winner Dan Rumsey, piled up 155 points. United was second with for the third straight year with 130 points, while East Liverpool took third with 86.

“The kids were ready to come run in some nice weather,” Huda said.

It was Salem’s 10th county title in 11 years.

“It was one of our No. 1 goals on the list – to win county and beat United,” Rumsey said. “Everyone was on their A game and did their best.”

Rumsey scored 25 points as he had personal bests in winning the 200-meter dash (22.98 seconds) and 400 dash (50.90), and joined Haedan Panezott, Marcus Crittenden and Cameron Turney on the winning 800 relay team (1:32.07) and Turney, Mike Popa and Ethan Bailey on the first-place 1600 relay team (3:34.74).

“It wouldn’t even be possible without the team effort of the guys on the 4×2 and 4×4,” Rumsey said of his high-point award. “I feel like everyone should share it.”

“Dan is so much better this year,” Huda said. “Last year, he was playing club soccer at the same time and he was tired. Now he’s focused on track. He’s a tough, tough kid.”

It hasn’t taken Rumsey long to sprint onto the area track scene.

“I used to be a big soccer player,” he said. “My senior year I played football. I only competed in track my junior and senior years. I wish I would have started earlier. It pays off. I’m ready to go to state with my team.”

Salem’s Andrew Dolphin, Richie Perez Jared McClish and Jarrod Polen won the first running event – the 3200 relay in a time of 8:51.10 – and the Quakers never looked back.

“I thought United had a couple of unfortunate things happen to them,” Huda said. East Liverpool was as good as we thought they were.”

He was pleased the Quakers scored 21 points in the three distance races. The Quakers had the meet well in control after Richie Perez and Andrew Dolphin finished third and fifth, respectively, in the 800 run.

“The 800 was pretty big because Richie is banged up,” Huda said. He has a sore foot and gutted it out. Andrew has shin splints and hasn’t run much.

“We know what we’ve had in the sprints the last five years. It’s nice to have some distance runners now.”

Meet notes

United junior Lucas Cooper won the high-point award in the field events. He swept the discus (a personal-best 157-7) and shot put (47-11 1/2).

United junior Riley Fillman successfully defended hit county title in the 300 hurdles (39.96) and long jump (21-6), while adding another first place in the 110 hurdles (15.12).

Fillman also anchored the 400 relay, which came in with the fastest time. The Eagles did not finish after Mike Martin tweaked his hamstring.

Two underclassmen to keep an eye one:

Leetonia sophomore Michael Inboden first in the 1600 run (4:50.25) and 3200 run (10:37.68). Both times are the best in the area this season.

East Palestine junior Nick Monteleone was first in the 100 dash (11.24) and joined Josh Pickett, Ryan Henderson and Ronnie Knight on the winning 400 relay team (44.97). Monteleone also was second in the 200 dash, and fourth in the long jump.

Crestview junior E.J. Miller won the 800 run (2:05.36) and East Liverpool senior Shae Long won the high jump by clearing 6-feet-4. No else got over 5-10.

Rumsey misssed out on his first election day.

“I was suppposed to and got caught up in something,” he said. “I was disappointed.”

Huda came away impressed with Wellsville senior Shartece Taylor, who won her fourth straight county title in the girls 100.

“The girls from Wellsville is good,” Huda said. “She’s pretty talented.”

East Liverpool and Wellsville did not compete at the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Meet, which will be held over three days this week.

“I’d rather be here,” East Liverpool boys coach Scott Thornberry said.

Because of it, the teams will not be allowed in the OVAC Meet next year, which has happened before.

Beaver Local is sending five athletes to it this year.

Salem will host West Branch in a dual meet next Tuesday before hosting the Northeastern Buckeye Conference Meet on Friday, May 16.

United will host the Inter-Tri County League large-school meet on Thursday, May 15. The Eagles will host Crestview and Lisbon this Thursday before taking a partial team to the Clipper Invitational.

The Columbiana County Meet is the oldest continuous county meet in Ohio, being held every year since 1904.