Quakers double up on podium visits
COLUMBUS — The Salem 3200-meter relay teams followed each other to the podium Friday.
The Salem girls and boys teams each finished seventh at the Division II state track meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“We’ve been running with them all year,” junior Jackson Corbisello said. “If they can get on the podium, then we should.”
“Our goal was just to get on the podium,” senior Georgia McLachlan said. “It’s always good to race fast people.”
The Salem boys 3200 relay team of senior Quinlan Rumsey, juniors Trey Double, sophomore Hunter Christopher and Corbisello was seventh (8:05.25).
The Salem girls 3200 relay team of junior Haley Rozeski, freshmen Halle Cochran and Carly Hall, and McLachlan was seventh (9:39.53).
“It’s easier to run faster here,” Cochran said.
“We trust each other,” Hall said.
Both teams were in the back of the pack before working their way into contention.
“For a little while I thought (the boys were out of the race), when they were in 14th,” Hall said. “There’s no one better on the last leg than Quinlan.”
“We’ve got strong middle runners and Quinlan at the end,” Christopher said.
“Nothing against Trey, but he was running 1:57s and going against some freaks (on the opening leg,” Rumsey said.
“The race kind of spread out,” Double said. “I thought I was done.”
“We got last last year and then when I saw Trey, I said, ‘Don’t do it again,” Corbisello said.
The Quakers wouldn’t let it happen this time.
“I love being being behind and chasing kids down,” Rumsey said. “I think I do better than when I’m ahead.”
The Salem boys received their medals to match the girls’.
“We wanted to PR (personal record),” Rumsey said. “Besides the top two teams, no one ran their best times.”
Rozeski fell behind on the lead lap before climbing back into sixth place.
Cochran took over and gave the Quakers first place on the second leg.
“It was crazy watching a freshman lead the race here,” Rumsey said.
“They were talking earlier about if you’re leading, you will be on the scoreboard,” Cochran said. “I looked and the scoreboard and I was in first.”
The Quakers were ready to get on the podium.
“Most of the teams put their slowest girls first and build off that,” Rozeski said. “We do well with what we do.”
“I think we’re pretty even,” Cochran said.
It was the first time since 1999 a Salem girls 3200 relay team reached state.
“We were ready,” Cochran said.
“It’s great to make it to state,” McLachlan said. “When we got here, we said we could get on the podium.”
Minerva’s girls 3200 relay team of seniors Mackenzie Scott and Ava Burman and juniors Nelle Yankovich and Sarah Carver was eighth (9:39.97).
“It was nice to see some familiar faces on the podium,” McLachlan said.
“It was really cool to see both teams,” Rozeski said. “We’ve been using them as competition.”
“Our goal was to beat Minerva,” Cochran said. “We love them, but …”
¯ None of the Salem runners got our of the preliminaries Friday.
The top two in each heat plus the next five fastest times advance to today’s state finals.
¯ The boys 1600 relay team of junior Turner Johnson, sophomore Seth Ameduri, Rumsey and Corbisello was 11th overall (an area-best 3:24.29). Rumsey and Johnson ran on the state runner-up squad last year.
¯ The boys 400 relay team of juniors Andre Tonkinson and Josh Lehwald, sophomore Zach Murray and Johnson was 16th overall (44.09).
¯ The girls 1600 relay team of senior Katelin Chilton, junior Lydia McKee, Rozeski and Cochran was 17th overall (4:07.73).