June 9 – Avon/Avon Lake

Last week the Ohio high school track and field season wrapped up in Columbus as the best in the state competed against one another at the Division I state championship at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. A few local athletes from Magnificat High School helped lead their team to a second-place overall finish in girls competition. Avon Lake High School was also present, competing in the boys 4×800 relay.

Magnificat senior Erin Riley, an Avon Lake native, helped the Blue Streaks take second overall in the girls 4×800 relay with a time of 9:11.64, just behind winner North Canton Hoover (9:09.45). Riley was joined by teammates Mary Whitmore, Katherine Kerr and Madeline Chambers.

While Riley said her relay team’s best time this year was 9:09.87 at regionals the previous week, she said her teammates ran well in Columbus.

“We ran against Canton Hoover before, so we knew they would be our main competition,” Riley said. “It came down to the last 100 meters. It was a close race.”

After winning a state championship in the 4×800 last year, Riley said she was proud of her team’s effort and ability to adjust this season. After one teammate went down with an injury at districts, the Blue Streaks’ relay team had to recruit freshman Kerr and get her acclimated with their unit.

“We had a lot of adjusting because of an injury, but we were lucky to have some strong teammates stepping up for us, so that was nice that we could still make it to state and compete,” Riley, who will continue her running career at Miami of Ohio, said. “I’m definitely going to miss my teammates, who are a lot of my close friends.”

Two other local Magnificat runners that made it to the podium were the Fischer twins, seniors Clare and Abby. Their main goal was to finish in the top eight, qualifying for all-state status. Clare finished fifth in the 3,200 with a time of 11:00.75. Sister Abby took seventh with a time of 11:08.57.

After placing ninth in the event last year, Clare was pleased with her improvement this time around.

“I was happy with how I did,” she said. “My sister and I wanted to both make the podium this year and we did, so we were both happy about that.”

After finishing 10th last year, Abby said she was thrilled to reach her goal during her final chance.

“It was really exciting because it was our senior year and we set our goals and our running improved,” she said.

Members of the 2008 and 2009 Magnificat cross country state championship teams along with Riley, the Fischer twins said they were going to miss their fellow teammates when they both continue their running careers at Xavier University.

“I’ve had a lot of fun the past four years, and it was kind of bittersweet on Saturday,” Clare said. “We were happy with how we did, but sad that it’s all over now.”

“It’s going to be weird having a new team next year, but I’m glad that Clare and I get to run together for another four years,” Abby added.

The Shoremen competed in the boys 4×800 relay and finished 15th. Seniors Jimmy Adams and Matt Link, junior Justin Housley and sophomore Francesco Maiorca finished with a time of 8:12.33.

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