GLC Track

Bay High School's Ivan Slyepkan and Rocky River's Gabe Saad race in the 1600 meter run at the GLC track championship Thursday. Slyepkan beat out Saad by just over two second to take first place.

Rocky River wins GLC meet for fourth straight year

BAY VILLAGE – A combination of far throws in the field and quick times on the track is a key for any team competing in a multi-team track meet.

The Rocky River Pirates had that combo in spades at the Great Lakes Conference championship Thursday at Bay High School, as the Pirates' boys and girls teams both came away with titles. This marks the fourth straight year Rocky River claimed both team titles, and the second-straight year the Bay Rockets finished second in each.

Led by runners Sam Coleman, Makenna Pfaff and Daishaun Hill and thrower Michael Shoaf – each winning two events – Rocky River won 15 of the 34 events and finished with 210.5 points. Bay was 25.5 behind them with 185 points. On the girls side, River totaled 159 points, with Bay finishing with 118.

Coleman, a freshman, picked up 20 points alone for her team, winning both the one-mile (5 minutes, 34.94 seconds) and two-mile (12:11.96) races. In both, the second place finisher was also from Rocky River, meaning the Pirates earned a total of 38 points from those two races.

“(Coleman) was disappointed with her time but I told her, ‘This is all about scoring points today. Don’t worry about that,’” Pirates girls coach Julie Achladis said. “This is the last time we’re going to have her run the mile and the two mile. We’re going to let her run the two mile fresh at Districts. The girls did a great job. They came in here saying, ‘Nobody’s beating us today.”

Both Pfaff and Hill had their success in the hurdle events, each winning their 300-meter race with Pfaff also winning the 100 and Hill winning the 110.

Bay hung with the Pirates in many of the events, winning 11 and finishing second in seven (all relay races behind first-place Rocky River teams). Ivan Slyepkan won two events for the Rockets in the mile run (4:30.61) and 800-meter (2:05.28). Olivia Reed added another 20 points in the 400 meter (1:01.34) and high jump (4 feet, 10 inches).

Chloe Rickson was the top performer for the Rockets, winning the long jump (17-5¾ ), 100-meter dash (13.11) and the 200-meter dash (26.69). Perhaps the biggest accomplishment by a Bay athlete Thursday, came when Maeve Milligan set a school and tournament record in the pole vault with a height of 11 feet, 3 inches.

“It’s exciting. (I’ve) been working hard all season for that, that was the goal,” Rickson said. “Today it kind of all came together. It felt really good.”

Also in the field, Shoaf won both the shot and disc events for the third straight year. On May 7, Shoaf’s discus throw of 167 feet, 8 inches put him over 40 feet ahead of Valley Forge’s Jimmy Bateman in second place. In Thursday’s shot put, the senior threw 55 feet, 11 inches. Bateman finished in second there as well, throwing 44 feet, 11 ¼ inches.

“It’s really nice. (The) throws are starting to get a little bit better,” Shoaf said. “This (performance) helps (moving forward). There’s still a lot of work to be done for sure. I’m just gonna keep working at practice and see how it goes.”

Rocky River boys coach Mark Hogya was understandably pleased with his team’s performance and said the team’s success bodes well for this week’s District tournament.

“We talked about doing what each person and team is capable of doing. Not trying to do too much,” Hogya said. “The two of them (Shoaf and Hill), Michael in particular, has been doing it forever while he’s been here. (For) both, it is their second year of being extremely successful in the conference.

“To be able to rely on them, nothing is taken for granted because both those kids are extremely focused and hard-working kids, but I think their team members are in a position where they’re counting on them and relying on them to kind of set the tone for things,” Hogya continued. “I think both of them have accepted the challenge to be able to do that for us.”

Contact this reporter at jkopanski@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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