(Above — Jason Burling launches his first-place shot put, reaching a personal-best distance of 53 feet.)
FREMONT – If Jason Burling and Ethan Green keep throwing like this, coach Travis Bates may go broke trying to keep up feeding them.
Earlier in the week, Burling, a junior, and Green, a freshman, set personal-bests in the discus as they finished first and second in a tri-meet at Findlay. Saturday, as Ross hosted the 56th Annual Little Giant Invite, they once again turned in tremendous performances, finishing first and second in the discus while Burling also won the shot put, doing so with another personal-best – this one being 53 feet – earning a meal compliments of Bates.
“That was a PR, so I had to buy him a burrito,” Bates said. “Usually a PR is a pizza or something and we had these breakfast burritos that (pole vault coach) Pryde (Yoast) makes, so I spent $20 on burritos for all those guys.”
Saturday Burling threw the discus 152 feet, 11 inches, one foot more than Green had thrown just prior to him. Bates, the girls team head coach and throwing coach both boys and girls squads, says the two are pushing one another in practice which is carrying over to meets.
“Ethan Green, as freshman is throwing phenomenally right now,” Bates said. “He’s got the tools to be a really good discus thrower and he’s starting to love it a lot and that’s pushing Jason. It’s a great combination and they’re competing against each other in practice. That’s great, I love that.”
Burling and Green’s throws were just a couple of the highlights for the Ross track teams Saturday as both programs won their respective meets out of 10 competing teams. The girls totaled 174.83 points, more than 90 points ahead of second-place Toledo Start, while the boys’ score of 137 points was 30 points higher than runner-up Sandusky.
“It’s hard to do home meets because the kids’ friends are here, parents are here and there’s more distractions,” said head boys coach John Elder. “And when you’re young, it’s easier (to get distracted).”
Distance runner Zach Edmonds was anything but distracted as he flew to a 4:30.86 first-place finish in the 1600. He wasn’t finished, however, as he also won the 3200 in a time of 10:02.08, with teammate Ethan McClory finishing just 1.34 seconds later for second-place.
Elder credited Edmonds’ swimming season for boosting his performance this season and called Edmonds and McClory “a great one-two punch.”
“(Edmonds’ 1600 run,) that’s the outstanding race for the boys, oh my gosh,” Elder said. “He’s right at 4:30, the school record of 4:23 is not that far off. He’s running like dynamite.”
McClory, along with Jayden Scott, Brayden Darr and Evan Starkweather took second in the 4×800 relay while Bryce McKinstry, Ka’Von Martin, Ivan Starkweather and Jonathan Martin were runners-up in the 4×400.
Scott (800 run) and Keaton Jordan (pole vault) also placed second in their respective events.
The Lady Giants also benefitted from two wins from the middle-distance events as McKela Elder swept the 800 and 1600 runs with ease, winning with times of 2:22.09 and 5:24.97, combining for 36 seconds of cushion over her nearest competitors.
But the relays were where the Lady Giants really dominated. Ross won three of the four relay events Saturday.
Nadia Kirksey, Briana Morissette, Jazzele Lindsey and Jadyn Rozzell won the 4×100 in 49.94 seconds. Kimora Rapp, Ashanti Elkins, Lindsey and Morrisette won the 4×200 in 1:45.16 and Rapp, Elder, Madalyn Metcalf and Elkins claimed the top spot in the 4×400 in 4:13.44.
“They have a chemistry on those handoffs and they’re good friends, all of them,” Bates said. “All season I’ve seen one bad hand-off this year, last week at Findlay – and Brianna ran this girl down from a dead-stop and the girl had 20 meters on her and Briana ran her down – but I don’t know, they just click.”
In addition to her relay success, Morrisette, a freshman, continued her outstanding debut season. She finished second in the 100 dash by 0.04 seconds and also took second in the 200 by just 0.17 seconds.
After dominating at the junior-high level, Bates wanted to see how Morrisette would respond to tougher, varsity competition and he’s been thrilled with what he’s seen from his freshman.
“I think a lot of the attitude she had as a junior-high athlete was that it was really easy,” Bates said. “She got up in the first meet and she had competition and she’s been great for us. She’s got a tremendous amount of talent we just have to keep her head on straight and do all the right things away from the track.
“We got all those (sprinters), except for Jazzele, back next year.”
As for Lindsey, in addition to her relay work, she won the long jump by reaching a distance of 16 feet, 9 inches while also finishing just behind Morrisette in the 200 to finish third.
Sarah Watson won the high jump, reaching a height of 5 feet.
Makenna Englund scored a personal-best time of 16.64 to finish second in the 100 hurdles. AnneMarie Moses took second in the pole vault (11-6) and Emma Jahns finished runner-up in the shot put (32-07.50).
The Little Giant Invite served as the programs’ last tune-up before the championship season, which gets under way this week with the Three Rivers Athletic Conference meet. Preliminaries are Wednesday at Whitmer and the finals Friday at 4 p.m.
NOTE: While the Little Giant Invite was the final official event to be held at the Ross track before being demolished as construction begins on the new high school this summer, Little Giants past and present will get one last chance to take a lap on the old track.
The Final Mile will be held Saturday, June 8. The event is for Alumni, parents, kids and fans alike with divisions for walkers, elementary athletes, and competitive and non-competitive male and female divisions. All divisions will be times with results posted.
There is a $5 participation fee with all proceeds going to the track and field boosters. Commemorative T-shirts can be ordered in advance for $15 with limited quantities available the day of the event.
For more information, contact Marc Glotzbecker at 419-307-1629 or [email protected].
LITTLE GIANT INVITATIONAL
Team Results: Fremont Ross finished first out of 10 teams with a total of 174.83 points, 90.83 points ahead of second-place Toledo Start.
100 Dash: Briana Morrisette, 2nd, 12.66; Jadyn Rozzell, 7th, 13.44
200 Dash: Briana Morrisette, 2nd, 26.87; Jazzele Lindsey, 3rd, 27.20
400 Dash: Kimora Rapp, 3rd, 1:00.66; Ashanti Elkins, 4th, 1:02.00
800 Run: McKela Elder, 1st, 2:22.09; Allison Taylor, 8th, 2:41.18
1600 Run: McKela Elder, 1st, 5:24.97; Allison Taylor, 4th, 6:02.15
3200 Run: Grace Egbert, 8th, 13:55.58
100 Hurdles: Makenna Englund, 2nd, 16.64
300 Hurdles: Madalyn Metcalf, 5th, 52.04; Makenna Englund, 8th, 54.49
4×100 Relay: Nadia Kirksey, Briana Morissette, Jazzele Lindsey, Jadyn Rozzell, 1st, 49.94
4×200 Relay: Kimora Rapp, Ashanti Elkins, Jazzele Lindsey, Briana Morrisette, 1st, 1:45.16
4×400 Relay: Kimora Rapp, McKela Elder, Madalyn Metcalf, Ashanti Elkins, 1st, 4:13.44
4×800 Relay: Grace Egbert, Allison Taylor, Emily Miller, Hayley Wilson, 6th, 11:17.00
High Jump: Sarah Watson, 1st, 5-00.00
Pole Vault: AnneMarie Moses, 2nd, 11-06.00; Allison Taylor, 4th, 9-06.00
Long Jump: Jazzele Lindsey, 1st, 16-09.00; Ashtyn Schneider, 5th, 14-04.00
Shot Put: Emma Jahns, 2nd, 32-07.50; Olivia Baptista, 5th, 30-11
Discus: Marissa Overmyer, 4th, 96-07
Fremont Ross finished first out of 10 teams with 137 points, 30 points ahead of second-place Sandusky.
200 Dash: Ivan Starkweather, 6th, 23.50
400 Dash: Bryce McKinstry, 3rd, 51.83; Ka’Von Martin, 6th, 54.29
800 Run: Jayden Scott, 2nd, 2:05.04; Brayden Darr, 7th, 2:14.09
1600 Run: Zach Edmonds, 1st, 4:30.86; Ethan McClory, 3rd, 4:46.57
3200 Run: Zach Edmonds, 1st, 10:02.08; Ethan McClory, 2nd, 10:03.42
100 Hurdles: Sam Sweeney, 8th, 19.88
4×200 Relay: Bryce McKinstry, Ivan Starkweather, Jonathan Martin, Hayden Lehmann, 4th, 1:35.87
4×400 Relay: Bryce McKinstry, Ka’Von Martin, Ivan Starkweather, Jonathan Martin, 2nd, 3:33.47
4×800 Relay: Jayden Scott Brayden Darr, Evan Starkweather, Ethan McClory, 2nd, 8:39.00
High Jump: Bryce McKinstry, 4th, 5-08.00
Pole Vault: Keaton Jordan, 2nd, 14-03.00
Long Jump: Ka’Von Martin, 5th, 18-11.50; Spencer Price, 6th, 18-07.50
Shot Put: Jason Burling, 1st, 53-00.00; Dontrez Brown, 8th, 43-01.00
Discus: Jason Burling, 1st, 152-11; Ethan Green, 2nd, 151-11