Pickers shine at invitational; Smathers sets meet record

photo by Leslee Gorzynski; The North East boys 1600 relay team of Ben McAuley, Ryan Smathers, Doug Drab and Jacob Miller won their event at the North East Invitational.

The North East girls’ team earned top eight finishes in 13 events and the boys’ placed in 11 at last weekend’s North East Invitational, which drew nearly 670 athletes from 19 schools.

Four athletes – Alex Schriefer, Ryan Smathers, Kylie Shafer and Ben McAuley – claimed individual first places, while three relay units — the boys’ 1600 and girls’ 400 and 1600– also crossed the finish line ahead of the competition.

Smathers established a new meet record of 4:19.31 in the 1600, eclipsing the 4:20 set by Brian Soder of Harbor Creek. Smathers also won the 800 at 1:57.33.

Shafer had a banner day on the track, holding off a strong challenge by Union City’s Eve Gardener to win the 100 at 13.13. Gardener finished at 13.22. Earlier in the season, Shafer had been beaten twice by Gardner in the 100, and was edged out of first by a matter of inches in a classic photo finish in the 200 at the North East invitational.

She also joined Alex Schriefer, Shelbee Messenger and Sarah Mrozowski on the winning 400 relay clocked at 52.74. The same foursome took the 1600 relay at 4:19.32.

McAuley claimed first in the 3200 with a 10:11.47.

The boys’ 400 relay of Joey Neff, Billy Triana, Jordan Bryan and Smathers took first at 3:32.88.

Girls who earned top eight finishes for North East included:

Sarah Mrozowski, 400, 2nd, 1.01.87; Emma Verondik, 3200 run, 3rd, 13.06.5, and 1600 run, 3rd, 5:59.56; Madi Turiczek, discus, 4th, 95-1; Jaleen Beardsley, shot put, 5th, 28-8; Ali Petroff, triple jump, 4th, 29-10-3/4, and long jump, 3rd, 14-7-1/2; Gabby Malta, 100 hurdles, 7th, 18.19; Sadie Post, 100, 7th, 13.97; Kylie Shafer, 200, 2nd, 27.34; Laurel Shickler, high jump, 3rd, 4-9; Sarah Parrish, high jump, 4-9, 4th.

Boys who earned top eight finishes for North East included:

Joey Neff, 400, 5th, 53.11; Billy Triana, 400, 6th, 53.44; Tyler Davis, 110 hurdles, 2nd, 16.2, and high jump, 2nd, 5-8; Tyrus Murphy, 110 hurdles, 6th, 16.72; 400 relay (Joey Neff, Billy Triana, Tyler Davis and Jon Newara), 4th, 46.5; Max Knight, javelin, 2nd, 153-1; John Newara, triple jump, 8th, 37.1-1/2; Jimmy Jobczynski, pole vault, 4th, 10-0; Connor Bradford, pole vault, 8th, 9-6; Doug Drab, 1600, 4th, 4:47.64; Jordan Bryan, 800, 6th, 2:06.22; Joey Neff, 200, 3rd, 24.24; Gary Olson, 3200, 3rd, 10:31.23.

North East was scheduled to compete this Thursday and Friday in the Erie County Classic at Harbor Creek.

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