52 Eagles band together to get the job done at NBC

J. Patrick Eaken

Eastwood girls won just two events at the Northern Buckeye Conference met, but they placed in every event to defeat second place Genoa 137-120 and win their 19th straight league championship.
        “The coaching staff is very proud of the effort the athletes gave from the first event to the 17th event,” said 10th-year coach Nicole Sabo. “It was a total team effort and we were able to score in all 17 events. 
        “The athletes had many personal records and Jamie (Schmeltz) broke her school record in the 100 meter dash. We are excited for Shelby (Getz) with her two wins in the hurdles and breaking the NBC record in the 300 hurdles.  The NBC has many talented athletes and it was a great competition,” Sabo continues.
        “Each year our conference is getting better and better. Teams are getting more athletes out for track and field and its taking the competition to a new level.  Rossford and Lake return many athletes from last year’s team and were tough competition again this season.  Woodmore has a great deal of talent in the distance races and scored big points in NBC.”
        Of eight teams, the third through fifth place spots were taken by Woodmore (104), Lake (87½) and Rossford (65).
        In the 300 hurdles, Getz, a junior, finished in 47.77, breaking the league mark set by Woodmore’s Carly Rothert (48.08) in 2016. In the 100 hurdles, Getz finished in 16.36, less than half a second off the league record (15.59) set by Eastwood’s Katelyn Meyer two years ago. It was the second straight year Getz earned all-league honors in the hurdles events and she was a regional qualifier in the 300 hurdles last year. She has also been involved in sprinting events this year.
        In the 100, Schmeltz, a junior, set the school record of 12.73, but she finished in second to Rossford senior Kaitlyn Clark (12.53). She was a regional qualifier in the 100 last year and regional finalist in the 200, where she finished second this year in 26.13, also behind Clark (25.51). She is also a member of the school record 4x100 team.
        Getz and Schmeltz were joined by senior Brianne Kwiatkowski and freshman Felicia Cassaubon on the 4x100 relay team that finished second in 51.13. Schmeltz, Getz and freshman Maisy Stevenson and Mikayla Hoelter placed third in the 4x400 (4:23.94).
        As for the other events, it helps when you have 21 returning lettermen, which means plenty of girls who can place in the top two or three. You can add in a few freshmen who are already contributing.
        “We are veteran athletes in all of the event areas which is providing leadership to their new teammates.  We have 52 members on our team that helped with depth and the ability to score points,” Sabo said.
        Key athletes include three throwers in senior Elizabeth Arnston, junior Ashley Hodulik and freshman Ava Kiefer, three distance runners in sophomores Melinda Barman and Jamie Lahey and Stevenson, and among sprinters, hurdlers, and jumpers there is Schmeltz, Getz, seniors Shaunna Jubenville, Kwiatkowski, Staci Bienko, junior Hannah Limes and Hoelter.
        Jubenville was a state qualifier and league placer in the long jump last year, and this year she leaped 15 feet, three inches, good enough for third place at the NBC meet. Getting Limes back after missing last year due to an injury was key, too.
        In throwing events, Kiefer placed second in the shot put at the league meet with a toss of 35-5½ and Arnston tied for fourth in the discus (96-10). The two of them came into the season already having a strong winter.
        “They have been throwing well in practice and had a very successful indoor season,” Sabo said.
        Eastwood’s 4x800 relay team of sophomore Jamie Lahey and freshmen Anna Brown, Megan Graham and Addie Young finished in fourth place, but this was what Sabo expected from her younger athletes.
        “Our relays (are) young, but look to improve as the season progresses,” Sabo said. “For nearly half our team, this is their first year of high school track and field.  We competed against good competition all season in order to gain experience and confidence going into the conference meet and districts.”  
        Jubenville joined three freshmen, Hoelter, Aubrey Haas and Stevenson, on the 4x200 team that placed third (1:55).
        Since Sabo has taken over at Eastwood, her teams have also won two district championship and was regional runner-up once. Last year’s team was first in the NBC, third at districts, ninth at the regional and ninth at state. For Sabo, who had previously served as a volunteer assistant at Oak Harbor, this was the 10th straight league championship under her tutelage. Going into the season, her Eastwood teams were 69-6 in dual and tri meets and 49-1 in conference meets.


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