Eastwood’s motivation was to keep the legacy going

J. Patrick Eaken

Once a winning tradition is established, those in line typically want to keep the legacy going. It’s not easy when last year’s senior class was deep and talented but the Eagles filled in the gaps.
        At the Northern Buckeye Conference meet, Eastwood boys track scored two people in 14 of 17 events and won two events to win its 19th straight league championship going back to its days in the Suburban Lakes League. Eastwood scored 168 points to outdistance second place Rossford (118).
        “The coaching staff is very proud of the mindset, effort, and team spirit the athletes to win the NBC championships.  The guys wanted to continue to grow the legacy for each other and especially the program,” said eighth-year Eastwood coach Brian Sabo. 
        Under Sabo’s leadership, Eastwood won five straight regional titles from 2013-17, was third in the state in 2014 and 2015, and entered the season 57-0 in dual and tri-meets over the past seven years. But even Sabo inherited a program which under former coach Gary White won two state team championships. 
        Eastwood went one-two in the 800 meter run as senior co-captain Jack Chappuies won in 2:03.18 and senior co-captain Alex Boyer finished second in 2:04.87. They were both part of the 4x800 relay team, joining sophomore David Russell and junior Lucas Pease that won in 8:29.47.
        Boyer and Chappuies were both part of last year’s 4x800 state qualifying relay team, and Boyer was on the state qualifying 4x400 team along with junior Nate McCauley-Benner. Boyer will compete in track at NCAA Division II University of Findlay.
        However, it was senior Eric Fertig, a two-time team captain, who was voted NBC Athlete of the Year by coaches for the second year in a row, despite finishing second to Genoa senior Noah Koch in both the discus and shot put. Fertig has already won state championships in the discus, hammer and shot put. He has committed to throw at NCAA D-I University of Louisville.
        They are among 31 returning letter winners for the Eagles — a figure bigger than most team’s total roster numbers. On Eastwood’s roster, there are 68 boys.
        Last year, Eastwood won six events at the NBC and had six of those winners return, but Sabo acknowledged that there were “11 more events won by the rest of the league so it seems to be more spread out (this year).” The team graduated a lot of top sprinters from last year, so filling that gap as well as they did was key.
        Besides team depth, Sabo believes his team has one other advantage, and that is the “effort we will give, team spirit towards each and the program.”
        That includes another senior co-captain, sprinter Jack Arman, and junior hurdler Logan Wendt. Arman placed fourth in the 100 (11.61) and he and Wendt joined Boyer and senior Ceyleon Damron on the 4x200 team that finished second in 45.57. In the 200, McCauley-Benner was fourth (23.5) and Arman sixth (23.86).
        Wendt finished second in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.51 and in the 300 hurdles junior Christian Peters placed second in 42.4 and Wendt was fourth in 42.7.
        The 4x400 relay team (Boyer, Chappuies, junior Jacob Halko, McCauley-Benner) finished in second (3:35.74). Sabo said the relay events are always important.
        “We expect to fare well as we pride ourselves on our relay events.  It emphasizes the team’s aspect,” Sabo said.  
        In the distance events, junior Luke Coffman was second in the 3200 (10:36.57) and second in the 1600 (4:40.67). Damron was second in the long jump (20 feet, eight inches).


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