Lake athletes Askins, Scott moving on to next level

J. Patrick Eaken

Last spring, Lake sprinters Colette Askins, Ava Ayers and Olivia Hayward competed at the Division II state meet.

Askins was a junior and Ayers and Hayward were freshmen, and they were joined by then-senior Mya Staczek on the 4x200 relay team that finished 10th in the preliminaries, finishing in 1:45.49 — good enough to establish a school record.

Staczek moved on to Davenport College in Michigan to run track, but for Askins this was supposed to be her senior year on Lake’s track team. It never materialized because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ayers and Hayward will still get two more years on the track, assuming that track and field events are held a year from now.

It’s not all over for Askins — she is heading to Albion College to play soccer and run track. 

“We had uniform turn-in, and obviously, around the country it’s not just us, but these kids are crushed,” Lake track coach Jason Schober said. 

“They don’t get their senior season but I think she is trying to see the positives in it and is excited to go to the next level and continue to compete. I think it’s nice for someone to know that they are not completely done. So, there’s a lot of disappointment but I think she is going to do awesome things at the next level.”

Askins is not the only one — Amanda Scott is heading to Bluffton University to participate for the Beavers in their throwing events.

Askins is a four-year varsity letter winner, earning the team’s Most Improved Award her junior year. She was honorable mention All-Northern Buckeye Conference in the 100 and 300 hurdles.

Her 4x200 relay team repeated its first place finish in the NBC 4x200 relay, first in the district meet, and fourth in the regionals. She also holds the school record in the 100 hurdles (15.61). Her sophomore year, her 4x200 relay team, with different teammates, won the NBC and the district meet, and her 4x800 team finished second in the NBC. Her freshman year, the 4x800 team was league runner-up and a regional qualifier.

On the soccer field she had eight goals and one assist her senior year, despite being a defender for a team that finished 14-5-1. She was a first team Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press selection at cornerback.

The Lake girls track team has been dominant the past three years, with the exception of Eastwood in the NBC. The Lake girls team went 16-2 in dual and tri-meets the last three seasons. Schober says “Eastwood got us on a couple of those regular Tuesday meets.” It demonstrates how good the seniors have been.

“We won the Gibsonburg Invitational all three years, was second at the Otsego Invitational and Lakota Invitational their sophomore years, and won Margaretta Relays, Lakota invite, and Bryan their freshman season as well as getting second at Liberty Center,” Schober said.

“It goes without saying that I think our girls program has been very successful the past three years. With the invites we have won, school records, and making it to state all three years, I was very excited to see what these kids could have done as far as invites and especially the league meet.” 

Other seniors on the girls track team include Karly Bekier, Morgan Cluckey, Karrisa McCloskey, Makenna Short, Mallory Spitler and Kimberly Zoltani. McCloskey and Short are four-year letter winners, Cluckey a three-year letter winner, and Spitler and Zoltani two-year letter winners.

Her junior year, McCloskey was on the 4x800 team that finished second in the NBC. Her freshman year, she was on the 4x400 team that was honorable mention All-NBC and she was on the 4x800 team that finished second at districts and qualified for regionals.

“I do think all of my seniors deserve recognition. It was hard to pick out one or two,” Schober said. “Karissa McCloskey was one of those kids through four years would do any event we asked her to. 

“She had some health issues her junior year, so she didn’t get to compete as much as we’d have liked her to that year. So, this was our big year for her — she played soccer and basketball this year and we were finally starting to see her healthy again, so I was very disappointed for her more than for a lot of kids. I mean, I was very disappointed for everybody, but she was at the top of the list with some of the health issues and coming back from that.”

The senior guys are Eddie Analdua, Gabe Garcia, Will Gurney, Sam Herman, Rick Hodgson, Aidan Lighy, Nick Perry, Hadden Rodgers and Tay’len Smith. Garcia, Herman and Lighty are four-year letter winners, Gurney and Smith earned their third letter, and Perry and Rodgers their second. Smith was the team’s Most Improved Athlete his sophomore year.

“I teach sixth grade there so I’ve seen a lot of these kids grow and the maturity of some my seniors — you know, Nick Perry comes to an example — that where he was as a freshman to where he is today, as a leader and an athlete, is just amazing how far they’ve come. It was going to be exciting to see what they could put together this year,” Schober said.

Schober has another message for his seniors.

“I love my track and field family and I am beyond proud of everything they have accomplished on the track, in the classroom, and in every other aspect of their lives. I hope that they learn not to take anything for granted after this and know that I will always be there for them, even though we didn’t get to finish their careers the way we all wanted to,” Schober said.

“My big thing for all of them is just how proud I am of all of them and how much I’m going to miss them. It’s kind of the thing that everybody has been saying, ‘It’s understandable what happened and it’s kind of one of those things we’ll never forget.’ I feel for them and I hope they know if they never need anything, I’m always there for them.” 



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