Boardman senior Valerie Hood earned All-Ohio honors in both the shot put and discus at the state track and field meet held last weekend at the Jesse Owens stadium on the campus of Ohio State University. The top eight in each event earned All-Ohio honors. Hood threw the discus first and went into the event ranked seventh from the regional results. She surpassed that ranking by placing fifth with a toss of 128 feet, 8 inches. Junior Ali Tolich from Fitch won the event with a toss of 154 feet. 7 inches.
Hood's first throw was 127 feet, 11 inches, then she fouled her second throw and came through with her best of 128 feet, 8 inches on her third attempt. Within an hour after the discus, the shot put competition started and Hood had one throw of 39 feet, 4 inches in the semifinals before competition was halted due to a severe thunderstorm. After an hour and a half delay, competition resumed and Hood's second throw was 39 feet, 5 inches placing her between ninth and tenth with the top nine going to the finals. Her final toss of 40 feet, 2 inches in the semi finals was not only good enough to get her into the finals but moved her to seventh place and another All-Ohio honor. Tolich was the winner again throwing 43 feet, 6 inches. Hood also earned Indoor All-Ohio honors in the shot put back in March by placing sixth in the shot put. Boardman head coach Denise Gorski was happy for Hood's honors.
“Valerie came through with a big throw under pressure in the shot put to finish in seventh place,” Gorski said. “If she doesn’t throw that, she may not have made it into the finals. She struggled a little in the discus with a few fouls, but still stuck one throw that gave her another All-Ohio honor in just her first year of making it to the state outdoor meet. I give a lot of credit for her success this year to not only Valerie for her hard work and determination but her guidance from our throwing coach, Tim Swartz. He implemented a great weight room routine that helped her gain a lot of strength this year and he is very knowledgeable in the technical aspect of throwing. This is his second thrower in three years to reach the state meet and that says a lot about his coaching abilities.”
As a result of Hood's success this past weekend, she has been chosen to represent Team Ohio at the Midwest Meet of Champions. This meet showcases the top seniors from Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan and will be held at Northrop High School in Fort Wayne, Ind. Hood has been chosen to throw both the shot and discus in her final high school competition.
Also at the state meet, the 4x100-meter relay team of seniors Nicole Biagetti and Doriyon Glass, junior Nicole Vlad, and sophomore anchor runner Lesley Koch ran 49.19 in the semifinals but missed making it to the finals and finished 11th out of 16 teams. The relay came into the meet ranked sixth from the Regional meet.
“Even though they didn t make it to the finals they accomplished school history the week before by first running 49.03 in the regional semi’s to break a 27-year-old school record and then shattering their own record with a fast time of 48.62 in the regional finals.” Gorski commented. “These girls ran a remarkable time of 48.62 at the regional finals to get them to state. It was a tremendous team performance and the credit goes to them for their competitive desire and also to coach (Dave) Pavlansky who coached them to these great accomplishments the past few weeks. Seniors Nicole Biagetti and Doriyon Glass should feel very proud of the track career they had as a Spartan and I know they are both destined for more success. Doriyon will play basketball at Gannon University and Nicole will continue her track career at Youngstown State University. Nicole Vlad and Lesley Koch have both had great seasons and will be back for us next year. And I’m glad junior Carissa Plourde and freshman Lauren Davila had the chance to go to the state meet as alternates in the relay. These four girls will be very important for us next year in the hurdles and sprinting events.”
Two members of the boys track team represented Boardman High School at the state meet also. Senior Joe Bialik qualified for state with his fourth place finish at the regional championship held at Fitch Falcon Stadium in the pole vault with a vault of 13 feet, 6 inches. Joining Bialik was sophomore Allen Starkey who quali?ed in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 3 inches.
“Allen and Joe have done a great job at getting good at what they do,” said Boardman coach Dave Pavlansky.
Bialik, by virtue of his 3.6 GPA and his state qualification, has already earned Academic All-Ohio honors. The Spartans had other runners compete at the regional final and just fall short of a state appearance. Senior Sam Deskin ended a brilliant career with a seventh place effort in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:31. Also, the 4x100 meter relay team of senior TJ Jordan, junior Nick Buonavolanta, sophomore Devin Campbell, and freshman Nathan Jones finished sixth in a time of 43.29 seconds. The relay team’s time is the fastest they’ve run this season.
BHS senior Valerie Hood earned All-Ohio honors in both the shot put and discus at the state track meet.