Giovanna Silvestri, a four-year thrower for the Boardman girls' track and field team competed in her second straight Ohio High School Outdoor State Meet Championships a week ago. She placed 11th with a throw of 127feet, 3 inches, improving from last year's 15th place finish.
Head coach Denise Gorski said, " I know Giovanna wanted to get to the finals and make All-Ohio honors as she did during the indoor season. But as her throwing coach Tim Swartz told her, she made it there as the final 16 left in the state and should feel very proud of that accomplishment alone. I highly compliment both of them because they worked very well together."
Coach Swartz is retiring from coaching the throwers after nine years in the program. "He is an outstanding throwing coach, has taken several girls to state competition in his career and will be truly missed in our program," Gorski said.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Boardman girls track team members who competed at a national event over the weekend include, in front row:Arianna Cuevas, Heaton O'Hara, Regan O'Hara, Briana Fonderlin, and Hope Landers. In back row are: Nikki Hillard, Morgan Hambrick, Giovanna Silvestri, Jada Redd, and Daisy Robinson.
A total of 10 girls had qualified in five different events for the nationals held in Greensboro, N.C., over the weekend. Silvestri had qualified in the championship division of the discus and the emerging elite division of the shot put. She competed in both events last year in the emerging elite division. The championship division is the highest division in which an athlete can compete at this meet.
Three girls are returning to nationals for the second year in a row. Junior Nikki Hillard will be competing in the 4x200 meter relay, sophomore Heaton O'Hara will compete in the 800 meter sprint medley and sophomore Regan O'Hara will compete in the 1600 meter medley relay, all in the emerging elite relays.
Six Spartan girls made their first trip to the national meet over the weekend, all competing in the emerging elite relays or field events. Senior thrower Daisy Robinson qualified in the shot put for the first year in her career. Freshman Arianna Cuevas qualified in three different events, the 4x200 relay, the 800 sprint medley relay and the 1600 medley relay. Junior Morgan Hambrick qualified in two events, the 4x200 and 800 sprint medley relay. Last year, she qualified in the sprint medley but tore her ACL in the middle of the season and was unable to compete at nationals.
Junior Jada Redd qualified in two events, the 4x200 and the 1600 sprint medley relay in only her first year of running track. Sophomore Hope Landers, a two-year letter winner qualified in the 800 sprint medley relay and junior Briana Fonderlin qualified in the 1600 meter sprint medley relay in only her first year of running high school track.
In the championship division, Silvestri finished in 27th place throwing 113-7. She also qualified in the emerging elite division of the shot put and threw 38-4 good enough for 16th place out of 42 throwers.
Robinson, throwing in her first National Meet threw in the same division and finished in 31st place throwing 35-9 1/2.
In the running events, the 1600 medley relay team finished 10th out of 30 schools with a school record breaking time of 4:20.08. The team consisted of Hillard running a 200, Cuevas running the second 200 and handing off to Redd running a 400, and O'Hara finishing the relay with an 800. They broke the previous school record of 4:25.9 set in 2009 by Brittany Tucker, Samara Sutton, Becca Muntean, and Lauren Agnew.
The 4x200 meter relay team of Hambrick, Hillard, Redd and Cuevas ran 1:48.01 to finish 18th out of 29 teams. That time was their second best of the season.
The 800 meter sprint medley relay ran 2:00.95 to place 22nd out of 26 schools. Hambrick opened up the relay running 100 meters, handed off to Landers running the second 100 meter leg, then to Cuevas running 200 and O'Hara anchoring with a 400-meter run.
"It was a great experience for all of these girls to compete against some of the nation's best track and field athletes," Gorski said. "I was very pleased with all the girls and their overall performances and the 1600 medley relay had a great performance breaking the school record by over 5 seconds. I have taken girls to this meet for over 22 years because it gives them a chance to see what the competition is like all over the country. This group of young ladies represented Boardman schools and the community very well."