Boys Varsity Track, Girls Varsity Track · River shines in district derby

AMHERST, Ohio — Two days of hard-charging competition at Amherst Steele High School’s Richard S. Cooley Track has qualified Pirate athletes into six boys’ and six girls’ events at next week’s (May 22, 24) DI Northeast Region Championships. [results]

Rocky River athletes earned a combined four district titles during the week’s Amherst District meet, which was comprised of 16 boys’ teams and 15 girls’ squads. Events were held Wednesday and Friday.

Highlighting River’s two days in Amherst was the performance of senior Michael Shoaf, who swept district titles in the boys’ shot and discus events. On Thursday, Shoaf beat all comers by over 11 feet with a first-place discus throw of 179 feet-10 inches. On Friday, the defending Buckeye State champ in the shot put dominated that event with a winning toss of 60-07. The “Pirate Cannon” has now earned three straight shot put crowns at the district level.

On the boys’ side, Shoaf will be joined at next week’s region meet — at the same venue — by fellow Daishaun Hill, who also qualified (top-4 placement in district event) in two events. Hill’s season continues in both the 100-meter hurdles (third in this week’s district meet) and the high jump (fourth).The Double-R also qualified in two relays — the 4×800-meter (Gabe Saad-Jack McDonough-Daniel Hornig-Ryan O’Donnell) and the 4×400 (Daniel Hornig-Ryan O’Donnell-John Ruebsteck-Gabe Saad). The 4×4 quartet pulled off an impressive runner-up finish Friday after placing fifth in Wednesday’s preliminaries. The time carded by the Pirate 4×8 quartet enters as a top-10 in the program record book. That group earned a return trip to Amherst by placing fourth, .12 seconds ahead of the fifth-place team.

In team scoring, the Men in Marooon tallied 49 points to place seventh in a field of 16 talented units. River’s six-event qualification total ups last year’s number of district total by one. This year’s regional qualifying marks return engagements in four events (shot, discus, high jump, 4×8).

In the girls’ competition, Rocky River’s six qualifiers (events) mark a 50% increase from last year’s district meet. Pirate athletes will move on to regional lanes in two relays (4×8: Allison Contenza-Aoife Zuercher-Katie Wojnowski-Sam Coleman, 4×2: Sarah Mazzei-Lee Hornig-Lydia Brandt-Leah Schellentrager) and the 100-meter hurldles (Makenna Pfaff). Also qualifying for regionals was Daijah Hill in the high jump, Leah Schellentrager in the long jump and Sam Coleman in the 3200-meter run. Coleman — a freshman who swept titles in the mile and 2-mile events at this year’s Great Lakes Conference Championships — carded a district crown in Friday’s mile with a final time of 11:27.45. River’s two regional-qualifying relays were also first-place finishes. The Pirate 4×8 recorded a time of 9:34.90. The 4×2 crossed the wire in 1:46.24.

In team standings, the River girls placed fifth of 15 teams with a total of 61 points. The Pirates have now logged top-5 district finishes four years in a row.

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