Johnstown’s Alex Workman admits he doesn’t practice much on his pole vaulting.
That might change soon.
Just after sophomore teammate Josiah Annis broke his school record in the pole vault, clearing 13-feet-6, the senior equaled the accomplishment Friday at Lakewood’s Sarah Robinson Relays.
Neither was able to clear 14-0, but they feel that’s only a matter of time. Annis set the mark of 13-2 on Thursday, shattering Jerry Priest’s 13-1 record that stood since 1977.
“We hardly ever practice at school. Our runway’s not very good,” said Annis, who cleared 14-0 at the Dave Garcia Buckeye Pole Vault Academy and skimmed 15-0 on the bungee bar. “My realistic goal is around 15 feet. I want to get to the state. If I don’t make the state, I told the coach I would play football.
“At the meets, Alex and I are constantly pushing each other. He’s such a great athlete.”
Workman, who is training to become either a Navy Seal or Army Green Beret, said he practices mostly on his running events.
“I did practice a lot (on the pole vault) last year and got 14 feet in practice,” he said. “It’s like riding a bike. Once you learn it, it never goes away. It’s mostly pure technique. Once I get it down, everything will come together. I want to shoot for 15 feet, 15-6.”
Jarred Chorpenning helped host Lakewood win the boys title with 65 points to Newark Catholic’s 55. The Johnnies had 28 and Utica 18.
Chorpenning, a 400 specialist, ran on two victorious relays (the 3,200 and 800) and two runner-up relays (the 400 and 1,600).
“I like running relays. When you get a good team together, you can run your best times,” he said. “Our 4×400 was sixth in the indoor state and the 4×800 was eighth. We’re looking good heading towards the league meet and tournaments.”
Junior Derek Bielecki helped keep the Green Wave in title contention, long jumping 18-4.75 to help his team win along with Blake Baker and Nathan Liesen. They totaled 54.21 feet.
“I love these relays. It takes the pressure off you because it’s a team effort,” he said. “Blake hasn’t practiced it (the long jump) for a while, but we push each other. Our field events have really improved under coach (Zak) Holland.”
For the NC boys, the 6,400 relay of Levi Lupton, Reilly Mentel, Tanner Ernest and Garrett Bemiller won in 20:46.9 as did the 1,600 relay (3:32.7) of Chris Meek, Kevin Lally, Baker and Jared Jeffries. Sprinting to a victory was the 400 relay (:44.8) of Baker, Luke Ceneviva, Anthony Wing and Meek.
The shot put group (112-2.5) of Mike Kimberlin, Zach Collins and Nate McNabb also won. The high jump team of Brady Shafer, Colin Keck and Jacob Capretta tied Lakewood for first at 16-4.
The Green Wave girls won with 60 points to Johnstown’s 52. The Lancers had 36 and the Redskins 16.
Junior Taylor Ceneviva helped pave the way to NC’s title, figuring in four championships: the 400 relay (54.9) with Marisa Peddicord, Annie LaFranc and Alli Miller; the sprint medley relay (2:07.7) with Peddicord, M.B. Keck and McKi Reid; the 800 relay (1:58.5) with Peddicord, Keck and Reid and the long jump (41-5) with Taylor Daignault and Cassidy Burger.
“We practice our handoffs a lot, and it’s hard to get those down,” said Taylor Ceneviva. “I love relays. They’re my favorite because it’s not just based on yourself.
“This has been the best season since I’ve been here as a freshman. We can have some state qualifying entries. We ran 54 seconds in the 4×100 relay and we need to get that down to about 52 to have a chance. I like the 4×200 relay the best and I think they have a chance, too.”
Also victorious for the Green Wave was the 3,200 relay (10:32.2) of Mickayla Messer, Mary Richardson, Megan Stanton and Daignault; the 1,600 relay (4:21) of Daignault, LaFranc, Messer and Reid and the discus (233-6) with Keck, Sydney Bell and Emily Bines.
After a nasty bout with mononucleosis during the winter, Lakewood junior Meghan Porter is glad to be back on the track. The hurdles specialist helped the Lancers take second in the shuttle hurdles relay and long jump as she works toward her goal of making the regional.
“I couldn’t start track until the second week of March,” she said. “But I’m getting stronger. We have a lot of room to improve. We’re a small team with a lot of younger kids. They were a little nervous at first, but it’s a lot better now than at the start of the year.”