LHS Boys Win 36th Annual Kiwanis Ranger Relays
The LHS boys track and field team finished first in the 36th Annual Kiwanis Ranger Relays, held on April 13th at First Federal Lakewood Stadium. Lakewood finished with 80 team points, edging out Berea-Midpark with 78 points. Rocky River and North Royalton finished third and fourth with 74 and 72 points, respectively. LHS junior Tyler Hannah led the Ranger effort by winning the 110 meter hurdles, anchoring the winning distance medley relay team, and leading the first-place high jump relay team. The LHS girls finished fifth in the event, with senior Abby LaForm taking second place in the 3200 meter run.
The boys team got off to a good start in the field events, where they won the high jump medley. Hannah finished first among all individual competitors, jumping six feet two inches. Senior teammates Jay Boyd and Austin Mahar completed the winning trio, earning ten team points for the Rangers. The Rangers earned six more points in the shot put relays, where sophomore Justin Steiner and juniors Austin Allender and Keegan Freer finished third.
The highlight of the event happened on the track, where the Rangers won the boys 800 sprint medley in thrilling fashion. Lakewood edged out North Royalton and Cleveland Central Catholic with a come-from-behind victory. Hannah, who anchored the team, overtook his opponents in the final leg to win by two-tenths of a second. In fact, the margin between first and third place was only one-quarter of a second. The photo finish electirified the crowd and the entire LHS team, which ran over to congratulate Hannah. Earlier, Hannah dominated the 110 meter hurdles race to take first place. Each of these first place finished earned ten more points toward the Rangers overall team score.
Senior Joe Burtzlaff finished second in the 3200 meter run, winning 8 more team points for LHS. The Ranger boys took a pair of third place finishes in the 4x800 and 4x1600 relay runs, each providing six points toward the team score.
On the girls side, North Royalton won the overall team competition with 100 points. St. Joseph Academy finished second with 94 points, followed by Rocky River with 80. Lakewood's fifth place finish included a second place finish by senior Abby LaForm in the 3200 meter run. The Ranger girls took third place in the distance medley. In field events, sophomore Christina Auck, sophomore Esther Dolatowski, and freshman Gina Marjanovic took third place in the shot put relay.
Both the LHS boys and girls teams return to action on Wednesday, April 18 at 4:30 pm at First Federal Lakewood Stadium. They will both face conference rival Westlake in a dual competition. Their final home meet will be Wednesday, April 25th at FFL Stadium against Midview at 4:30pm. The final home meet will be Senior Night, where this year's seniors and their families will be recognized for their contributions to the program.
Mike Deneen has extensive experience covering sports and community stories for the Lakewood Observer. Mike has been a Senior Industry Analyst for the Freedonia Group in Cleveland, Ohio, since 1998. He has appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell, NPR’s MarketPlace and has been quoted multiple times in The Wall Street Journal. He has made multiple guest appearances on ESPN Cleveland radio. Mike also writes for Inside Northwestern, a website that covers Northwestern Wildcat Athletics. You can reach him on Twitter at @MikeDeneen1