INDEPENDENCE - Maplewood's 4x800-relay boys team wasn't themselves last season.
The Rockets finished ninth at the Division III district track and field meet Stan Skoczen Stadium at Indepenence High School.
This season, Maplewood's team of juniors Wyatt Hartman and Mike Dahmen, sophomore Solomon Yoder and freshman Derek Morrison ran a time of 8 minutes, 9.64 seconds to win a district title this season at Independence. Berkshire was second in a time of 8:17.35.
Highlights from 4 by 800 relays at Independence
"We all want it this year after last year, not really being in there," Hartman said.
It was a little slower than the time the four ran to win the Trumbull County Meet (8:09.35).
"We kind of realized our potential at county," Hartman said.
"Second off our (personal record), it was nice to see us to get," Dahmen said.
Morrison is happy to continue Maplewood's tradition of excellence.
"I'm out here as a freshman, just trying to keep up with these guys," Morrison said.
The top four in each final advance to next week's regional at Navarre Fairless High School.
"We've all dropped our PRs down," Yoder said. "We're coming together as a team. I think it will be a good race at regionals."
The remainder of the finals resume Friday at Independence - starting with the field events at 3 p.m.
RUNNING TO REGIONALS: Maplewood's girls 4x800 team of juniors Alanna Shamrock and Erin Pavick, senior Haley Gatrell and sophomore LeAnn Penn ran a time of 10:30.72 to place fourth behind Hawken, Berkshire and district champion Gilmour Academy (9:51.88).
"There's a lot of good competition here," Pavick said.
Maplewood's foursome won the Trumbull County title (10:10.86).
"We haven't had too many big races this season," Pavick said. "We really haven't popped off yet, but we had a good one at Trumbull County."
MORE REGIONAL QUALIFIERS: Mathews' Anthony Fordley won the boys long jump district title with a distance of (19-7). He took ninth at this year's county meet with (19 feet, 3 1/2 inches). "He let himself go and jumped the best on his third jump," Mathews boys track coach Jim Buckner said. "Finals he jumped better than he normally jumps. Real relaxed today." ... Grand Valley's Ashley Dillon had less misses than Newbury's Katie MacPherson at 5-0 to win the girls high jump. Badger's Taylor Baumiller was third (4-11). ... Maplewood's Rebecca Shelton was fourth in the girls shot put.