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Woodridge runners primed for college success

By STEVE BATKO Correspondent Published: July 16, 2017 12:00 AM
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After a superb season, the Woodridge boys and girls track and field teams had a slew of athletes earn honors and several seniors will compete at the college level.

Co-head coaches Les Carney and Jeff Howard were excited about all of the positives.

Carney is the boys coach while Howard mentors the Lady Bulldogs.

According to Howard, a trio of boys track standouts will run in college. They include Jacob Mally, Ryan Palm and Jonas Pyle.

Mally will compete at Kent State University.

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"Jacob is headed to Kent State to compete as a multi-event athlete, the decathlon," said Howard. "Jacob qualified to state in three events for the second consecutive year."

Palm will be running at Kent State as a distance runner.

"Ryan is running at Kent State next fall and spring," said Howard.

An All-Ohio runner in cross country, Palm placed sixth in Ohio in the 3,200-meter race. He also earned All-Ohio honors in track.

Pyle was a versatile sprinter who missed much of his senior campaign with an injury. He is headed to Capital University.

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"Jonas has been on our sprint crew and he got hurt about half-way through the year," said Howard.

Howard also had plenty of great things to say about his girls track All-Portage Trail Conference honorees in senior Nicole Fleming, senior Natalie Fleming, senior Katie Kearns, junior Molly Howard, and freshman Libby Howard.

Nicole Fleming is headed to Kent State.

"Nicole is a tremendous kicker, tall, strong, and fast. She was sixth in Ohio in the 1,600 and fourth in the 3,200 relay at the state meet and she was the number two runner on the state champion cross country team," coach Howard said.

"Nicole was top 10 in the class, earned numerous Academic All-Ohio honors, plus went to Buckeye Girls State last year."

Twin sister Natalie Fleming, who made All-Ohio in both track and cross country, will run at Youngstown State.

"Natalie had a tremendous senior year from cross country to track," said the mentor. "Then she got sick at districts. She was the number one runner on the state champion cross country team and was on the 3,200 relay, plus was top 10 in the class."

Kearns also ran on the 3,200 relay and made All-Ohio.

"Katie is heading to Mount Vernon Nazarene to run," offered Howard. "She is a very strong kid, ultra-competitive, and is a great teammate."

"Natalie Fleming and Katie Kearns had numerous Academic All-Ohio honors," added the coach.

Molly Howard earned All-Ohio status on the 3,200 relay and was the third runner on the cross country team.

"I thought Molly managed an Achilles injury from basketball relatively well," said Howard. "She was able to get fit enough to compete at Regionals and the State Championships."

Libby Howard had a sensational freshman campaign and was a state qualifier in the 3,200-meter open race. She was also the fourth runner on the state champion cross country team.

"Libby had a big step forward with individual qualification to state in the 3,200 and we are expecting big things in the fall," said the coach. "Both Molly and Libby played basketball and were in the band as well."

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC

Twitter:@MLeonard_RPC


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