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Norwalk participants looking forward to state

Mike Greco • Jun 5, 2014 at 6:07 PM

One more race for Norwalk’s boys’ 3200 relay this season.

The Trucker quartet of senior Jared Lee, juniors Caden Foos and Luke Landis and senior Quentin Howell enter the state tournament this weekend with one of the top-four times in Division I.

In addition, Lee in the 800, Foos 1600, Landis 3200 and Sydnie Fetherolf 1600 are all scheduled to run individual races.

The 3200 relay team blistered the Amherst regional course Friday with a school-record 7:51.57, which outdistanced second-place Toledo St. John by nearly five seconds.

It also bettered the 7:56.71 mark from the Tiffin Columbian district from the week before.

“We’re aiming higher,’’ Lee said.

Norwalk’s rank sits after Cincinnati St. Xavier’s 7:43.61, Twinsburg’s 7:49.86 and Powell Olentangy Liberty’s 7:50.01.

The finals are scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.

“We all have the same goal in mind,’’ Landis said. “It’s been our goal since the winter. Everybody has improved individually.’’

The 3200 relay story for the Truckers actually started last season in the state tournament.

Zach Tanzillo, Howell, Foos and Lee finished 15th at 8:04.63.

Landis stepped in for Tanzillo.

“We’ve run together at every meet,’’ Landis said.

Howell, who qualified for the state cross country tournament in the fall, said the quartet will be prepared.

“We’re a little more focused,’’ he said. “We know what it’s like to be down there at state.’’

Foos is looking to close the season on a positive note.

"We’ve had a real strong year from the first meet to the last meet,’’ he said. “It’s been a goal to get back to Columbus and get on the podium. Everybody has become a strong runner.’’

Truckers distance coach Drew Karnehm has been pleased with the quartet’s development.

“They’re having an exceptional year,’’ he said. “We had three of the four coming back and we needed to find a fourth. Luke put in a lot of work and stepped up and fit in. They’re a lot more consistent and making huge drops in time.”

The individual races are slated for Saturday.

Fetherolf goes at 5:15 p.m., followed by Foos.

Lee runs at around 6:10 p.m. and Landis competes in one of the last races, about 6:40.

“Caden has been getting stronger all year,’’ Karnehm said. “Jared has it set in his mind in the 800, Luke had the race of his life in the regional and Sydnie is one of those natural athletes.’’

Foos brings in a school-record 4:19.81 time into the state.

Cleveland St. Ignatius sophomore Luke Wagner has the fastest time at 4:15.63.

“There’s a lot of strong competition,” Foos said. “I have to go out and run the best race and hope to have a great time.’’

Lee’s 1:55.10 was also a school mark.

Lancaster senior Stephen Sparks has the best mark at 1:51.23.

"I’m excited,’’ Lee said. “I’m a lot more focused.’’

Landis also recorded a school record 3200 run, checking in at 9:22.91.

Chardon senior Nick Elswick ran an 8:57.93 to win the Austintown-Fitch regional.

“There’s a lot of fast guys,’’ Landis said. “I hope I can snag the eighth spot.’’

Meanwhile, Fetherolf started her prep career with a state cross-country appearance as a freshman.

The University of Detroit Mercy recruit will close her high school career Saturday.

“It feels good for something I’ve worked for since I’ve been a freshman,’’ Fetherolf said. “I’m going to try to go out and run a good time.’’

Fetherolf’s 5:04.27 regional mark was a school record. She also holds the school’s 800 record.

Cincinnati St. Ursula Academy junior Annie Heffernan has the best time at 4:54.96.

“Anything can happen,’’ Karnehm said. “We hope everything plays out well. It’s been a great ride all season and no matter what happens, they’ll be happy. To have three of the four guys from the relay also qualify individually is huge.”

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