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The final chapter is upon Edison's Stoll at state

By JOSH MORGRET • Updated May 30, 2018 at 6:36 PM

MILAN — There is not much left for senior Sam Stoll to prove at Edison.

The accomplishments are many, but Stoll will take his talents to Jesse Owens Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University for the Division II state track and field championships on Friday — in his first year in track.

"It has been a ride. It is my first year hurdling, so I knew I had to go through some races to figure it out," Stoll said. "To start the season off, I was really inconsistent with my races. I am a very competitive person and I can't stand losing in anything, so when I got beat, it fired me up and fueled me to work hard so I would not have to experience it again."

Stoll will compete in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, with each presenting an unique obstacle for perhaps the best athlete in Edison history.

"The biggest difference is the length," Stoll said. "The 300 is really tiring and I have breathing problems, which makes it more challenging physically. The 110 is more technical and relies more on form."

Stoll will probably have a better chance at making the top eight podium in the 110 hurdles. He took down the Sandusky Bay Conference championships in 15.14 seconds on May 11, then took third at districts at Oak Harbor in 15.68 a week later. Stoll bounced back and captured the regional championship on May 26 at Lexington in 14.98, which is tied for 9th-fastest out of 18 runners when they race on Friday at 3:30 p.m..

Stoll has steadily shown improvements in placing in the 300 hurdles. He was fifth at SBC’s in 40.80 seconds, fourth at districts in 41.60 — and second at regionals in 40.43. The regional time of 40.43 is 16th out of 18 runners for Friday's 2:10 p.m. race.

"Right when I switched from baseball to track, my hurdling coach asked me what my goals were," Stoll said. "The very first one was to make it to state. I stayed focused on that and worked toward it every day."

Stoll also found great success on the wrestling mat and football field for the Chargers over his last four years. In wrestling, Stoll was fourth in Div. III at 170 pounds in 2016, seventh in at 195 in 2017 — and finished runners-up in at 182 pounds this past March.

The Chargers finished in the top 7 as a team each season and were the 2017 Div. III state champions in the dual team tournament. Stoll won all three of his matches that day, including the clinching win over Massillon Tuslaw in the final.

"Wrestling and football help a lot, especially wrestling," Stoll said. "Wrestling builds toughness and gives you the right mindset on how to be successful. It has made me ultra competitive, and I am never satisfied with my achievements and always want to do more with myself."

On the football field, Stoll was selected as the Div. V Offensive Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017. In his last three seasons, the Chargers won two regional championships, two SBC championships, and went 32-7 in 39 games.

"Over the years, I have been on the big stage multiple times for wrestling and football," Stoll said. "It helps to calm my nerves for the race."

The track is a change for Stoll. Just last season, he was part of the baseball team under coach Sean Hoover. Stoll did not want to look back and wonder.

"I had always contemplated doing track, but always chose baseball for some reason," Stoll said. "During a wrestling conditioning in the field house, our coach made us do hurdles and I loved them. I did not want to live the rest of my life in regret wondering what I could have done with track, so I decided to do it for my senior year."

Stoll acknowledged that success of his older brother, Dan (Edison 2016) was a factor, too.

"He did the same thing his senior year and his 4x400 team got fifth at state," Stoll said. "So it gave me the confidence."

Stoll is keeping the goals simple for this weekend.

"Just take it race by race," Stoll said. "First, I have to make the finals in both races. We will take it from there and ultimately, I hope to place in both events."

For the Edison community, it is one last time to see an athlete that does not come along very often.

"This is the end of my high school career and I could not be more proud to be an Edison Charger," Stoll said. "I love the community and fan base and can't thank them enough for everything they have done for the teams and myself over the years."

Edison distance runners set to compete

Stoll won’t be alone in Columbus this weekend, as the Edison boys 4x800 and distance runner Abby Lesniak will also represent the Chargers.

The 4x800 team finished fifth at last week’s Lexington regional, just outside of the automatic top four qualifiers that earn spots at the state championship. However, with the OHSAA now taking advantage of the nine-lane Jesse Owens Stadium, the top four from the four regions along with the next two top times earned spots at state.

The quartet of Daniel Lambert, Tyler Coon, Brandon Romell and Gavin Schaeffer ran a time of 8:07.01 to earn one of those two spots. That time seeds 14th out of the 18 teams that will run in the 1:45 p.m. race on Friday.

Meanwhile, the freshman Lesniak will run in the 3200 in Div. II at 2:45 p.m. Saturday.

Last week, Lesniak placed fourth at the Lexington regional site in 11:45.41.

At the Sandusky Bay Conference championships on May 11 in Bellevue, Lesniak ran an 11:59.62 to win the Bay division race. On May 18 at the district meet held in Oak Harbor, she finished second by running the two-mile in 11:41.26.

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