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There were two big firsts for the Stow-Munroe Falls High School girls track and field team at the Division I Regional Meet last week.
Specifically, the Lady Bulldogs qualified for the state meet in two events for the first time. Those events were the high jump and the pole vault.
The Division I Regional Meet took place May 24 and 26, at Austintown Fitch High School. The top four individual finishers and relay teams qualified for the state meet.
The high jumper in question is Maria Cistone. Not only did she qualify for the state meet in the event, but she also set a new school record in the process. Cistone finished second in the high jump by reaching a height of 5 feet, 4 inches.
Cistone actually matched the same height as regional champion Nichole Charnigo of Walsh Jesuit, but Charnigo won the title as she needed fewer jumps to clear 5-feet-4.
The pole vaulter, meanwhile, is senior Sara Kasper. She finished fourth in the event with an effort of 11-feet-4. Geneva's Deidra Marrison won the regional title by setting a new regional record with a vault of 13-feet-1.5.
Joining Cistone and Kasper at the state meet is senior Kayla Thompson, who finished second in the 100-hurdles with a time of 14.79 second. Thompson finished just behind Brush's Jasmyn Allen, who the regional title in 14.67 seconds.
Thompson nearly qualified in two individual events, as she placed fifth in the long jump with an effort of 16-feet-7. The fourth-place finisher, Dominique Miller of Mayfield, reached a distance of 16-7.5.
Stow head coach Aaron Morris also lauded Ariana Poteat for her performance at the regional meet.
"Ari Poteat had a great season," said Morris. "She finished 12th in the region in the 300 hurdles. She will be missed next year, as she and her family are moving to Toledo."
Stow was 10th overall as a team at regionals, scoring 25 points in the process.
Twinsburg won the regional championship with 60 points. Solon finished in second place with 53 points, while Nordonia placed third with 42 points.
This is the first appearance at the state meet for Cistone, Kasper and Thompson.
"This is all three girls' first trip to the state meet, which can be intimidating," said Morris. "However, Sara and Kayla have both run at the New Balance Nationals, so they have been asked to perform on a big stage before. It will be a good experience for them, especially for those going on to compete in college."
The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) State Track and Field Meet took place June 2 and 3 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Results were not available at press time.