Springfield’s Vecchione completes sweep in four sprint events at Mahoning County Championships | News, sports, jobs

Correspondent photo / Lowell Spencer. Ava Vecchione of Springfield will compete in the Mahoning County Championships on Saturday.

AUSTINTOWN – Springfield senior runner Ava Vecchione earned a clear at the Mahoning County Track and Field Championships on Saturday.

The annual event in Austintown Fitch hosted 19 Mahoning County schools, including 10 Division II schools like Springfield.

Vecchione won all four events she competed in, including the 100-meter dash, 200-meter sprint, 100-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles. What made the victories more satisfying for Vecchione were the tough conditions, as the fresh, windy weather made things more difficult for all participating athletes.

“It certainly adds something to your time,” Vecchione said. “It’s difficult to run your best time, especially when it’s cold and the wind is blowing. But everyone on my team put in some good times and placed quite high.”

Vecchione and her Springfield teammates placed second in the Division II team standings behind South Range. The Raiders won the meet with a total score of 143, while the Tigers came in second with 139. Lowellville came in third with 74 points. The Tigers scored highest in the sprint events at the meet.

“We have a good number of girls at each event with our relays and some good 800m runners, so we have girls across the board,” Vecchione said. “They’re a pretty well-balanced team, so we should be able to finish pretty high.”

Vecchione started the day with the 100m hurdles and won with a time of 17.25. She then followed it up with a time of 13.02 in the 100-meter dash. She held off Tigers teammate Emma Sanders, who finished with a score of 13.28.

“That race, because it was quite short, I had to concentrate a lot on the start,” Vecchione said about the 100-meter dash. “I worked a lot on my block starts, which really helped.”

She followed those two events by conquering the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 50.63, a full three seconds ahead of the next finisher. Finally, she ended the day off by passing Sanders again in the 200-meter sprint with a time of 27.03. Sanders finished in 27.58 seconds.

Vecchione is a four-year track and field athlete who also plays basketball and football for the Tigers.

“It was definitely a quick transition from basketball to track and field,” Vecchione said. “You are in motion in all sports, so you don’t start from a standstill. Basketball running and track running are definitely two different things, but I feel like I’ve discovered it over the last few years.

For the remainder of this season, Vecchione hopes to continue to improve and capture more top circuit trophies as she looks forward to returning to the state meet in June.

“Last year I managed to be in four events, so that’s the goal again to get back there and be on the podium,” she said. “The goal is to make it there and put it there.”

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