Filed by Paul Heyse April 3rd, 2011 in High School Sports, Sports.

AVON LAKE - As a center on Avon Lake’s freshman football team, Matt Marron weighed 210 pounds.

That was three years, one sport and 70 pounds ago.

On Saturday, Marron won the 1,600-meter run in 4:39.68 as the Avon Lake boys and girls defended their titles at the 15th Annual Avon Lake Track and Field Invitational.

It was the Shoremen’s seventh win at their home invite and the Shoregals’ fourth. The boys outdistanced Lorain, 140-97, while the girls held off Rocky River, 128½-110.

Marron’s performance was a highlight for the Shoremen, especially since he just came out for track two years ago.

“I just started running every day on my own and eating a better diet,” said Marron, the team’s No. 3 runner at the 2010 state cross country meet. “I ran a 4:47 mile sophomore year and (assistant Rob) Juergens said, ‘You’re running cross country.’

“I’ve been very motivated this winter. I couldn’t wait to start the season.”

Marron defeated Bay’s Nick Banks (4:42.51), who will be his teammate in the fall at Mount Union. Marron was fifth in the 1,600 (4:44) at last year’s Avon Lake invite. His best time as a junior was 4:33.

Junior Jake Young accounted for the Shoremen’s other win, taking the shot put title with a throw of 51 feet, 1¾ inches.

Depth was key for the Shoremen, who had seven second-place finishes.

Lorain had six first-place awards, but just two seconds.

Avon Lake senior Peter Lancione was second in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles with times of 15.29 and 39.71. Junior Brett Bass was second in the 100- and 200-meter dashes in 11.72 and 24.05. Senior Mike Parsons was second in the 3,200 (9:59.14) and senior Francesco Maiorca was second in the 800 (2:04.59).

It was also a special day for Avon Lake senior Katy Link, who chalked up three wins, including a successful defense of her title in the 1,600 (5:22.654). She also had a 2:22 split on the winning 3,200-meter relay (10:04.76), which missed the 2003 meet record by less than two seconds. She also had a 1:04 split on the winning 1,600-meter relay (4:29.77).

Link got off to a slow start during cross country season due to problems with the left iliotibial band of her left knee beginning in late July. Link was back competing by the third week of cross country season, but the injury didn’t really clear up until she rested it after the fall season.

“I’m injury-free now,” Link said. “I’m just trying to get back up where I want to be. You always have nerves for the first meet, but I felt a little more nervous than usual because of what I had to go through.”

Senior Morgan Srail of Avon Lake won the pole vault in 9-6. She missed last year’s meet due to a college visit and no-heighted her freshman and sophomore years.

“Today was special because I finally was able to come through,” Srail said. “I’m happy with it.”

Shoregal sophomore Christine Bohan defended her title in the high jump (5-2), while teammate Kristin Winkel, a junior, won the long jump (16-3¼).

Lorain senior Christian Nogueras won four events, taking home titles in the long jump (21-6½), 100 (11.47) and 200 (23.70) and teaming with Wesley Charlton, Dave Cato and Jeremy Mincy for a win in the 400 relay (45.04).

“I exceeded my expectations for the day,” Nogueras said. “I knew that the temperatures and wind would have an impact. I was hoping to break the meet long jump record (21-11½), but it just didn’t happen. I enjoy the invitational-style meets. They’re a good test. I’m looking forward to the Lorain County Invitational (April 15).”

Senior Tiara Ammons of Lorain was a triple winner. She took the 100 (13.16) and was a member of the winning 800- (1:51.12) and 400-meter (51.56) relays. Ammons didn’t run track last year for Admiral King, playing softball instead.

“I’ve had problems with asthma,” Ammons said. “It’s under better control now that I’m a little older in combination with several different medications. Warm weather is better to compete in. Colder weather can trigger it. I was a little worried during morning prelims.”

Lorain senior Shanique Ogle won her third straight shot put title (40-4), but wasn’t satisfied.

“I was consistent like I needed to be,” Ogle said. “I’m happy to have won, but I wasn’t totally on my game.”

A tight matchup with Midview senior Grace Demyan never unfolded. Demyan threw 37-10½ after tossing 39-1 earlier in the week in a West Shore Conference dual meet. A 2010 state discus qualifier, Demyan was able to win that title (112-4) as she unseated defending champ Sanita Quinn of Lorain (105-5).

“It seemed a lot colder earlier this morning,” Demyan said. “We didn’t get many warm-ups. Everyone seemed to be off.”

Still, it was a big improvement for her. Last year she finished fourth in discus (97-2) and fifth in shot (33-5).

Elyria Catholic senior Dan Kuhman won the 3,200 in a meet-record 9:44.78. He beat the 2010 standard of 9:47.11 set by Rocky River’s Tommy Eldridge.

“It’s typical Northeast Ohio weather,” Kuhman said. “The wind was a little rough, but I pushed through it. I was hoping Mike Brajdic (from Bay) might be racing it today, but he didn’t compete. That changed my strategy. Today was just a workout. I came across the line and wasn’t breathing hard. I’m way ahead of last year.”

Contact Paul Heyse at 440-329-7135 or