After a state runner-up showing in 2010, Woodridge boys track and field started this season the same as it ended last spring -- in impressive fashion.
Under first year co-coach Les Carney, Woodridge opened the spring on April 2 in Saybrook Township for annual Lakeside Icebreaker Invitational.
Despite brisk winds and wind chills in the 30's, Woodridge finished second overall behind Division I state power Mentor.
Woodridge scored 104 points to Mentor's 147. The Bulldogs finished ahead of strong clubs from Painesville Harvey (96.5) and Madison (90.5).
The team opened the season with a strong performance at the Lakeside Invitational and it was great finishing second overall behind Mentor, said Carney.
Senior Jacob Onifer recorded 21.25 points, which may be a personal record for the veteran runner.
Onifer won the 800 with a new meet record of 2:02.88 as he beat senior teammate Jimmy Charles (2:04.04). Onifer also ran in the team's record-setting 6400-meter relay, which won.
Onifer also won the 1,600 in 4:38.36, plus ran a blazing 53.1 lead off leg in the fourth-place 1,600 relay.
Joining Onifer in the 6400 meter relay was junior Drake Sulzer, senior Kyle Cochrun, and senior Vibush Sivakumaran. The time of 18:42.5 bested the 2010 meet record of 19:02.37.
They started the season off by breaking their own meet record on the way to a first-place finish, said Carney, who was also thrilled that Sivakumaran took gold in the 400 meters in 51.9 seconds.
Sophomore Matt Wojcik ran second overall in the 3,200 race in 10:14.23.
Matt had a great showing in the 3,200, said Carney. Stephen Canty led the sprinters, placing in both the sprint events, while Jared Cottrill placed in both hurdle races.
Cottrill, a junior, raced to a second in the 300 hurdles in 44.63 ticks plus was sixth in the 110 high hurdles (17.87).
Canty, who was fifth in the 100 (11.9), held the 800 relay to a runner up finish (2:38.5) along with freshman Neil Green, junior Anthony Harper and junior Ceon Kelly. Canty is a senior.
Sulzer ran a strong third in the 1,600 (4:42.12) while senior Nate Volchko recorded a fourth-place effort in the high jump at 5-8 feet.
The fourth-place 1,600 relay (3:42.74) included Onifer, Volchko, Kelly, and Sivakumaran. The 3200 relay was fifth (9:02.68) with Wojcik, sophomore Kyle Spreitzer, freshman John Harry, and freshman Tim Faiken.
We also had strong showings by Trevor Hammond and David Beach in the throws, said Canty. Beach is a junior and Hammond is a sophomore.
Woodridge has a nice mix of experience and youth this year. Other key seniors are Josh Conner, Sebastian Dodds, Jon Robinson, Sergei Yoho, and Brandon Brown.
Junior Nick Karam and sophomore Matt Nikic also scored in the season opener.
Woodridge also dominated its season opening tri-meet with 110 points, well ahead of Kent Roosevelt (36 points) and Akron North (18).
The Bulldogs competed in the April 9 Chardon Hilltopper Invitational, but final results weren't available as of this writing. The locals open PTC action April 12 at home against Waterloo. All duals begin at 4 p.m.
Mentor's Andy Stevenson broke the discus meet record formerly set by Woodridge grad Chris Priddy, who reached 134-3 feet in 2010. Stevenson's toss was 163-5.
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