Beaumont opens district in style with 4x8 crown
Such is its mighty tradition in 4x800-meter relay that no one will ever see it cross the finish line on a big stage and wonder inquisitively, “Beaumont?”
The Blue Streaks have been to state 21 times in their rich history — breaking a nine-year drought in 4x8 by making it last spring — and have cracked the top four 18 times, including 12 state championships.
May 17 during Day 1 of the Division II Perry District, with plenty of experience back from a year ago, Beaumont went back to tradition — it left no question.
The Blue Streaks’ quartet of freshman Ella Lisac, junior Ashley Rulison and sophomores Addison Ciecierski and Mia Mlynek broke the meet record with a time of 9 minutes, 45.18 seconds.
There was an early challenge from Perry, but Rulison gave Ciecierski the baton in the lead. Ciecierski did nicely with a backstretch attack on her opening 200 to stretch out the advantage, and Mlynek delivered a well-paced anchor to ice the result.
“It’s kind of a hot day out, but since we’re not used to training in that, I thought we did really well,” Mlynek said. “We did a good job getting out. Ella did a good job getting out. Ashley really chased down the girls, so that was good with her. I think, overall, we all ran pretty well.”
The Blue Streaks briefly led The News-Herald coverage area with a 9:45.39 to take second at the Amherst Steele Comet Relays and finished the regular season third in the area behind two-time defending D-II state champion Chagrin Falls (9:30.03) and Mentor (9:31.27).
Chagrin went 9:23.26 over at the Bedford District, and after being a key part of a state charge a year ago as a freshman, Mlynek knows there’s a sense of urgency to get deep under 9:40 at the D-II Austintown-Fitch Regional.
“We struggled a little bit midseason, but I think we’re about to get our groove back,” Mlynek said.
“I didn’t think we found our consistency yet, but hopefully we’ll get it together for next week, too.
“I think (the keys are) good workouts next week and just pushing ourselves and realizing it’s all or nothing.”
The host Pirates crowned a pair of individual winners, Justin Haywood taking discus and Cameron Rogers capturing pole vault.
Haywood, who finished the regular season third in the area with a 153-9, didn’t need quite that much to win in his home circle, taking first with a solid 148-6.
The senior wouldn’t have minded a 150 for a baseline to take into Fitch, but getting a pair of 148s — one each in prelims and finals — provided some solace.
“I would have liked a little more,” Haywood said. “It’s a little disappointing to be a little bit under 150. But I’ve gotten into the 150s. It’s just something else to compete for.
“(The 148-6 felt good technically,) especially the release. Something about the end of it felt really good, so I think that’s something really good to work on and continue on to regional.”
Rogers, with just 12 pole vaulters in the district field, didn’t have to endure the usual lag time that goes with the event and came out of it with a 12-6.
After a regular season ravaged at the beginning by the weather and a subsequent severe lack of outdoor practice time and a tail end to the campaign foiled by a hamstring ailment, the CVC Chagrin champion was glad to take a district title and continue his push for state.
“Well, obviously it’s a great opportunity to come out after all that’s happened and win,” Rogers said. “That’s always the goal.
“I got (12-6) on my first attempt, and we bumped up to 13 and I had three solid attempts at it. Hopefully next week I get it finally.”
Other area district champions crowned at Perry on May 17 were Beachwood’s Maddie Alexander, who cleared 5-1 to take high jump, and Lake Catholic’s Marshai Cooper, who won shot put with a 34-5 1/2.
Beaumont’s Mia Mlynek nears the finish line as the Blue Streaks won 4x800 on May 17 during the Division II Perry District.