Fighting Tigers 4×800 relay saves best race for state meet
Published 11:08 pm Saturday, June 4, 2011
By JIM WALKER
Tribune Sports Editor
COLUMBUS — The Ironton Fighting Tigers’ 4×800-meter relay team saved their best for last, and it wasn’t a problem that their last race wasn’t the best in the event.
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Ironton’s quartet of Adam Stumbo, Dustin Moritz, Pierce Reeves and Gary Monroe broke their own school record Friday afternoon in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II state track and field meet.
The team ran an outstanding time of 8:10.96 breaking their own mark set last week in the regional meet.
But their effort wasn’t enough to reach the podium. The race was exceptionally fast overall with Peninsula Woodridge winning with a state record 7:37.43 time. It broke the old record set just last week by Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s who finished second.
Ironton’s foursome wasn’t upset.
“We wanted to make the state meet and we did. That was our goal. We started thinking about it back in the eighth grade,” said Stumbo.
Ironton boys’ head coach Greg Cronacher had nothing but praise for the group.
“They ran their best race in their last race,” said Cronacher. “All you can do is give your best effort. You can’t control anyone else. I’m proud of them and all they’ve accomplished during their careers.”
Moritz — who has signed with Rio Grande — enjoyed the race regardless of the outcome.
“We gave it our best effort and that’s all you can do. It was a lot of fun and we broke our school record,” said Moritz.
Reeves ran the leadoff leg and tried to stay near the front despite the rapid pace being set.
“It was a great experience,” said Reeves. “I was happy with our performance and it helped get me ready for (Saturday’s 800 meter race).”
“Hey, we ran a great race and we ran in a race with the team that set the state record. That’s something we’ll always remember,” said Monroe.
Ironton running coach Tim Thomas agreed with Cronacher about the group’s success.
“They all worked hard and went above and beyond what was asked of them. It’ll be a long time before we have a group like this again. They were extremely dedicated,” said Thomas.