Track Report: Euclid Relays on tap for Friday May 6th

Larry Nosse, head coach of the Euclid High girls track team, has had a lot to smile about this season, especially the performances of the four girls who are the nucleus of his “running game.”

            As most local track aficionados know, that quartet includes hurdler/sprinter Artia Gunn, the Rambo sisters—Erin and Taylor, and distance specialist Emily Sweet.

            The Panthers will be counting heavily on that foursome to make a strong showing at the biggest home meet of the season, the “Euclid Relays,” on Friday May 6 at Sparky DiBiasio Stadium.

            But Nosse is a realist. He doesn’t expect his girls to win the team championship this year. He sees Medina and Solon as the favorites in the girls’ division.

            “I see us finishing somewhere in the middle of the pack,” the coach said the week before the event. “I think we’ll do well in the track events, but our field event performers haven’t been coming along as fast as I hoped they would.”

            In the Euclid Relays, the field events get under way at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, with running events starting about 5:30. The defending champions in both the boys and girls divisions are the teams from Solon. The squads from Medina and St. Ignatius should be among the top contenders in the boys’ division. However, the Panther boys could make some noise this year, if they can shake off the nagging injuries that have hampered them in the early part of the spring.

            “Several of the key runners on the boys team have been out with injuries,” notes Coach Nosse, now in his 12th season at the helm of the girls’ unit. “We’re hoping to have them back for the district meet at Mentor.”

            As for the Lady Panthers, they’ve enjoyed quite a bit of success this season, including a fourth-place finish in a closely-bunched competition at the Willoughby South Invitational in mid-April. They amassed 92 points, just 12.5 shy of Mentor’s winning total of 104.5. Winning first-place medals for Euclid in that meet were Artia Gunn in the 100-meter dash (12.5 seconds), and the 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400 relay teams.

            The Rambo sisters competed in all three relays, while Aishonae Pride, DeAnn Frazier, and Artia Gunn also ran splits on the relay quartets. Gunn placed second in the 100 hurdles and Emily Sweet took runner-up honors in the 1600 meters with a 5:27 clocking.

            More recently, the Lady Panthers improved their dual meet record to 3-1 with a 92-31 trouncing of Cleveland Heights in a home meet. Among the highlights:  Amanda Burrell set a new personal record (PR) with an 8-foot pole vault; Sweet won the 1600 in 5:23, her best time so far this year; junior shot-putter Narcisse O’Neal set a new PR with a heave of 28-8; and senior Erin Rambo ran the 300 hurdles in 47.1 seconds, her best time of the year. In addition, Erin clocked a 58.9 split in the 4x400 relay.

            “We’re pushing Erin pretty hard right now,” Coach Nosse says, “in the hope that she’ll qualify for the state meet in both the 300 hurdles and the sprint relays.”

            Against Heights, Artia Gunn clocked 46.8 seconds in the 300 hurdles. It was her first appearance in that event this season. “We’re trying different things with her--to see what she can do,” the coach notes. “She also runs the 100 meter dash, the 100 hurdles, and in the sprint relays. The hurdles might offer the best opportunity for her to make it to the state meet.”

            The road to the state finals begins with the district meet May 18-20 at Mentor, followed by the regional meet May 25-27 at Austintown Fitch.

            Coach Nosse was hopeful that senior Tchanavia Spencer, who went to state last year as a member of the 4x200 relay, would be ready to return for the post-season meets. Tchanavia suffered an injury at the Maralyn West Relays at Collinwood High earlier this spring. “We’re trying to bring her back slowly,” the coach points out. “She could help us in the sprint relays.”


            Among the top performers on the Panther boys’ team this year have been sprinters Carl and Tremell Jones, John Jackson, Javon Johnson, and Kevin Richardson, all of whom have enjoyed success as part of the sprint relay units.  Jackson also runs the 100 dash and Johnson has competed in the 300 hurdles.

            The boys’ field events unit includes Joe Farley in the shot and discus and Joshua Scott in the high jump. Scott also competes in distance events.

            In their recent dual meet, the Panther boys edged Cleveland Heights, 71-65, as Scott won the 1600 in 5:13 and  Javon Johnson captured the 300 hurdles in 41 seconds flat. Jackson was a double winner with first place finishes in the long jump (19-10) and the 200 meters (22.9 seconds). Also joining the victory circle was Richardson in the 400 meters (54.1).



John Sheridan

Retired journalist. From 1963 to 1972, wrote for and edited the Euclid News-Journal, predecessor to the Sun-Journal. From 1972 to 2000, I was a writer and editor for Industry Week magazine. Also have worked for the Plain Dealer as a part-time sportswriter, covering high school sports. And I was a contributor to the previous Euclid Observer. I have lived in Euclid for almost my entire life. I am a graduate of St. Joseph High School and John Carroll University.

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Volume 2, Issue 3, Posted 4:48 PM, 05.04.2011