Bashir Ahmed hands off the baton to Wade Clark as the Warriors’
800 relay runs to victory last Friday night at the 32nd annual
Warrior Relays. Fairview went on to win the Division II title
and finish fourth overall. (West Life photo by Larry Bennet)
future arrives for youthful Warriors
By Jim Horvath
Published April 28, 2010
After last year’s
West Shore Conference Meet, Fairview head coach Rich Friel had a
simple, to the point message for his young boys track and field
“You guys are
the future,” he told them.
Well, it’s 2010,
and the future is here.
went into this week with a WSC dual meet record of 4-1 and a first-place
finish in the Division II standings at their own Warrior Relays
last Friday night. That’s a big change for the better after finishing
at or near the bottom of the league over the past three to four
excited about our young kids,” Friel said last Saturday. “There’s
a little bit of a buzz about our boys team. We’ve been down for
a few years. Our girls have been the ones making all the noise during
that time, but now the trend is starting to turn.
“I wish we could
get both teams going at the same time,” he added.
Only a narrow
71-66 loss to Bay has kept Fairview from an undefeated regular season
to this point. The Warriors rebounded nicely from that loss on their
home track last Wednesday with a 71-66 win over Midview. Last Friday
night at the 32nd annual Warrior Relays, the boys won the 800 and
1600 relays to win the small school title and finish fourth overall
in the eight-team field.
Friel, however, will be the first one to tell
you that his squad is still in a state of flux despite the early-season
“I was doing
my stats this morning, and it’s funny how different this season
is,” Friel said.
“In the past
few years, we’ve had to stretch out four to five guys throughout
the relay events,” he said. “This year, we’ve got seven to eight
guys, with some more younger kids starting to develop. It’s nice
to have options.
“It’s kind of
crazy when I’m making out our lineup, because now we can figure
out which events we really want to go after when we compete in the
bigger meets. We’ll get another big test this Friday,” he said,
referring to Friday’s entry in the Berea Relays.
the Warriors got off to a strong start with their win in the 800
relay. James Graham, James Roland, Bashir Ahmed and Wade Clark came
through with a time of 1:35.0. That team is a prime example of why
Friel and his staff are so optimistic about the team’s potential,
both this year and beyond:
is a senior.
“We’ve got a
core group of sophomores and juniors, with a couple of seniors contributing
this year,” Friel said. “And we also have a number of promising
freshmen who are starting to make contributions.”
gun, sophomore hurdler Chris Gillmore, joined in the fun for the
1600 relay. Gillmore, teamed up with Roland, Graham and Wade, won
the event with a time of 3:33.9. The Warriors also took second in
the 3200 relay, along with claiming third-place finishes in the
sprint relay, the 400 relay and the shuttle hurdles.
said the best may be yet to come for his young squad. He said the
program’s approach to the dual meet season is geared toward success
down the road.
“It’s nice to
see some solid performances during the week,” Friel said. “But with
our program, our Wednesday meets are nothing more than another workout.
Last Wednesday, for example, Wade ran in two events. He was laughing,
because it was halfway through the meet and he had nothing left
“But that keeps
the guys fresh for the bigger meets on the weekends,” he said. “On
Wednesdays, a lot of the guys won’t do too much, maybe work on some
exchanges. That allows us to let some of our younger kids get some
in the regular season is nice to see. But when the dust all settles,
it’s at the conference and district meets that we want to turn in
our best performances,” he said.
As with all
young teams, mistakes tend to happen. Three disqualifications last
Friday prevented the Warriors from a better finish in the overall
standings. Midpark won the overall title with 109 points, but North
Ridgeville and Olmsted Falls were in second and third with scores
of 86 and 83, respectively. Fairview had 67 points, just 16 points
out of third.
we made are correctable,” Friel said. “I would rather make them
now than later in the season.”