Schmeltz, Getz led effort toward 19th straight title

Mark Griffin

A mixture of youth and experience have carried Eastwood’s girls track and field team this spring
That dynamic had the task of leading coach Nikki Sabo’s Eagles to potentially the program’s 19th straight conference championship on Saturday at the Northern Buckeye Conference meet at Eastwood.
“We have a handful of returning athletes who are very experienced and have a lot of experience in the NBC and at the district and regional level,” Sabo said. “We graduated a lot last year. Over half of the athletes who competed in the NBC last year were seniors. The freshmen are doing a great job, and the juniors and seniors are leading by example. It’s been fun to watch them grow together as a team.”
Two of the Eagles’ junior athletes, Shelby Getz and Jamie Schmeltz, have more than pulled their weight this season. Getz, who led Eastwood’s soccer team to a 19-2 record, an NBC title and a regional semifinal appearance last fall, competes in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and runs the lead leg on the 4x100 relay. She has also been one of the runners “in the mix” of the 4x400 relay throughout the season, Sabo said.
“The 300s take a lot out of her (during a meet),” Sabo said. “We just leave it up to her. We have somebody else (freshman Felicia Cassaubon) who has about the same time Shelby has in the 4x400. Shelby has run a faster time when she doesn’t run the 300 hurdles.”
Getz was a regional qualifier in the 300 hurdles as a sophomore and “looks great” in that event this season, according to Sabo.
“She’s in the low 48s (seconds), which she didn’t get to until the district finals last year,” the coach said. “She definitely wants to break the school record She went to the regional semis last year, and I think she’s really wants to improve on that and make the finals.”
Getz is competing on the 4x100 relay for this first time this season. She broke the school record in the indoor 60-meter dash over the winter.
“I think we (coaches) forgot how fast she is, because she does the hurdles,” Sabo said. “We said we needed to try her out (in the relay) and she’s been excellent as our leadoff.”
The 4x100 relay, which consists of Getz, Schmeltz, Cassaubon and senior Brianne Kwiatkowski, won that event at last weekend’s Oak Harbor Invitational.
“Shelby’s best event right now has been the 100,” Sabo said. “She just ran a 16.10, which is the third fastest in school history, last weekend at Oak Harbor. She was a district qualifier last year and I think she can be a regional qualifier.”
Sabo added that the “very bubbly” Getz has been a good leader this season.
“She is one of our captains and she will do any event to help the team,” Sabo said. “She has really grown in her confidence this year and that’s been extremely beneficial. She believes in herself more than she has before, and her times are showing it.”
Schmeltz has competed at the state meet, qualifying as a member of the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams as a freshman. She’s also coming off a basketball season where she was voted the NBC Player of the Year despite undergoing knee surgery midway through the season.
Sabo said that, despite the leg injury, she was never concerned that Schmeltz might choose to sit out this track season.
“One thing about Jamie, she wants to be active and be with her friends, and she wants to compete,” Sabo said. “It was never a doubt for me that she wouldn’t do track this year. She likes that, in track, you have the team aspect and the individual aspect. That kind of suits her personality and she wants to do what she can to help the team.”
Schmeltz broke the school record in the 100 meters last Saturday at Oak Harbor, winning in 12.73. The old record of 12.74 was set by Christi Lahey in 2004.
“Jamie dropped about a half second from what she had been doing,” Sabo said. “The timing of her training is coming around and she’s starting to taper off as far as workouts, so her legs are feeling better. It’s kind of all coming together, and she ran a very nice race last weekend.”
Schmeltz also runs the second leg on the 4x100 – she helped that relay set a school record last season – and runs the second leg on the 4x400 relay. She competes in the 200 after making the regional finals in that event a year ago; she also reached the regional semis in the 100 as a sophomore.
Sabo said Schmeltz did everything she needed to do in the offseason in order to be able to compete at such a high level this spring.
“She’s pushed through as far as the surgery,” Sabo said. “She attacked the weight room and it’s showing. Her overall strength and power are much better than a year ago. She did all the therapy she needed to, and she returned to the basketball court to help them win the conference. She’s running faster times than a year ago, and her endurance is better.”


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