Every team needs a standout athlete to lead the way. Senior Andrew Shrewsbury is the guy getting that job done at Woodmore.
After finish sixth in the 100 meter dash at last year's Division III state meet, Shrewsbury built off that by qualifying for this year's state meet in three events. He was one of six Wildcats who competed in Columbus over the weekend.
In addition to finishing second in the 200 (22.16) and fourth in the 100 (11.17), Shrewsbury was part of the 4x200 relay team of Michael Travis, Malachi Brown and Zach Sandwisch that was third (1:31.80) at the regional tournament in Tiffin last week. The other individual state qualifier was junior Deric Anthony, who finished second in the 800 (1:59.76).
It is especially satisfying for Shrewsbury, Travis and Brown to make it to state, considering that the relay team they were on last season, the 4x100 squad, finished fifth at regionals, just missing out on aq trip to Columbus.
Because of their efforts, the Wildcats finished seventh at regionals, just a week after winning a district title.
“I feel honored to be able to (make it to Columbus) in my senior year,” Shrewsbury said. “I have dedicated so much time and training into this track season. To be able to compete in Columbus is such an honor.”
Sharing the success with his teammates is important to Shrewsbury, too.
“(The relay team) has spent numerous hours on the technical aspects of our running, such as block starts, handoffs and team chemistry,” Shrewsbury said. “It started in the weight room. We have been lifting and training since the indoor track season and we have really come along.
“We are definitely a family. Nowadays, to make it to state at such a high level, you really have to have the team chemistry. We really consider each other as a family — we spend a lot of time together outside of track and get along great.”
Shrewsbury credits coach Brian Ryman, a former All-American at Ashland University who still holds two indoor track records at his alma mater, with continuing to bring the Woodmore track program along.
“He is definitely qualified due to his collegiate career at Ashland,” Shrewsbury. “He has shaped our team to compete at such high levels. (Ryman) is the reason we were prepared enough to win our district and advance so many people to regionals and state.”
Woodmore senior Megan Pendleton is the lone female who qualified for state. The 11th-place finisher in the discus at the state meet in 2012, Pendleton's sister, Emily, still holds the D-III statewide record with a throw of 183-3, a feat she accomplished in '07. One of Megan's other sisters, Erin, set the state meet recorde (168-10) in '08.
Other Woodmore girls placing at regionals were Karli Keaton (fifth in the long jump), Courtney Burner (eighth in the 1,600; 11th in the 3,200), Mikayla Baer (eighth in the discus; 12th in the shot put) and Allie Wank (10th in the 800) and Jordan Grcegorczyk (12th in the pole vault). As a team, the Wildcats finished in 14th place with 20 points.
The other boys who placed at regionals were Dan Sprinski and Matt Robleski. Sprinski was sixth in the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 2 inches, 14th in the long jump (17-9¼), Robleski was 10th in the 1,600 (4:45.62) and 13th in the 3200 (10:55.55) and Ryan Sandwisch hit 11-6 in the pole vault.
Other members of the relay team also competing in individual events were Travis (ninth in the 110 hurdles) and Brown (11th in the 400). The 4x400 relay team of Travis, Brown, Anthony and Sandwisch was eighth in 3:46.11.