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Copley boys track team peaking at right time

5/15/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

COPLEY — According to head coach John Legrair, the Copley High School boys track team is “progressing really well” this season.

“We are just about where I expected this team to be at this point in the season,” the coach said. “I discovered some swans we had from some ugly ducklings we had in January and February. We added some athletes into some events that could score for us, and some key people are performing a lot better now. I expect us to be a top-three contender at the Suburban League [Tournament] next week.”

Overall, the team has a 5-2 record in dual meets, but the low point of the season, Legrair said, came when his team suffered a “terrible loss” to Wadsworth High School earlier this season.

“We had something go through Copley High School where 50 to 100 kids were sick in a seven-day period,” he said. “After one event, we had four key boys who couldn’t compete anymore and we didn’t score very much at all because we were missing four key pieces.”

Since then, Legrair said, the team has shown “tremendous improvement.”

“What is happening right now is that some ninth- and 10th- and 11th-graders have had to really jump up to help the team and to improve their performance,” he said. “And that’s what has been happening.”

Several seniors have done a good job of leading the way for Copley this season, Legrair said, led by the following athletes (with comments on each by the coach):

  • Quinn Harnett: “Quinn is a phenomenal hurdler. He’s just getting better and better every season. This season, he came out of the box really well and just kept improving every week. He’s a very versatile athlete.”
  • Milton Greer: “Milton is one of our top 400 and 200 runners and I can put him in all the relays. He can long jump. He started working pretty aggressively here this season and doing some things that we expected of him.”
  • Chris Onyak: “He’s getting better every week. He was one of those guys that was sick for maybe nine days with a stomach fever thing, but he’s come back OK. It will be good to see how he does at the Suburban League and the district [meets].”
  • Dawson Mancabelli: “Everyone has asked me about Dawson, ‘Where was this guy the last two years?’ Well, things clicked for Dawson last winter. He broke our pole vault record about five weeks ago, and he’ll probably go higher in the next few weeks. His goal is to go to the state meet in the pole vault.”
  • Oliver Johnson: “Oliver developed tremendously this season. He’s also a fantastic linebacker and running back for our football team.”
  • Kyle Harpel: “He just has been working his tail off getting better and better with his hurdle work and it’s really showing. He has improved a lot and impressed me.”

Past the seniors, Legrair said, Copley has a number of other quality athletes ready to keep the program strong going forward.

“We have some fantastic juniors and sophomores and freshmen. There are a number of them that have really jumped up here,” the coach stated. “We have a great, great underclass coming back and some eighth-graders that are doing very well in track and field this year. We look pretty good for next year.”

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