The NEOITC series kicked off its 2018 campaign on Thursday evening at the SPIRE Institute and the athletes from the Erie Division looked to be in mid-season form, as outstanding performances were demonstrated on the track and in the field events.
There's a new force on the Ohio throwing scene; Madison's Nolan Landis made his presence known at the SPIRE Institute with his huge 56-04.50 winning throw in the shot put event. Landis, who recently transferred to Madison from Cathedral Prep in Erie, Pennsylvania, currently resides at U.S. #10 due to his impressive season opening result.
Nolan Landis is the top ranked shot put athlete in Ohio due to his 56-04.50 result at SPIRE.
Caisja Chandler picked up right where she left off from the 2017 NEOITC series. The Euclid senior claimed a pair of wins: 60m - 7.69 and 200m - 25.31. Chandler won several 60m and 200m races during last year's series including at the All-Star Meet where she posted times of 7.78 and 25.34, respectively.
* Watch Caisja Chandler win the 60m race:
Dylan Barnes dipped under the 2 minute standard in the 800m race with his 1:59.83 clocking. During his post-race interview, the Wickliffe senior indicated that it has been a goal of his since he was a freshman to break 2:00.
Dylan Barnes went 1:59.83 in a solo effort for the 800m race win.
Ben Chao of the Eastside Track Club held off Dylan Barnes and Matt Kirchner to win the 3200m race with his time of 10:15.45. Barnes secured 2nd place with his 10:20.13 effort and Kirchner claimed 3rd position with his 10:24.16 result. Earlier in the evening, Kirchner won the 1600m race with a strong 4:38.33 showing. Kirchner indicated afterward that his 1600m time far exceeded his expectations for this early stage of the season. The Lake Catholic senior is hoping to qualify for the 2018 Indoor State Championship which will take place on March 3rd at the SPIRE Institute.
Matt Kirchner, who won the 1600m race, feels like he can get his time down to around 4:25.
Shaker Heights teammates Alexa Jankowsky and Hailey Stupay took wins in the 1600m and 3200m events. Jankowsky recorded a 1st place time of 5:14.59 and Stupay secured the 3200m win with her 13:35.51 effort.
Alexa Jankowsky attributed her early season fitness to a busy XC racing schedule.
* Additional Coverage: