TWP LEXINGTON. – He’s only a sophomore, but Alliance High School tri-sport star Brendan Zurbrugg is making a name for himself in Ohio athletic circles.
Zurbrugg is a Division I quarterback rookie in football and was a key member of the Aviators’ Eastern Buckeye Conference champion men’s basketball team this winter. On Saturday, his talent was in the spotlight at the annual EBC Athletics Championship at Marlington Stadium.
Zurbrugg won all four events he entered, the 110 meter hurdles, 300 hurdles, 100 and 200. At the end of the competition, he was named the conference Male Athlete of the Year.
“It’s really good because I want to help my team a lot,” Zurbrugg said. “I just want to go as far as possible this year, I hope to say.”
“He [Zurbrugg] shows the ability to be a legend [at AHS], especially sophomore year,” Alliance coach Gary King said. “I couldn’t be happier for this kid. He did a hell of a job. »
Zurbrugg’s efforts, along with those of his teammates, helped the Aviators finish second to Salem with 133 points. The Quakers won with 141 points.
Zurbrugg won the 110 hurdles in 15.24 seconds, the 100 in 11.13, the 110 hurdles in 15.24 and his personal favorite, the 300 hurdles, in 39.18.
The Aviators’ top spots didn’t stop there. The 4×200 relay of Squirt Williamson, Tyion Miles, Cavail Nicholson and Ternino Hill also won a championship title in 1:33.71.
“I knew I had it [first place nearing the finish line]said Hill, who was asked about his playoff goals. “State, we want to get to the state,” he said.
Additionally, the Aviators’ 4×100 relay of Williamson, Kayden Davis, De’ovion Jones and Hill repeated as EBC champions in 43.91.
“I don’t know what my breakdown was, but I knew we had a good time overall, a 43,” Jones said. “It’s our best time this year. We just want to improve and see what we can do with it.
“The 4×200 was a surprise,” King said. “We took a kid out of that stint and put him in the 4×1 to replace Zurbrugg and for them to come here and win, that was huge. Then in 4×1 we put Kaden Davis in and we did our fastest time of the year. We ran a 43 which was just awesome so I’m really happy. The boys stood up.
Marlington also had a big day, led by Noah Graham, who helped the Dukes 4×800 relay of Cohen Boyce, Lucas Ryan and Ryan Cernansky repeat as EBC champions in 8:22.07. Later, Graham anchored the Dukes’ winning 4×400 relay with teammates Liam Blake, Boyce and Cernansky in 3:32.25.
“We’re pretty optimistic for the next three weeks,” Graham said. “There are definitely things we can tweak going forward but the guys are working hard and they are training smart and as long as we keep doing that I think we will be fine.”
“It was a very good game for us,” added Marlington coach Bob Dagenhardt. “Our distance guys pretty much did what they do.
“It was fun having him [the league meet] here at home and it’s good to see good weather. It was the worst possible spring weather this year and I think we may be ready to move on to good weather and better performance etc. The weather cheated the kids this year with plenty of PR and better performances.
The Dukes, who tied for third with West Branch with 90 points, earned another first-place finish from junior Nash Minor who won the 3,200 in 9:47.16.
“My team did the job, we were looking for a good place on the podium,” said Minor. “Fortunately for [teammate] Michael [Nichols, who finished second in the race] we have accomplished it. I think the regular season went very well for me and for our team this year. We have an incredible team that I’m so proud to be able to train with.
West Branch junior multi-sport star Dru DeShields, who has taken spring sports from baseball to track this season, won two EBC titles on Saturday, winning the 400m in 51.45 and the long jump at 19- 11.
“I think I made a PR right there with a 51,” DeShields said of his 400. “It helps [to have good weather], it freaks me out. I want to try to be successful this year in the long jump or the 400.”
“Dru DeShields is a special athlete,” added West Branch coach Tim Cooper. “He works really hard. Our kids competed really hard and they are all doing PR, which is really important. We want to peak at the right time.
It was also a big day for senior distance star Minerva Connor Shingleton, who started by repeating as EBC champion in the 1600 in 4:19.50 and followed that up with a repeat title in the 800 in 1:58.76 . The Lions finished fifth in the team standings with 65 points.
Shingleton was pleased with his efforts on this hot day after running in bad weather for much of the spring.
“I ran a 4:17 [in the 1600] but it was more of an all-out racing type today because it was hot so I went a little slow,” said Shingleton, who posted the fastest Division II time at Ohio. “This [the strength of the EBC in distances] definitely pushes me and keeps me focused.
Other first-place finishers on Saturday included the Salem duo of Dillon Monroy in the high jump (6-foot-0) and Carson Stockman in the shot put (51-0) and discus (157-7).