United’s Nastari has a state-record run in 800

NEW MIDDLETOWN — United junior Kaleb Nastari is doing things we haven’t seen before.

Nastari set a Division III state record in winning the 800 meters at the Springfield district meet track meet Friday.

“We’ve all thought he could,” United boys coach Jordan Wrask said. “We never talked about numbers, though.”

Nastari’s time of 1 minute, 51.48 seconds was 9 seconds ahead of the next finisher. That broke the Division III state record of 1:51.54 set by Yellow Springs’ Sam Borchers in the 2007 state final at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

“His mindset was 1:55 just to get the meet record,” United boys coach Jordan Wrask said. “Initially the wind was so bad. Then he had a 54 on first lap and took off from there. And the rest is history.”

Nastari finished ninth at state last year despite dealing with nagging injuries from basketball season.

This season he has been racing at full speed.

“He had a 1:52 at the Optimist,” Wrask said. “It was a really good race to see how he could push his body more than he had. I think he’s found that next gear.”

He ran 1:55s at Tuscarawas Valley and the Columbiana County Meet heading into the Optimist.

“Before that he had a 2:01 at East Canton and we didn’t have any nice weather and meets were getting canceled,” Wrask said. “When he had a 1:54 split in the 4×8, Coach (Joe) Karmazin said, ‘Did you get that, too.'”

Salem’s Patrick Gorby set a Division II state record in the 800 meters at 1:52.48 on his way to winning the 2007 state title. That mark has been broken since.

Nastari helped the Golden Eagles’ 3200-meter relay team win the district title Wednesday. That was just a warmup for Friday’s record-setting effort.

“Colleges are going to come knocking when you break records like that,” Wrask said. “I want to say I had a part in it, but it’s all him. I watch him and look on in awe.”

The top four in each event advance to the Massillon Perry regional next week.

Nastari’s record overshadowed district championship performances by seniors Julia Rapp of Columbiana and Ryan Emch of Crestview.

Rapp repeated in the 100 dash (12.49) and 200 dash (26.06) and joined Alexia Stoy, Tomi Ross and Ellie Jackson on the girls 400 relay team that set a meet record in 50.16 seconds.

Emch won the boys 400 dash (51.70) and joined Jack Yerkey, Matt DeNiro and Mitchell Auer on the second-place 1600 relay (3:32.85).

Wellsville senior Emily McNicol was second in the girls long jump (16-0 1/2) and teamed with Myleigh Jackson, Tonia Jordan and Isabella Poppelriter on the fourth-place 400 relay (52.28).

Other area girls regional qualifiers include East Palestine junior Hannah Cunningham, third (12:19.75) and senior teammate Marissa Geiss, fourth (13:02.79) in the 3200 run; United’s 800 relay team of Emily Ingold, Mary Boston, Jade Watt and Julianna Logan, third (1:52.22) and Heartland sophomore Rylee Shadowens, fourth in the 800 run (2:38.37).

Joining Nastari and Emch as boys regionals qualifiers were Wellsville senior Garrett Krzyston, third in the 100 hurdles (15.50) and third in the 300 hurdles (42.09); Heartland sophomore Jonathan Mitchell, third, and Columbiana senior Tony Kocanjer, fourth, in the high jump (both at 5-10); United senior Zach Nastari, fourth in the 1600 run (4:51.01).; and United junior Nick Hardgrove was fourth in the 300 hurdles (43.68).


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