NEW CASTLE —
The conditions were ripe for a record-breaking performance.
Ellwood City Lincoln High senior Keaton Docchio took full advantage of the warm weather to post four first-place finishes at Saturday’s Tri-County Track and Field Championships at Shenango High School.
In the process, Docchio also set four meet records.
“I knew I had it in me to do that,” Docchio said. “Once I got the first one, I thought I could do it all day, because it was great weather and I felt good. I’ve had shin splints for the past couple of weeks and it’s been kind of holding me back. I didn’t feel like I had anything holding me back at Tri-County.
“I was definitely feeling pressure to go four for four, because I’m not that great in the 200. I found another gear in me, so I pushed myself to do it. I was surprised that I broke it. I knew I broke it once I finished, but I didn’t think I could before hand.”
Ellwood City coach Tom Natale figured his star pupil could establish a few records Saturday.
“With him, there’s no surprises,” the Wolverines coach said. “When he does well, it’s expected of him. He has all the talent and speed. It just depends on how he performs on that day.”
EARNING THE NOD
Docchio set meet records in the 110 hurdles (14.6) and 200 (21.8) and tied a meet record in the 100 (10.7). He joined Nick Ioanilli, Paul Lutz and Jared Meyers on the record-setting 400 relay team (43.3).
The performances earned him Lawrence County Athlete of the Week honors, an award sponsored by Washington Centre Physical Therapy and selected by the New Castle News sports staff.
“Keaton and I felt records in the 4x1 relay and the 110 hurdles were the ultimate goals,” Natale said. “We would have been disappointed had those records not fallen, because the conditions were right for it. The temperatures were nice and warm. We had a good wind for the sprints. We were pretty confident in those two.
“For the 100 and the 200, Keaton and I set a pretty high goal of winning those two. When we looked at the records, a 10.7 in the 100 is a pretty good record. We wanted to set the goal of winning the 100. We were content with him not necessarily setting or tying that record. It so happened that he ran very well and tied that record. Same thing with the 200, we wanted to go in and win.”
Securing the meet record in the 400 relay with Ioanilli, Lutz and Meyers was special for Docchio.
“I love my relay team,” he said. “We work hard at it every day. We practice a lot. We take a lot of pride in it. We’re all fast, so it was good to put it all together.”