It was apparent when Dick Sapronetti was in high school at East High, he would take an interest in track and field. He was a standout pole vaulter, even in grade school where he captured the eighth grade crown—then went on and won the freshman pole vault championship. He didn’t stop there because for the next three years he was the top vaulter in the city and undefeated in all dual meets. In his senior year he was ranked in the top ten nationally. Then he went on to The University of Akron where he was a four-year letterman, winning the 1983 Ohio Conference pole vault crown. And all of these accomplishments before the fiberglass pole came into existence. After completing his collegiate career, he returned to his high school alma mater in 1959 and became the head track and cross country coach. During his 10 year career, Sapronetti had eight undefeated track teams, compiling a 95-3 dual meet record. His Oriental thinclads captured the City Series and were Akron Relay champions seven times each and won the district championship six times. He also had one Akron and one district championship in cross country competition.