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May 15, 2013

Hickory, GC girls collide at D-10 Class AAA Track & Field Championships

---- — If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Cliché though that is, it will be borne out today at the annual District 10 Class AAA Track & Field Championships.

Hickory High girls — the defending PIAA Class AA titlists — will test the best from the biggest. And the Lady Hornets hope to give as good as they get from the 6-county competition.

Field events begin at 3 p.m. and track events at 4:30 p.m. at Harbor Creek High.

Each individual event gold medalist, and the next 7 placewinners who meet pre-determined qualifying standards advance to Shippensburg University for Memorial Day weekend.

“A very tough meet to try and get qualifying times,” emphasized Grove City coach Lou Marriotti.

Grove City’s boys will be led by incomparable Dan Jaskowak. The slender senior is seeded 1st in the 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter runs, and as part of the Eagles’ distance-relay foursome (including Ian Brown, John-Scott Somora and Ryan Whiteman).

Competing on Wednesday will be a new experience for Hickory — “weird” — co-head coach Barb Dzuricsko admitted (AA always is contested on Saturday). But the move to AAA may make for more medals, she said.

“People don’t realize how strong AA is in District 10. So actually, when we looked at the seeds, many of our kids are among the top three who’ve qualified in many events, and others in the top eight or nine. So it’s very exciting for our young kids to be in the medals hunt; whereas in AA they may have been (seeded) 15 or 16.”

Grove City girls have garnered back-to-back crowns, and the Lady Eagles enter with an envious core group.

Lauren Decker is top-seeded in both the 200- and 400-meter dashes, as is Mary Jaskowak in the 3200-meter run. Decker also is part of a pair of top-seeded relay teams. Jaskowak joins her on the 4x8 (along with Abby Casalnova and Kara McClain), and Decker, Casalnova, Courtney Corbin and Olivia Lowe lend legs to the 4x4 quartet.

“For the most part, we’re healthy enough to give it our best shot (to)day,” Marriotti said.

Hickory’s lone top seed is pole-vaulter Natalie Paoletta. But as Dzuricsko noted, the Lady Hornets have a horde of others listed among the top 3. Hickory has the proper mind-set, too, Dzuricsko said, emphasizing, there is no pressure to perform.

“Not at all! Every year, we tell our kids, is a separate year, and we start out with that mind-set each year. ... We’re a little bit of a younger club, so we were excited to share the co-championship of the region (with Grove City); we weren’t sure we’d be able to get that. And to be in the hunt for District 10 is a tribute to a lot of young kids.

“2012 was a special year, but 2013, we’ve accomplished many things so far, so there’s no pressure whatsoever,” she reiterated. “We have a different group of goals. ... We had fun last year, but we’ve had fun this year, too.”

While temperatures are expected to be warmer, early spring in Erie County means winds coming off the lake, and sometimes unpredictable weather.

“It’s always sort of been a factor up there,” Marriotti mused. “You always get that cold wind off of Lake Erie. The last two years or so, there’s been rain delays at the meet, which actually has been beneficial. In triple-A, there’s only 10 or 12 teams, so the meet runs extremely quick.

“For any athletes who are trying to do two or three events, they get a half if not a quarter of the rest they’re typically used to. So a little rain delay usually allows everything to slow down a bit and actually helps the better athletes do their best to try to get to states,” he added.

“When you hit that backstretch you may have to fight through (the wind),” Dzuricsko said. “Hopefully, all of us get some kids to move on and do well, and represent Mercer County.

“Grove City and Hickory both have a lot of qualifiers,” Dzuricsko continued. “I feel there’s a healthy, competitive relationship between Grove City and Hickory because they’re very similar in style — their kids take sports seriously, just like our’s.

“So while I know we’ll be pushing each other, there’s a healthy rivalry in track and field between Grove City and Hickory boys and girls,” Dzuricsko concluded.

“We always go to districts — whether with the boys or girls — with the expectation that we want to be in the top three teams,” Hickory co-head coach Mark Slezak said. “It’s just the program we have and our expectations.

“Some years we have the firepower to do that, some years we don’t,” Slezak continued. “But we plan for that, and we hope for that opportunity. We preach all year long to the kids about opportunities, that when you have opportunites, you have to try to take advantage of that. So when we go to districts we have an opportunity.

“There’s other good teams out there, but we feel like we are a very good team and we will compete (to)day,” Slezak concluded.

———

District 10 Class AAA Championships

Top Seeds

(*PIAA Championships qualifying standard)

BOYS


3200 relay (8:02.04) — 1. Grove City (Ian Brown, John-Scott Somora, Ryan Whiteman, Daniel Jaskowak) 8:10.98; 2. McDowell 9:30.64; 3. Cathedral Prep 8:45.

110 hurdles (15.10) — 1. Greg Miaczynski (Central Tech) 14.35; 2. Kyle Trinch (Grove City) 14.74; 3. Logan Mooney (Franklin) 15.50.

100  (11.10) — 1. Malik Moffett (Cathedral Prep) 10.98; 2. Jake DeHart (Cathedral Prep) 11.11; 3. Calvin Innard (Gen. McLane) 11.14.

1600 (4:24.22) — 1. Jaskowak 4:23.14; 2. Ethan Louis (Cathedral Prep) 4:29.27; 3. John Lacy (Cathedral Prep) 4:29.94.

400 (50.09) — 1. Luke Wortman (Warren) 50.84; 2. Jordan Willetts (Warren) 51.44; 3. Andrew Steehler (McDowell), 51.85.

400 relay (43.40) — 1. Cathedral Prep 42.91; 2. Gen. McLane 44.20; 3. McDowell 45.04.

300 hurdles (39.80) — 1. Miacynski 38.55; 2. Trinch 39.07; 3. Mooney 40.74.

800 (1:57.32) — 1. Jaskowak 1:57.60; 2. Caleb Hultman (Warren) 1:59.41; 3. Steehler 2:02.64.

200 (22.50) — 1. DeHart 22.6; 2. Treistan Thomas (Strong Vincent) 22.80; 3. Offel Jordan (Cathedral Prep) 23.04.

3200 (9:31.71) — 1. Jaskowak 9:34.38; 2. Louis 9:36.06; 3. Austin Pondel (Corry) 9:41.06.

1600 relay (3:24.03) — 1. Warren 3:27.34; 2. Grove City (Somora, Trinch, Whiteman, Dillon McConnell) 3:33.09; 3. Slippery Rock 3:35.64.

Shot put (52-0) — 1. Joshua Daniels (Corry) 46-2è; 2. Deiontre Plott (East) 46-2; 3. Chris McNeal (Warren) 46-2.

Discus (153-0) — 1. Daniels 147-3; 2. Tyler Wickham (Meadville) 144-2; 3. Grant Craig (Grove City) 135-5è.

Javelin (178-0) — 1. Adam Fiorentino (Franklin) 173-11; 2. Austin Jerman (Warren) 164-8; 3. Matt Cragg (Corry) 163-2.

Long jump (21-10) — 1. Mark Davis (Warren) 21-9; 2. Jordan 21-8 1/4; 3. William Monono (Cathedral Prep) 21-3è.

Triple jump (44-6) — 1. Gino Brown (McDowell) 45-0; 2. Jamie Szymczak (McDowell) 44-7; 3 Moffett 43-8.

High jump (6-5) — 1. Moffett 6-9; 2. Davis 6-2; 3. Noah Jones (Franklin) 6-2.

Pole vault (14-3) — 1. Caleb Sanford (McDowell) 14-0; 2. Vince Nientimp (McDowell) 13-6; 3. Zachary Cartwright (Franklin) 13-4.

———

GIRLS


3200 relay (9:35.48) — 1. Grove City (Abby Casalnova, Kara McClain, Mary Jaskowak, Lauren Decker) 9:42.18; 2. Mercyhurst Prep 9:53.55; 3. Hickory (Jackie White, Lexi Bible, Julia White, Mackenzie Gruber) 10:08.66.

100 hurdles (15.65) — 1. Jordan Lynn (Meadville) 16.11; 2. Sabrina Anderson (Warren) 16.17; 3. Madi Bell (Hickory) 16.60.

100 (12.67) — 1. Jaiah Williams (East) 12.67; 2. Dahjeree Dortch (East) 12.80; 3. Heather Sternby (Meadville) 12.82.

1600 (5:13.37) — 1. Taylor Pletz (Mercyhurst Prep) 5:18.43; 2. Jaskowak 5:22.38; 3. Bible 5:28.25.

400 (58.80) — 1. Decker 59.77; 2. Courtney Corbin (Grove City) 1:00.34; 3. Kacey Bengel (Fort LeBoeuf) 1:02.34.

400 relay (49.96) — 1. Warren 52.05; 2. Hickory (Victoria Russo, Nikki Arbanas, Morgan Pellis, Bell) 52.22; 3. Franklin 52.31.

300 hurdles (46.60) — 1. Sydney Sokol (McDowell) 48.90; 2. Anderson 49.01; 3. Elizabeth Depew (Grove City) 50.35.

800 (2:18.47) — 1. Sarah Kupniewski (Mercyhurst Prep) 2:21.92; 2. Casalnova 2:24.19; 3. Courtney Sargent (Strong Vincent) 2:28.

200 (25.91) — 1. Decker 27.02; 2. Casey Kulka (Warren) 27.43; 3. Arbanas 27.44.

3200 (11:13.30) — 1. Jaskowak 11:46.30; 2. Bible 11:57.97; 3. Hannah Sanford (Grove City) 12:07.48.

1600 relay (4:02.50) — 1. Grove City (Casalnova, Decker, Corbin, Olivia Lowe) 4:13.70; 2. Mercyhurst Prep 4:15.91; 3. Fort LeBoeuf 4:18.

Shot put (37-6) — 1. Jaynee Corbett (Corry) 43-11; 2. Sophia Fustos (Hickory) 43-10 3/4; 3. Elena Marchand (Hickory) 37-3 3/4.

Discus (118-0) — 1. Corbett 128-3; 2. Fustos 123-2; 3. Breanna Garthwaite (Hickory) 115-3.

Javelin (122-0) — 1. Abbey Rose (Fort LeBoeuf) 121-10; 2. Abby Gluvna (Corry) 119-11; 3. Dj Haun (Warren) 113-8.

Long jump (17-3) — 1. Brooke Armanini (Warren) 17-1; 2. McKenzie Fagan (Grove City) 16-8è; 3. Abby Jones (Franklin) 16-3.

Triple jump (36-6) — 1. Jones 36-7è; 2. Kendell Dickson (Meadville) 34-4; 3. Anna Chodubski (McDowell) 34-0.

High jump (5-3) — 1. Jones 5-8 1/4; 2. Fagan 5-5; 3. Anderson 5-3.

Pole vault (11-0) — 1. Natalie Paoletta (Hickory) 10-0; 2. Julia Marn (McDowell) 9-6; 3. Hailey Hall (Grove City) 9-6.

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