For the 2nd time this week, a District 10 track & field team title could be decided by a pair of Mercer County contingents.
Just as Hickory and Grove City girls contested the Class AAA crown Wednesday night, so, too, are the Hickory and West Middlesex boys anticipating vying for Saturday’s AA title.
Beginning 9 a.m. Saturday at Harbor Creek High Paul J. Weitz Stadium, the Class AA area aggregation will compete for berths in the annual PIAA Championships.
The gold and silver medalists in each event, as well as any placewinner who meets a pre-determined qualifying standard, advance to Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium for Memorial Day weekend.
“I think West Middlesex is a very strong team. ... with depth in a lot of areas,” praised Hickory co-head coach Mark Slezak. “They’re gonna be one of the top competitors. You always know North East has athletes that they’re gonna bring, too.
“But Mercer County comes strong,” Slezak emphasized. “That’s where it’s hard to predict, sometimes, with teams, because you’ve got the whole county knock(ing) each other off in certain events.
“So sometimes it does come down to the power you have in your team, the depth. Can you get more than one person on the (medals) stand in an event?’ Slezak rhetorically asked. “That might prove to be crucial for the district (team) competition.
“There’s always a few Erie teams that come very strong, but I think West Middlesex and (Hickory) down here are two very, very good AA teams, and it should be a great battle,” Slezak forecasted.
A plethora of countians are top-seeded, led by West Middlesex senior sprinter Clay Allen (200, 400), Wilmington thrower Jon Yohman (shot put, discus), and Sharon’s Johnathon Jacoway (triple, high jumps).
Other top-seeded males include Hickory’s DeShawn Coleman (100), Mercer’s Jarred Davis (high hurdles), Hickory’s Matt Voytik (javelin) and West Middlesex’s Jeremy Jancso (long jump).
Coleman and Allen both were clocked at 10.91 in last weekend’s county-wide meet. Allen also annexed the 400 in a personal-best time.
“He’s an athlete, he’s a competitor, he leaves everything on the track,” praised Ed Pikna, veteran Middlesex mentor. “We’d like to see him go up there and repeat in the 100 and 200 (dashes), and maybe the four-by-one or four-by-four, wherever we have to put him. He’s just done a whale of a job this year.
“I would think, right now, it’s probably between Hickory, us ... Titusville, North East always have some quality athletes. But I’m not counting anybody out right now,” Pikna pointed out, adding, “It has been a great year. ... We’ve had a great run with our senior talent, but we’ve got some nice, young underclassmen, too.”
Mercer hurdler Janette Berger is top-seeded in both events, as is Wilmington jumper Hannah Drake (long, triple). Field events are dominated by No. 1 seeds Rachel DeMaria of West Middlesex (shot) and her teammate Sarah Lucich (javelin), Wilmington’s Julie Falvo (disc), Lakeview’s Courtney King (high jump) and Greenville’s Rebekah Petty (pole vault). Also top-seeded is Middesex’s Kristen White (1600),
Petty produced a 12-3 performance last week at the Mercer County Invitational — 3 inches better than a year ago when she won the D-10 AA title — and her PR is more than 2 feet higher than her next-closest competitor.
The versatile Petty also is ranked 1st in the 100-meter dash.
Several relay teams also are top-seeded, including the sprint teams of Greenville girls (Braleigh Knierman, Molly Montalvo, Bradi Osborne, Sammy Keys) and Hickory boys (Markus Schumacher, Michael Palumbo, Voytik and Coleman); Sharon girls’ 4x4 (Leonna Bell, Jessica Talbert-Kirsch, Zhane’a Davis and Xsila Powell), and Lakeview’s distance quartet (Blake Reddick, Devon Workman, Connor Stankovich and Billy Kinsey).
Assessed Sharon’s 20th-year head coach Rachine Mazyck:
“I think the girls’ team is doing really well. All the relays, actually. I would say Z’hena Davis ... Xsila Powell ... Leonna Bell ... Jessica Talbert-Kirsch ... Brienna Roys ... they’re all doing an excellent job.
“And Johnathon Jacoway, he’s qualified in three events,” Mazyck continued, noting the triple jump is Jacoway’s best, though adding, “his best in the high jump has been 6-7.
“He should do well in all three, but it’s hard to tell until we get there. He’s healthy, and I think he’s focused ... in the classroom and on the track. Excellent kid,” she concluded.
After serving as the Sailors’ co-head coach for the past 5 seasons, Lakeview skipper Ryan Harold said,
“We’re on an unbelievable ride right now, and we’re looking forward to the next picture comin’ up. ... We’re gonna get our four-by-eight re-focused. We ran our best time on paper, even dating back to last year at states — we’ve already beaten our time from states last year.
We’ll get that team, those guys, re-focused, and we’ve got a couple individual events where the kids have a good shot at qualifying for state,” Harold concluded.
District 10 Class AA Championships
(*PIAA Championships qualifying standard)
3200 relay (8:15.55) — 1. Lakeview (Blake Reddick, Devon Workman, Connor Stankovich, Billy Kinsey) 8:20.5; 2. Hickory (Derek Work, Logan Griffen, Marcus Sonoga, Kevin Jancsar) 8:20.53; 3. Iroquois 8:33.10.
110 hurdles (15.35) — 1. Jarred Davis (Mercer) 15.14; 2. Clayton Stoyer (Reynolds) 15.56; 3. Jacob Pound (Harbor Creek) 15.77.
100 (11.20) — 1. DeShawn Coleman (Hickory) 10.84; 2. Clay Allen (West Middlesex) 10.91; 3. Carnell Hawkins (Sharon) 11.0.
1600 (4:31.13) — 1. Ryan Smathers (North East) 4:16.42; 2. Kevin Reno (Mercer) 4:29.87; 3. Sebastian Curtin (Mercyhurst Prep) 4:31.31.
400 (50.70) — 1. Allen 50.51; 2. Tyler Confer (Sharpsville) 51.04; 3. Rocco Gatta (Youngsville) 51.34.
400 relay (44.31) — 1. Hickory (Markus Schumacher, Mike Palumbo, Matt Voytik, Coleman) 42.78; 2. West Middlesex (Sebastian Grasso, Jeremy Jancso, Joe Trippy, Luke Patten) 43.02; 3. Titusville 44.80.
300 hurdles (40.80) — 1. Jacob VanHouten (Eisenhower) 39.94; 2. Dwight Scott (Wilmington) 40.57; 3. Stoyer 40.73.
800 (1:59.70) — 1. Smathers 1:57.10; 2. Reno 1:58.38; 3. Corey Twichel (Girard) 1:58.54.
200 (22.88) — 1. Allen 22.24; 2. Henry Kennedy (Titusville) 22.93; 3. Brandon Reiser (Northwestern) 23.03.
3200 (9:48.01) — 1. Jared Hazen (Titusville) 9:51.64; 2. Hans Wentz (Maplewood) 9:51.96; 3. Jeremy Parsons (Maplewood) 9:54.54.
1600 relay (3:29.60) — 1. Eisenhower 3:26.17; 2. Lakeview (Stankovich, Zach VanDusen, Kinsey, Reddick) 3:30.02; 3. Titusville 3:31.
Shot put (50-3) — 1. Jon Yohman (Wilmington) 62-1; 2. Luke Lewis (Hickory) 58-6è; 3. Jeremy Orlik (Hickory) 56-3.
Discus (148-0) — 1. Yohman 189-6; 2. Trevor Harrison (West Middlesex) 155-2; 3. Lewis 154-9.
Javelin (176-0) — 1. Voytik 184-8è; 2. Tyler Donati (Wilmington) 181-7; 3. Tate Schwab (Titusville) 167-7.
Long jump (21-6) — 1. Jancso 22-4; 2. Johnathon Jacoway (Sharon) 21-11 1/4; 3. Kyle McKeen (Northwestern) 21-11.
Triple jump (44-0) — 1. Jacoway 48-0; 2. McKeen 47-2è; 3. Shane Beatty (Hickory) 44-1.
High jump (6-4) — 1. Jacoway 6-7; 2. McKeen 6-6; 3. Jancso 6-6.
Pole vault (13-6) — 1. Patten 14-6; 2. Craig Belko (Hickory) 13-6; 3. Kevin Pier (Seneca) 13-0.
3200 relay (9:50.40) — 1. Villa Maria Academy 9:40; 2. Wilmington (Kate Robb, Hannah Drake, Rikki Brumbaugh, Allison Baldwin) 9:59.72; 3. Sharon (Xsila Powell, Brienna Roys, Zhane’a Davis, Jessica Talbert-Kirsch) 10:05.
100 hurdles (16.01) — 1. Janette Berger (Mercer) 15.34; 2. Sophia Mazza (Harbor Creek) 15.43; 3. Heather Urbaniak (Slippery Rock) 15.59.
100 (12.70) — 1. Rebekah Petty (Greenville) 12.50; 2. Shamieia Roberts (Villa Maria Academy) 12.53; 3. Megan Stephenson (Slippery Rock) 12.72.
1600 (5:18.30) — 1. Kristen White (West Middlesex) 5:22.43; 2. Caitlin Plazony (Fairview) 5:24.24; 3. Anne Lewis (North East) 5:24.97.
400 (59.95) — 1. Bethany Evankovich (Gen. McLane) 58.38; 2. Davis 1:00; 3. Katie Teed (Seneca) 1:00.24.
400 relay (50.80) — 1. Greenville (Braleigh Knierman, Molly Montalvo, Bradi Osborne, Samantha Keys) 51;50; 2. Lakeview (Courtney King, Taylor Reed, Andrea McConnell, Marla Holland) 52.06; 3. Slippery Rock 52.26.
300 hurdles (47.64) — 1. Berger 46.62; 2. Megan McKinney (Mercer) 47.75; 3. Kelsey Murray (West Middlesex) 48.14.
800 (2:20.60) — 1. Grace Trucilla (Villa Maria Academy) 2:16.74; 2. Claire Brown (Villa Maria Academy) 2:16.85; 3. Plazony 2:24.50.
200 (26.25) — 1. Roberts 25.75; 2. Evankovich 26.31; 3. Eve Gardner (Union City) 26.41.
3200 (11:35) — 1. Bernadetta Prichard (Villa Maria Academy) 11:34.26; 2. White 11:45.65; 3. Alison Carson (Villa Maria Acdemy) 11:48.18.
1600 relay (4:08.75) — 1. Sharon Leonna Bell, Talbert-Kirsch, Davis, Powell) 4:04.26; 2. Villa Maria Academy 4:09.59; 3. Mercer Berger, Abby Fessler, Claire Brown, Trucilla) 4:15.24.
Shot put (36-6) — 1. Rachel DeMaria (West Middlesex) 40-11; 2. Emily Campbell (Slippery Rock) 40-4; 3. Julie Falvo (Wilmington) 38-3è.
Discus (113-0) — 1. Falvo 125-0; 2. Samantha Black (Seneca) 123-0; 3. DeMaria 119-4.
Javelin (121-0) — 1. Sarah Lucich (West Middlesex) 126-5; 2. DeMaria 119-5; 3. Alex Artise (North East) 115-9.
Long jump (16-11) — 1. Drake 17-0è; 2. Tessa Sikora (Wilmington) 16-9 1/4; 3. Marissa Siebka (Slippery Rock) 16-2.
Triple jump 35-6) — 1. Drake 35-11; 2. King 35-3 1/4; 3. Caitlyn Krahe (Iroquois) 33-8.
High jump (5-2) — 1. King 5-5; 2. Sikora 5-2; 3. Lauryn Greggs (Lakeview) 5-0.
Pole vault (10-6) — 1. Petty 12-3; 2. Molly Regan (Gen. McLane) 10-0; 3. Micahela Krause (Union City) 9-6.
For the 2nd time this week, a District 10 track & field team title could be decided by a pair of Mercer County contingents.
GCC ousts Mercer in 1st round of PIAAs
The Mercer Lady Mustangs were outscored 16-4 in the final quarter of the first round of the state playoffs by the Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions, ending their season Friday night 56-31 at Sharon High School.
Senior Lexie Arkwright had a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double performance for the Lady M’s. She also snagged three steals. Adelyn Cook and Haylie Glass each added 4 points for Mercer.
5 area matmen to quarterfinals in Hershey
HERSHEY — Mercer County matmen had mixed results on the opening day of action in the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center.
Only 5 of the county’s dozen entries — led by defending state champ Sam Breese of Lakeview (285) — won their preliminary matches to move into the tournament quarterfinals which begin at 9 a.m. today. However the other 7 lost their first matches, although 3 are still alive in the consolations heading into this morning’s action.
Coach Chad Mild's Big Reds are road warriors
West Middlesex High boys basketball team did not play its first home game until after the first of the year, but competing at New Castle, Farrell and Youngstown’s Covelli Centre has served it well.
Witness West Middlesex’s 55-54 win over Fairview in last weekend’s District 10 Class AA championship game — at Edinboro University’s McComb Field House.
Boys PIAA basketball preview boxes
Who: Farrell (22-3) vs. Montour (16-8).
What: Opening round.
When: 7:30 p.m. today.
Where: Sharon High’s Tiger Gymnasium.
Hickory, Mercer, KC girls PIAA playoff boxes
Who: Hickory (25-0) vs. Greater Johnstown (11-14).
What: PIAA Playoffs, 1st round.
When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Slippery Rock University.
Shannonhouse's Steelers set for statewide stage
With the approaching spring, a young man’s fancy turns to ... what else? The PIAA playoffs. And when Shenango Valley scholastic basketball aficionados think of the postseason they think of Farrell.
Recently at E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, the banners above were blowing in the breeze — ’52 ... ’54 ... ’56 ... ’59 ... ’60 ... ’69 ... ’72 — swaying as sprinting players created a vacuum of air rising from the floor. Melodramatic maybe, but there’s a feeling at Farrell that harkens back to the heyday when playoff success was a rite of passage.
Breese eyes repeat at state mat tourney
There is no doubt that winning a state championship in wrestling is a difficult thing to do. Winning two is even tougher.
“There’s a target on your chest,” pointed out Lakeview High coach Tom Tingley in preseason this year, referring to his star wrestler Sam Breese who won a state heavyweight crown as a junior last year.
Obviously that target hasn’t bothered the Sailors big man who is a perfect 32-0 this season as he attempts to become only the 12th Mercer County matman to win multiple titles.
WRESTLING NOTEBOOK: It's a young group of county matmen headed to state
THERE’S definitely a youth movement in Mercer County wrestling as demonstrated by the group of 11 matmen who are advancing to the PIAA State Class AA Championships on Thursday.
Eight of the locals are underclassmen. The only seniors are Lakeview’s Sam Breese (285), Reynolds’ Levi Stoyer (145) and Jamestown’s Mohamed Messai (182).
Breese and Stoyer are the only returning state place-winners. Breese, who has verbally committed to Kent State University to wrestle next season, won the heavyweight class and is seeking a second gold medal. Stoyer placed 7th at 145 and wants to climb much higher on the medals stand.
Kennedy boys forfeit win, are out of playoffs
The PIAA basketball playoffs do not begin until Friday, but Mercer County already lost a team.
Kennedy Catholic High disclosed Monday the discovery of an academically-ineligible player, who competed in last Friday’s District 10 Class A consolation contest.
Kennedy Catholic edged Eisenhower in double-OT, 66-62, earning a berth in the statewide tournament. The Golden Eagles were to meet District 9 champion Ridgway Friday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gymnasium in the opening round; instead, Eisenhower will represent D-10 as its 3rd-place team.
Raiders win 17th region title; 11 locals to Hershey
When Reynolds senior Levi Stoyer came off the mat after his 145-pound championship at the Northwest AA Regional Championships, he wasn’t celebrating his second straight crown. Instead, he turned to head coach Casey Taylor and said, “I did it for the team.”
And the team needed it!
Stoyer defeated Brookville’s Zach Vroman, 3-0, and sent Reynolds on its way to the school’s 17th region team title Saturday night at Sharon High School. Reynolds finished with 147 points, to Brookville’s 138.
Hickory girls capture 1st district title since 1983
MEADVILLE — Depending upon peoples’ perceptions, 31 years can seem like a lifetime ... but so can 16 minutes.
Hickory High girls’ basketball program’s District 10 drought ended Saturday afternoon as perennial power Villa Maria virtually vanished from the 2nd-half scoreboard.
The Lady Hornets erased a 7-point halftime deficit by yielding just 4 second-half points en route to a 39-24 victory over Villa Maria in the District 10 Class AAA championship game.
KC beats Cochranton for 4th straight D-10 crown
MEADVILLE — Everybody is on April Bocian’s bandwagon — and rightly so. But Tatum Kress helped keep Kennedy Catholic High girls’ basketball program atop District 10’s Class A competition.
Kress connected for all 14 of her points during the 2nd half Saturday afternoon, keying the Kennedy Catholic to a 49-38 conquest of Cochranton.
McLane rallies to beat Mercer in AA title tilt
In 1986, the Mercer Lady M’s won the school’s first and only girls basketball District 10 title at Edinboro University’s McComb Field House, but in the same gym on Saturday in 2014, the squad in blue wasn’t so lucky.
Mercer led the Gen. McLane Lady Lancers 27-19 entering the fourth quarter, but the Lancers outscored the Lady M’s 19-4 in the final frame to win the Class AA title tilt 38-31.
WM captures 3rd straight D-10 crown
EDINBORO — The West Middlesex Big Reds did it again! For the third straight year, the Big Reds, under the leadership of head coach Chad Mild, the winningest coach in West Middlesex school history, won the District 10 title with a thrilling 55-54 victory over the Fairview Tigers on Friday night at McComb Field House.
Farrell beats East for D-10 Class AAA title
MEADVILLE — Malik Miller was playing with a broken hand, but broke the hearts of East High’s basketball team.
Sophomore sharpshooter Miller mustered 19 markers — tossing in 4 from beyond the arc — helping forge Farrell to the District 10 Class AAA championship, 83-78.
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