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.
Roundup: Wilmington track teams sweep WM
ä Wilmington 98, West Middlesex 51 — At West Middlesex, the visiting Greyhounds gave the Big Reds their first home, dual-meet loss in approximately 4 seasons according to Middlesex mentor Ed Pikna.
Cooper (400, 800, distance- and mile-relay legs), jumper Perrine and sprinter Scott (100, 200) gave the Greyhounds the giddy-up by winning multiple events.
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Hickory track coaches near finish line
While the Shenango Valley lionizes legendary gridiron greats and hardwood heroes, the sport of track & field at Hickory High has resonated its relevance throughout District 10 and commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
For the better part of the last 3 decades that was due, to a great extent, to the efforts of Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak.
More than 200 dual-meet victories combined between the girls’ and boys’ programs, 9 district championships (7 girls, 2 boys), 2 statewide runners-up berths and another pair of 3rd-place finishes, culminating in the Lady Hornets’ 2012 PIAA Class AA championship.
Their collective resumé would be envied by any coach, regardless of sport. Which makes this recent revelation regrettable: Dzuricsko and Slezak simultaneously will step down at this season’s conclusion.
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How’s that working out, Dan?
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Roundup: Trojans, Hounds win team titles at WM Invitational
Wilmington High girls and Greenville boys dominated the annual Big Red Track & Field Invitational Thursday afternoon in West Middlesex.
A half-dozen girls’ and 7 boys’ teams competed.
Wilmington overwhelmed the female field, as the Lady Greyhounds garnered almost twice as many points as runner-up Lakeview (236-5 to 133.5).
Roundup: WM diamondmen edge Reynolds, 6-4
ä West Middlesex 6, Reynolds 4 — At Transfer, the Big Reds snapped a 4-all tie by plating a run in the 4th inning and another in the 7th in a 2-run win over the Raiders.
Mark Colella earned the mound win in a relief appearance for WM. No pitching stats were submitted.
Roundup: Hickory, Wilmington softball teams win
Paced by Chelsea Marriott’s muscle, Hickory High hammered 4 home runs Saturday afternoon en route to a 19-1 rout of Sharon.
At Wengler, Marriott mauled 2- and 3-run round-trippers to right-center and straightaway center field, respectively. Her Lady Hornets’ teammates Hannah Gallagher and Morgan McBride mustered 3-run bombs, also.
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Roundup: Hickory track coaches to step down following season
Hickory High track & field co-head coaches Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak announced they will step down at the season’s conclusion.
Dzuricsko and Slezak, who led the Lady Hornets to the 2012 PIAA Class AA crown, jointly made the announcement via e-mail late Wednesday.
Roundup: Devil diamondmen roll past Sharon
An old-school baseball bromide states that, early in any season, pitching is always ahead of hitting. However Sharpsville shunned that axiom Wednesday afternoon.
The Blue Devils banged 15 hits, and Sharpsville short-circuited Sharon, 16-4, in 5 innings.
Roundup: Hounds, Hornets notch track sweeps
ä Wilmington 116, Reynolds 44 — At New Wilmington, the host Lady Hounds were led by Rikki Brumbaugh (4x8, 4x4 relay legs, 400- and 800-meter runs); Hannah Drake (long, triple jumps, 4x4 relay); Allison Baldwin (4x8 and 4x4 relay legs); Lexi Brumbaugh (1600-, 3200-meter runs, distance-relay leg), and Tessa Sikora (high jump, 200-meter dash, sprint-relay anchor).
SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians fans looking for big things this year
LIFE IS GOOD if you are a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates or Cleveland Indians. At least for now!
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Still, it’s always nice when your favorite teams get off to a good start. In too many seasons, Pittsburgh and Cleveland fans were only talking about the NFL draft because hopes were bleak for their baseball teams.
Hickory's Arbanas 1st team All-State; KC's Hood 3rd team
ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Teams from the WPIAL won three of the four PIAA girls basketball championships this year, and southwestern Pennsylvania is turning out to be just as dominant when it comes to postseason honors.
Pittsburgh-area programs produced seven of the eight major award winners on this season’s Sports Writers Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball All-State Team, including all four players of the year.
WM's Staunch named 2nd team All-State
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Finishing on the winning side in a championship game — or coming mighty, mighty close — scored plenty of points with the panel that selected Pennsylvania’s all-state boys’ basketball team.
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- Roundup: Wilmington track teams sweep WM