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.
Brookfield boys win season-opener against Py Valley
It was a typical season-opener: Too many turnovers, some questionable shot selection, and careless personal fouls. But for Brookfield High boys’ bench boss Bill Kovach, “ ... always happy with a win.”
The Warriors were 7-for-10 from the free-throw line during the 4th frame, and held off Pymatuning Valley, 59-48, Tuesday night.
Hornets advance to semis with win over Central
DuBOIS, PA. — Some people could say the “third time is a charm.” For the Hickory High Hornets it was much more than that. In fact, it was glorious.
After losing in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs the last two years, the Hornets finally nailed down a victory with a 37-27 triumph over the Central Dragons from Martinsburg.
Lakeview falls to Clarion Area in PIAA quarterfinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — In the scholastic athletic arena, “mercy rule” — while not politically correct in hyper-sensitive 2013 society — is a relatively accepted term.
Clarion High’s football had mercy-ruled all 13 prior opponents this season. And the Bobcats seemed bent on continuing their commanding conquests during Saturday’s PIAA Class A quarterfinal-round meeting with Lakeview.
Hickory focused on winning PIAA opener
The calendar reminds us that Thanksgiving arrives a little later than usual this year. But as holiday traditions go, this one has been pretty productive for Hickory High head football coach Bill Brest.
“My wife always has me put up our Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving ... and the next day, we’ve won. So I’ll be more than happy to help my wife put up the tree this Friday,” Brest related.
During the past 2 years Hickory has won District 10 titles on Thanksgiving weekend. But this year the Hornets harvested their 3rd consecutive crown last week, jettisoning Girard (21-10). Now Hickory (11-1) has a 1 p.m. date in DuBois Saturday against surprising Central-Martinsburg (11-2) in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals.
Smart move by PIAA to schedule games early this weekend
Congratulations to the PIAA for making a good move that helps teams and fans of high school sports.
Wow, I haven’t been able to say that often enough!
But many of the high school football games this coming weekend will be played in the afternoon which is a real plus for traveling on possibly snow-blown highways at this time of the year.
Hornets 3-peat as D-10 champs with win vs. Girard
EDINBORO — When legendary coach Vince Lombardi said “the only good thing that comes from losing is the desire never to lose again,” he could very well have been referencing the future for Coach Bill Brest and his Hickory Hornets.
Since Hickory lost to Sharon, 14-6, in the 2010 District 10 finals in Brest’s first year at the helm of the team, the D-10 Class AA title game has belonged to Hickory. And Saturday afternoon at Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium, it was no different as the Hornets topped Girard, 21-10 for a third straight crown.
Sailors beat Devils to capture 1st District 10 title
NEW WILMINGTON — Lakeview may have a long way to go to equal Sharpsville’s success in the sport of football, but the Sailors jump-started the process Friday night.
With Blake Reddick roaring into the record book, the Sailors shut out Sharpsville, 27-0, in the District 10 Class A championship game at Greyhounds Stadium.
Hornets seek 3-peat Saturday vs. Girard
Bill Brest ... buffer?
Hickory High’s head football coach has broad shoulders and that’s necessary, because he’s taking on all distractions as his Hornets prepare for Saturday’s District 10 Class AA championship game.
Hickory (10-1) will attempt to hoist the D-10 trophy for a 3rd consecutive season when the Hornets journey to Girard’s backyard — Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium — to meet the Yellow Jackets at 1 p.m.
Hickory rolls past Northwestern in D-10 semifinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — They say that “Familiarity breeds contempt.” You can bet the Northwestern Wildcats are feeling a bit of the latter for the Hickory Hornets!
For a third straight season Hickory eliminated the northerners from the District 10 Class AA playoffs, this time by a 52-14 score in the semifinals Saturday night at Slippery Rock University’s Thompson-Mihalik Stadium.
Greenville falls to Girard in D-10 semifinals
ERIE — District 10 was destined for a Class AA championship game between reigning 2-time titlist Hickory and Greenville.
But no one informed the Girard High football team of the plans.
“ … This is pretty cool … I’m pretty fired up about it,” admitted 4th-year Yellow Jackets’ head coach Jim Funk after Girard jolted Greenville, 16-14.
SPORTVIEW: Season fate could be decided today for Browns, Steelers
IT MAKES NO sense to say that one game determines the rest of the season. That’s why I’ll simply say: Today’s one game determines the rest of the season.
Since when did my predictions make sense anyhow?
The Cleveland Browns’ visit to Cincinnati today will go a long way to deciding if the Browns have a shot at making the playoffs — and even winning the AFC North title — or if they should start planning for the NFL draft.
GCC tops Thiel in OT to win Mercer County Cup
The Grove City and Thiel College football teams closed out their seasons on Saturday with a thrilling game at Alumni Stadium in Green-ville as Grove City posted a 50-44 overtime win in the 30th annual Mercer County Cup Game.
Quarterback Brian Pell scored on a 13-yard run for the Wolverines (3-5, 5-5) to give GCC the win in OT.
Devils beat WM; will play for 3rd straight D-10 title
Two-time defending District 10 Class A champion Sharpsville is returning to the D-10 title game for a third straight year and Coach Paul Piccirilli has a simple explanation for the team’s success:
“We believe. Kids in Sharpsville believe.”
A lot of people are believing as well after watching the Blue Devils dismantle West Middlesex, 40-3, Friday night at Hickory High Hornets Stadium.
Spence, Sailors roll past Mercer, 52-21
NEW WILMINGTON — Pat McClearn lived Lakeview High football program’s previous gridiron glory days. Unfortunately for him on Friday night he was on the business end of the current Sailors’ resurgence.
McClearn and his Mercer High Mustangs were eliminated by Lakeview from the District 10 Class A semifinals, 52-21.
Long gone basketball league leaves a costly legacy
If you want to mark yourself as a graying old-timer, bring up the American Basketball Association – the professional league that featured large Afros, slam dunk contests, three-point baskets and a red, white and blue basketball.
Oh, yes, it also had a great collection of players - perhaps the best on the globe - who brought athleticism, skill and excitement to a game that had become somewhat stodgy in the more established National Basketball Association.
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