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.
SPORTVIEW: Johnny Football claims he has learned from his 'rookie mistakes'
HERE ARE some thoughts from a guy who might have made a few “rookie mistakes” in his life, ala Johnny Manziel.
Johnny Football admitted this past week that he made some rookie mistakes. Really?
Usually rookie mistakes for most NFL newbies are throwing into coverage or fumbling the football because you don’t tuck it tightly to your side.
NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense
THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.
Racing to fight cancer
Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.
SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians need fast start after All-Star break
SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”
Rutters earn spot in national motocross event
The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.
Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble
Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.
SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!
HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).
Full text of LeBron's essay in SI
LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.
Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team
Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.
Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew
Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.
Little League Tournaments
Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.
Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.
Following are game reports:
The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary
Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.
SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11
THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
It is open to the public at no charge.
Hickory honors Tri-Athletes
Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the academic year.
SPORTVIEW: Ex-Greenville man to enter Bedford County Hall
HUGHEY TATE was the greatest baseball player that ever lived — hitting 10,000 home runs and never making an out in 50 years on the diamond.
OK, that’s not true of course. But that’s the way Hughey would have told it before bursting into laughter.
Tate, a Greenville man who was as good at spinning a yarn as well as he was in hitting home runs, will be inducted posthumously into the Bedford County (Pa.) Hall of Fame Saturday. Some of his relatives from this area will attend the ceremonies.
- More Sports Headlines
- SPORTVIEW: Johnny Football claims he has learned from his 'rookie mistakes'