It’s not every day Mercer County can boast of having a world-class athlete, but it can now.
Hermitage resident Amy Javens continues to excel on the tri-athlon circuit. Recently, the 40-year-old ended 8th in her age group (40-44) at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.
Competing amidst approximately 1,900 triathletes, Javens made her mark on the world stage in a collective clocking of 10:39. That included the swim (1:13) in the ocean’s bay; bike (5:40) — bypassing approximately 100 other competitors during the final 30 miles — and marathon run (5:40) along the Queen K lava fields — all in spite of a painful calf sprain.
The former Hickory High standout athlete, on her web site (www.amyjavenstriathlete.com) blogged, “ ... Running down Palani hill at mile-24 (of the marathon) was an amazing feeling, and I smiled the whole way! Ali’i Drive greeted me with a tunnel of people a quarter of a mile long. I had never heard cheering so constant like I had up to the finish line ... ”
Javens was accompanied on her journey by her husband Chad and their daughters, who greeted her at the finish line, enabling her to “ ... enjoy my last joyful moments, thankful for my blessings.”
Despite her workload, Javens indicated she will not be slowing down any time soon, blogging,
“What now? Inspired by Natascha Badmann’s 6th-place pro finish at the age of 47, I am encouraged that I do have some good years left in the sport. I have improvements that are imperative, and a right of passage of obtaining a KOA bowl before I will — or if I will — ever take that next big step.
“I will continue to race amateur elite in 2013, and focus on earning another trip back to the island and, hopefully, place higher, learn Ironman racing and training a bit more — after racing two IM races I am still a ‘newbie’ to this distance — train more overload, hit higher wattages, and improve my swim technique.
“Remaining healthy and balancing family with the sport will be a high priority, as always. But, as we all know, life if what happens as we make plans ... ”
Expressing gratitude to family, friends and others who have supported her, Javens cited the theme for this year’s IM World Championships: “Aa Na Maka O Na — the sparkling eyes of my roots,” or “as we live our lives, we will never lose our way as long as we remember where we came from. Success is about respecting our roots, taking value in what we learned, and embracing our journey.”
Specifically for her, Javens refers to it as “the Power of Three”: Mind, body, spirit, to faith, hope, love. ... To me it means my three daughters, strength, swim, bike, run, life’s struggles, as well as many other significances that I have had or will share in my blog.”
Leading up to the IM World Championships, Javens enjoyed a busy journey this past spring and summer. Included in some of her more recent events, she: ä Placed as runnerup in her age class at the Pittsburgh Triathlon in July. Her cumulative 2:21.55 clocking included the swim (24:36), bike (1:09.06) and run (45:32). She was bested only by Heather Westerman (2:17.27) in the 40-44 age group, and finished 4th among all females and 56th overall.
ä Finished 4th in her age class at the Ironman 70.3 Eagleman Triathlon in Cambridge, Md. in June. Javens’ 4:49.10 clocking included the swim (33:09), bike (2:34.05) and run (1:37.55) as she placed 20th among all women and 175th overall.
ä At the Eischsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans in April she was runnerup in the 40-44 class, edged by Nusha Pelicano, 4:15.46 to 4:17.40. Javens’ respective times were 13:56 (run), 2:27.04 (bike) and 1:34.35 (run).
“As far as 2014, only my Kapunas (elders, including her mother and grandparents) know. ... gone, their physical presence may be from this earth, but spiritually very close and always with me ...”
It’s not every day Mercer County can boast of having a world-class athlete, but it can now.
Breese defends heavyweight title at PIAA Championships
HERSHEY, Pa. — Move over Rod Wright!
Lakeview senior heavyweight star Sam Breese had a goal coming into the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships this weekend at Hershey Giant Center — besides winning a second state crown, that is.
WM knocks off Neshannock in PIAA playoffs
SLIPPERY ROCK — The notion of Trey Staunch sneaking up on opposing teams is laughable. At 6-foot-3 and approximately 225 pounds, the stout Staunch is not sneaking up on anyone.
However after posting a game-high 31-point, 18-rebound performance in West Middlesex High basketball team’s 76-66 PIAA Class AA playoffs opening-round win over Neshannock Saturday night, Staunch said opponents may have been overlooking the Big Reds.
Hickory girls 26-0, oust Johnstown
SLIPPERY ROCK — At Morrow Field House Saturday evening, the Hickory Lady Hornets kept the perfect season alive with a 63-37 state playoff first round win over the Greater Johnstown Trojans from District 6.
“It feels great to get the win (Saturday),” said veterans Hickory coach Jeanette Whitehead. “We’ve been at this place over the last few years and we’ve been sent home in the first round so it was a huge win for us. I’m very proud of our team effort."
KC girls roll past California in PIAA playoffs
SLIPPERY ROCK — Kennedy Catholic High girls’ basketball team was in the ’hood Saturday afternoon.
Led by senior Taylor Hood, the Lady Golden Eagles eased past California, 53-34, in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs.
Lakeview's Breese to defend PIAA title
HERSHEY, Pa. — If you are Major League Baseball player, a .333 batting average is great. But in wrestling at the state tournament — not so much!
Out of the dozen wrestlers that Mercer County sent to Hershey for the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships, only four (.333) will reach the medal stand today — led by Lakeview senior Sam Breese who shoots for a second straight gold medal.
Farrell edges Montour, 60-57, in PIAA opener
Montour High boys’ basketball coach Adam Kaufman lamented another season-ending setback. However there are several hundred coaches across the Commonwealth who envy his program’s recent success and would trade places with him in a heartbeat.
But during Friday night’s PIAA Class AAA playoff opener, Kaufman & Co. could not overcome those streaky Steelers ... those survivin’ Steelers.
“ ... Hey, survive and move on,” summarized Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse following Farrell’s 60-57 win at Sharon High.
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.
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- Breese defends heavyweight title at PIAA Championships