Despite its best efforts, Mother Nature's trio of rain, sleight and snow couldn't stop some of the area's runners, jumpers and throwers.
Tamaqua held its first annual invitational track meet Friday evening with 12 different teams in attendance. The weather forecast held the event in limbo most of the week, but Tamaqua athletic director Michael Homyak decided to give the go ahead yesterday morning. The conditions were far from good, but Tamaqua's new all-weather track served its purpose in the end.
Along with the hosts, Jim Thorpe, Marian and Palmerton represented the TIMES NEWS area in the competition.
Tamaqua's Kayla Hope was the biggest winner on the day, as she won gold in three events. She was victorious the 200-meter dash, the long jump and the triple jump. Hope blazed through the 200 meters with a time of 27 seconds. She then had winning jumps of 16 feet, 8 inches and 34 feet, two inches in the long jump and the triple jump respectively.
Teammate Amber Carroll posted two victories of her own. Carroll won the 1600-meter run and was a member of the winning 3200-meter relay team. The junior posted a time of 5:35.4 in the 1600-meter run. She later took the first leg of the relay and helped her team to a time of 10:34.2. Fellow members included Cecily Kohlmeir, Dana Ansbach and Kelsey Patrick.
"I thought my (1600M time) was okay," said Carroll. "I did better than I did last week, so I will take it. It was really cold. I felt like I couldn't stretch my legs out as much as I wanted to.
"The relay was good as well. We have to work better on pacing ourselves. We want to go to states again this year and working on our pacing will be the key."
Fellow Raider Allison Updike, last year's state champion in the javelin, defended her crown for the day by throwing 155 feet, four inches. Updike also finished third in the shot put and fourth in the discus.
Rounding out the first-place finishers for Tamaqua was Eric Hertzog. Hertzog took home gold in the 100 hurdles with a time of 15.5 seconds.
Leading the way for Palmerton was Sam Doherty. Doherty won the pole vault with a vault of 8 feet, 6 inches. Her goal is to tie or break the school record of nine feet, but the weather wouldn't allow it on Friday.
"I think it went well considering the weather," said the sophomore. "It was really bad. I wanted nine feet, but I am happy with how I did.
"My hands were freezing and were numb. I was worried about slipping off of the pole. I tried to get my legs a little looser, but the cold wouldn't allow it. I am hoping to do better when the weather gets niceer."
Jim Thorpe's lone gold medal came from its 400-meter relay team of Samantha Harlan, Anjelica Poalillo, Amelia Herman and Ashley Nicola. The runners combined to finish the relay with a time of 52.7 seconds.
"I thought our girls' 4x100 team did ran very well," said Jim Thorpe head coach Frank Miller. "Harlan, who was a member of that team, also did very well in the 100 hurdles.
"They still need to work on their handoffs. The speed is there with our four girls, but their handoffs need tons and tons of work. Once they get that ironed out they should be in pretty good shape."
Marian's Dylan Barrowsky picked up the school's only medal of the day. He placed second in the discus.
Picking up second place finishes in the girls' events were Christine Streisel (Tamaqua, javelin), Lauryn Solt (Palmerton, high jump), Schuyler Schmidt (Tamaqua, 3200M), Maria Streisel (Tamaqua, 100M), Gillian Ferko (Marian, discus) and Ashley Nicola (Jim Thorpe, 200M).
Picking up third place finishes on the girls' side were Kelsey Hay (Palmerton, javelin), Amelia Herman (Jim Thorpe, 100M), Kelsey Patrick (Tamaqua, 1600M), Maria Streisel (Tamaqua, long jump) and Taylor Gerber (Tamaqua, 100HH and 300HH).
Picking up third place finishes on the boys' side were Brad Ehret (Palmerton, high jump), Tyler Hope (Tamaqua, 100M), Kevin Seemiller (Palmerton, 1600M) and Phil Christman (Tamaqua, 300HH).