Bears' Harris has huge day
bob ford/times news Pleasant Valley's Anthony Ruiz (left) takes the baton from teammate Nick Corrales in the 3200 meter relay. The Bears finished first in the event.
EAST STROUDSBURG - Pleasant Valley's Kelecia Harris spent most of the track season beating up on her opponents in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the long jump and the triple jump.
Harris' performance at the 2012 Mountain Valley Conference Track and Field championships Monday afternoon at East Stroudsburg South proved to be no different.
The senior won gold in the 200-meter dash and the triple jump, along with silvers in both the 100-meter dash and the long jump. Harris' display on Monday, along with her consistent production throughout the season, also earned her the MVC Female Athlete of the Year award.
"I am actually pretty excited," Harris said on winning the award. "I actually didn't think I was going to win it, but I am happy to represent my team as the MVP."
Harris won the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.13 seconds and improved on her second-place finish from last year. She also defended her title in the triple jump with a hop, skip and a jump of 35 feet, one inch.
"I feel great having come in first in the 200," said Harris. "Last year I didn't feel like I was as good as I am this year. I worked on my technique a lot during practice and it has finally paid off.
"I am okay with my triple jump. I think I could have done better, but I will take it considering the (wet) conditions."
Another Pleasant Valley track member who had a great day was Jack Wathen. Wathen won the 800 and 1600-meter races with times of 2:01.35 and 4:34.99 respectively. It was the second year in a row he took home the 800.
Wathen, along with teammates Nick Corrales, Lawrence Robinson and Anthony Ruiz, also defended their title in the 3200-meter relay race. The group bettered their time from last year by over a second.
"I pretty much tried to stay with (Stroudsburg's) Mark Pfaeffle and Matthew Koch," said Wathen after his victory in the 1600. "I tried to stay with them and then just out kicked them at the end. I was waiting for it. I knew I had another kick, so I was hoping they would die out a little and I could just go on them.
"We definitely ran well in the relay too. My teammates gave me a good lead and I just took it home."
Gwen Remaley turned out to be the only Lehighton member to win two events. She improved on her placement from last year to take first in the shot put with a toss of 36 feet, 11 inches. She then defended her title in the discus with a throw of 102 feet, two inches.
"I didn't have very good thoughts when it was raining going into the discus," admitted Remaley. "Once I got the 102 my confidence built up. It's been sunny all week at practice and I haven't practiced in the rain at all, so it affected me a little bit.
"I have been working really hard all season in the shot. I was seeded first but knew I had some competition. I worked all week for that one too."
Last week, Pleasant Valley's Kiasia Dunbar said she hoped to finish in the top three in both of the hurdles events. Her desires came true with two second-place finishes. She ran a 16.3 in the 100 and a 47.73 in the 200.
"I am feeling good, especially in the 300 hurdles" said Dunbar. "I am proud of myself because I usually start getting tired around the 200 range. I am still trying to get down to 46 seconds for districts, but I still feel like I will do well next week."
Lehighton's Levi Haldeman had a nice day as well. Haldeman won the discus for the second year in a row with a throw of 149 feet, six inches. He also placed fourth in the shot put.
"It was nice to repeat," Haldeman said. "It was a lot of hard work, especially this year. I lifted weights and practiced a lot. I would have liked to throw better, but at least I have next week to look forward to."
Other local winners included Pleasant Valley's Melissa Russo (800M) and Kristen Eberhardt (1600M).
Local second-place finishers included Pleasant Valley's Sam Young (3200M), Kegan Bray (200M and 400M) and Nick Corrales (800M), along with Lehighton's Sarah Keer (javelin).
Local third-place finishers included Pleasant Valley's Stephanie Palmer (800M) and Anthony Ruiz (1600M). For Lehighton, it was Cassandra Renhert (3200M), Maris Stern (100HH), Ciera Kobal (pole vault), Eric Whiteman (shot put) and Keer (shot put).