Streisels, Keer, NW relay team capture gold
bob ford/times news Tamaqua's Maria Streisel finishes off her landing in the long jump. Streisel won the Class AA gold in the event.
ORWIGSBURG Tamaqua's Christine and Maria Streisel have enjoyed success at every level and on every stage throughout their high school careers.
After the first day of the District 11 Track and Field Championships at Blue Mountain High School, it doesn't look as though that's going to change anytime soon.
Maria came into the Class AA long jump as the number one seed and certainly didn't disappoint, winning the event with a mark of 17-7 1/2 to easily qualify for states.
When asked if there were nerves knowing she was a top seed and the target of her competitors, Streisel pointed to her prior experience.
"I was kind of nervous," Streisel said. "But I've been here before, last year when I was the third seed and got second, so it's not that much new."
Knowing she's already won a gold medal and qualified for states will allow Streisel to focus on today's events, such as the Class AA 100 where she qualified for the finals by posting the sixth-fastest time in yesterday's prelims.
"I'm already to states and now I have the 100 yet to do so that will be a fun one to run now," she said.
Maria's sister, Christine, showed once again that she is one of the most dominant throwers in the area. She won the Class AA shot put with a throw of 39-5 to punch her ticket to Shippensburg in what will likely be the first of many events.
She wasted no time putting the winning throw on the board, posting the mark on her first attempt. Securing a solid throw early on is something Streisel aims for when competing in the event.
"I think for me, and probably a lot of other throwers, a lot of it is technique," Streisel said of her approach. "That first one you just try to get out there and get a mark to start the day off well and sometimes it happens where your best mark of the day is that first throw.
"Once you get a throw like that where you think it stands a really good chance of being the best throw of the day, it's definitely relaxing. You don't have to try and force yourself or stress out. But with the competition here you always have to be careful of your throws."
While she was happy with her throw, Streisel admitted that she had a slightly higher number in mind.
"I definitely wanted to hit over 40-0" Streisel conceded. "And with two meets left it's either at districts or at states. States isn't a bad place to do it, so hopefully I'll get it there."
Tamaqua's Amanda Solt will join Streisel at states in the shot put after taking second in the event with a throw of 36-8 1/2. The opportunity is something Solt relishes as a senior.
"I know I achieved my goal of getting to states so I'm happy," Solt said. "I'm just looking forward to my first time at states so it's going to be a good experience."
Solt also medaled in the discus, taking fourth with a throw of 102-3. Rebecca Minehan continued Tamaqua's successful day by finishing third in the pole vault and narrowly missing a chance to join her teammates at states.
Lehighton's Sarah Keer took gold in the Class AAA javelin with a throw of 122-11 to secure her spot at states. Palmerton's Sabreena Strauch took third in the event.
Even though she was the number one seed, Keer admitted she was concerned after making her best throw on only her second attempt.
"It made me nervous," said Keer. "I knew that the other competitors had farther throws in them and they could possibly pass me."
Keer certainly had reason to be nervous, as second place Jasmine Vass of Bangor made her best throw of 122-8 on her final attempt, barely missing Keer's mark.
In what was arguably the most competitive race of the day, the Northwestern girls 3200 relay team claimed gold in the Class AAA event with a time of 9:28.64, edging a Parkland squad that led much of the race and came home second with a time of 9:30.89. Pleasant Valley took fourth in the event.
Northwestern anchor Haley Yost, who was dealing with a respiratory issue at the Colonial League Championships last week, seemed to be back at full strength as she pulled away to help secure the win.
Yost wouldn't take full credit for the win, deferring to her teammates, Carly Pierce, Sabrina Mertz and Rachel Cerrone, and their efforts in the victory, which was also a personal best for the team.
"I think a goal for us is definitely just to try and make it to finals," Yost said of the team's expectations at states. "I just think it's going to be fun for us to all go out as a team and I just really give a lot of credit to those girls.
"Sabrina (Mertz) stepped up into a position where we didn't expect her to; she was a sprinter coming into the season. So for her to step up is great and for Carly (Pierce) to be running consistent and Rachele (Cerrone), too. I'm just really proud of the girls and we'll all be back here next year."
Yost also medaled in the Class AAA 3200, taking third while Pleasant Valley's Samantha Young took fourth.
Marian's Christy Digiandomenico took second in the Class AA 300 hurdles to earn a spot at states while teammate Alex Hutta took third.
Digiandomenico came in as the top seed and while she may have been hoping for a win, she's still happy knowing her season will continue.
"I pushed myself a lot and I really wanted to go to states," said Digiandomenico. "But even placing second is an honor and just being able to go to states, especially since I'm a junior and that's what I was working for."