Area athletes shine in opening meet
There was no shortage of stellar showings from area track and field athletes last season.
Early returns indicate this spring will be no different.
The Marian boys and girls opened the season Tuesday with Schuylkill League victories over Weatherly, while Nativity swept Panther Valley.
Win or lose, the performances signaled what could be the start of something special for each program.
The Fillies posted a 121-8 win over the Wreckers, while the Colts secured a 96-31 victory. Nativity topped the Panthers 79-47 in the boys meet, and recorded a 104-36 win on the girls side.
Marian swept the 400, 1600 and 3200 relays in the girls meet, and showcased its depth across the board. The Fillies had two in the top three in the 100, 200, 800, 3200, 100 hurdles and javelin.
Where the Fillies didn’t, they recorded wins in the 1600 with Ava Fritz and 300 hurdles with Eliza Bauder, who also tied for second in the high jump, and got third-place finishes from Rebecca Boyle in the long jump and Zoe Salter in the discus.
Carly Minchhoff, also a key relay team member and sprinter, won the javelin with a throw of 109-5. She placed second at districts and advanced to states with a throw of 108-1 a year ago.
“I worked a lot in the offseason, and my expectations are a lot higher now,” said Minchhoff, who indicated she would like to be in the 130-feet range by the end of the season. “I just have to work on my overall form, and getting the power from my legs.
“It feels good. I was really excited for the start of the season. I’m excited for the season.”
Several on the Fillies track and field squad, including Minchhoff, are coming off a district title and a berth in the second round of the PIAA Class 2A basketball tournament just last week.
Another member of that team, freshman Addison Fritz, won the triple jump with a mark of 31-2.5, and placed second in the 400.
“I think it helps us a lot because we all played together and we all know what we can do,” said Fritz, who registered a personal best of 33-1 last year. “I think that because we know each other so well, it will just push us to do better.
“It feels really good (to have the first meet), because I was definitely nervous coming here. It’s a whole different atmosphere ... I just feel really good. I think we have bigger things coming.”
Panther Valley’s Izabella Bochicchio picked up where she left off after winning a district title a year ago.
Bochicchio won the shot put Tuesday with a mark of 31-11.
“I put more pressure on myself,” said Bochicchio. “My coaches have been great with trying to just keep me in check and just improve upon myself and kind of not think about it. I definitely still think about it (the district title) and want to defend it, but I’m working towards keeping that up and breaking the school record.”
Bochicchio won the district title with a personal best mark of 34-8.75 a year ago, and wants to continue improving on that number this year.
“I definitely feel like I can hit my 34 mark again,” said Bochicchio. “But I would realistically like to hit 35, preferably before the end of the season. So realistically, 34, but 35, obviously.”
The Panthers also had a stellar performance from Riley McArdle, who won the high jump with a mark of 4-4, and placed first in the long jump with a leap of 14-5.
Weatherly’s Kelly Reiner won the discus with a throw of 79-6.5.
In the boys meet, Marian was again able to shine in a variety of events, and saw Jose Ramirez win the high jump with a mark of 5-10. The Colts also won the 400 relay.
Panther Valley throwers had plenty of success in the boys meet, with Austin Hadley and Michael Pascoe going 1-2 in the shot put. Pascoe also won the discus, and Brad Jones placed first in the javelin.
Hadley won the shot put with a mark of 43-2 to top Pascoe (40-1.5).
“You want to get a mark for leagues and districts, and it’s a great feeling to break a PR from last year and be at where I was last year,” said Hadley, who was fourth at leagues with a 42-4 last season. “I’m hoping to build on that.
“I like where I’m at right now. Last year, the league winner was around 45 (44-0), so it’s nice knowing that I’m pretty close to that and where we were last year.”
Pascoe, who was third at last year’s league meet in the shot put and placed sixth in the event at districts, won the discus with a throw of 125-0.25 Tuesday.
The friendly competition between each of the throwers is something that will only push them more this season.
“We help each other a lot,” said Hadley. “We have Brad Jones, who throws over 150, and might break the school record eventually. And then you have Michael Pascoe in the discus, who won the league last year, and hopefully can come back this year and win it again. We push each other to be better.”
Jones won the javelin with a toss of 158-3.
“I’ve been working at it for nearly three years now, so it’s finally nice to see my work pay off,” said Jones. “I go to the Javelin Factory in Tuscarora, and I’ve been on that the whole offseason and winter.
“I just want to make it to states this year, so whatever number gets me that, I’ll be happy with.”
Weatherly’s Jacob Parker executed a flawless race with a late surge to win the 1600, crossing the line in 4:59.97 ahead of Marian’s Albin Petschauer (5:02.58). The pair both qualified for states in cross country this past fall in Class 1A.
“Really, my strategy, I played it out perfectly,” said Parker. “Probably one of my best races, the best I’ve ever done in that way, having a plan and sticking with it and really executing. Definitely one of the best track races I’ve ever done like that.”
Marian 96, Weatherly 31
Nativity 104, Panther Valley 36
100 - 1. Michael Stank (N) 11.78, 2. Alex Gorski (N), 3. Ian McLaurin (W); 200 - 1. Michael Stank (N) 24.11, 2. Michael Kadziela (N), 3. Sam Spolski (N); 400 - 1. Michael Stank (N) 53.30. 2. Alex Gorski (N), 3. Jacob Tom (M); 800 - 1. Jack Messina (N) 2:16.72, 2. Anthony Thomas (M), 3. Albin Petschauer (M); 1600 - 1. Jacob Parker (W) 4:59.97, 2. Albin Petschauer (M), 3. Joseph Rossi (N); 3200 - 1. Joseph Rossi (N) 11:19.13, 2. Cole Wagner (N), 3. Jack Messina (N); 110H - 1. Noah Dolbin (N) 16.51, 2. Nathaniel Rosario (M), 3. Lyle Lin (PV); 300H - 1. Noah Dolbin (N) 42.75, 2. Nathaniel Rosario (M), 3. Bryan Wilde (PV); 400 relay - 1. Marian 47.31; 1600 relay - 1. Nativity 3:49.11; 3200 relay - 1. Nativity 9:11.38; High jump - 1. Jose Ramirez (M) 5-10, 2. Josh Steffan (N), 3. Liam Messina (N); Long jump - 1. Noah Dolbin (N) 19-9.5, 2. Michael Silliman (M), 3. Brennan Kunkle (PV); Triple jump - 1. Noah Solbin (N) 42-6, 2. Bryan Wilde (PV), 3. Jose Ramirez (M); Shot put - 1. Austin Hadley (PV) 43-2, 2. Michael Pascoe (PV), 3. Bailey Ziolkowski (N); Discus - 1. Michael Pascoe (PV) 125-0.25, 2. Jesse Rodino (M), 3. James Rodino (M); Javelin
- 1. Brad Jones (PV) 158-3, 2. Ben Kreitzer (N), 3. Dylan Rodino (M).
Marian 121, Weatherly 8
Nativity 79, Panther Valley 47
100 - 1. Sara Spolski (N) 13.81, 2. Caitlyn Kovatch (M), 3. Kerrigan Digris (M); 200 - 1. Sara Spolski (N) 28.46, 2. Alizabeth Pikitus (M), 3. Ashlee Zimmerman (M); 400 - 1. Melissa Malarkey (N) 1:06.62, 2. Addison Fritz (M), 3. Mikayla Yurichek (PV); 800 - 1. Melissa Malarkey (N) 2:45.52, 2. Emma Ashfield (M), 3. Abigail Kluck (M); 1600 - 1. Ava Fritz (M) 6:25.74, 2. Lola Rymarkiewicz (N), 3. Macie Rushannon (N); 3200 - 1. Lola Rymarkiewicz (N) 15:39.71, 2. Abigail Kluck (M), 3. Alyssa Porambo (M); 100H - 1. Mackenzie Miller (N) 20.09, 2. Eliza Bauder (M), 3. Mia Rinaldi (M); 300H - 1. Eliza Bauder (M) 58.90, 2. Mackenzie Miller (N), 3. Hilary Shreffler (PV); 400 relay - 1. Marian 54.51; 1600 relay - 1. Marian 4:56.37; 3200 relay - 1. Marian 11:36.69; High jump - 1. Riley McArdle (PV) 4-4, 2. (tie) Madelin Daynorowicz (N), Eliza Bauder (M); Long jump - 1. Riley McArdle (PV) 14-5, 2. Morgan Orsulak (PV), 3. Rebecca Boyle (M); Triple jump - 1. Addison Fritz (M) 31-2.5, 2. Sara Spolski (N), 3. Brenna McAndrew (PV); Shot put - 1. Izabella Bochicchio (PV) 31-11, 2. Madison Kramer (N), 3. Brena Banks (PV); Discus - 1. Kelly Reiner (W) 79-6.5, 2. Mikayla Yurichek (PV), 3. Zoe Salter (M); Javelin
- 1. Carly Minchhoff (M) 109-5. 2. Mikayla Yurichek (PV), 3. Jenna Goff (M).