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Tiger boys, girls stay unbeaten

The weather made it feel like a postseason meet.

And the teams gave a championship performance to match.

Despite being just the third meet of the season and fourth week of competition, Northwestern and Northern Lehigh showcased the skill they hope to carry into Memorial Day weekend at the PIAA Championships.

The Tiger boys and girls stayed undefeated with victories over the Bulldogs and Catasauqua Tuesday.

In the boys meet, Northwestern (4-0) posted a 108-40 win over Northern Lehigh and a 91-59 victory over Catasauqua. The Tigers (4-0) registered a 100-50 win over the Bulldogs in the girls meet, and secured a 111-39 victory over Catty.

“I’m very happy,” said Northwestern coach Chuck Groller. “Today’s the first day we’ve had some nice weather. If we can stay healthy, we’ll be competitive. And today showed that part of being competitive.”

Northern Lehigh’s girls went 1-1, posting a win over Catasauqua (76.5-65.5). The Bulldogs suffered a 98-50 loss to the Roughies in the boys meet.

Katelynn Barthold and Evelina Mayak each won multiple events for Northern Lehigh and etched their names in the school record books in the process. Barthold’s win in the 800 with a time of 2:21.2 eclipsed the previous school record of 2:21.55 set by Reagan Pender in 2019. Mayak crossed the line in 15.6 in the 100 hurdles, tying the school record set by Alyson Serafin in 2007.

Tigers roar

Northwestern showcased its depth and top-end talent in both meets.

The Tigers had eight different individual winners in the boys meet and won the 400 and 3200 relays.

Shane Leh ran to victory in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.6. His best a season ago was 17.0.

“Coach Groller has really helped me out, giving me some advice, on steps, block starts,” said Leh, who was second in the 300 hurdles. “Honestly, looking at my film and how my other teammates do it as well, and continuing to build off that and take that into how I do it.

“Coach and my teammates have helped me really improve a lot. I’ve just really been focusing and cracking down at hurdles during practice.”

Gavin Nelson - a state qualifier a year ago - won the high jump with a personal best mark of 6-5. With temperatures around 80 degrees on the field Tuesday, it felt more like the weather Nelson had at Shippensburg’s Seth Grove Stadium for states than anything he experienced so far this season.

“I know the past couple of meets, it was cold outside. The first meet we had it was snowing,” Nelson said. “I just feel like being looser definitely helped me. I cleared 6-3 on my first attempt, and got 6-5 on my second. I was close to 6-7 too, I feel like I was over it, if I could just maybe get some better form on it, just maybe a little more arch, I feel like I’ll be over it. I’ll probably look at some videos, I have a trainer to help me with it.”

Nelson, Leh, Landen Matson and Daniel Jenkins also came together for the first time this season to win the 400 relay with a time of 44.8.

In the girls meet, Northwestern swept the top three spots in the 400 and pole vault, with freshman Sophia Schaffer winning the 400 with a time of 1:03.2, and Grace Yost clearing a personal best 9-6 in the pole vault.

Schaffer, along with Kaia Grantham, Carsyn Van Norman and Bailey Murray also won the 400 relay with a time of 51.0.

“Little by little, every week the consistency is there, and today they ran a great race,” said Groller.

Sadie Fenstermaker won the discus with a mark of 105-9, and the shot put with a mark of 36-3.5. Fenstermaker was a state qualifier in the shot put last season.

Hannah Gober placed first in the javelin with a throw of 102-10 to help the Tigers sweep the throws.

Katie Brensinger - who recently medaled at the girls state wrestling tournament - was second in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, and discus to pick up valuable points and demonstrate her versatility.

“I like hurdles. I feel I’m good at both. I don’t really have a favorite,” said Brensinger. “And then throwing, I like throwing as well, just because it comes naturally to me. And then this is the first year, a week ago I started high jump and I’ve already cleared, 4-7, which I’m happy with for never high jumping. So it’s fun to be able to do different events.”

In the record books

Mayak and Barthold were both electric for the Northern Lehigh girls, who are now 3-1. Mayak won the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and triple jump, while Barthold was first in the 800 and long jump and on the winning 3200 relay with Natalie Moffitt, Mikayla Gordon and Emma Heil.

A sophomore, Mayak won the district title in the 100 hurdles a year ago with a 16.07 as the second seed.

“I knew the weather was going to be good, and I felt really good because it’s been cold and freezing,” said Mayak. “So I just wanted to go out there, have fun, do my best and run good time. I wanted to PR today and I did.”

Mayak has continued to build on the postseason success she achieved a year ago.

“It was a huge confidence booster for me,” she said of the district title. “I feel really good about every meet that I go to now.”

The sophomore won the 300 hurdles with a time of 51.1, and was first in the triple jump with a mark of 34-8.75.

“I just want to keep doing my best, and just keep pushing myself to my limit and keep breaking my own record,” said Mayak. “And most importantly I want to have fun. That’s all I can ask for.”

Barthold - who is also a member of the school record 3200 relay team from a year ago - has had tremendous form early in the season after a run to states in basketball.

“Hopefully I can just keep dropping time because we are still really early in the season,” she said.

Barthold, a junior, had run a 2:23.60 in the 800 this season before Tuesday.

“There are some really good girls in our district and our classification that can run really good times,” Barthold said of Class 2A.

Her time Tuesday would have put her second at districts last year and qualified her for states.

Barthold opened the day with Moffitt, Heil (who also won the 3200) and Gordon, winning the 3200 relay in 10:44.4. Her winning mark in the long jump was 15-3.25.


... Sam Frame won the shot put and discus for Northern Lehigh. He had a mark of 41-6.5 in the shot put, and a throw of 114-10 in the discus. Chris Frame also won the 100 with a time of 11.0, and Zaid Salih won the pole vault, clearing 9-6. Bailey Smith gave Northern Lehigh a sweep of the throwing events, winning the javelin with a throw of 131-4.


Northwestern 108, Northern Lehigh 40

Northwestern 91, Catasauqua 59

Catasauqua 98, Northern Lehigh 50

100 - 1. Chris Frame (NL) 11.0, 2. Hamaad Jenkins (C), 3. Jeremiah Cofie (C); 200 - 1. Hamaad Jenkins (C) 23.4, 2. Jeremiah Cole (C), 3. Landen Matson (NW); 400 - 1. Benjamin Bachman (NW) 54.3, 2. Peter LaPointe (C), 3. Francesco Ponte (NW); 800 - 1. Sean Kershner (NW) 2:09.3, 2. Greyson Wellings (NW), 3. Cadeo Estronza (C); 1600 - 1. Greyson Wellings (NW) 5:11.7, 2. Matteo Antonucci (NDES), 3. Jackson Hunsicker (NL); 3200 - 1. Xander Giandomenico (NW) 10:50.7, 2. Matteo Antonucci (NDES), 3. Jonathan Fornauf (NW); 110H - 1. Shane Leh (NW) 15.4, 2. Josiah Lafond (C), 3. Daniel Jenkins (NW); 300H - 1. Josiah Lafond (C) 43.2, 2. Shane Leh (NW), 3. Daniel Jenkins (NW); 400 relay - 1. Northwestern (Landen Matson, Shane Leh, Gavin Nelson, Daniel Jenkins) 44.8; 1600 relay - 1. Catasauqua 3:38.2; 3200 relay - 1. Northwestern (Brady Furman, Lucas Berardi, Max Miller, Evan Mussel) 9:54.0; Shot put - 1. Sam Frame (NL) 41-6.5, 2. Isaac Raber (NL), 3. Neven Okuley (NW); Discus - 1. Sam Frame (NL) 114-10, 2. Joshua Rodriguez (C), 3. Matthew Cabansag (NW); Javelin - 1. Bailey Smith (NL) 131-4, 2. Brendan Miller (NW), 3. Kayden Novicki (NL); Long jump - 1. Del Tyler (NW) 20-7.75, 2. Logan Mesics (NW), 3. Emmanuel Bolmer (C); Triple jump - 1. Bradley Burnard (NW) 39-4.75, 2. Kit Kahm (NW), 3. Francesco Ponte (NW); High jump - 1. Gavin Nelson (NW) 6-5, 2. Kit Kahm (NW), 3. Zaid Salih (NL); Pole vault

- 1. Zaid Salih (NL) 9-6, 2. William Aguirre (C), 3. Cadeo Estronza (C); .


Northwestern 100, Northern Lehigh 50

Northwestern 111, Catasauqua 39

Northern Lehigh 76.5, Catasauqua 65.5

100 - 1. Hailey Jenkins (C) 11.9, 2. Kaia Grantham (NW), 3. Carsyn Van Norman (NW); 200 - 1. Hailey Jenkins (C) 25.5, 2. Kaia Grantham (NW), 3. Carsyn Van Norman (NW); 400 - 1. Sophia Schaffer (NW) 1:03.2, 2. McKensey Miller (NW), 3. Ella Dangello (NW); 800 - 1. Katelynn Barthold (NL) 2:21.2, 2. Mikayla Gordon (NL), 3. Kherington Yezik (NW); 1600 - 1. Alivia Bear (C) 5:51.4, 2. Sophia Cornell (NW), 3. Haley Dubois (NW); 3200 - 1. Emma Heil (NL) 13:01.0, 2. Ava Smith (C), 3. Devon Heinly (NW); 100H - 1. Evelina Mayak (NL) 15.6, 2. Katie Brensinger (NW), 3. Dekota Barthold (NL); 300H - 1. Evelina Mayak (NL) 51.1, 2. Katie Brensinger (NW), 3. Florenni DeJesus Bido (C); 400 relay - 1. Northwestern (Kaia Grantham, Carsyn Van Norman, Bailey Murray, Sophia Schaffer) 51.0; 1600 relay - 1. Catasauqua 4:18.1; 3200 relay - 1. Northern Lehigh (Natalie Moffitt, Emma Heil, Mikayla Gordon, Katelynn Barthold) 10:44.4; Shot put - 1. Sadie Fenstermaker (NW) 36-3.5, 2. Lauren DeLong (C), 3. Dekota Barthold (NL); Discus - 1. Sadie Fenstermaker (NW) 105-9, 2. Katie Brensinger (NW), 3. McKenna Kirk (NL); Javelin - 1. Hannah Gober (NW) 102-10, 2. Alexandra Diehl (NW), 3. Dekota Barthold (NL); Long jump - 1. Katelynn Barthold (NL) 15-3.25, 2. Abby Pomajevich (NW), 3. Sophia Schaffer (NW); Triple jump - 1. Evelina Mayak (NL) 34-8.75, 2. Abby Pomajevich (NW), 3. Julia Harth (C); High jump - 1. Celina Ruddell (NW) 4-9, 2. Morgan Smith (NL), 3. Ava Okuley (NW); Pole vault

- 1. Grace Yost (NW) 9-6, 2. Ava Okuley (NW), 3. Taylor Langley (NW).

Northern Lehigh's Evelina Mayak (right) clears a hurdle ahead of Northwestern's Katie Brensinger. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Northwestern's Logan Mesics competes in the long jump. He finished second in the event. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS