Log In

Reset Password

Area athletes capture five golds at Schuylkill League Track and Field meet

The sun was shining brightly, and the late afternoon temperatures hovered near 80 degrees on Day 1 of the Schuylkill League Track and Field Championships at Tamaqua High School.

But it was still a great time to see the stars.

Five athletes from the Times News area were among the group of stars who turned in gold medal performances on Tuesday, while many others picked up hardware as well.

Among the headliners were Tamaqua’s Katelyn Fredericks and Samantha Plasha; Marian’s James Rodino and Albin Petschauer; and Lehighton’s Gabriella Brown.

Raiders feel ‘at home’

Fredericks started off the area gold rush by blazing to a new school record in the 300-meter hurdles. The Blue Raider sophomore took full advantage of the comforts of her home track by posting a time of 45.94 to beat back Pottsville’s Alexa Guiffre (46.58) and Schuylkill Haven’s Isabella Hughes (49:12).

Fredericks new record was previously held by Margaret Benny, who ran a 47:04 in 2000 - 24 years ago.

Fredericks realized coming in what she needed to do.

“I knew that if I wanted to win the race, I needed to beat Alexa (Guiffre),” the jubilant Tamaqua underclassmen said. “We have faced each other before, and she beat me every time.

“This was such a fun race. I realized I had a good chance to win the race with two hurdles to go. That’s when I looked over (at my competitors) and I was in front.”

Tamaqua’s Plasha, a junior, stood tall on the medal stand smiling after winning the pole vault.

“I enjoy competing, and didn’t feel any pressure,” she said. “I was really excited, I knew who I had to beat.”

Plasha was also presented with the Mort Baskin Memorial Award, which is sponsored by Mrs. T’s Pierogies of Shenandoah.

Plasha finished with a vault of 9-7 to capture the event. Blue Mountain’s Kamryn Morgan (9-1) was second, and Jim Thorpe’s Alyssa Cook (8-7) was third.

Colt champs

Marian’s Rodino was a gold medal winner in the shot put. The standout three-sport athlete powered his winning throw 45-7.5.

North Schuylkill throwers Bryden Lauta (44-1) and Aiden Zilker (43-7.25) finished second and third, respectively.

Rodino came into the event as the No. 2 seed, but that didn’t prevent him from beating his closest rivals by well over a foot.

A season ago, Rodino didn’t get to compete at the Schuylkill League meet because he had a wisdom tooth extracted.

“I got a little smarter,” the senior who is noted for his football ability for the Colts, said as he chuckled. “My first throw was my best. I was glad to get that in and just put the pressure on Lauta and Zilker - who were expected to be his top two rivals coming into the meet.

Petschauer - another Marian standout - ruled the roost in the 3200 meter run with a time of 9:48.86.

He easily held off second-place finisher Robert Guzman of Shenandoah (9:53.46), and third-place finisher Wyatt Leitzel of Minersville (9:54.45).

“I was kind of relaxed, not nervous,” said Petschauer. “You have to have that good pace in a run like this.

“I’m happy to get the win here, and I’m excited about (next week’s) district meet.”

Petschauer, who has lowered his own school record in the event several times this season, did it again on Tuesday.

Big Lehighton leap

Lehighton’s Brown picked up a gold medal in the event she excels at – the long jump. She had a sterling jump of 17-2.25 to beat a talented field that included second-place Maggie Hoffman-Long of Minersville, third-place Caitlyn Kovatch of Marian, and fourth-place Samantha Plasha of Tamaqua - who will all be in next week’s district 11 field.

Brown was doubly excited as she not only captured gold, but also set a personal best in the process.

“It was little less than a foot better,” she said about her best-ever leap. “Today was so great. I know I was ranked pretty high coming into it, but then I really stuck my last jump and that put me ahead.”

A season ago, Brown said she didn’t do well at districts, but is confident this time around.

“I think I can really have a good meet this time,” she said.

Strong throwers

Times News athletes had strong performances in the girls discus and boys javelin.

Although Minersville’s Kaycee Raczka (92-9) grabbed a gold medal in the girls discus, Lehighton’s Lorah Thomas (92.6) was right there and well within reach as she finished second. Panther Valley’s Mikayla Yuricheck - who is a standout softball player as well as a track star - captured a bronze medal with a throw of 91-9.

Lehighton’s Joesph Roth (167-1) and Panther Valley’s Brad Jones (165-11) finished second and third, respectively, to Minersville’s talented senior Luke Stevenosky, who had a meet-record throw of 201.7. Stevenosky was awarded the Virgil Scott Memorial Award, given to the event winner.


Tamaqua’s Fredericks finished second Tuesday in the 100 hurdles with a time of 16.84, just behind Pottsville’s Giuffre (16.26) who had the best time. In addition, Lehighton’s Ava Kistner (17.18) and Natalie Blair (17.93) will also be among the eight finalists.

Tamaqua’s Sarah Coccio (27.17), Lehighton’s Timara Klotz (23.46) and Jim Thorpe’s Iyanah Graves-Sockwell (28.46) will all be part of the 200-meter finals today after qualifying on Tuesday.

The Marian girls will send two sprinters into today’s 100-meter final as Alizabeth Pikitus (13.12) and Caitlyn Kovatch (13.51) both made the field. They will be joined by Tamaqua’s Sarah Coccio (13.35).

Lehighton’s Equan Warmer will get a chance for a medal today in the 110-meter hurdles, qualifying in the event with an eight-place finish.

CLOSING FAST … Tamaqua’s superb boys 3200 relay team was a third-place finisher. The team comprised of Stephen Kieffer, Adam Schock, Jathan Krall and Jesse Gormley had a time of 8:37.62. Minersville won the event in a time of 8:09.30.

LEADERBOARD … After Day 1, Minersville leads the boys team standings with 54 points. Among area boys teams, Marian is fifth with 23 points, Lehighton is tied for seventh with 18 points, Tamaqua is 10th with 11 points, Panther Valley and Jim Thorpe are tied for 11th with six points and Weatherly is 14th with two points. Lehighton leads the girls standings with 37 points, Tamaqua is fourth with 26, Jim Thorpe is eighth with 12 points, Marian is ninth with 11 points, and Panther Valley is 11th with six points.



Team Standings and Legend

Minersville (Mi) 54, North Schuylkill (NS) 38, Blue Mountain (BM) 33, Nativity (N) 27, Marian (Mar) 23, Pottsville (P) 19, Mahanoy Area (MA) 18, Lehighton (L) 18, Shenandoah Valley (SV) 11, Tamaqua (T) 11, Panther Valley (PV) 6, Schuylkill Haven (SH) 6, Jim Thorpe (JT) 6, Weatherly (W) 2, Pine Grove (PG) 1.

Individual Results

(top 3 plus locals in top 10)

3200 - 1. Albin Petschauer (Mar) 9:48.86, 2. Robert Guzman (SV) 9:53.46, 3. Wyatt Leitzel (Mi) 9:54.45, 7. Elijah Pagotto (L) 10:20.44, 8. Anthony Marchetti (T) 10:20.56; 300H - 1. Cole McGroarty (MA) 39.60, 2. Donovan Durham (P) 42.28, 3. Zackary Wehry (NS) 42.34, 8. Equan Warner (L) 43.95; 3200 relay - 1. Minersville (Ayden Kurtek, Keegan Duba, Kolin Long, Wyatt Leitzel) 8:09.30, 2. Blue Mountain 8:19.69, 3. Tamaqua 8:34.50, 5. Lehighton 8:41.29, 7. Weatherly 9:02.76, 8. Jim Thorpe 9:13.40; High Jump - 1. Tyrone Chambers (NS) 6-7, 2. Michael Kadziela (N) 6-5, 3. Tairell Curry (P) 6-1, 7. Cole Lazorick (JT) 5-9, 8. Joseph Roth (L) 5-9, 9. Martin Griffin (T) 5-7; Long Jump - 1. Dante Carr (Mi) 21-5 1/4, 2. Noah Dolbin (N) 21-4 1/4, 3. Chase Guers (BM) 21-3, 5. Martin Griffin (T) 20-11 1/4, 6. Jacob Tom (Mar) 20-3 1/2; Shot put - 1. James Rodino (Mar) 45-7.5, 2. Brayden Lauta (NS) 44-1, 3. Aiden Zilker (NS) 43-7.25, 6. Salvatore Capria (JT) 40-1.25; Javelin

- 1. Luke Stevenoksy (Mi) 201-7, 2. Joseph Roth (L) 167-1, 3. Brad Jones (PV) 165-11, 7. Wyatt Sherer (L) 140-5.


Team Standings and Legend

Lehighton (L) 37, Blue Mountain (BM) 36, Minersville (Mi) 33, Tamaqua (T) 26, Pottsville (P) 21, Schuylkill Haven (SH) 19, Mahanoy Area (MA) 17, Jim Thorpe (JT) 12, Marian (Mar) 11, Pine Grove (PG) 10, Panther Valley (PV) 6, North Schuylkill (NS) 3, Shenandoah Valley (SV) 2.

Individual Results

(top 3 plus locals in top 10)

3200 - 1. Anna Schaeffer (SH) 11:58.38, 2. Kaylee Senglar (MA) 12:39.08, 3. Madison Eroh (PA) 12:39.69, 7. Stacy Bos (JT) 13:26.53, 8. Alexis Buchala (T) 13:28.11, 9. Emma Ashfield (Mar) 13:59.60; 300H - 1. Katelynn Fredericks (T) 45.94, 2. Alexa Giuffree (P) 46.58, 3. Isabella Hughes (SH) 49.12, 7. Natalie Blair (L) 52.14; 3200 relay - 1. Blue Mountain (Gianna Chipriano, Sophia Chipriano, Allison Hoover, Lucy Scheidel) 10:07.72, 2. Mahanoy Area 10:31.24, 3. Pine Grove 10:40.99, 4. Lehighton 11:05.73, 6. Marian 11:34.94; Pole Vault - 1. Samantha Plasha (T) 9-7, 2. Kamryn Moran (BM) 9-1, 3. Alyssa Cook (Mi) 8-7, 4. Olivia Rosenberger (JT) 8-7, 5. Dani Rimsky (JT) 7-7; Long jump - 1. Gabriella Brown (L) 17-2 1/4, 2. Maggie Hoffman-Long (Mi) 16-10 1/2, 3. Caitlyn Kovatch (MC) 16-1 1/4, 4. Samantha Plasha (T) 15-11 3/4, 5. Darcy Leiby (L) 15-8 1/2, 6. Synceray Behler (L) 15-6 1/2, 8. Alexandra Feller (L) 15-3 3/4, 9. Morgan Orsulak (PV) 15-1 3/4, 10. Sarah Hope (T) 15-0 1/2; Discus

- 1. Kaycee Raczka (Mi) 92-9, 2. Lorah Thomas (L) 92-6, 3. Mikayla Yuricheck (PV) 91-9, 5. Leah Uyvari (L) 86-11, 7. Olivia Thomas (Mar) 83-8, 8. Maura Malaska (JT) 82-10, 9. Esme Petschauer (Mar) 80-6.

Tamaqua's Samantha Plasha clears the bar in the pole vault. Plasha captured gold in the event at Tuesday's Schuylkill League Championships. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS