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District 11 boys track: Petschauer, Nelson, Burkett capture gold medlals

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN - The expectation was victory.

But the reality might have even been sweeter than that.

Top seeds in their respective events, Marian’s Albin Petschauer, Northwestern’s Gavin Nelson and Palmerton’s Ryan Burkett did not disappoint on the first day of the District 11 Track and Field Championships.

The trio left Blue Mountain High School with gold in 2A competition, leading a total of five boys athletes to punch their tickets to next week’s state meet in Shippensburg.

“It feels really fulfilling,” said Petschauer. “Being the first seed in general, and being able to win it, it feels like a lot of hard work paid off. It feels good.”

In addition to Petschauer, Nelson and Burkett, Palmerton’s Bryson Walters and Marian’s Jesse Rodino also qualified for states with runner-up finishes Tuesday.

Petschauer prevails

The top seed in the 3200, Petschauer ran a smart race to claim the victory with a time of 9:48.87 ahead of Minersville’s Wyatt Leitzel (9:53.59), who led throughout the first half.

“I definitely didn’t expect Wyatt to be pushing out that hard in the first mile,” said Petschauer. “The first mile was about 4:50ish, around there, which is pretty fast. I didn’t expect to be behind someone, to be honest. But it was quicker than I thought.

“After the first mile I felt pretty good. I was too far off from what I was planning on splitting. I didn’t feel too bad. But it took a little bit to push ahead of Wyatt and then hold that for the last mile.”

Petschauer was the top seed at 9:48.86.

“I was close to my PR,” said Petschauer. “It would have been nice to get another one, but I have another chance at it now going to states. I’m not upset about it. My goal was just to get first place, so I’m not upset about it at all.”

Nelson soars

Nelson has been unflappable all season, and Tuesday was no different, as the junior cleared 6-5 to win the high jump.

“It feels great,” said Nelson. “I’ve had a lot of support here, my entire family is here to support me, and overall, I just feel great. I’m really happy with myself. I wish I got a higher height, but at the end of the day I’m just happy I can go to states. Hopefully I can PR at states, maybe break the school record. That would be a great time to do it. I’m just looking forward to that, and I’m really happy with the outcome today.”

Nelson, who also qualified for states last year, was seeded first at 6-7.

“Throughout the day I didn’t really focus on it too much,” Nelson said of his seed. “I just tried to stay calm, listen to music and stay confident. I feel like it worked. I wasn’t really nervous. I was talking to my dad a little bit, so that helped a lot. He really helped me just stay calm. My mom helped me a lot with that, too. And Coach (Chuck) Groller was there for me. He kept telling me, ‘You’re going to do it. You’re going to do good today.’ And that just really helped.”

Burkett blasts off

The junior has been in great form throughout the year, and delivered another stellar performance Tuesday to win the discus with a throw of 168-0.

“It’s hard at first. That first throw that you get is definitely hard,” said Burkett. “I know my first throw was really tense, even my coaches said it was the most tense throw that I’ve ever had. But once you get that first throw off, everything from there, as long as you can get everything under control, then the rest of your throws are just so comfortable.

“With the community that we have, everyone is so supportive, and it’s awesome.”

Burkett was the top seed at 171-5.

“I just got more comfortable as I went,” said Burkett. “It started raining a little bit more so it got a little bit slippery in the circle. I think my fifth throw I slipped a little bit. But then my last throw I was able to recover and I just got one in.

“For states, I’ll be preparing over the weekend, fine-tuning everything and hopefully I can have a big throw out there and come away with a medal.”

Trip to Ship

Jesse Rodino hit a huge PR and broke a school record to place second behind Burkett in the discus and advance to states with a throw of 155-11, topping his previous best of 145-2. The school record was 149-11.

Rodino was also a district runner-up last year and qualified for states.

“Coach (Justin) Huegel has helped me really calm down and relax,” said Rodino. “And I have all my friends there to support me, and coach (Will) Cameron, I talk to him and he’s given me lessons throughout the year and I want to thank him as well.

“Now I want to throw 160-(feet). I want to break my own record and medal at states, that’s the goal. I’ve been working really hard for that.”

Walters clocked a 39.56 in the 300 hurdles to top his mark of 39.74 en route to a second-place finish.

“I think it’s great that I’m getting another chance (to run) at states and perform again,” said Walters. “I’m definitely proud of my race. That is a PR for me. It felt good. I think I can still work on things, as always. But I’m getting there.”

Moving on

Palmerton’s Matt Machalik (11.17) and Northern Lehigh’s Chris Frame (11.61) advanced to the 2A boys 100 finals.

Jim Thorpe’s Kayden Spence (23.52) qualified for the 2A boys 200 finals.

Walters (15.13) and teammate Jake Rutkowitz (15.77), along with Northwestern’s Shane Leh (16.34), advanced to the 110 hurdle finals.

Coming back

Action is scheduled to resume today at 3 p.m. at Blue Mountain High School.




Class 3A

Team legend

Parkland (Park), Southern Lehigh (SL), Dieruff (D), Freedom (F), Stroudsburg (S), Emmaus (Em), Tamaqua (T), Bangor (B), Whitehall (W), East Stroudsburg North (ESN).

(top-3 plus other locals in top-10)

3200 relay – 1. Parkland 8:02.06, 2. Emmaus 8:05.57, 3. Blue Mountain 8:12.98, 7. Tamaqua 8:24.72; 300 hurdles – 1. Andrew Beers (Park) 37.38, 2. Jack Inglis (SL) 38.18, 3. Jorge Santos (D) 38.51; 3200 – 1. Ethan Willard (Park) 9:50.18, 2. Colin McGuiigan (Park) 9:53.97, 3. Dylan Boyle (F) 9:55.71; Triple jump – 1. Shacre Colwell (F) 46-2, 2. Kevin Polonia (S) 46-1.25, 3. Kyle Moore (Em) 45-11, 7. Martin Griffin (T) 42-0; Shot put

– 1. Dylan Krugh (B) 50-11.25, 2. Kaden Weaver (W) 48-8, 3. Christian Marrero (ESN) 47-1.25.

Class 2A

Team legend

Mahanoy (Mah), Palmerton (Palm), Notre Dame Green Pond (NDGP), Marian (Mar), Minersville (Min), Northwestern (NW), Nativity (Nat), Palisades (Pali), Lehigh Valley Academy (LVA), Pine Grove (PG), Panther Valley (PV), Northern Lehigh (NL), Jim Thorpe (JT).

(top-3 plus other locals in top-10)

3200 relay – 1. Notre Dame Green Pond 8:02.68, 2. Minersville 8:04.03, 3. Allentown Central Catholic 8:19.27, 4. Northwestern 8:24.60, 8. Weatherly 9:14.36; 300 hurdles – 1. Colm McGroarty (Mah) 39.30, 2. Bryson Walters (Palm) 39.56, 3. Joseph Phillips (NDGP) 40.83, 6. Dayton Tindula (Palm) 43.73; 3200 – 1. Albin Petschauer (Mar) 9:48.87, 2. Wyatt Leitzel (Min) 9:53.59, 3. Kolin Long (Min) 9:55.52, 5. Connor Hibell (Palm) 10:02.41, 9. Xander Giandomenico (NW) 10:28.94; Long jump – 1. Noah Dolbin (Nat) 22-3.5, 2. Dante Carr (Min) 21-6, 3. Trevor Johnson (Pali) 21-3.5, 4. Jake Rutkowitz (Palm) 20-11.5, 5. Kit Kahm (NW) 20-9; Javelin – 1. Luke Stevenosky (Min) 180-5, 2. Marcus Morales (LVA) 169-4, 3. Colin Haddock (PG) 153-3, 4. Brad Jones (PV) 149-11, 6. Bailey Smith (NL) 141-8, 8. Alex Konze (Palm) 139-3; Discus – 1. Ryan Burkett (Palm) 168-0, 2. Jesse Rodino (Mar) 155-11, 3. Zack Anthony (Palm) 146-9, 4. James Rodino (Mar) 144-5; High jump

– 1. Gavin Nelson (NW) 6-5, 2. Michael Kadziela (Nat) 6-3, 3. Dante Carr (Min) 6-1, 4. Cole Lazorick (JT) 5-11, 7. Trent Ader (Palm) 5-9.

Gavin Nelson, Northwestern