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Another gold for Wallace

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    Jim Thorpe’s Debbie Loyd captured the District 11 Class 2A pole vault for the second straight year. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS

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Published May 17. 2019 01:00PM


WHITEHALL – Lydia Wallace didn’t get the result she wanted in her first race of the day.

That was more than enough motivation for the Jim Thorpe sophomore to make sure it didn’t happen again when she got back on the track.

Wallace won her second gold medal in as many days at the District 11 Track and Field Championships Thursday, capturing the 2A 800 with a time of 2:22.43. Wallace, who won the 300 hurdles Wednesday, was second in the 400 earler in the day.

“It means a lot. I’ve put in a lot of hard work this season,” said Wallace. “I was hoping to get a win in the 400, but I still got two wins and that’s OK. I worked hard, so it’s worth it.

“It was definitely great getting a chance to go back to Shippensburg, but I didn’t get the times that I wanted, which is disappointing. But I still get to go, and hopefully I get the times I want next Friday.”

Wallace qualified for states in three events a year ago as a freshman, winning the 400 and advancing with a runner-up finish in the 800 and as a member of the Olympians 400 relay team,

That experience has Wallace eager to see what she can do in her return.

“I’m ranked higher for the 300 hurdles, I want to try to medal in both, that’s my goal,” she said. “Going out last year, I was a freshman, I had no idea what my goals where, I had no expectations; I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to states,’ And I ended up making it to the finals, but I didn’t know how to race that race, so I didn’t do as good.

“It was just a great experience. There’s great competition. I didn’t get the times that I wanted, but I’m just excited to go out to Shippensburg next week and hopefully get the times I want there.”

Several area athletes secured their place at the PIAA Championships next week with solid performances on the final day of the district meet Thursday at Whitehall’s Zephyr Sports Complex, even if some were left hoping for slightly better showings.

Jim Thorpe’s Debbie Loyd and Lehighton’s Isabelle Meckes repeated as district champions.

Loyd went back to back as 2A pole vault champ, clearing 10-0.

“It means a lot,” said Loyd. “Coming off of an injury and then still winning is pretty good. I would have liked to jump higher but I’m still happy with what I did.”

Loyd was out of action with tendonitis in her knee, altering her training schedule ahead of the season.

“Initially, I didn’t think it was going to be that bad, and I was like, ‘No, that’s fine. I’ll be fine,’” she said. “It’s just that with pole vaulting, you need such a strong run and jump, and especially since it was my takeoff leg, it was kind of hard to have a consistent jump, or to jump the whole practice. But ibuprofen helps, and the season came and I was like, ‘I’m just gonna deal with it.’

“Last year I trained year ‘round, so I was really prepared for my junior year. But this year, I was kind of off and on the whole summer and the whole fall season I didn’t compete at all indoor. I came back in April and I just knew I had to jump, and couldn’t take any more time off.”

Like Wallace, Loyd is hoping for better results in her final trip to Shippensburg.

“I definitely want to match my PR, and maybe break it; maybe 11-6,” said Loyd “I think I can. I’m starting to get back into the rhythm of things. So hopefully.”

Meckes captured the 3A discus for a second straight year with throw of 127-03.

“My goal was to just throw the qualifying (standard) and just work up,” Meckes said. “Usually, throughout the season, my best throw, which it was today, and it was enough to make it. So I feel great trying to make it on the one.

“My goal was just to qualify, at least, and then work up from there.”

While not a personal best throw, Meckes improved on the 125-10 she threw to win the event last season.

Meckes credits sister Abigail, a freshman, for helping to push her to keep getting better. Abigail was seventh in the discus with a throw of 106-00.

“She’s actually doing better than I did my freshman year,” said Isabelle. “She’s a lot more competitive than I am. When she does something it pushes me to do it with her, to work together.

“We’re always first and second in our events.”

After a ninth-place finish at states a year ago, Isabelle is hoping to cap her career with her first state medal next week.

“I missed a medal by three quarters of an inch last year,” she said. “So I’m hoping to get a medal this year. Anything I can get is great. But just going is great.”

Northern Lehigh’s Kristen Guelcher won the 2A 100 with time of 12.69, just ahead of Weatherly’s Emily Zoscin (12.73), who also qualified for states.

Guelcher was seeded with a time of 13.18, and ran a 12.86 in Wednesday’s prelims.

“It was crazy,” said Guelcher. “Being a sophomore, going against all these older girls who are so talented, and just to be able to pull out the win meant a lot to me.

“I definitely had nerves. Today was the most nervous I’ve ever been for a meet, because I was going against all these really good girls. I really wanted to go to Ship, because a lot of my friends are going. It was a good experience.”

Zoscin had won the past two 2A 100 titles.

Tamaqua’s Caitlin Smith was fourth in the 100 with time of 12.97.

“There was definitely a lot more pressure, because knowing that it qualified me for something else, and something bigger, I knew there was a lot more riding on it, and there was just a lot more pressure,” said Guelcher. “All day I’ve been trying to get myself in the right mindset to run, and really have just been trying to focus on my race, and I think it helped a lot.

“Being a sophomore, I know there are going to be a lot of really good girls out there that are going to be faster than me. I just want to PR, and put it all out there, then focus on next year, and focus on going again.”

Zoscin was second in the 200 with a time of 27.17, while Guelcher finished third (27.25) and Smith fourth (27.57).

Tamaqua’s Emily Titus won the 2A shot put with a personal best mark of 34-08.75

After qualifying for states in the Class 3A triple jump Wednesday, Lehighton’s Kaia Slaw punched her ticket in two more events Thursday.

Slaw placed second in the long jump (17-9.5), and hit the state qualifying standard in the high jump (5-3).

“It feels really good,” said Slaw. “I was kind of expecting to go for triple jump. High jump was kind of a surprise; I only hit 5-3 one other time before this. I was hoping I would go for long jump, but it just feels great that I hit it.

“It definitely helped knowing I qualified in the triple jump. I didn’t have as many nerves coming back today. I knew that triple jump was my best shot to go to Ship, and today I knew I was already going, so I just gave it my all.”

Despite all of her success, Slaw couldn’t help but marvel at her accomplishments over the past two days.

“It does kind of shock me,” she said. “And I’m only a junior, so I feel really good this year, and I’ll feel even better next year, I think.

“I knew all the marks I had to hit. I knew I could hit all of them; I have basically hit all of them before. So I knew I could do it.

“Triple jump is my main event, I would say. I really want to do well in that. I’m hoping to medal. I don’t know if it’s going to happen. But we’ll see.

Pleasant Valley’s Armani Dunkley also hit the state qualifying standard in the high jump to advance to Shippensburg. Dunkley was also fourth in the 200 finals with a time of 26.15.

Northern Lehigh’s Reagan Pender was second in the 2A 1600 with a time of 5:20.55. Tamaqua’s Grace Stegemerten was fourth with a time of 5:27.94.

Pender surged to a third-place finish in the 800 with a time of 2:25.62. Tamaqua’s Brianna Dumond was fourth (2:26.15).

Tamaqua (52.22) was second, and Panther Valley (53.41) fourth in 2A 400 relay.

Jim Thorpe’s Kylee Dulski (16.99) was second in the 2A 100 hurdle finals, Marian’s Kaitlin Lowery (17.26) third, Palmerton’s Madison Martinez (17.36) fourth, Northern Lehigh’s Kristen Guelcher (17.99) sixth, and Panther Valley’s Autumn Steibler (18.34) eighth.

Tamaqua’s Frances Kabana was fourth in the 400 (1:02.45).


At Whitehall High School



Allentown Central Catholic (ACC), William Allen (All), Bangor (Bang), Bethlehem Catholic (BC), Blue Mountain (BM), Catasauqua (Cat), Dieruff (Die), East Stroudsburg North (ESN), East Stroudsburg South (ESS), Easton (East), Emmaus (Emm), Freedom (Free), Jim Thorpe (JT), Liberty (Lib), Mahanoy Area (MA), Marian Catholic (MC), Minersville (Min), Nativity BVM (Nat), Nazareth (Naz), North Schuylkill (NS), Northampton (Nor), Northwestern (NW), Northern Lehigh (NL), Notre Dame Green Pond (NDGP), Palisades (Pali), Palmerton (Palm), Panther Valley PaV), Parkland (Park), Pen Argyl (PA), Pine Grove (PG), Pleasant Valley (PlV), Pocono Mountain East (PME), Pocono Mountain West (PMW), Pottsville (Pot), Salisbury (Sal), Saucon Valley (SaV), Schuylkill Haven (SH), Shenandoah Valley (ShV), Southern Lehigh (SL), Stroudsburg (Str), Tamaqua (Tam), Weatherly (Wea), Whitehall (Whi), Wilson (Wil).


(Top 3 finishers; other locals)

100 - 1. Kristen Guelcher (NL) 12.69 q, 2. Emily Zoscin (Wea) 12.73, 3. Emily Demalis (ShV) 12.78, 4. Caitlin Smith (Tam) 12.97, 8. Adriana Tavares (PaV) 13.42, 9. Sayler Burke (Palm) 13.51.

200 - 1. Emily Demalis (ShV) 26.78 q, 2. Emily Zoscin (Wea) 27.17, 3. Kristen Guelcher (NL) 27.25, 4. Caitlin Smith (Tam) 27.57, 5. Adriana Tavares (PaV) 27.90, 6. Kayla Sherry (Tam) 28.13, 7. Tessa Bevilacqua (JT) 28.70.

400 - 1. Liz Harner (NS) 1:00.50 q, 2. Lydia Wallace (JT) 1:00.58, 3. Alexis Disora (NDGP) 1:00.96, 4. Frances Kabana (Tam) 1:02.45, 8. Andraya Pikitus (MC) 1:04.38, 11. Makenna Bankes (Wea) 1:06.14, 13. Nicole Capparell (MC) 1:06.34, 15. April Gerber (Tam) 1:06.71, 16. Abby Hernandez (Wea) 1:07.39, 19. Tessa Bevilacqua (JT) 1:09.14, 22. Madison Balliet (Palm) 1:10.58.

800 - 1. Lydia Wallace (JT) 2:22.43 q, 2. Ryley Schwalm (NS) 2:25.35, 3. Raegan Pender (NL) 2:25.62, 4. Brianna Dumond (Tam) 2:26.15, 7. Grace Stegemerten (Tam) 2:32.56, 9. Sarah Maue (Tam) 2:33.88, 10. Abigail McGinley (JT) 2:35.96, 16. Grace Curnow (MC) 2:42.66, 18. Katie Guelcher (NL) 2:45.24.

1600 - 1. Cori McCormick (NS) 5:13.88 q, 2. Raegan Pender (NL) 5:20.55, 3 Grace Medei (NDGP) 5:27.91, 4. Grace Stegemerten (Tam) 5:27.94, 5. Sarah Maue (Tam) 5:37.40, 11. Megan Rosahac (JT) 5:53.82, 13. Carolyn Mehallo (MC) 5:59.63, 14. Katie Guelcher (NL) 6:00.40.

100H - 1. Meredith Rhoades (MA) 16.22 q, 2. Kylee Dulski (JT) 16.99, 3. Kaitlin Lowery (MC) 17.26, 4. Madison Martinez (Palm) 17.36, 6. Kristen Guelcher (NL) 17.99, 8. Autumn Steibler (PaV) 18.34.

400 Relay - 1. Notre Dame GP (Alexis Disora, Sarah Sidoro, Hailey Falzone, Maddie Tuskes) 51.59 q, 2. Tamaqua (Caitlin Smith, Tressa Barron, Makenna Carroll, Kayla Sherry) 52.22, 3. Mahanoy Area 53.29, 4. Panther Valley 53.41, 5. Palmerton 53.47, 6. Marian Catholic 53.67, 8. Northern Lehigh 54.56, 10. Jim Thorpe 55.36.

1600 Relay - 1. North Schuylkill 4:11.45 q, 2. Notre Dame GP 4:14.43, 3. Tamaqua 4:14.77, 5. Marian Catholic 4:20.81, 8. Palmerton 4:37.41.

Shot Put - 1. Emily Titus (Tam) 34-8 3/4 q, 2. Hailey Evans (NL) 33-3 1/2, 3. Madison Cavenas (MA) 32-8 1/2, 4. Abigail Everett (Palm) 31-9 1/2, 5. Emma McClafferty (MC) 30-10 3/4, 11. Kristen Scott (JT) 27-7 1/4, 13. Taylor Craigie (JT) 27-0 1/2.

Triple Jump - 1. Sarah Wagner (NS) 34-3 3/4 q, 2. Erica Holben (Sal) 33-7 3/4, 3. Lily Schimeneck (Sal) 33-7, 4. Emma Christman (Palm) 33-1, 6. Sayler Burke (Palm) 32-7 3/4, 7. Maddison Beahm (Palm) 32-7 1/2, 8. Caprice Lynch (JT) 32-0 1/4, 10. Ariel Stanalonis (MC) 31-2, 11. Debbie Loyd (JT) 31-0 1/2.

Pole Vault - 1. Debbie Loyd (JT) 10-0 q, 2. Megan Guthrie (PA) 9-6, 3. Noelle Vargo (PA) 8-6, 3T. Tessa Bevilacqua (JT) 8-6, 6. Maggie Morgan (Palm) 8-0, 7. Abby Merkle (NL) 8-0, 10. Riley Solt (JT) 6-6.

q - denotes PIAA state qualifier


(Top 3 finishers; other locals)

100 - 1. Kylie Kutz (BM) 12.55 q, 2. Madison Trout (SL) 12.64 q, 3. Alanna Smith (Emm) 12.69.

200 - 1. Talitha Diggs (SaV) 24.39 q, 2. Lydia Bottelier (Pali) 25.60 q, 3. Juanita Wiggins (PMW) 26.10, 4. Armani Dunkley (PlV) 26.15.

400 - 1. Talitha Diggs (SaV) 55.92 q, 2. Alexis Doherty (Naz) 59.59 q, 3. Abigail Radcliffe (Naz) 59.77, 11. Nyia Moon (PlV) 1:02.51, 20. Jakayla Holmes (NW) 1:05.97.

800 - 1. Sophie Emin (East) 2:19.08 q, 2. Greta Stuckey (Lib) 2:20.40 q, 3. Emily Banashefski (Str) 2:22.15, 10. Sarah Supplee (NW) 2:26.24, 17. Alyssa Zack (NW) 2:29.57.

1600 - 1. Olivia Haas (BM) 5:08.33 q, 2. Ciara Conboy (Str) 5:09.09 q, 3. Isabel Devos (ACC) 5:17.26, 8. Allison Costa (NW) 5:30.24, 9. Madeline Consuelos (NW) 5:31.35.

100H - 1. Gabriella Taylor (ESS) 14.96 q, 2. Sierra Williams (SL) 15.15 q, 3. Taryn Silvernale (Str) 15.41, 7. Brittany Bartasavage (Leh) 15.83.

400 Relay - 1. East Stroudsburg South 49.46 q, 2. Whitehall 49.60 q, 3. Nazareth 49.70 q, 5. Pleasant Valley (Armani Dunkley, Alana Porter, DeNair Drew, Nyia Moon) 49.87.

1600 Relay - 1. Easton 3:58.65 q, 2. Nazareth 3:59.74 q, 3. Liberty 4:01.02 q, 14. Northwestern 4:21.92.

Discus - 1. Isabelle Meckes (Leh) 127-3 q, 2. Jaiden Martellucci (East) 122-9 q, 3. Maddie Wickel (BC) 115-5, 7. Abigail Meckes (Leh) 106-0.

High Jump - 1. Lydia Bottelier (Pali) 5-7 q, 2. Kate Willshaw (East) 5-7 q, 3. Payton Kleckner (Pot) 5-5 q, 4T. Armani Dunkley (PlV) 5-3 q, 6. Kaia Slaw (Leh) 5-3 q,

Javelin - 1. Shelby Staib (Park) 128-7 q, 2. Kelly Leszcynski (Naz) 126-0 q, 3. Paige Terrette (Bang) 123-3 q, 9. Emily Miller (Leh) 100-7, 10. Grace Lienhard (Leh) 97-0, 14. Sydney Sevrain (NW) 90-0,

Long Jump - 1. Liz Lieb (BC) 18-2 1/2 q , 2. Kaia Slaw (Leh) 17-9 1/2 q, 3. Juanita Wiggins (PMW) 17-6.

q - denotes PIAA state qualifier






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