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Spring-Ford boys claim seventh straight Pioneer Athletic Conference title

PHOENIXVILLE >> He certainly has a unique style in his selection of track and field garb.

But Steve Chapman knows what he likes … in this case, the Star Wars pajama bottoms in which he was decked out in on Friday.

“Absolutely,” he said with a smile when asked if they were official dress for his role as a hurdler for the Spring-Ford boys team. And when asked if he considered them a good luck charm, he replied, “Yeah.”

That second fact would be hard to argue, given his performance at the Pioneer Athletic Conference championship meet.

Spring-Ford’s Stephen Chapman leads the field en route to winning the 300-meter hurdles Friday at the PAC Track & Field Championships. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

It started Thursday when the Ram junior won the 110 high hurdles by .02 seconds over Perkiomen Valley’s Josh Magee. It continued in a bigger way Friday, when he had a record run toward gold in the 300 intermediates.

Chapman completed his sweep of the hurdling competition by again heading Magee — this time by close to one second — in the 300 intermediates. And his 38.91 clocking beat the old program mark of 39.47 held by Scott Helverson.

“We talked about it,” he said. “I said today is the day the record goes down.”

“He ran his race,” SF head coach Danielle Stauffer said of Chapman. “He stayed within himself.”

Chapman’s effort was one of the bigger ones helping secure the boys team championship for Spring-Ford. The Rams scored 127 points in complement to the 5-0 run they made through the PAC’s Liberty Division this season.

“I couldn’t imagine a weekend ending any better,” Chapman said.

Liam Comway had a stellar weekend of his own. The Owen J. Roberts junior won three gold medals with a sweep of the distance races (800, 1,600, 3,200) over the meet’s two-day span.

Owen J. Roberts’ Liam Conway celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the boys’ 800 meters Friday at the PAC Track & Field Championships. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Coming off Thursday’s win in the 3,200 (9:36.52), Conway clocked a 4:28.23 in the 3,200. He then went 1:58.68 in the 800, a two-second victory over Methacton’s Michael Clark.

“I knew I had the 200 later,” he said of his 1,600 strategy. “I wanted to stay in the pack and use minimal energy.”

Conway bested Spring-Ford’s Jacob McKenna in the first two races by respective margins of four and two seconds. His focus in running the three races was more than just individual glory.

Owen J. Roberts’ Aidan Hayward smiles after his winning throw in the boys’ discus Friday at the PAC Track & Field Championships. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

“I was looking toward us winning the team championship,” he said. “Winning the three events meant 30 team points.”

John Keenan had a multiple-win meet of his own. The Methacton junior struck gold in the long jump and javelin Thursday, with a leap of 21-2 1/4 in the jump and a 171-5 throw of the javelin.

“I had a good personal record in the middle of the season,” Keenan noted. “Then I slipped off. I needed a PR here, and I got it … five inches over my previous.”

Keenan’s showing was not affected by moving the meet schedule up a day, due to concerns over inclement weather forecast for Saturday.

“I originally expected it would be Friday and Saturday,” he said. “It surprised me at first, but I took on the challenge.”

Phoenixville’s Dorian County unleashes a jump of 44-4 1/4 to win the boys’ triple jump Friday at the PAC Track & Field Championships at Phoenixville. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

On the track, Stone Scarcelle contributed to the Spring-Ford boys’ eventual championship finish by winning the 400. Scarcelle ran a 50.75 to edge Owen J. Roberts runner-up Shyeed May (50.94).

“It was a PR time,” he said. “I wanted to be consistent in 50s, and it’s paid off in our meets.”

The Ram junior was more than happy to accept one of the medals awarded to the first three finishers in PAC events, eschewing the ribbons presented to those competitors finishing fourth and lower.

“I have enough of those,” he said.

Pottsgrove’s Justin Adams won the boys’ shot put Friday at the PAC Track & Field Championships at Phoenixville. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Spring-Ford got other help toward its championship finish from a 4×400 relay that ran a 3:26.46, and 4×800 and 4×400 relays that finished a respective second to Boyertown and Norristown/Owen J. Roberts.

“We’ve had close meets this season,” Stauffer said. “Just because you win duals doesn’t mean you’re going to win the championship.

“A lot of teams have big-win athletes. So long as everyone does their jobs … we have a lot of kids who filled out the team. A lot of kids hit district marks.”

Norristown’s Austin Montgomery dominated the sprints. The freshman won the 100 in a time of 11.21, then took the 200 in a much-closer 22.90 from Perkiomen Valley’s Isaiah Domine (22.94).

Pottsgrove’s Michael Ziegler hits the pit after an attempt in the triple jump Friday. Ziegler placed second. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Other second-day champions were Pottsgrove’s Justin Adams in the shot put (47-1), Phoenixville’s Dorian County in the triple jump (44-4) and OJR’s Aidan Hayward in the discus (151-7).

NOTES >> The PAC qualifiers now set their sights on the District 1 meet next weekend at Coatesville. “I got the times I wanted,” Conway said. “Next week I will focus on them.”

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