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Lesson Learned: Methacton’s Pat Maloney qualifies for second go at states

CALN >> Pat Maloney plans to get the most out of his next visit to the PIAA Championship Meet.

Particularly in terms of being on-site.

Maloney qualified for a second trip to Shippensburg University during Friday’s opening action in the District 1 Championships at Coatesville. The Methacton junior placed sixth in the Class AAA discus with a throw of 149-9.

“I had kind of an off day,” Maloney said of his best throw, which ranks six feet off his personal best of 155-3. “I didn’t have the right form I normally have.”

His measure still outdistanced the 134 he threw at 2016 states. And it was a five-foot improvement on the 144-2 that got him second place at last weekend’s Pioneer Athletic Conference meet.

Now he’s planning another change from last year’s state meet … a lesson learned.

“I didn’t get there until the day of the meet,” Maloney recalled. “This year, there won’t be any rush. I’ll be going up there the night before.”

Maloney’s medal-claiming throw came on the first of his five tries. He had a 149-7 on third throw and two others in excess of 140 feet.

In other field events, Pottstown’s Jacob Howard went 12th in both the high jump and triple jump. The Pottstown junior cleared 6-1 in the high jump, then went 41-11 3/4 in the triple.

Pottstown’s Jacob Howard finished 12th in the high jump and triple jump Saturday at the District One Championships. (Mikey Reeves – For Digital First Media)

Pottsgrove’s Michael Ziegler placed 10th in the triple jump, where he went 42-5. He was coming off a silver-medal finish at PACs, hitting 42-11 last weekend.

Stephen Chapman highlighted the qualifying action on the track. The Spring-Ford junior, the PAC’s 300 intermediate hurdles champion with a school-record 38.91, won his wild heat — one that had two competitors fall during the race — in a time of 40.05.

Spring-Ford’s Stephen Chapman won his heat in the 300 intermediate hurdles with a time of 40.05. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

“He noticed when the first kid fell. The second one, he didn’t notice as much,” Spring-Ford head coach Danielle Stauffer recalled. “He was aware of it by the reaction around him.

“I don’t think he got a very good start, and his time wasn’t as fast as last week. We’ll see what happens Saturday.”

“He’ll be running the two-mile first,” Stauffer said. “That’s his stronger event. If he doesn’t do well in it, he’ll have the mile to fall back on.”

Spring-Ford’s 4×800 boys relay team was another qualifier, placing 10th with an 8:08.63 that preceded 11th-place Boyertown’s 8:09.62. Spring-Ford will also have Brett Aldinger and Jake Pajovich competing in the javelin.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had so many that we’ve taken a bus to districts,” Stauffer said. “It’s been good to see the boys’ progression as a group, and as individuals.”

Joshua Magee also stood out in the hurdling competition. The Perkiomen Valley junior ran a 15.55 to finish eighth in his heat of the 110 highs, qualifying for Saturday’s final. He also went ninth in 300 intermediate qualifying with a time of 40.43.

Liam Conway (Owen J. Roberts) and Jacob McKenna (Spring-Ford) headed the PAC in 1,600 qualifying.

Owen J. Roberts’ Liam Conway finished fourth in his heat in the 1,600 qualifying with a 4:30.10 on Friday. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Conway, the PAC’s champion, went fourth in his heat with a 4:30.10 — off from the 4:28.23 that got him the league’s gold medal — while McKenna placed 11th in 4:31.79 after running second at PACs.

In the 800 prelims, Methacton’s Michael Clark ran a 1:58.23 to finish second in his heat. He was second to OJR’s Conway in the PAC meet, running a 2:00.11.

NOTES >> The district meet resumes 9 a.m. Saturday with the boys’ and girls’ 3,200 run finals. In the field, the girls’ triple jump (both AAA and AA) and AA javelin, along with the boys’ AA high jump, pole vault and discus, also go off at 9 a.m. … Kennett’s Alec Sheehan headed the boys AAA discus with a 168-9. … Norristown freshman Austin Montgomery, the PAC’s 100 and 200 champion, qualified at districts with a 10.94 in 100 and 22.92 in 200. He was second in his heats of both events.

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