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O’Hara’s Mancini sisters aim for gold at PIAA Track & Field Championships

Don’t feel bad if you have trouble telling identical twins Elizabeth or Eleanor Mancini apart. You’re not alone. Even their family members get confused at times.

“One time, recently, they were running and I kept mixing them up,” said their younger sister, Christine. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I was so mad.”

Eleanor or El, as she is known, has a freckle under her right eye, but you have to be up close to see it. Other than that, it is nearly impossible to tell them apart so they get mistaken for one another all the time.

“Every day,” Liz said.

“I do, too,” El said. “I answer to Christine and I answer to Grace, too.”

The Mancini twins aren’t immune to mixing up identical twins. They had trouble telling teammates, and identical twins, Erin and Kiki Daly apart.

“I’m so embarrassed,” Liz said. “Now I know how other people are with us. They look so much alike.”

All three Mancini sisters, representing Cardinal O’Hara, will be in Shippensburg this weekend for the PIAA Track & Field Championships. Christine is entered in the 800, while Liz and Eleanor are in the 3,200.

The Mancini sisters are part of a contingent of more than 50 athletes from Delaware County who will compete in the state meet. That includes relay teams and local athletes who attend schools outside of the county.

Cardinal O’Hara’s Olivia Arizin is the only returning gold medal winner from Delco. She captured the 800 last year. Arizin is going for her third straight medal in the event. She was third as a sophomore in 2015.

Emma Seifried is looking to medal in the 1,600 and 3,200 for the third year in a row. The three-time District 1 champ in the girls 2A 3,200 finished second in that event as a freshman and sophomore. She also was sixth in the 1,600 last year and third in the metric mile as a freshman.

The only other returning medal winner on the girls side is Maggie Linton of Delco Christian. She was second in the girls Class 2A 800 last year and is seeded third in the event, based on her time at the District 1 championships.

On the boys side, Keon Rantin of Glen Mills was third in the Class 3A 200 last year. That’s where he is seeded this year. Springfield’s Liam Galligan was fourth in the boys 3A 1,600 as a junior. Galligan is seeded eighth.

Penn Wood’s Dennis Manyeah is the only top seed from Delco. He is first in the high jump and is trying to become the first athlete from the county to win the high jump in either classification since Penncrest’s Darryl Dixon won the 3A title in 1983.

Manyeah jumped a personal best 6-8 to win the District 1 Class 3A title at Coatesville Area High School last week. The last Delco athlete to earn a medal in the high jump was Chester’s Jalil Clayton, who finished sixth in 2014.

The top eight finishers in each event earn a state medal. Based on the seeds, Cardinal O’Hara’s Schola Eburuoh has the best chance to medal in individual events. She is seeded fifth in the girls 3A triple jump and eighth in the long jump. Senna Ohlsson of Ridley is seeded eighth in the 800.  

Strath Haven’s Isabel Cardi, Maddie Forbes, Grace Haase and Grace Forbes are seeded second in the 4 x 800-meter relay. Haase and the Forbes sisters are also in the 4 x 400 with Olivia Malley. The Panthers are seeded 10th. Upper Darby’s Wilbertrice Boduo, Michelle Brown-Jones, Anisah Richardson and Tishun Graham are seeded sixth in the 4 x 400.

On the boys 3A side, Springfield’s Philip Shovlin is seeded sixth in the 100. Peter Cooke of Radnor is seeded seventh in the 800 and Chester’s Braheem Bishop is seventh in the high jump.

Those are just the seeded athletes from county schools. There are a number of local athletes who compete for schools outside the county who will be in Shippensburg.

Darby native Thelma Davies of Girard College is the reigning champ and state meet record holder in the girls Class 2A 100- and 200-meter dashes. She is seeded first in both events.

Sharon Hill’s Janese Lynch of Neumann-Goretti is going for her fourth straight medal in the girls 2A shot put, and two in a row in the discus. She was second in the 2A shot put last year and seventh as a freshman in 2014. Lynch also was third in Class 3A in 2015 while competing for Academy Park. That effort earned her the girls track Athlete of the Year award from the Daily Times.  

Neumann-Goretti’s Sydni Townsend, a resident of Collingdale is seeded second in the 2A 300 hurdles. She was second in the event last year. Townsend also won the 2A 200 as a freshman in 2015 and was second last year, but is not entered in the event this year because she is running the 100 hurdles and is on the 4 x 400 relay squad.

On the boys side, Chester resident Kamil Jihad (Neumann-Goretti) was second in the 800 last year.


Top photo: Cardinal O’Hara sisters (right to left), Elizabeth, Eleanor and Christine Mancini are among more than 50 athletes from Delco who will compete in the PIAA Track & Field championships this weekend in Shippensburg.

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