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Weather halts Spring-Ford’s meet with Methacton

ROYERSFORD >> Coaches will always maintain rough weather doesn’t favor one sports team over another.

That was certainly the case Wednesday afternoon, when Spring-Ford hosted Methacton in a track meet between Liberty Division members of the Pioneer Athletic Conference. The stiff wind blowing in from the west prevented the schools from completing the competition that day, forcing both teams to come back to Ram Nation Thursday to do the pole vault and girls javelin.

The weather aside, Methacton came away from the day in better shape. The Warriors amassed enough points to clinch victory on the boys’ side, 86.5-54.5; the girls, though their 73.5-58.5 lead wasn’t enough to clinch the meet, need to get just two points from the 18 up for grabs in the postponed events to also come out on top.

Spring-Ford’s Shane Ainscoe, left, and Jake McKenna finished first and second, respectively, in the 1600 run during Wednesday’s meet. At right, Methacton’s Matt Varghese finished third. (Barry Taglieber – For Digital First Media)

“Throwing the javelin is tough with this wind,” Methacton boys head coach Chris Shaffer said. “That’s the most concern.”

The 50 mile-per-hour (approximate) wind wasn’t a particular concern to Pat Maloney, who was big for the Warrior boys in the field. The senior thrower actually had personal records in the discus, going 152-9, and the shot put, going 43-8.

“The shot, I made a good throw,” Maloney said. “I worked on my form this week. The discus … I had a rough beginning. It was slippery in the (throwing) circle.

“But all in all, it was a good day.”

Max Capece came away with the win in the boys javelin (138-4), which got into the books before the windy conditions precluded the girls throwing. Elsewhere in the field, Chris Meehan headed a sweep of the triple jump by going 41-2 1/2.

“Capece getting first in these conditions was big,” Shaffer added. “That stood out … his last throw was the biggest. Sweeping the triple jump was big, too.”

Also vital to the Methacton showing was Garrett Campbell and Matt Varghese going 2-3 finish in the 3,200, finishing behind Ram freshman John Zawislak’s 10:16.07 clocking. Campbell admitted the wind was also a factor on the track.

“On the (northwest) curve,” he said. “I’d try to draft off somebody there, then surge on the other side.”

Chris Huber offered the Warriors a sweep of the hurdles, taking the 300 intermediates in 42.26 and the 110 highs in 16.83. Andrew Bregman added a first-place 5-8 in the high jump to help his team clinch the win.

“It changes the whole mood of an event,” Maloney said of a meet being carried over to a second day. “You have the whole team rooting you on, instead of just a couple guys in the events. It feels competitive.”

The infrequently-occurring loss didn’t set well with SF head coach Danielle Stauffer. Her boys team is already contending with the injury-related absences of Stephen Chapman (hurdles), who is sideline for six weeks, and Matt Lepore, whose high-school athletic career ended during wrestling season.

“My honest assessment is, the boys are not as strong necessarily,” she said. “We graduated a lot of strong seniors, and the number of chances to make changes is down due to the weather.”

The bright spots for the Rams were Grant and Zach Smith, who figured in five first-place finishes. Grant flexed his muscle in the sprints, taking the 100 in 11.64 and the 200 in 24.19, and Zach won the 800 in 2:03.23. They also contributed to relay-race wins, Grant in the 4×100 (45.37) and Zach in the 4×800 (8:24.79).

Another first on the track was scored by Jacob McKenna in the 1,600 (4:37.77).

“A compliment to their (Methacton) team,” Stauffer said. “They worked hard and deserved it (win).”

On the girls’ side, Methacton had a double-winner in Katelyn Evans (100, long jump). The Warriors also took the 4×100 (52.49) and 4×400 relays (4:12.35).

Spring-Ford’s Gabriella Bamford was dominant in the distance events, winning the 1,600 (5:35.74) and 3,200 (12:00.86). But they couldn’t answer the Warriors’ 49-38 scoring edge on the track, nor their 24.5-20.5 advantage in the field with the two events left to contest.

“It’s very close,” girls head coach Rob Ronzano, back in charge of the program after two years away, said. “It’s going to come down to the pole vault and javelin.”

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