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Wait ends for Tease, Garnet Valley in 4 x 200 record pursuit

Garnet Valley’s Grace Zamrowski, seen during the indoor season, cleared 5-1 in the high jump to win at the Delco Girls Relays Saturday. (Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)

HAVERFORD >> Maura Tease bounded across the infield at Haverford’s A.G Cornog Field as soon as Garnet Valley’s winning time in the 4 x 200-meter relay was announced.

Fellow senior Meghan Arters had the same reaction, as did the other members of the team, junior Liz O’Brien and freshman Grace Zamrowski.

Their goal was to break the school record in the event at the Girls Delco Relays and did so by nearly two seconds with a time of 1 minute, 47.90 seconds. The old record was 1:49.77 in a rare event that is not run at high school dual meets or postseason meets and is only at select invitationals.

“We figured this was our last chance to do it and we really wanted it,” Arters said.

“We’ve been working toward this since the beginning of the indoor season,” Tease said. “We kept getting closer and closer to it and to finally to it feels so good.”

The gold was the second of the day for Zamrowski, who teamed with Isabella Ha to win the high jump relay with a combined leap of 9 feet, 11 inches. Zamrowski turned in her personal best with a jump of 5-1.

“Yeah,” Zamrowski said. “I had a good day.”

She wasn’t alone in that aspect.

Symphonie Blalock turned in the best throws of her career to help Springfield win the shot put and discus relays. Meghan Lynch and Rylie Butler both came away with a pair of gold medals as Ridley took first in the 4 x 100, long and triple jump relays. Danayzah Fitzgerald and Jiya Clayton helped Chester with the 800 sprint medley and 4 x 400 relays. Ava Crawford and Julia Benner were on two of the four relays that Strath Haven won. And Episcopal Academy went back-to-back in the 4 x 800 and sprint medley relays.

Blalock teamed with Renee Stevenson to win the shot put relay (66-10) and combined with Emma Sulpizio to take first in the discus relay (167-0). Blalock had her career-best throws in both events with a heave of 36-0 in the shot and 93-1 in the discus.

“We knew we were going to have a good day as soon as we woke up because the weather was nice,” Blalock said.

Lynch and Butler teamed with Kayley Smith and Brianna Foster to edge Chester in the 4 x 100 by less than half a second (50.08 to 50.53). Butler and Priscilla Jonah took first in the long jump relay (31-5), while Lynch and Katie Mason were first in the triple jump relay (66-10).

Foster’s anchor leg was key in the 100. She came from behind to win.

“I’ve always run the anchor because I’m good at catching people,” Foster said. “I gain speed as I go so I can run people down.”

Clayton’s blistering 58.43 anchor split enabled the Clippers to pull away in the 800 sprint medley relay, that’s also known Southern sprint medley relay. Fitzgerald, Tamia Cottman and Keila Archer were also part of that team.
Makyiah Poteat’s determination enabled the Clippers to hold off Penncrest in the 4 x 400. She’s battling shin problems, but you could tell by the way she battled that Poteat did not want to let Clayton, Fitzgerald and Inicia Ferguson, the other members of the relay team, down.

“I just kept pumping my arms and tried not to think about my shins,” Poteat said.

Crawford and Benner teamed with Sierra Hallman and Grace Forbes to win the 4 x 1,600 and came back later with Hallie Jackson and Maggie Foster to take first in the DMR for Strath Haven. Tess Bailey, Abby Lyons, Dana Hubbell and Jazmeen Harper made up the winning shuttle hurdles relay squad for the Panthers, while Alexandra Hehn and Kate Malloy teamed up to win the pole vault relay.

Penncrest’s Tara Higgins recorded the third-best throw of her career (132-5) and teamed with Alexis Calloway to win the javelin relay.

“My goal is 150 (feet),” Higgins said. “I feel I’m on a path to reach that. My PR as a sophomore was 115, and I added 17 feet to that last year. I’m doing a lot more strength training this year to achieve that goal. My technique is good. My speed is good, I just need to get a little more muscle.”

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