WARRINGTON >> The Rams hit a few bumps this time around but their conference crowns never fell off.
“It was stressful, let’s put it that way,” said a smiling Bob Hosier, he and his Pennridge boys squad about to huddle around the Suburban One League Continental Conference trophy for the fourth consecutive year. “We hadn’t had false starts all year and we had two of them today.
“(Sprinter) Josh (Pinkney) got hurt (Friday) so we had a lot of adversity to overcome. Everyone came at us today and fortunately we held on here at the end.”
Both the Pennridge boys and the North Penn girls pulled off conference four-peats Saturday at Central Bucks South High School, once again overcoming some of the best competition in the state.
“It is such a great accomplishment and it’s a tough conference and to get through it four years in a row, it’s been spectacular,” Knights coach Brandon Turner said.
Pennridge held off Central Bucks East 201-186 while North Penn scored 277.5, staying in front of a strong Central Bucks West squad (227.5).
The Rams scored 16 points in the 200 dash to help lock things up and benefited from a pair of gold-medal races by Anderson Dimon (400/200) as well as a victory in the triple jump by Ryan Sattelle (45-9).
Dimon set a meet record in the 200 prelims on Friday (21.69) then came back Saturday and set a meet record in the 400 (48.14) as well as crossing first in the 200.
“I don’t start slow (in the 400) but I’ll go out like 23 mid, as opposed to like 23 flat,” said Dimon, a junior for the Rams, “and then at the 250, I’ll start kicking. The way I do it, as opposed to going out fast and just trying to hold on, I’ll keep it even the whole way.
“It was close between me and K.J. (Cartwright of North Penn),” Dimon said. “I came off the turn down there and K.J. was on my outside. I saw him, and when I went past him, I figured if I held that position, I could beat him out. But I knew he was there.”
Said Dimon of the team title: “It means a lot, especially because it’s four years in a row. Especially for the kids who graduated (in 2017), who went undefeated all four years (in dual meets), for us to keep that going, it’s pretty important for us.”
The Rams racked up the points in the 400, with Dimon (first), Bobby Brashear (third), Evan Miller (fifth) and Liam McCool (sixth) combining for 23.
The triple jump was also a big event for Pennridge, as Sattelle (first), Kellen Brown (third) and Billy Anderson (fourth) combined for 21 points.
“Everything, basically, went according to plan except for a little glitch here and a little glitch there. But we’re still standing here at the end,” Hosier said. “Anderson had a great day — he’s a great runner and he did what he had to do.
“The other (team titles) maybe felt a little bit better — it just seemed there was a little downer here at the end (with a false start in the 4×4). But we’ll smile tomorrow.”
Knights Pass the Baton
North Penn lost nine seniors from last year’s state-title squad but there are some new faces at the front of the pack.
“We are younger than last year, and it showed a little bit, but they competed really well,” Turner said. “I’m very proud of what we did today and this season.
“We are strong when it comes to (senior) Ariana (Gardizy) and (junior) Natalie (Kwortnik), who have been here. And we have some other seniors and juniors but our sophomore and freshmen class was something that we did not know was as good. We just had a lot of younger kids kind of step up and the older girls did a great job of setting the tone.”
Sophomore Anais Williams won the 100 hurdles (14.92), 300 hurdles (44.65), 200 (25.65) and ran on the winning 4×1 (49.09).
“I knew the North Penn track team was really good,” Williams said of when she was coming up through middle school. “I wanted to be a part of it. I was nervous that I wasn’t gonna make it at meets, that everybody was gonna be faster than me.”
Williams outraced everybody in her events, and has improved by three seconds in her 300 hurdles from last year to this year.
“It feels really good (to win the conference title), like all of our hard work payed off. We’re really excited for districts and states,” she said.
Gardizy was the distance ace for the Knights, winning both the mile and two mile, and Kwortnik, possibly a future decathlete, won four events for North Penn, taking the 100, 400 and triple jump to follow up her meet record in the long jump (19-3) from Friday.
“It’s pretty cool,” Kwortnik said of the fourth straight title for the Knights. “It’s definitely something we’ve been planning on doing.
“We’re definitely working together and trying to stay strong.”
Souderton sophomore Maria Deaviz went right to work on Saturday morning, winning the javelin and shot, and with her discus win on Friday, that gave her three golds for the weekend.
The CB West boys piled up five victories on the track Saturday, powered by Ben Bunch (3,200), Luke Benson (100), Brian Baker (1,600), Jake Claricurzio (800) and the 4×4 (3:23.45), and the Bucks got a win out in the field from Kevin Guevara (discus).
The CB West girls also had quite a weekend, with Emmi Simon racing to victory in the 800 and the 4x closing things out with a gold (4:00.39).
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