Owen J. Roberts girls clinch last Final Four place; Boyertown boys team sweeps

POTTSTOWN — With the regular Pioneer Athletic Conference track and field season closing out this week, Wednesday was the last chance for the Owen J. Roberts and Boyertown girls teams to fight it out for the one remaining Final Four spot in a double dual meet that included host Pottstown at Grigg Memorial Field.

And the Owen J. Roberts girls (7-2 PAC-10) snatched up the last Final Four spot, beating Boyertown, 91-59, and Pottstown, 120-30, to join Methacton, Perkiomen Valley and Spring-Ford in the battle for the PAC-10 team title. Boyertown (5-4) beat Pottstown (0-9), 108-41.

On the boys side it was Boyertown (5-4) pulling off the sweep, beating the Wildcats, 90-59, and Pottstown, 82.5-68.5, led by Dylan Eddinger with four big wins.

The Pottstown boys (4-5) also beat OJR (3-6), 82-68.

None of the three could claim a spot in the Final Four, the places already locked up by Perkiomen Valley, Spring-Ford, Methacton and Pottsgrove.

The OJR girls were led by Teneisha Myers and Ali Brunton with two wins each, Myers winning the 100 meters (11.94) and the 200 (25.5), Brunton the 1,600 (5:31) and the 800 (2:21).

Rebecca Hemingway led Boyertown with two wins, taking the high jump (5-5) and the long jump (17-8).

The Pottstown girls won the 4×100 relay for their only event victory (50.9).

Myers set the tone early for the OJR girls with her 100 win.

“It’s very important,’ Myers said. “It’s the only way you can win the PAC-10s. It definitely drove me to win.’

Brunton followed with taking the 1,600, trailing the Bears’ Emily Schumaker by a yard for most of the way, then passing Schumaker on the last few yards.

“Anything can happen, but if we’re pushing ourselves hard today because we have a good shot at making the Final Four,’ Brunton said early in the meet.

For Schumaker, a senior, it was a tough final dual meet. First, Brunton trailed her the whole way in the 1,600, then OJR freshman Alex Glasier did the same in the 3,200, also passing her at the end. But Schumaker did anchor her 4×800 to a win.

While Schumaker didn’t have the day she hoped she would, teammate Hemingway, only a sophomore, did. Especially in the high jump where she won with a 5-5.

“My first thought was to get the win to push my team up,’ said Hemingway, who also took second in the 100. “When I got 5-1 I was really happy because you have to jump that twice to qualify for districts and that was my second time. Then I got past my PR (5-2) and just kept going. Then getting that 5-5 felt really good because my goal by the end of my senior year in two years is to beat the Boyertown record.’

That has been held by Natalie Miller at 5-7 for a decade.

Julia Rothenberger started it off for the Boyertown girls with her 300 hurdles win (48.95).

“We know it’s kind of a make it-or-break it day for us as a team,’ Rothenberger said. “So we have to make really sure we give it our all against Owen J.’

Edddinger’s Boyertown boys team may not be in the Final Four, but he had an absolutely standout day. Not only did he have four wins, but four distance running wins. That’s not easy to day, especially on this first hot summer-like day.

“I just like to win,’ he said, with a smile.

Eddinger first anchored his 4×800 relay to victory (8:41). Less than 15 minutes later he easily won the 1,600 (4:27), then also won the 800 (1:58), both times holding off OJR standout Liam Conway, then closed out the day anchoring the Bears’ 4×400 relay (3:30).

“It feels great,’ Eddinger said. “You get used to four events after all these years, moving one up every time. No, I’m not sentimental about this being my last dual meet. I know I’m not done.’

The individual PAC-10 championships, districts, and then states are still on the schedule and Eddinger intends to be at all of them.

Boyertown junior Dan Heller gave up track for football after eighth grade but returned to track this season and right away has been one of the league’s top sprinters, winning the 100 (10.8).

“It surprises me how far I’m going,’ Heller said. “Right when I got back into track, I realized I should have stayed with it and regret not doing it for those two years.’

There was a time when the Pottstown boys dominated the league in the hurdles and sprints. On Wednesday, James Wood was the Trojans’ lone winner, storming away for the 110 high hurdle victory (15.4). He also took second in the 300 hurdles, and third in the triple jump (37-11) in this tough field.

“It’s not my first big win, but it’s definitely my most important one because it’s my last home meet as a senior,’ Wood said. “My team really helped me win this one, gave me the mental mind-set that I needed.

“It is more difficult now with our smaller team. When I was a freshman, there were so many people on our team. And then we started losing them. But my sophomore year, we had a huge group of freshmen coming in. And now that they are juniors, we’re doing so much better. We’re getting the team spirit back, starting to get people to come out again and that’s giving us more spirit. Look at the stands, we never had that many people at track meet before, not since I was a freshman.’

All that drove the Trojans boys to hold off the deep and talented OJR boys team.

Nate Smith started the meet off on a promising note for the OJR boys, winning the 300 hurdles (40.85).

“I’m still trying to qualify for districts,’ Smith said. “I made it last year, but had some setbacks this season from having my wisdom teeth pulled, and haven’t quite made it back yet. I understand we’re not in the Final Four, but we have a very young team this year. But, we have a lot of good young kids and, hopefully, they’ll be able to take the reins and see where it goes. I’m graduating, but a lot of good memories and friends here.’

NOTES — The PAC-10 Championships will be held next Friday and Saturday, May 8 and 9, at Phoenixville.

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