Strath Haven girls going for sixth straight team title

Can the Strath Haven girls track team make it six championships in a row or can Penncrest steal the girls team title from the Panthers?

Does Cardinal O’Hara have enough to make in three straight on the boys side or can Penncrest or Upper Darby claim the county title?

Will Cardinal O’Hara’s Kevin James go for a repeat of last year’s three-peat in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs?

Those are just a few of the many questions that will be answered at the boys and girls Delaware County Track & Field Championships Thursday and Saturday at Interboro and Upper Darby High Schools, respectively.

The boys county championships kick off at 3:30 Thursday at Interboro’s South Avenue Athletic Complex. Finals will be held in the 3,200-meter run as well as the high jump, discus, javelin and high jump. The rest of the events are trials. Finals in the long jump, pole vault and 4 x 800-meter relay start at 5:30 Saturday. The rest of the finals begin at 6:30 p.m. Team titles will be award in two divisions: National (large schools) and American (small schools).

There will be five finals starting at 4 p.m. in the girls championship at Upper Darby’s Memorial Stadium. The pole vault, shot put, javelin, triple jump and high jump will be decided Thursday. All the other finals will be determined starting at 6 p.m. Saturday.

For the third straight year, Interboro will conduct its “Food for Water’ campaign, which benefits the Loaves & Fishes food bank in Prospect Park. Fans, coaches and athletes who bring a canned food item will be given a bottle of water.

Suggested items are proteins such as tuna and chicken. Canned meals like stews and pasta, canned beans, fruits, peanut butter and jelled, unopened pasta and rise, pasta sauce, cereals, oatmeal and crackers are also among the suggested items.

Interboro collected 275 pounds of food last year and is looking to hit the 300-pound mark. Donations are to be dropped off at the snack bar.

Two longtime coaches also will be honored for their commitment to track and field in Delaware County during the championships. Former Academy Park coach Dennis Martin will have the 800-meter run named in his honor. Martin joins Bob Jesson (4 x 400) and Jules Repetto (400) to have a race named in his honor.

Meanwhile, the girls will be honor Mike McMillan for his more than 40 years as a head and assistant coach in the county.

There are some changes in the boys championships. Cardinal O’Hara, which has won the last two National Division and overall titles, is in the American Division this year.

James needed a late kick in the 800-meter race last year to become the first athlete to win all three distances races at the county championships since Strath Haven’s Jack Huemmler in 2011.

Among the races to watch are the 200 and 400, which feature some of the top sprinters in the state. Dion Durnell of Penncrest and Donovan St. Louis from Upper Darby are fourth and fifth, respectively, according to

St. Louis also ranks fifth statewide in the 400. Penn Wood’s Ndiaga Seck and Charlie Wells are eighth and ninth, respectively. The Patriots (third), Royals (fourth) and Penncrest (sixth) are also ranked in the 4 x 400-meter relay.

If you’re into the hurdles, Upper Darby’s Mason Weh and Akeim Thomas are two of the best in the state in the 110 high hurdles. Evan Sing is one of the premier javelin throwers in the state.

On the girls side, Strath Haven just completed a fifth straight undefeated run in the Central League and looks to be the favorite to win the county title for the sixth straight year.

Penncrest’s Alicia Collier is the two-time defending champ in the 200, and the defending titlist in the 100. Grace Mancini of Cardinal O’Hara is the two-time defending champ in the 3,200. Rachel Vresilovic of Strath Haven has won the last two discus titles.

Ridley’s Val McLaughlin is ranked in the top 10 statewide in the long jump (fifth) and 200 (10th). Mikayla Schneider of Note Dame is second in the 400. Grace Mancini has won the last two 3,200-meter crowns. She along with her sister Elizabeth and teammates Sara Hayes and Maura Lyons are all ranked in the top 10 in the state in the mile.

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