Clowser, North Penn girls shine under the lights at Trojan Classic

LOWER GWYNEDD — In a field of state-level distance runners, competition crept up around every corner.

“I could see her shadow, and I was like, ‘ oh no,” Wissahickon’s Lotte Black said of Quakertown’s Madeline Ocamb. “I was running scared.’

Black, part of an outstanding 1,600-meter race Thursday night at the 41st Trojan Track Classic, pushed herself to a personal-best time of 5 minutes, 10.14 seconds, racing to an impressive second-place finish as the host Trojans medaled in several events.

With an outstanding field, the mile run was the type of race that demanded the best out of each runner, and the best was once again Phoebe Clowser, ace distance runner for undefeated North Penn.

“Maddy from Quakertown, my own teammate (Ali Valenti), Lotte from Wissahickon — they’re all great competition,’ said Clowser, who raced to a first-place finish in 5:06.30, “and they did awesome, and I’m just so proud that we could all work together.

“I like this meet a lot,’ the junior said. “I’ve been coming here every year since I’ve been at North Penn so it’s tradition.’

Clowser and the Maidens were just getting started.

The North Penn girls had a young foursome take first in the 4×800 relay while the 4×1 team continued its dominant stretch, racing to victory in 48.60. Allison Williams set a meet record for the Maidens in the triple jump, leaping 37-7.5 for top honors.

Clowser was soon back on the track and had her finest moment of the evening, not only racing to victory in the two mile, winning her second gold of the night, but also teaming up with freshman teammate Olivia Dyer for a one-two finish.

Dyer notched a district-qualifying time with 11:30.34, with Clowser — mobbed by her teammates after crossing the finish line — winning the race in 11:18.09.

“I’m so proud of (Olivia),’ Clowser said. “We did so well. Honestly, I think she pushed me to do my best and I pushed her, so it was a good race. I enjoyed it. Good cool down.’

Clowser and Dyer set an outstanding pace, all by themselves out front for most of the eight laps around the Wissahickon track.

“I love the mile and the two mile. The two mile is just so fun — it’s relaxing kind of. (When we’re out front), I think it’s really motivating, hearing everyone, cheering from your teammates, kinda knowing where everyone is in the field but knowing there’s teammates right behind you is even better.’

The North Penn boys would get a gold-medal performance in the high jump from Andrew Himes, while Wissahickon 800 specialist Andy Harman battled to a first-place finish in the 1,600.

Also for the Trojans, Darien Williams raced to a gold in the 100 dash, crossing in 10.92 seconds. Gwynedd-Mercy’s stellar sprint group was showcased in the 200 dash, as Rachel Koller (26.13) and Bridget Casey (26.37) placed first and second.

Follow Kev Hunter on Twitter @khunter10.

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