PAC-10 competitors off the mark on opening day of District 1 Championships

CALN–The local area boys didn’t exactly get off on the right foot on the opening day of the District 1 Track and Field Championships on Thursday at Coatesville High School, which will conclude Saturday, starting at 9 a.m.

Only three final events were on tap for the Class AAA boys on the first day — the high jump, discus, and triple jump.

And none of the locals medaled, despite entering the day with high seedings.

Pottstown junior London Gregory, who came in as a sixth seed, was the highest overall boys finisher in the high jump, placing ninth with a 5-11. Gregory took second at last week’s Pioneer Athletic Conference Championships behind Perkiomen Valley’s Darrell Randall, who was the fifth seed, but was unable to clear the opening heights. Owen J. Roberts freshman Vincent Polignano, seeded 13th, moved up a few spots and placed 10th also with a 5-11.

Spring-Ford senior Tim Rudderow, the 13th seed in the discus, was the area’s highest finisher at 10th with a 138-9. Last week’s PAC-10 winner and fifth seed Elijah Shalaway, of Boyertown, placed 13th with a 134-2. Spring-Ford’s Brandon Leacraft, second at PAC-10’s and seeded 10th, placed 14th (130-4).

In the triple jump, Anthony Hedgepeth, the PAC-10 winner entering the day seeded fourth, placed 17th with a 40-8¾. Methacton’s John Lozinak, who took second at PAC-10’s, placed 12th on Thursday with a 42-7.

Gregory was unable to medal in the high jump as well, but he at least got bragging rights for being the area’s highest finisher on the day.

This being his first year competing in track and field, the junior didn’t get off to a bad start. Then again, Gregory is the first cousin of former Pottstown high jump standout Ray Quill, who held the area record with a 6-9 for years, until OJR’s Ryan Brumfield bettered it by an inch with a 7-0 in his last meet at the PIAA Championships.

“I actually saw Raymond jump that 6-9,’ Gregory said. “I was real, real little, but my family heard how well he was doing in the high jump, and we wanted to go and watch him. And that’s when I saw him jump it. I didn’t really think much about it then. But now I do.’

Though the district championships are an entirely new experience, he admits it is a much different atmosphere than he’d expected.

“I thought it would be more intense here than it actually is … it seemed like a regular track meet to me,’ he said. “I’m not too sure what happened with me today. My best height is a 6-4 and maybe I was too excited. Maybe I was running up too fast. Or not fast enough. I’m still happy I made here though. But, I have another year and I’m aiming to jump higher than Raymond.’

For PV’s Randall, missing the qualifiers in the high jump wasn’t how he pictured his day.

“I don’t even know what happened today,’ Randall said. “My steps were off. I was a little upset for about 30 minutes, but I’m over it now, concentrating on our 4×100 relay.’

But the tough day continued for him when the Perk Valley 4×100 relays failed to advance to Saturday’s finals, despite running a school record in the PAC-10’s just a week earlier.

None of the area’s 4×100 made it to the finals — the PV 4×400 relay, consisting of Joe Adighibe, Kweku Aggey, Matt Town and Wilmont Osei-Bonsu made the time, but was disqualified because of offensive language.

Spring-Ford’s Paul Power entered as the top seed and advanced to the finals in the 1,600 with the eighth-fastest time (4:20.79), but was bettered by Boyertown’s Dylan Eddinger, who finished seventh (4:20.74).

Eddinger also advanced in the 800 with the third-fastest time (1:55.30), while Phoenixville’s Sean McGinnis advanced with the fifth-fastest prelim (1:56.63).

Pottsgrove senior Devon Fink advanced in the 300 hurdles with the sixth-fastest time (40.53).

No other area hurdlers made it to the 300 hurdle finals. Owen J. Roberts’ Nate Smith placed 10th (40.76), Methacton’s Lozinak 11th (40.82).

The area produced no finalists for Saturday in the 100 meters, 200, 400, or 110 high hurdles either.

Also on the schedule for Saturday include finals in the javelin, shot put, and the long jump. The day will start off with the 3,200 meters.

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