Reporter-area season went by in a flash

Local success this past spring filled the medal stand, from individual glory to team success.

Area athletes excelled in their events both on the track and out in the field, and for the Christopher Dock girls, defending their District 1 Class AA title proved to be just as satisfying — if not more — as it was to win it for the first time.

“How dominant they were today,’ coach Tim Eger said after a landmark day at Coatesville Area High School, “was so neat to watch.’

The Pioneers raced away to their second straight district crown, as Bailey Kratz (100, 200, LJ, 4×1), Tabitha Miller (HJ, TJ, 100/300 hurdles), Maddison Landis (1,600) and Niki Clements (pole vault) helped make sure they stayed on top of the mountain.

Contributions from several others also began to pile up.

“I can’t say enough about our role players, who are (at districts) scoring points and really helping the team out,’ Eger said. “That was my focus from the beginning of the year…They love to compete.’

Dock would go on to have an impressive showing at states, as the Pioneers finished tied for eighth in a field of 82.

It was out at Shippensburg University where Central Bucks West standout Maddie Villalba would capture her second consecutive state gold in the 800.

“It feels absolutely amazing,’ Villalba said after finishing in just 2 minutes, 7.33 seconds. “Two years in a row is pretty cool for me.

“I just feel so lucky that I’m here and I’ve been given this opportunity.’

Also enjoying a very memorable weekend at states was Wissahickon junior speedster Darien Williams.

Williams was at his best at the big meet at Shipp, capped by a bronze-medal finish in a blistering final heat of the Class AAA boys 100 meter dash.

Williams ran a 10.81 in the finals, outpaced only by Cheltenham’s Christian Brissett and champion Dan Chisena of Downingtown East.

“I didn’t get out as well as I wanted to but I finished strong,’ Williams said on that hot afternoon in May. “I caught up a little bit but they really got out on me.’

Last year, a hamstring injury derailed Williams at the District 1 meet in Coatesville, pushing back his debut at Shipp for an entire year. Once he got there, the Trojan wasted little time making a mark, and he should be one to watch next season.

In the state prelims, Williams ran the day’s fastest mark, a 10.97. While that race didn’t win him anything, it was a positive step going into the second day.

“I said I know that I’m up there,’ Williams said. “I knew I could do well (in the final).’

Methacton and field events go together like relay races and batons, and the Warriors put forth a performance at Coatesville that included not one but two district gold medals.

Nicolette Serratore won a district title in the javelin while teammate Tejarra Ellis followed that up the next day with a gold medal in the discus.

“It’s my senior year so I went out with a bang,’ Ellis said. “I think my teammates’ motivation and support (made the difference for me). I think that’s what keeps me going.’

Serratore and Jenny Martin were a one-two punch in the jav.

“It feels awesome, especially standing right next to Jenny — first and second, just amazing,’ said Serratore, a senior. “All of the competition throughout all four years of high school definitely prepared me.’

No one was more prepared for the big races than Pennridge’s Marissa Sheva, who finished her Ram career in perfect style, racing to gold in the 1,600 at Shippensburg.

“This state title means more to me than any of my other state titles,’ said the senior, bound for Penn State next year, “and I’m really glad that I could end on this note.

“I was nervous as heck as usual,’ she said afterwards, “but I had a really good feeling and I knew that (the title) was attainable and I knew that it was in my grasp. I think I went to the line confident and ready to go fast.’

That same afternoon, the North Penn foursome of Allison King, Leiana Dean, Mikaela Vlasic and Uche Nwogwugwu raced to gold in the 4×400 relay, helping to propel the Maidens to a third-place finish in the state in Class AAA.

“We knew we had to win this today,’ said Nwogwugwu, who also earned silver medals in the 400 and triple jump. “Last year, we came in third (in the 4×4), with CB West (getting gold) — they were an amazing team, so we wanted to be number one — really bad.’

The North Penn girls were also number one in the Suburban One League’s Continental Conference while the Pennridge boys also put together quite a performance that day at the conference championships, edging Central Bucks West for the team crown.

The Ram 4×8 foursome, a bedrock for team success, would race to a school record and a silver medal at states.

Souderton Area, meanwhile, made monumental leaps in 2015 on both the boys and girls side, with the Big Red boys surging to a 5-2 finish in the loaded Continental.

“We hope to keep this going in the future,’ coach John Donahue said.

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