Owen J. Roberts girls hand Methacton first dual loss in 10 years

EAGLEVILLE >> Not winning a race has never been sweeter for Teneisha Myers.

Called into action in four events to combat the annual excellence of senior Caroline Duffy and the Methacton girls track and field team, Owen J. Roberts’ standout sprinter didn’t place first Wednesday afternoon, except in the ledger that counts most in the dual meet season.

Owen J. Roberts’ Mary Bernotas crosses the finish line to win the girls’ 4x800 relay Wednesday against Boyertown and Methacton. (John Strickler - DFM)
Owen J. Roberts’ Mary Bernotas crosses the finish line to win the girls’ 4×800 relay Wednesday against Boyertown and Methacton. (John Strickler – DFM)

Through the efforts of Myers and the distance excellence of Allison Brunton and Alex Glasier, the Owen J. Roberts girls track and field team defeated Methacton, 78-72, the Warriors first-ever loss in the Pioneer Athletic Conference dual meet season.

The Wildcats also downed Boyertown 109-41 in the tri-meet, but most notably dealt Methacton its first dual-meet loss since May 2, 2006. Methacton beat Boyertown 97-53.

On the boys side, Methacton swept Boyertown (87½-62½) and Owen J. Roberts (110-40).

“We really wanted the group to use this meet as a focal point,” OJR first-year head coach Tim Marcoe said. “We knew it was going to be a couple points here and there (in the girls meet). All the coaches said was, ‘You just have to do what you’ve been doing, keep that mentality.’

“(The girls) didn’t have to do anything extra special, they just performed the way they have been and were just really excited about the chance at breaking their streak. They knew what was on the line.”

Myers placed second in the 100 and 200 to the Warriors’ Duffy, who won the events, as well as the 300-meter intermediate hurdles.

It’s a mix of friendship and rivalry for two of the top sprinters in the PAC.

“She’s a great person and a great athlete,” Duffy said of Myers. “We’re good friends. It’s good to be friends and have competition. We help each other out on and off the field.

“It was a good race and she definitely gives me a run for my money. She’s definitely just as talented.”

Boyertown's Sarafino Valenti won the girl's shot put against O.J.R. and Methacton. (John Strickler - DFM)
Boyertown’s Sarafino Valenti won the girl’s shot put against O.J.R. and Methacton. (John Strickler – DFM)

Myers took second to teammate Morgan Shronk in the 400 (58.6), the beginning of OJR putting points on the board in the distance runs.

Allison Brunton looked strong in winning the 1,600 in 5:27. Megan Bernotas of OJR took the girls’ 800 in 2:28.4 and Glasier’s 12:03 in the 3,200 led OJR’s group going 1-4 in the event. Marcoe, who is an assistant coach for the OJR cross country team, believed his distance group could shine Wednesday.

Brunton used a big kick from the third turn on the third lap to pull away. As a sophomore last year, Brunton won the PAC-10 800 in 2:16.47 and was eighth in the district meet. This year, she’s unsure whether she’ll focus more on the mile or the 800. She reached the state finals in the 800 last year and also ran the event in the indoor states this winter.

“She’s having a good season – strong, fast and healthy,” said Marcoe. “I tell ‘em, it’s not what you do in March, it’s what you do in May.”

While Wednesday was Myers’ first turn in the 400 this season, the 300 intermediate hurdles was Duffy’s first attempt at it this season. She’s excelled at the event the past two seasons.

“I definitely have to work on my form, but I’m happy with the time,” Duffy smiled.

Her big senior goals are to make it back to states in the 300 hurdles as well as qualify in the 200. Duffy reached the state finals as a sophomore and advanced to states last year, though she didn’t make the finals. It’s been a quick advancement for an athlete who didn’t begin hurdling until her sophomore year.

Methacton, Owen J. Roberts and Boyertown girls and boys start the first lap of the 4x800m. (John Strickler - DFM)
Methacton, Owen J. Roberts and Boyertown girls and boys start the first lap of the 4x800m. (John Strickler – DFM)

“I just wanted to try something new. My coach said no one wants to do the 300 hurdles. I said, ‘All right, I’ll do it,’” Duffy said. “I have to work on my form a lot, but I’m lucky that I’m quick between each one so I can catch up.”

“She’s ending her career just as strong as how she started it,” said Methacton girls coach Ruth Akintoye. “She has a great daily work ethic and it comes through at the meets. I can’t be anything but happy for her. She’s a unique talent, a great girl and so humble.”

The Methacton boys dominated the sprints and relays and took the boys tri-meet 87.5-62.5 over Boyertown and 110-40 over OJR. Methacton’s Nick Shaffer, a state qualifier last year in the 200, came up huge for the home team, winning the 100 (10.9), 400 (51.9) and anchoring the mile relay victory. Methacton hurdler Chris McGinley took both his events, the 300 IM (43.5) and the 110 high hurdles (15.9).

“I wanted to go sub-15.3 (his PR),” said McGinley.

Still, pretty impressive for a kid who broke his leg his freshman year and couldn’t compete, and now as a senior is on track for a nice season including a shot at districts.

OJR sophomore Liam Conway swept the 1,600 (4:35) and 800 (2:00.00), winning each handily.

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