Owen J. Roberts ends Methacton’s 10-year PAC-10 title run

PHOENIXVILLE >> Scoring a high number of points all across the events board, Owen J. Roberts High School captured the 2016 Pioneer Athletic Conference girls track and field championship Saturday during the two-day competition held at Washington Field.

The Wildcats ended Methacton’s 10-year league championship run, topping the defending champs with a total score of 172.50 points. Perkiomen Valley finished second with 156 points, Methacton third with 151.50 points and Spring-Ford fourth with 80 points.

Owen J. Roberts was led by impressive performances from numerous athletes, namely junior Ali Brunton in distance running, junior Teneisha Myers and sophomore Morgan Shronk in the sprints and junior Rae Rae Taylor in the throws and jumps.

“We got 24 points in the javelin by going 1-2-3,” said OJR head coach Tim Marcoe, mentioning a status that was all too familiar throughout the dual meet season.

Taylor won the gold medal in the javelin with a throw of 111 feet, 8 inches. Senior Harley Ginnona finished second with a throw of 109-9, and junior Maddie Alvaro finished third at 109-8.

“I did my best on my second throw,” said Taylor. “It helped a lot. I started doing the javelin in ninth grade when I started track. Last year I didn’t do it. Now I am returning. My all-time best is 112-4. I was really close but didn’t get it today.”

The Wildcats added some key points in the high jump and pole vault to help offset the big numbers Perkiomen Valley put on the board in the distance running and sprints.

“We had girls who kind of exceeded their seedings,” said Marcoe. “That there was the difference. As a team, we lost to them (Perk Valley) in the dual meet, but the points we scored today in this one offset that. It’s unreal. We just did enough. My kids were great and it was a great team effort.”

Not to be forgotten were some brilliant individual performances by Methacton senior Caroline Duffy and Perkiomen Valley freshman Christina Warren.

Duffy swept the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (44.23), 100-meter dash (12.19), 400 (57.09) and 200 (25.13) to land four gold medals in her final PAC-10 championship meet, winning all the events with district-qualifying times. Duffy’s time of 12.19 in the 100-meter was a new meet record, topping the time of 12.37 set by Perkiomen Valley’s Cheyenne Churchville last season. Churchville took third this year behind Duffy and Myers (12.42) with a time of 12.67.

Warren made her debut in the league championships by winning the triple jump (38-2 1/2) Friday and returned Saturday with victories in the long jump (18-5 1/4) and 100-meter high hurdles (14.60). Warren also ran a leg on Perkiomen Valley’s 4×100 relay that finished in 49.93 for second place to Methacton’s 49.13 with Spring-Ford third at 50.29. All three units met the qualifying time for districts.

Brunton finished first in the 800-meter run at 2:19.23 to lead a cast of five district qualifiers that included Boyertown junior Gillian Kasitz (2:20.19), Owen J. Roberts sophomore Mary Bernotas (2:20.27), Perkiomen Valley junior Annie Glodek (2:21.14) and Perkiomen Valley senior Karleigh White (2:21.23).

In the 1,600, Brunton claimed another gold medal with a 5:03.66 clocking in a fierce battle with Glodek, Perkiomen Valley’s distance standout who finished at 5:04.05. Brunton and Glodek ran neck-and-neck throughout the race before Brunton’s late kick produced the victory.

Also running district-qualifying times in that race were Kasitz (third, 5:12.35), Perkiomen Valley sophomore Teag Schein-Becker (5:16.13), Perkiomen Valley sophomore Julia Dorley (5:16.93) and Owen J. Roberts freshman Emma Torak (5:17.44). Brunton also ran the leadoff leg on Owen J. Roberts’ winning 4×400 relay that finished in 4:02.27 for another district-qualifying time. The other members of that quartet were Megan Bernotas, Myers and Shronk.

“She (Glodek) pressured me on the third lap,” said Brunton. “I was scared because she gets faster every lap. So in  the last 150 meters I poured it on to the end. I didn’t really know what to expect. Gillian and Annie are really, really fast. But that was my PR, and it broke the school record, too, so I am happy about that.”

The two individual victories and the relay win gave Brunton three gold medals for the day, another feat she was quite proud of.

Duffy was thrilled with her last go-around at PAC-10s. She raved about her many duels against Myers and Churchville throughout their careers, which are still not complete.

“We really, really help each other with these races on and off the track,” said Duffy. “We have each other to lean on. We have run together a while, and we have become friends.”

After her last race in the 200, Duffy had more to say.

“I am so happy about it,” said Duffy. “I couldn’t have dreamed my senior year would go any better. I am really happy with how everything went. The team did awesome; I did awesome; everything was awesome.”

Warren was all smiles, too, for how her second day went.

“I PRd in the long jump by a quarter inch,” said Warren. “I knew I was going to do well in the hurdles because it was warm.”

Warren and Phoenixville senior Keri Marini (15.75) will represent the PAC-10 at districts in the 100 hurdles.

In the 300 hurdles, Duffy will be joined at districts by Pope John Paul II junior Bridgit Plate (45.27) and Methacton’s Amy Domenick (46.49).

In the long jump, Warren advanced along with Dunham (17-3 1/2) and Boyertown junior Rebecca Hemingway (17-0).

Spring-Ford junior Aleigha Johnson won the high jump at 5-3, which is a PR for her.

“It was my first attempt at 5-3 that I got it,” said Johnson. “It came down to a really, really close race. I more-so focus on the triple so I wasn’t expecting to do as well in the high.”

Johnson beat out Boyertown’s Hemingway (5-3) and Pottsgrove sophomore Miazziah Rose (5-2) for the gold medal. The trio all advanced to districts.

Methacton sophomore Fallon Brown won the pole vault at 10-9, which matched her PR. Brown edged out Spring-Ford senior Lily Baker (10-9), Methacton senior Sarah Burry (10-6), Owen J. Roberts junior Savanna Sachar (10-3) and Phoenixville senior Susanna Shier (10-0), but all five girls will advance to districts.

“I knew I was seeded first,” said Brown. “I was hoping to get 11 (feet). I was close, but I didn’t quite get there. (By doing other events) it’s really rough going back and forth.”

Perkiomen Valley senior K.T. Armstrong captured the gold medal in the shot put with a heave of 36-5 1/4 to lead four district qualifiers. The others were Boyertown senior Sarafina Valenti (36-0 1/4), Perkiokmen Valley freshman Dorian Philpot (34-6 1/2) and Pope John Paul II freshman Jordan Shemonski (33-1 1/4).

Spring-Ford took the 4×800 relay in 9:36.8 with a team of Emily Smith, Nandini Patel, Bella Marchini and Jenna Darlington.

Methacton’s winning 4×100 relay consisted of Lauren Prusacki, Amy Domenick, Rainah Dunham and Tianna Crippen on the anchor. The Warriors’ winning time was 49.13.

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