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Sachar’s school record in pole vault highlights Owen J. Roberts’ sweep of Boyertown

BUCKTOWN >> The sky could be the limit for Savanna Sachar.

Owen J. Roberts’ Savanna Sachar clears the bar at 11-3 to set a personal record while winning the girls’ pole vault against Boyertown on April 19. (Photo courtesy Berni Kucewicz)

And that limit may not hold up, the way she’s performing in the pole vault for Owen J. Roberts.

Sachar added to her expanding credentials in the event during the Wildcats’ meet with Boyertown Wednesday. The senior, a state qualifier last spring, set a school record by clearing the 11 foot, three-inch mark – nine inches higher than her previous personal record – in the course of the Owen J. Roberts girls’ team winning their Pioneer Athletic Conference Liberty Division dual over the Bears, 110-40.

“It (mark) felt like a dream,” Sachar said, “because I was really trying to aim for 11-0 by the end of the season. So to reach it so soon into the season … I’m really happy that I was able to go beyond 11-0 and get 11-3.”

The record was the highest point of the day’s action, which saw the OJR boys top the Bears 80-70. Both OJR teams went to 3-0 in their Liberty standings, good for a share of first place with two more divisional meets yet to run.

“Now I’m going to keep going higher and higher, reach for the stars,” Sachar said.

A couple adjustments to her technique contributed to Sachar eclipsing the 10-6 she hit two weeks earlier. Her record jump was also more than three feet higher than the rest of the field.

“I moved back to a seven-step (approach), and it makes me have more time to run and build up power to be able to get over,” she said. “I also went up to a bigger pole, so that I would be able to get over high heights, too.”

“It’s impressive,” Owen J. head coach Tim Marcoe added. “Going over 11 feet is really cool for her.”

Another circumstance served to enhance Sachar’s record.

“We had gotten new mats, and this is the first meet we used them,” Marcoe noted. “So getting a record made the expense worthwhile.”

On the track, the OJR girls got a sweep of the hurdles from Katelyn Bernotas, who went 48.44 in the 300 intermediates and 17.3 in the 100 lows. Teneisha Myers headed the sprints with her firsts in the 100 (12.44) and 200 (25.81), and Ally Brunton won the 1,600 (5:12) while running the anchor leg of Roberts’ winning 4×400 relay to complete a sweep of first places on the track.

OJR’s Katelyn Bernotas races to victory in the 100 hurdles Wednesday. (Austin Hertzog – DFM)

“We wanted to make sure we won,” Marcoe said of a 1,600 which pitted Brunton against Boyertown’s distance-running star Gillian Kasitz. “We told Ally to go for her. She knows how Gillian goes out.”

Rae Rae Taylor (triple jump, 33-5) and Sharai Taylor (shot put, 32-2) won other field events for Owen J. Boyertown, aided by a pair of firsts from Rebecca Hemingway in the high jump (5-4) and long jump (16-10), kept OJR to a closer 37-26 point spread in the field.

“I’m happy,” Marcoe said. “We want to keep progressing, to put ourselves in good situations.”

On the boys’ side, OJR got double-win efforts from three competitors. One of the more notable showings came from Liam Conway, who bested the 1,600 field and ran a come-from-behind anchor leg in the 4×800 relay.

Conway took the baton in the 4×8 approximately 20 yards behind Boyertown, but a big kick put him in position to cap the foursome’s 8:18 clocking. Coming back to run the 1,600 two races later, he kept pace with Boyertown’s Dominic DeRafelo before kicking into a higher gear on the last lap, going on to win the race in 4:26 ahead of DeRafelo’s 4:30.5.

“This was the first time I ran the 4×8,” Conway said. “I was so happy with how we did.”

Owen J. Roberts’ Liam Conway leads Boyertown’s Dominic DeRafelo to the finish line in the boys’ 1,600 meters Wednesday. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Conway earned himself an early finish to the day’s proceedings, not being required to run the 3,200. DeRafelo won the event in 9:54, followed closely in second place by OJR’s Andrew Malmstrom (9:56.3).

“If we needed me to run, I’d do it,” he said. “I need to keep my body as good as I can.”

“Anchoring the 4×8 … that was big,” Marcoe added. “He exerted a lot of energy, then came back to run the 1,600. Dominic really pushed him, which made me nervous about him in the 3,200.”

The Wildcats’ Scott Honicker swept the hurdles with a 43.84 in the 300 intermediates and a 16.7 in the 100 highs. Aidan Heyward took the shot put and discus with respective throws of 43-1 and 140-0.

Marshall Bergstresser gave Owen J. a first in the 100 (11.65) while Andrew Vance (triple jump, 36-9¼) and Jake Canale (pole vault, 10-6) won in the field.

“We wanted to win this meet,” Conway said, “because it certainly shows us we’ll be able to win the PAC.”

Along with DeRafelo, Boyertown got firsts on the track from Payton Stanziani in the 400 (52.44), Josh Endy in the 800 (2:04) and Max Miller in the 200 (23.72). Evan Gianetti was the Bears’ lone double-winner with firsts in the long jump (17-9½) and javelin (174-2), and Ethan Michaels topped the high jump (5-6).


Sachar will be continuing her track career at Monmouth University. But she has a more immediate goal. “I want do well and score points for our team, so we can hopefully win PACs like we did last year,” she said. … The Owen J. boys and girls are now looking to the West Chester Henderson Invitational Friday. They will be joined locally by Perkiomen Valley.

Boyertown’s Max Miller, center, beats Owen J. Roberts’ Corey Wright to the finish line to win the boys’ 200 meters Wednesday. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Elsewhere around the PAC:


Pottstown 81, Phoenixville 69 >> The Pottstown boys got double wins from Martin Metzger and Ernest McCalvin in a win at Phoenixville.

Metzger swept the hurdles while McCalvin claimed firsts in the shot put (42-10) and discus (132-0).

Spring-Ford 86, Perkiomen Valley 64 >> The Rams’ success on the track – 9 of 11 event wins – carried them to a PAC Liberty victory. Stephen Chapman swept the hurdles (110 in 16.0; 300 in 39.7), Stone Scarcelle won the 200 (23.4) and Zak Musetti took the 100 (11.4). The three joined with Selwyn Simpson to win the 4×100 relay (44.7) as well.

Cole Peterlin and Jake Degenstein were two-event winners in the field for Perk Valley. Peterlin won the triple jump (38-10½) and high jump (5-6) while Degenstein was first in the discus (119-11½) and javelin (143-4).

Pottsgrove 105, Upper Perkiomen 44 >> The Falcons got two-win efforts from a number of athletes as they rolled in their PAC Frontier Division meet with the Indians.

Michael Neeson took the 1,600 (4:49) and 3,200 (10:43), and Ashon Calhoun did the same in the 100 (11.3) and 200 (23.5). In the field, Michael Ziegler won the high jump (6-0) and triple jump (38-3½) while Justin Adams headed the shot put (48-2½) and discus (111-0).

Pope John Paul II 104, Upper Merion 42 >> Matt Lohr won three individual events to head the Golden Panthers’ PAC Frontier Division meet with the Vikings.

Lohr won the 300 intermediate (44.79) and 110 high (17.5) hurdles while adding another first in the 200 (23.4).


Phoenixville 76, Pottstown 74 >> The Phantoms won six of seven field events, including a pair of wins from Heather Brannan in the triple jump and pole vault, to edge the Trojans.

Other Phoenixville field winners were Jasmine Hamilton (shot put), Riley Kappenstein (javelin), Summer Cirino (long jump) and O’Brien (high jump). On the track, Sophie Bierly won the 300 hurdles (50.97) and 400 (1:05.5).

Pottstown got a sprint sweep from Bryonna Chimbinja.

Perkiomen Valley 84, Spring-Ford 66 >> Triple-winner Christina Warren led the Vikings over the Rams in a tight PAC Liberty meet. Warren won the 100 hurdles (16.1), long jump (18-5¼) and triple jump (37-5). Teammate Rebekah Bondi won the 100 (12.5) and was second in the long and triple jumps and PV dominated the distance events with wins from Jocelyn Rotay (800), Julia Dorley (1,600) and Annie Glodek (3,200).

For Spring-Ford, Jordan Sigler won the 300 hurdles and Devin Rawley took the 200. Emily Smith won the 400 and ran on the winning 4×400 relay.

Pottsgrove 126, Upper Perkiomen 18 >> Diana Randleman and Mazziah Rose each won two events to key the Falcons’ PAC Frontier Division victory over the Indians.

Randleman got her firsts in the  200 (27.0) and long jump (15-1), with Rose doing the same in the 100 (12.5) and high jump (5-2). Kayleigh Durning was a two-event winner for UP in the 300 intermediate (51.0) and 100 hurdles (17.0).

Pope John Paul II 73, Upper Merion 73 >> The Golden Panthers got two wins from Madison McNamara as they ended up in a tie with the Vikings.

McNamara got her firsts in the 100 (13.44) and 200 (27.29).



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