ROYERSFORD >> He’s not about to take anything for granted this spring … or even overestimate his team’s abilities.
Last year, Joey Power saw his Spring-Ford boys team — a Pioneer Athletic Conference regular-season power the previous seven seasons — slip to a 2-3 record in the Liberty Division. So this year, the Rams’ senior middle/long distance specialist is taking it on himself to help his teammates avoid the pitfall that was the 2018 season.
So far, so good.
Spring-Ford (2-1) matched last year’s win total Tuesday when it outran Boyertown, 81-65. On the girls’ side, the Rams (3-0) also equalled their 2018 success by running away from the Bears, 102-48.
“We’re a lot more serious this year,” Power said. “Last year, we were coming off a fourth-place team finish in state cross country, so we thought we had it in the bag. We’re reshaping everything this year … everything is more serious.”
Power did his part in the reshaping, figuring in on three first-place finishes. He ran the anchor leg of the 4×800 relay, which clocked a 9:04.94, then caught and outran Boyertown distance standout Christian McComb in the 1,600 before edging Tyler Reigner in the 800, with a 2:01.29 to Reigner’s 2:01.73.
“I tried everything on the kid,” Power recalled. “With 450 to go, I kicked as planned and hoped he wouldn’t take me out.”
Power was in position to get himself a four-first outing, leading the anchor leg of the back-and-forth 4×400. But he got overtaken by Payton Stanziani for a Boyertown win.
“When I hit the last 100, I didn’t have it in my legs,” he said.
“That was a big thing,” Boyertown head coach Jon Zellers said of the 4×4 comeback. “Payton loved that, running a 50.4 split.”
Kailey Smith and Nene Mokonchu each won pairs of individual events for Spring-Ford, Smith sweeping the 300 intermediate hurdles (49.81) and 100 lows (18:45) while Mokonchu took the 400 (59.88) and high jump (5-1). Mokonchu also contributed to the Rams’ 4×400 relay win, the freshman running anchor for a unit that went 4:14.35 in the race.
It was noted the meet was only the third time Smith had run hurdles at the high-school level.
“I was injured most of last year,” she said. “I was good in them in eighth grade, so I wanted to start again.”
Emily Smith, winner of the 800 (2:29.01), also contributed to the Rams’ two relay wins. She ran the anchor leg of the 3,200 (10:35.52) and the lead leg of the 1,600.
The Boyertown boys (1-2) got pairs of individual wins from Julian Saunders and Ethan Michaels. Saunders took the 100 (11.47) and 200 (23.17) while Michaels headed the triple jump (39-5) and high jump (5-10).
But in the end, Spring-Ford’s overwhelming numbers took a toll on the Bears. Though it held a 48-39 point edge on the track, Boyertown was outdistanced in the field 42-17, with the Rams sweeping the shot put and javelin in the process.
“We have a small team,” Zellers said. “We’re plugging away, but I think we have something like 31 girls while Spring-Ford has 131. You run into a buzzsaw when you run them.”
The meet was interrupted by a lightning delay around 5 p.m., necessitating the obligatory 30-minute period to see if the lightning passed. The Boyertown boys and Spring-Ford girls were unaffected by the delay, the Bears chalking up firsts in the 200, 3,200 and 4×4 while the Ram girls won the 3,200 and 4×4.
NOTES >> Spring-Ford’s Devon Paris was uncontested on the way to a first in the pole vault, clearing the 9-foot-6 mark. … The Boyertown girls completed their team’s sweep of the 4×100, clocking a 50.38. It was their only track win other than Emma Elwell’s first in the 100 (12.88).
300 IH- K. Smith (SF), 49.81
100- Elwell (Bt), 12.88
1,600- Donoghue (SF), 5:27.9
4×100- Boyertown, 50.38
400-Mokonchu (SF), 59.88
110 HH- K. Smith (SF), 18.45
800-E. Smith (SF), 2;29.01
200- Hudson (SF), 26.56
3,200- Moorthy (SF), 12:48.28
4×400- Spring-Ford, 4;14.35
High jump- Mokonchu (SF), 5-1
Long jump- Rawley (SF), 17-5
Triple jump- Cathcart (SF), 28-6
Pole vault- Rota (Bt), 8-0
Shot put- Martinez (Bt), 32-0 1/2
Discus- Simmonds (Bt), 97-10
Javelin- Abrams (SF), 104-3
300 IH- Lewis (SF), 42.75
4×800- Spring-Ford, 9:04.94
100- Saunders (Bt), 11.47
1,600- Power (SF), 4:35.63
4×100- Boyertown, 44.20
400- Sanziani (Bt), 51.22
110 HH- Gremban (SF), 16.39
800- Power (SF), 2:01.29
200- Saunders (Bt), 23.17
3,200- McComb (Bt), 10:21.29
4×400- Boyertown, 3:33.12
High jump- Michaels (Bt), 5-10
Long jump- Wright (SF), 20-6 3/4
Triple jump- Michaels (Bt), 39-5
Pole vault- Paris (SF), 9-6
Shot put- Howard (SF), 41-5
Discus- Eddinger (Bt), 136-3
Javelin- Solomoon (SF), 138-4
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