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Boys Track and Field

Versatile Vikings carry Perkiomen Valley boys to team title at PAC Championships

NORRISTOWN >> That was good planning by the Perkiomen Valley boys track and field team.

The Vikings already had an after party scheduled.

The good planning extends to the Vikings’ roster construction, too. With strong point-scorers in the sprints, distance, jumps and throws, Perkiomen Valley cruised to the team title Saturday following the completion of the Pioneer Athletic Conference Track & Field Championships at Norristown.

Many members of the roster were due to celebrate the victory at Perkiomen Valley’s Prom later Saturday night after the Vikings racked up 147 team points, comfortably ahead of runner-up Owen J. Roberts (110.5).

Perkiomen Valley’s Jason Wagner throws the shot put Saturday at the Pioneer Athletic Conference Track & Field Championships at Norristown. Wagner won the event. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

Senior Jason Wagner was among them after his successful two days in the throwing events that included a gold medal in the shot put (58-6) and fourth in the javelin after his sixth in the discus Friday.

“We definitely noticed as freshmen and sophomores that we were going to be a great class (PV’s Class of 2019),” Wagner said. “Christina Warren stuck out as a freshman and we were kind of in the shadows until this past year and for sure this season where we jumped out.”

PV’s top seniors also include Cole Peterlin, who won the high jump Friday and was third in the 110 hurdles and fifth in the long jump, and Azeez Adedokun, who was second in the 200 meters and ran on the winning 4×100 relay with juniors Anthony Bruno and John Moccia and freshman Lorenzo DelaCruz. The foursome won in 43.47.

“That was a good race for us,” Adedokun said. “I thought everyone ran well; all our handoffs were very good.

“We always push each other in practice. Me, as a captain, I always try to keep the younger guys motivated and making sure they’re working hard in practice.”

Wagner, who is headed to Wake Forest to compete in the throws, placed third in the shot put at last year’s PACs with a 48-0, but he added more than 10 feet over the past year and managed to overtake the two competitors who topped him in 2018, Pottsgrove’s Justin Adams (2nd, 57-1) and Friday’s discus winner Aidan Hayward of Owen J. Roberts (3rd, 53-10¾) … even if shot put isn’t his No. 1 discipline.

“The hammer throw is my primary event, but since we don’t throw it in Pennsylvania I don’t get to throw it that often,” Wagner said. “(Shot put) is what I primarily train for and then discus a little bit and then javelin just to do it. (PV head coach Joe) Petsko wants me to get as many team points as I can, so that’s why I throw them all otherwise I’d specialize in shot.”

That willingness to put the team ahead of individual pursuits may have had something to do with Wagner being the one holding the PAC championship plaque in Perk Valley’s post-meet team champion photos.

Norristown’s Ramir Wiggins, right, pushes for the finish line ahead of Owen J. Roberts’ Scott Honicker to win the boys’ 110-meter hurdles Saturday at the Pioneer Athletic Conference Track & Field Championships at Norristown. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

Norristown senior Ramir Wiggins set a meet record in the 110-meter hurdles with a 14.29 to complete his hurdles sweep at the event.

“I wasn’t really worried about the competition, I was just trying to execute my race well,” Wiggins said. “When I heard my time was a record, I can’t describe the feeling. I never ran that fast of a time before.”

It was his second PR and win in as many days after topping the 300 hurdles Friday.

“Coming into today, I already had some positive energy from yesterday. That helped carry me through this race,” Wiggins said. “I’m glad I ran both PRs, both good times. I’m just ready to go into districts.”

Boyertown’s Jamie Moccia, center, leans across the finish line to win the boys’ 100 meters over, from left, Perkiomen Valley’s Anthony Bruno (2nd), Boyertown’s Julian Saunders (4th), Owen J. Roberts’ Scott Honicker (6th) and PV’s Azeez Adedokun (3rd) Saturday at the Pioneer Athletic Conference Track & Field Championships at Norristown. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

Boyertown runners swept the sprints, junior Jamie Moccia repeating as champion in the 100 with a 10.84, his second-fastest time ever, while sophomore Julian Saunders topped a strong field in the 200 (22.25) after qualifying in fourth.

Moccia, who also took third in the 200, got his postseason started in fine fashion after placing fifth in AAA in the 100 at last year’s PIAA Championships.

“I’m feeling good. That was my second-best time ever after the 10.80 I ran at states last year. I’m right back to where I was, which feels good,” he said.

With the wind at his back, the junior is now running for even bigger goals.

“I want to hit 10.70 for nationals, that’s my No. 1 goal, and then place in states,” Moccia said. “I’ve got a little bit to do, but I’m hoping I can hit it.”

Phoenixville’s Gabe Puleo reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the boys’ 1,600 meters Saturday at the Pioneer Athletic Conference Track & Field Championships at Norristown. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

Phoenixville found success in the mid-distances as junior Gabe Puleo took top prize in the 1,600 (4:28.04) and senior Isaac Gale topped the 400 (49.78).

Pottstown sophomore Darius Smallwood made a late move to overtake Spring-Ford’s Joe Power to win the 800 in 1:56.39.

“I wanted to stay behind him (Power) the whole time and then catch him at the end,” Smallwood said. “(Winning) this was a goal and making it to districts. Next is to try to make it to states.”

Smallwood credited the strong pace Power set for leading him to a district-qualifying time.

“He was leading me to the end, so it helped to have a person like him to get me to that (district-qualifying) 1:59,” Smallwood said.

Upper Perkiomen’s Chalmers Stroup makes an attempt in the boys’ javelin on the way to winning the event Saturday at the Pioneer Athletic Conference Track & Field Championships at Norristown. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

Upper Perkiomen had a pair of winners in the field with sophomore Hunter Flack winning the pole vault by clearing 13-0 and senior Chalmers Stroup dominating the field in the javelin by throwing 182-9, nearly 22 feet ahead of second place.

Spring-Ford freshman Dean Wright jumped 21-5 on his final attempt to win the long jump, overtaking Pottsgrove sophomore Lennie Hall (21-4½).
Owen J. Roberts won the 4×800 relay in 8:09.57 while PV took second.

Host Norristown got a winning sendoff, crossing first in the event-ending 4×400 relay in 3:26.54.

Event winner Dean Wright of Spring-Ford competes in the boys’ long jump Saturday.

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