Caln >> Maybe the most emotional victory at the PIAA District 1 Track & Field Championships Saturday was the first-place finish by the Coatesville girls 4×400 relay, the final girls event of the day at Coatesville High School.
When Coatesville senior Porsha Miles grabbed the baton for the final leg, the Red Raider relay team trailed the Central Bucks West squad by a considerable margin. But Miles managed to catch the lead runner, ran neck-and-neck with her down the stretch, then with a final burst of speed was the first to cross the finish line as the Red Raiders (3:52.76) edged second-place CB West (3:53) by a quarter of a second.
“I was trying to catch her in the homestretch; with 150 meters to go I backed off, then I kicked it out on the last 100 meters,” said Miles, who finished first in the 100 meter dash and third in the 400 meter run earlier Saturday.
After the race, the quartet of Miles, senior Sammie Miller, senior Patty Rokins and freshman Lorelei Eberly were hugging each other and weeping – for joy.
“It was so emotional because three of us are seniors and we’ve run together since the 6th grade,” said Miller. “I knew Porsha could do it [in the final leg], she’s always been able to do it for us, even though I knew she was tired after running multiple events today.”
Coatesville girls coach Keith Andrew said, “It was phenomenal; I was really excited watching Porsha come down the stretch. The distance that Porsha had to make up, and then to hold the lead at the end, was phenomenal.”
Miles finished first in the 100 meter dash with a clocking of 12.28 (she ran 12.15 in the preliminaries), and Miller placed fourth in the 800 meter run (2:15.89).
One Coatesville runner who is headed to States for the first time is senior Wiltricia Snoh, who qualified in both the 100 meter dash (fifth place, 12.43) and the 200-meter run (sixth, 25.91) as well as the 4×100 relay.
“I’m excited about going to States – I feel that now I can believe in myself [as a runner],” said Snoh.
Coatesville finished second in the Class AAA 4×100 final, which included seven of the top 10 4×100 relay teams in Pennsylvania. The Red Raiders posted a time of 47.81, behind first-place Harry S Truman (47.74), with a lineup of Snoh, Miles, Miller and Kaia Morse.
In the Class AAA team standings, Coatesville finished second with 50 points, behind first-place Cheltenham (65). The Red Raiders were the only Chester County team in the top 10, Downingtown West was tied for 15th and West Chester Henderson and West Chester East tied for 17th.
Downingtown West finished fifth in the Class AAA 4×100 relay, which included seven of the top 10 4×100 relay teams in the state. Truman finished first (47.75), Coatesville was second (47.81) and D-West came in fifth (48.41) with a quartet of Lauren Diottavio, Maya Tucker, freshman Sarah Schreiber and Jada Alston.
Alston, the anchor, said, “We had to make a few changes along the way – Sarah Schreiber joined us at Ches-Monts – and we’ve come a long way this season. The key today was staying positive.”
The Whippets’ 4×800 quartet of junior Grace Mucha, juniors Reagan Flannery and Lauren Flannery (who are twins) and Schreiber (anchor) finished fourth with a PR 9:27.78 and are headed to States.
“When we realized we were going to States, we all started hugging and fell to the ground,” said Grace Mucha with a laugh.
“We are so overjoyed,” added Lauren Flannery.
Tucker, a sophomore, finished sixth in the 100 meter dash (12.59) and will be advancing to States in that event as well.
A bright spot for West Chester Henderson was freshman Jenna Mulhern, who won the 3200 meter run with a time of 10:54.
“My strategy was to stick with the lead girl for the first three laps,” said Mulhern. “At the end of three laps, I was in second place, then I took off. My Mom and Dad were here today to watch me run; a few of my teammates are here today to watch (Mulhern also ran in the 4×800 for the Warriors Saturday), but Henderson had their Senior Prom last night. I’m very happy and looking forward to States.”
For West Chester East, junior Allyson Clarke finished third in the 3200 meter run (11:06.62). Last year, at States, she placed 18th (11:35.25).
Clarke also anchored the Cougars’ 4×800 relay team that finished fifth (9:27.85) and will be headed to States. The quartet was sophomore Michaela Schiele, senior Claire Mobed, freshman Sonia Piombino and Clarke.
Schiele also qualified for States in the 1600 meter run, placing sixth with a state-qualifying time of 5:09.53.(for Class AAA girls, the top six finishers at District 1 automatically advance to States; and the seventh- and eighth-place finishers also advance if they post times/measurements that meet the state-qualifying standard).
I knew I was right on the edge for both events [1600 meter run and 4×800 relay], but when I saw the cloud cover today I was happy – I’m not a fan of heat,” said Schiele with a laugh. “This is a great atmosphere up here.”
In the 800 meter girls run, Conestoga senior Anna Twomey placed sixth with a PR of 2:18.50, and is headed to States for the first time.
Twomey, who is headed to Elon College, said, “I knew it might be my last race, so I gave it my all. The last 200 meters I had my eyes on the girls in front of me – I knew I had to place in the top six to move on. When I realized I was in the top six and in States, I was relieved.”
In other Chester County girls highlights at the PIAA District 1 Track & Field Championships Saturday:
– In the Class AAA 3200 meter run, Chester County runners took four of the first six spots – Mulhern, Clarke, Villa Maria Academy senior Sarah Raubenheimer (fifth, 11:14.04) and Unionville senior Madison McGovern (sixth. 11:14.33). All four of them are advancing to States.
– In the Class AAA discus throw, West Chester Rustin seniors Ashley Muliawan (fifth place, 121-2) and Zhayria Washington (sixth, 119-10) posted state qualifying times and are headed to States.
– Unionville junior Marcella Krautzel finished fifth in the 1600 meter run with a state-qualifying time of 5:06.88, and will be headed to States.
– Downingtown West junior Chloe Stanfield placed seventh in the Class AAA 100 meter hurdles (15.83), and Whippet sophomore Maya Tucker finished seventh in the 200-meter dash (25.98), but neither mark met the state qualifying standard.
– Unionville senior Makay Bucci finished seventh in the 400 meter dash with a time of 58.36, and met the state-qualifying standard of 58.80.
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