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Perkiomen Valley’s Warren, Wagner win gold at Saturday’s District 1 Championships

CALN >> For Christina Warren, it was the opportunity to set the stage for one final trip to Pennsylvania’s championship meet.

For Jason Wagner, it was a chance to reassert his standing against a pair of familiar foes.
Warren and Wagner were the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s big winners Saturday at the District 1 Championship Meet. The Perkiomen Valley stars ended up the league’s lone gold medalists during the day, Warren winning two events and Wagner one.

Together with five other teammates, they factored on Top Five finishes by both the boys and girls teams in the Class AAA standings. Six of them qualified for next week’s PIAA Championship meet at Shippensburg University, where Warren claimed two golds and a sixth-place medal last spring.

“I like the expectations based on the team and my family,” Warren said after winning the 100 low hurdles, capping a day that saw her go a meet-record 41 feet in the triple jump. “My coaches think I can do it.”

Wagner, for his part, was happy about out throwing Pottsgrove’s Justin Adams and Owen J. Roberts’ Aidan Hayward a second straight weekend. He recalled the competition in which the three have engaged during their high-school years.

“We all started coming out for track our sophomore years,” Wagner said. “Justin did it our sophomore year, and Aidan did it our junior year. I did it this year.”

Wagner, who hit 58-6 at PACs, needed to go just 54-4 1/2 to win at districts. Hayward was second with a 52-11 3/4, and Adams third at 51-11 1/4.

“I knew it wasn’t great,” Wagner said. “But only six qualified for the finals. The energy was low, but I was happy to get decent throws.”

Warren, on the other hand, resumed the record-breaking pace she had at the PAC meet. Her 41-foot effort in the triple jump, coming on her second try, effectively erased the old mark of 39-9 3/4 set by Wissahickon’s Gina Bundy in 1997.

“My goal is 42-6,” she said. “That’s what I’m aiming for.”

Warren’s clocking in the 100 hurdles (13.85) was the only one in the finals cracking the 14-second mark. It was well ahead of the respective 14.56 and 14.58 recorded by Cheltenham’s Brian Smith and Council Rock South’s Elke Knecht.

“It wasn’t my best time, but it will do,” she said. “My expectation is if I didn’t finish under 14 (seconds), I didn’t go all out, especially with my PR.”

Friday, her long jump of 18 feet was good only for fourth place. It was an inch short of Council rock North’s Marissa Hsu, and two behind Smith.

“I didn’t do well,” she said. “I was hoping for a PR and to do well.”

It didn’t cut into the enthusiasm PV head coach Joe Petsko had for his teams’ showings. On the boys’ side, Tyler Clifford was second in the 3,200 (9:28.62), little more than a second behind Unionville’s Cole Walker, and Cole Peterlin was sixth in the 110 high hurdles (15.47). For the girls, Delaney O’Sullivan was eighth in the 3,200 (11:18.44).

“Both teams did well,” Petsko said. “This has to be our best district meet since I’ve been coach. Both finishing in the Top Five … that’s phenomenal.”

Chalmers Stroup was quite happy about qualifying for states in his final go-round at Upper Perkiomen. The senior placed third in the boys AAA javelin with a throw of 181-1, finishing behind the Coatesville duo of Ricky Ortega and Aaron Young.

“I think I could have thrown better,” Stroup said, “but I was happy with the outcome. My goal was to make states.”
Stroup’s best throw of the day exceeded the state-qualifying mark of 178 by little more than three feet. His placing throw, two feet behind his personal best, has Stroup hopeful for a bigger showing at Shippensburg.

“My hope is to hit 60 meters (200 feet) at states,” Stroup said.

Stroup was one of three Indians to medal at districts. Tyrese Reid was third in the long jump (22-4 3/4) even while contending with leg pain that arose a month ago.

“I’m going to rest up, be sure I’m mentally and physically ready,” Reid said.

Hunter Flack went fourth in the pole vault, one of three competitors to clear the bar at 14 feet. Event winner John Franco of Council Rock South was untouched as he made a winning jump of 16 feet.

Five other male PAC runners came away with medals from Saturday’s session. Boyertown’s Jamison Moccia was fifth in the 100 (11.12) and Julian Saunders seventh in the 200 (22.20), Phoenixville’s Isaac Gale was seventh in the 400 (50.46) and Gabe Puleo eighth in the 1,600 (4:28.23), and Spring-Ford’s Joseph Power was eighth in the 800 (1:58.73).

On the girls’ side, Pottstown’s Amari Folly was eighth in the 100 low hurdles (15.66) and Boyertown’s Emma Elwell sixth in the 200 (26.02).

NOTES >> The top five boys and six girls in the district automatically qualified for states. … Warren on the benefit of getting her best jump early in the finals: “Maybe for my blood pressure,” she said with a laugh. … During the introduction of finalists in the girls’ 100 low hurdles, it was announced Warren is ranked sixth nationally in the event.

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