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Success in the girls 800? ‘It’s a Delco thing”

From left, Strath Haven’s Grace Forbes, Cardinal O’Hara’s Christine Mancini and Radnor’s Keara Seasholtz continued Delco’s recent dominance in the girls Class 3A 800-meter run at the PIAA Track & Field Championships. Forbes was first, Seasholtz second and Mancini seventh.

Throwers Kayla Thorpe and Olivia Thomas of Upper Darby, and Strath Haven’s Jordan Brown call themselves the “Delco Pack.”

Triple jumpers Meghan Lynch of Ridley and Siani Barnes from Upper Darby are known as “Jump Buddies.”

Strath Haven’s Grace Forbes, Radnor’s Keara Seasholtz and Cardinal O’Hara’s Christine Mancini need a catchy handle after what they did in the girls Class 3A 800-meter run Saturday at the PIAA Track & Field championships at Shippensburg University.

Forbes was first. Seasholtz finished second and Mancini seventh, to give Delco three medalists in the event for the second year in a row. Forbes placed second, Seasholtz fifth and Penn Wood’s Kyra Carroll eighth a year ago.

Forbes had to hold off Seasholtz to win her first individual state gold medal.

“I thought she was going to catch me,” Forbes said.

“I was trying to get her there at the end,” Seasholtz said. “Oh God, I was trying my hardest.”

Forbes’ victory was the third in four years by a Delco athlete. O’Hara’s Olivia Arizin won the event in 2017 and 2016. Delco has had a runner medal in the girls 3A race for eight straight years. Seasholtz was the fourth Delco runner to earn a silver medal in the last five years. Forbes did it last year, and Penn Wood’s Agnes Mansaray did so in 2015 and 2016.

“We have just a supportive little squad, a Delaware County squad, kind of like Jordan in the shot put,” Forbes said. “We’re all such good friends. We support each other and we push each other.”

Not surprisingly, the last three Daily Times Athletes of the Year in girls track, Forbes, Arizin and Mansaray, were all 800-meter runners.

“It’s a Delco thing,” Mancini said.

Expect the trend to continue next year. Seasholtz is a junior and ran a personal best 2:10.00 earn her second straight state medal.

“I’m so excited to see what Keara can do in the future,” Forbes said. “She ran faster than I did my junior year and I’m excited to see what she can do in her senior year.”

“It’s going to be sad having all you guys gone next year,” Seasholtz said to Forbes and Mancini as the trio walked off the field at Shippensburg’s Seth Grove Stadium.

• • •

Upper Darby’s Kayla Thorpe pulled off quite the impressive double. She was fourth in the girls Class 3A shot put Friday and sixth in the javelin Saturday, turning in her best career throws in each event. Thorpe had a heave of 43- ½ in the shot and 136-5 in the javelin. She also was 17th in the discus.

Thorpe is the first female from Delco to medal in two throwing events in Class 3A at the state meet since Anna McCloskey of Cardinal O’Hara was sixth in the shot put and discus in 2011. She’s also the first from Delco to medal in the shot and javelin since Springfield’s Christine Heffernan in 1999 and the first Delco thrower to qualify for the state meet in all three throwing events since Heffernan, who was second in the shot and discus, and fourth in the javelin.

Teammate Dominique Timmons had an impressive weekend, too. She came into the meet seeded 15th in the 100 and finished fifth. She also ran the second leg of Upper Darby’s 4 x 400-meter relay that was sixth.

• • •

Garnet Valley’s Eric Albright came home with a fifth-place medal in the boys Class 3A 800. He ran 1:55.34 and finished less than a second behind Radnor’s Ethan Zeh. Albright’s finish was the highest by a Jaguar in the event since Ryan Reeser was second in 2003.

Zeh and Albright also kept up a pretty strong Delco tradition in the boys 3A 800. It’s the second straight year Delco had two 800 runners earn medals in 3A and the third year a county runner has come home with a medal in the event.

Zeh’s fourth place in the 800 was the third year in a row the Raiders had a medal winner in the 3A 800. Zeh was sixth last year and Peter Cooke finished seventh in 2017.

• • •

Haverford High’s Olivia Boyce just missed reaching the final in the girls Class 3A high jump. The junior was one of six jumpers to clear 5-4, which equaled her career outdoor best, but only Avon Grove’s Alana Boiardi advance to the finals of that group.

“It wasn’t my best day, but I’m happy,” Boyce said. “I can’t beat myself up because I made it here and gave it my best.”

This was Boyce’s second trip to the state meet. She finished 18th as a sophomore.

“I was much more prepared this time,” said Boyce, who is talking to Boston University and Bucknell. “Last year I didn’t know what to expect.”

• • •

Overall, it was a good weekend for Delco, and the future looks bright.

Of the 15 boys individuals from Delco who competed at the state meet, seven won medals. And only Dominick Brown (Chichester), Ethan Zeh (Radnor), Aiden Tomov (Haverford), Larry Coaxum (Garnet Valley), Tony Graham (Radnor) and Ryan McManness (Archbishop Carroll) are seniors.

The rest are underclassmen. Dante Falasco (Delco Christian), Chasen Wint (Haverford), James Nmah and Timi Odunjo (Penn Wood), Luke O’Malley (Radnor), Aaron Williams and Sidney Turner (Upper Darby) are juniors and Eric Albright (Garnet Valley) and Enoobong Eka (Bonner & Prendergast) are sophomores.

Two of the seven boys relay teams came home with medals.

On the girls side, of the 18 athletes to compete in individual events, seven earned medals and two, Boyce (high jump) and Lynch (triple jump) were ninth, one place from a medal. Four of the 10 relay squads came away with medals, and Penn Wood just missed reaching the final in the 4 x 100. The Patriots were ninth in the preliminary round.

Forbes, Mancini, Timmons, Thomas, Jordan, Lynch, Elicia Moore (Penn Wood), Dana Hubbell (Strath Haven), Mary deSimone (Archbishop Carroll), Hannah Bierling (Bonner & Prendergast) and Katie Powala (Delco Christian) are seniors.

Seasholtz, Thorpe, Boyce and Barnes are juniors. Nevaeh Davis (Penn Wood) and Jiya Clayton and Taniyah Lawler (Chester) are sophomores.

From left, Strath Haven’s Grace Forbes, Cardinal O’Hara’s Christine Mancini and Radnor’s Keara Seasholtz continued Delco’s recent dominance in the girls Class 3A 800-meter run at the PIAA Track & Field Championships. Forbes was first, Seasholtz second and Mancini seventh.



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