BUCKINGHAM >> Nomads of the Suburban One League Colonial Division, the North Penn boys track and field team spent this season without a home track, but have themselves a division title.
“There have definitely been some challenges this season,” said a smiling Karl Schafsteller, a captain for the Knights. “Not just with COVID, like every other team is experiencing, but also not having a track.
“So a lot of the days, we didn’t even know where we were practicing. We were relying on some middle school tracks. Sometimes, we were out on the grass, setting up cones. Sometimes, we were just practicing on turf. No spikes, just trainers. We were making it work however we could.”
North Penn made a lot of things work Friday and Saturday at Central Bucks East High, combining their many efforts in pursuit and capture of the SOL Colonial title.
The Knights piled up 238 points, separating themselves from rivals Central Bucks West (135.5) and defending champion Pennridge (132), as well as CB East (74.5), Souderton (74) and CB South.
“About halfway through the meet, we were looking at points and we were like, ‘yeah, we got this.’ Just an excellent day,” Schafsteller said. “We’ve been working hard for this all season. It’s been building up. And we have that team culture where we can count on each other to run hard, run fast, even when we’re feeling tired.”
Central Bucks West was just as dominant on the girls side, racing away to the team title on a sunny afternoon at East.
Gold medals came from many areas of the track and field for the NP boys: Aaron Malamed won the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 5 inches; Luke Alcom won the javelin with a throw of 157-9; Devin Nugent won the 400 in 50.53; and Jeff Wang won the 300 hurdles with a 40.01.
The Knights also won the 4×100 relay in 43.25.
“Across the board, every event we had some P.R.’s. We had some guys battling. They competed in every event. I’m really proud of them,” said Knights coach Jay Jones. “Last year, we thought we would have a strong team. But we have a lot of young talent out. And it was young talent that was willing to listen and work hard. And buy into the program.
“We saw it early and they just kept building and competing. We had a big win against Pennridge in the first dual meet and just kept getting better and better. We’ve got big ole smiles on our faces now.”
North Penn, which will have a new stadium and track next spring, piled up several seconds and thirds to go with their firsts.
Silvers came from the 4×800 relay with a 7:59.93; Ian Kelly in the 3,200 with a 10:01.96; Jan Ramos in the 110 hurdles with a 15.67; Marc Cobbs in the 100 dash with a 10.88; Schafsteller in the 1,600 with a 4:27.11; Cobbs in the 200 in 22.30; and the 4×400 team with a 3:23.44.
Bronze medals were earned by Chris Bonsignore in the high jump with a 6-0 and the pole vault with a 12-0; Zach Duld in the javelin with a 141-7; Anthony Ayala Jr. in the 400 in 51.18; and Gavin Zanck third in the 800 with a 1:57.30.
North Penn even took second, third and fourth in the triple, with John Steele (43-5.5), Chris Bonsignore (42-4.25) and Jabrie Gaymon (41-7.75) all bringing their best.
“I know we have a strong team going into districts, and I know we’re gonna give that meet the works,” Schafsteller said. “And then after that, we’re already eyeing up states. We know we’re gonna have two, maybe three relays in there.
“So it’s definitely gonna be an exciting end to the season. We have a lot of good guys that, on another team, would be the best on that team. But now we’re competing with each other and making each other better as we go through the season.”
The CB West girls won gold medals with the baton or without it, as the Bucks swept the relays and placed first in several other events as well.
Said Emmi Simon, a four-time winner over the weekend: “We have a lot of awesome girls on our team.”
Simon is one of them, winning both the mile (5:13.37) and two mile (11:47.66) and helping the 4×8 (9:11) and 4×4 (3:54.56) to victory.
“We were excited to be able to do it. I think a lot of it was team-oriented,” Simon said of the success at leagues. “We were really focusing on whoever was already qualified for districts. It’ll be exciting to get after it next week. This week, we wanted everybody to be able to get their opportunity.
“I think we’re really starting to feel that our 4×8 is getting stronger and stronger, every time we race it.”
Gold medals for West also included Chloe Timberg in the pole vault with a 13-6; Maya Monti in the discus with a 108-9; Mimi Duffy in the 100 dash with a 12.34 and the 200 with a 25.14; the 4×100 relay with a 48.61; and Kate Edenson in the 400 with a 56.19 and the 800 with a 2:13.55.
Carlin McFadden captured silver in the 400 with a 58.15 and the 800 with a 2:14.60, and Justine Maraska was second in the 200 with a 25.44.
Duffy was a bronze medalist in the long jump with a leap of 16-6.75.
The West girls piled up 206 points, topping North Penn (145.5), CB East (134.5), Pennridge (103), Souderton (60) and CB South (56).
Other gold medals from the area came from Hannah Alderfer of Souderton in the long jump with a leap of 17-8.5; Emma Schlotter of Pennridge in the high jump with a 5-1; Madison Gee of North Penn in the triple jump with a 36-7.25; and Dominique Bethel of North Penn in the shot put with a 34-5.75.
Victoria Angelo of Pennridge won the 300 hurdles with a 45.19.
On the boys side, Carter Arnaiz of Pennridge won the high jump with a 6-4 and Ayden Stankus of Souderton won the pole vault with a 13-6.
Other firsts came from the CB West 4×800 relay with a 7:52.28; Nikolaus Mangeot of CB West in the 3,200 with a 9:53.60; Dekai Averett of Souderton in the 110 hurdles with a 15.46; Joey Gant of Pennridge in the 100 with a 10.70 and the 200 with a 21.37; Eric Mass of CB West in the 1,600 with a 4:25.85; and the Pennridge 4×4 in 3:23.12.
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