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Local track athletes soar at Ches-Mont National Super Meet

Downingtown >> The Ches-Mont National Division Super Meet Wednesday at Downingtown West High School closed with a bang in the final event, the boys 400 meter run.

The winner, West Chester Henderson junior Preston Lubeski, posted a personal-best time of 49.04, which was faster than both his sixth-place clocking of 50.17 at Districts last spring and his 7th-place finish time (50.35) at the PTFCA Indoor State Championship last winter. It is currently the fastest time in the outdoor event in 2022 among Pennsylvania high school runners per

“I was just pushing through the pain today, following through with form, and following my training,” said a happy Lubeski after the race.

West Chester Henderson coach Kevin Kelly said, “It’s a great performance for his first meet [of the season].  We have a lot of work to do to get faster.”

In the girls’ 400 meter run, Downingtown West junior Ryleigh Hearn won, posting a personal-best clocking of 57.46, which qualified her for Districts.

“I pray before every race to get my nerves up, and I feel so excited right now,” said a smiling Hearn, who recently earned a medal for finishing sixth in the 400 meter run at the Pennsylvania Indoor Track and Field States Championships. “I like these Super Meets. I feel like it’s a great opportunity for the runners, with everyone here.”

The Ches-Mont National Division Super Meet is a two-day event – the second day of the Super Meet will be held April 20 at Avon Grove High School. The Super Meet has replaced the series of separate Ches-Mont dual meets that were held prior to 2020 (and the COVID pandemic), and Wednesday’s event drew a spirited crowd of spectators to Downingtown West.

The opening event of Wednesday’s Super Meet was the 4×800 relays, and the winners were the Coatesville boys’ quartet of Joshua Miller, Marcus Evans, Tommy Silvester and Dave Kelly (8:12.09) and the Downingtown West girls’ foursome of Paige Oskinson, Savannah Shaw, Bridget Kiey and Carolyn Tarpley (9:38.29).

In the boys’ 110 hurdles, the winner was Downingtown East’s Luis Colmenares-Bittar (16.03), and in the girls 110 hurdles, the Cougars’ Keerthana Sujesh finished first with a district-qualifying time of 16.15.

West Chester East’s Chinonye Moneme won the girls’ 100 meter race (12.45) and Coatesville’s Lebron Bessick prevailed in the boys 100 meter run (11.16).

Downingtown East’s Madison Brown finished first in the girls 1600 meter race with a district-qualifying time of 5:14.78, edging teammate Emily Steinberg, who also clocked a district-qualifying time (5:15.05).

Avon Grove held the top two places in the boys’ 1600 meter run, with Connor Britton (4:33.24) nosing out teammate Nathan Allen (4:33.48).

The Coatesville quartet of Robert Turner, Amir Haskett, Donte London and Lebron Bessick finished first in the boys 4×100 relay with a district-qualifying time of 42.83.

“Our handoffs were OK, but there’s lots of room for improvement,” noted Coatesville boys coach Damien Henry. “We have time to improve in our next few meets.”

Next up for the Raiders is the Coatesville Invitational April 9. Henry said approximately 30 teams have signed up for the event.

The Downingtown West foursome of Carly Barcalow, Ryleigh Hearn, Ellen Ramsey and Jada Alston won the girls 4×100 relay with a district-qualifying time of 50.17.

Avon Grove’s Olivia Heckman finished first in the girls shot put (36-9) and Downingtown West’s AJ Saggese won the boys’ shot put (45-1).

In the boys’ long jump, Arie van der Steur of Coatesville finished in first place (20-1 ½) and the Raiders’ Lorelei Eberly finished first (17-3 ½).

In the boys’ pole vault, West Chester Henderson’s Alex Munro finished first with a mark of 13-6, and in the girls’ high jump, Avon Grove’s Trinity Frantz was first (4-8).

Several Ches-Mont track & field coaches were asked how they liked the Super Meet format instead of the dual meet format used before 2020.

“My feelings on it are mixed,” said Downingtown East girls coach Darryl McCauley. “In a Super Meet, you can concentrate on one event, but I like the team aspect of the dual meet – the one team vs. one team.”
Downingtown West coach Scott Burns said, “I like the Super Meet – it’s so much more meaningful [than a dual meet].”

“I like the camaraderie of a dual meet, when just two teams get together,” said Coatesville girls coach Rebecca Eberly. “You see everyone here with the big [Super] meet, but when it’s a dual meet, you really get to talk to more people [in depth].”

NOTES: Although Bishop Shanahan posted no individual victories, the quartet of Nora Kyle, Carlyn Segrave-Daly, Meghan Willis and Jess Ward finished third in the girls 4×800. On an individual basis, three Eagle girls had top three finishes – Sarah Uhlman (high jump), Ava Ceulers (long jump) and Meghan Willis (1600). Four Shanahan shot putters qualified for ChesMonts.
Shanahan boys coach Pete Uhlman said, “I was pleased with the performance of our underclassmen.  Freshman Steven Todd went 4:58 in his first ever 1600, and sophomore Louis Edgcumbe went 4:57.  In the 400 meter run, we had two juniors, Adam Shirker and Jameson Todd, go sub-54, followed closely by sophomore CJ Okafur (54.02) and freshman Jack Polizzi (54.37).”

Downingtown East’s girls 4×100 relay of Katie Riley, Faith Fugua, Ginovanna Jennings-Scott and Olivia Binns made the districts with a time of 50.68.

Avon Grove’s Ramsey Haartz was second in the boys shot put.

“Ramsey has been a beast this year,” said Avon Grove coach Eric Broadbent. “He has never thrown before this year.”

West Chester East had three boys qualify for the Ches-Mont League Championship in May – Gavin Hefferan (1600 meter run), Stephen McCaffrey (400 meter run) and Matthew Bergin (110 hurdles).

Downingtown West coach Scott Burns noted, “I think the [D-West] boys in the 400 ran really well with Elijah Ford running 49.58 and qualifying for Districts. Then Kelly Bell (52.31) and Jacob Dixon (52.66) – that has the making of a solid 4×400 hopefully. …Sophomore David Whitford ran well in the 1600 with a huge 13 second PR to run 4:37.64 and earn fourth place.”

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