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West Chester Rustin soars at Ches-Mont American Super Meet

Kennett Square >> West Chester Rustin led the field at the Ches-Mont American Division Super Meet Friday, as both the Golden Knights boys team and girls squad outscored all five opponents (Unionville, Great Valley, Kennett, Oxford, Sun Valley).
Rustin coach Shaz Brown, watching a large group of Golden Knights celebrating after the meet on the Kennett High School field, re-flected on the accomplishment.
“I think it was expected that the [Rustin] girls’ team was going to win, but our boys’ team is young,” said Brown. “A lot of our young kids stepped up today. So did our seniors – they gave us some great leadership.”
Leading the way for the Rustin girls was versatile junior Ava Alexander. On Friday, she won the girls 200 meter run (25.35) as well as the long jump (17-9 1/4). On Monday, the first day of the two-day Super Meet, she won the girls triple jump and girls 100 meter run.
“I was a little nervous today running the 200 because I broke my nose and got a mild concussion Tuesday lifting weights,” said a smiling Alexander. “In the beginning of the race I was off, but then I picked it up.”
Alexander’s early-season performance in the long jump Friday is less than five inches short of her first-place mark at the Pennsylvania Track & Field Coaches Association Indoor State Championships (18-2) last winter.
Another Rustin girls’ standout was junior Ellie Keefer, who won the girls 3200 meter race Friday (11:14.56) after finishing first in the girls 1600 last Monday. Keefer, who was the Daily Local News Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year last fall, won Friday’s race by more than 15 seconds.
Rustin sophomore Maddie Miller won the girls 800 meter run (2:18.66) Friday after winning the girls 400 meter race Monday. The Golden Knights’ Keturah Darwon won the girls 300 hurdles Friday with a time of 47.98.
The Rustin boys finished first Friday in the 4×100 relay (44.75), with a quartet of Julian Irving, Ioannis Makris, Ross Sumner and Dashawn Ja-cobs. Irving, Makris and Sumner finished second, third and fourth, respectively, in the boys 200 meter run, with Irving and Makris just .01 seconds behind winner Agasthya Bandari of Great Valley.
Jacobs finished first in the triple jump Monday with a mark of 46-2, two feet better than his prior personal best, and less than an inch from the school record.

Brown said, “Our coaches did a great job of preparing the kids to compete – Coach Grant (sprints), Coach Seif (jumps), Coach Smith (distance), Coach Richard (hurdles/pole vault), Coach [Jim] Collins (throws), and I coach the mid-distance and high jump.”

Here’s a look at how the other local schools fared Friday at the Ches-Mont American Division Super Meet:
Great Valley closed Friday’s Super Meet with a bang, winning the final two events, the girls and boys 4×400 relays. The Patriot girls’ quartet of Julia Dill, Shayla Bismark-Pettit, Stephanie Cristinzio and Gillian Yonce posted a first-place clocking of 4:05.26 (also a district qualifying time), while the victorious Great Valley boys foursome of Cooper Schrader, Patrick Hanlon, Colin Mahoney and Jake Zielinski was clocked at 3:32.05.
Zielinski also won the boys 800 meter run with a PR clocking of 1:56.74, which is a district qualifying time.
“I worked on staying strong through the last 200,” said Zielinski. “And I stayed on pace in the first lap.”
The Patriots finished first in the girls 4×100 relay (49.54), with a quartet of Rachel Hubley, Cristinizio, Yonce and Briella Gorman. The 49.54 clocking is a district qualifying time.
Great Valley senior Agasthya Bandari finished first in the boys 200 meter run, with a PR clocking of 23.35.
“I got a good start, worked the curve and pushed it down the stretch,” said Bandari. “Coach Le [sprint coach Andrew Le] always tell us to ‘be great today.’”

Rachel Hubley posted a district qualifying time of 26.39 in the girls 200 meter run, finishing third.

Unionville picked up three wins in the throwing events Friday. Alex Pancoast finished first in the girls’ javelin (106-2) and girls’ discus (109-6).
Interestingly, Longhorn junior Alex Hall won the boys’ javelin (140-7), throwing the javelin for the first time in a high school meet.
Unionville’s Aryan Abbaraju finished first in the boys 3200 meter run with a clocking of 10:06.04.
The Longhorns finished second in the girls 4×100 relay with a district-qualifying time of 50.66. The quartet included captain Orenda Lin, Mor-gan Chapman, Maya Bruce and Ava Haley. Bruce finished second in the girls 200 meter run with a district-qualifying time of 26.37.
Kennett had two first-place finishers Friday – senior Kalen Frazier in the boys 300 hurdles (42.52) and Xavier McGreal in the boys’ long jump (19-9).
Frazier, who will be playing football for Indiana University of Pennsyl-vania next fall, was competing in the 300 hurdles Friday for the first time since the Ches-Mont Championships last spring.
The Blue Demons also showed strength in the 800 meter run. Ella Burn-ham (2:19.32) and Whitney Walker (2:20. 96) finished second and third, respectively, in the girls 800 meter run, both posting district qualifying times. Jesse Comanda placed second in the boys 800 meter run with a district qualifying time of 1:57.00, just .26 seconds behind first-place finisher Jake Zielinski of Great Valley.
Oxford had two of the top three finishers in the boys’ long jump Friday. The Hornets’ Zander Quinn (19-7) was second, and teammate Eric Marshall (19-5 ¼) finished third, behind winner Xavier McGreal of Kennett (19-9). On Monday, Oxford sophomore Macaela Walker finished first in the girls 100 hurdles (16.00) and placed a close second in the girls 100 meter run (12.73, just .01 behind Ava Alexander) and qualified for Districts in both events. Also on Monday, Hornet senior Garrett Brady finished first in the boys’ pole vault (PR 13-0), and qualified for Districts for the first time in that event.

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