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Coatesville makes presence felt on final day of 126th Penn Relays

Philadelphia >> Coatesville made its presence felt on the third and final day of the 126th running of the Penn Relays Saturday.
On Saturday morning, the Coatesville quartet of senior Dave Kelly, sophomore Jabari Stocker, sophomore Tommy Silvester and senior Lebron Bessick won the High School Boys 4×400 Suburban Ches-Mont race handily, clocking 3:19.22, more than 10 seconds ahead of second-place finisher West Chester Henderson. It was the quartet’s personal-best time, by three seconds.
Bessick, whose anchor split was 47.32, said, “Our plan was to get out strong in the first 200 meters. [Kelly] gave us a good lead, and I wanted to finish strong. With 150 [meters] left, I felt I had to really go, even though there was no one near me then.”
West Chester Henderson, with a foursome of Cooper deVries, Gavin Brophy, Preston Lubeski and Bobby Hicks, finished second (3:29.66), and Kennett, with a quartet of Jesse Comanda, Kendal Lanier, Kalen Frazier and Jaedon Waterman, placed third (3:30.12).
The Coatesville 4×400 quartet advanced to the High School Boys 4×400 Philadelphia Area race Saturday afternoon, where they finished second to Central Bucks West with a clocking of 3:22.05. CB West won with a time of 3:20.44.
Also on Saturday afternoon, in an extremely close race, the Coatesville quartet of sophomore Donte London, sophomore Robert Turner, sophomore Amir Haskett and Bessick finished second in the High School Boys’ 4×100 Northeast race, clocking 42.016 and barely nosed out by first-place finisher Wilson (42.012). In their 4×100 heat Friday, the Coatesville quartet had clocked 42.02.
“We wanted to break 42 seconds [Saturday],” said Bessick, the anchor.
Turner, who along with London and Haskett, was competing in his first Penn Relays, said, “We wanted to do a little better [in the 4×100 Northeast], but this was a good experience.”
The Downingtown West quartet of junior Kelly Bell, senior Elijah Ford, senior Jacob Dixon and senior Deonsae Dorsey finished fourth in the High School Boys’ 4×100 Northeast race, clocking a personal-best 42.23 and posting 42.75 in their Friday heat.
“The key for us [Saturday] was in our handoffs, focus and execution,” said Dorsey.
“We wanted to break our PR,” said Dixon, who was competing in his first Penn Relays.
Also on Saturday, the Great Valley foursome of senior Jake Zielinski, junior Peter Schemri, senior Patrick Hanlon and senior Cooper Schrader finished 13th in the High School Boys 4×800 Championship of America, clocking 8:06.72. In their qualifying heat Friday, they posted a personal-best time of 8:04.48.
“When we qualified Friday, we were super-excited, and we wanted to break 8 minutes today,” said Schrader, the anchor of the quartet. “But it was great walking in here [late Saturday afternoon] and hearing all the excitement from the stands.”
In other local Penn Relays action Saturday, the Malvern Prep quartet of Dylan Regan, Jack Rosenberger, Evan Smith and Nolan Horan finished fourth in the High School Boys 4×400 Inter-Ac race, clocking 3:32.70 and finishing behind first-place Episcopal Academy (3:25.47), Haverford School and Germantown Academy.
Also on Saturday, Conestoga finished 12th in the High School Boys 4×400 Central race, with a quartet of Charlie Henderson, Pierce Skrdla, Ben Wolf and Jonah Brown. Westtown School finished seventh in their High School Boys 4×400 Heat (3:38.62), with a quartet of Santi Benbow, Miles Mitchell, Sozan Clark and Will Nagy.
On Friday, the Great Valley quartet of junior Rachel Hubley, junior Stephanie Cristinzio, senior Gillian Yonce and sophomore Briella Gorman finished first in the High School Girls 4×100 National race, posting a 48.96 clocking.
“We’re excited beyond words,” said Great Valley coach Nicole Jones. “This is the first time that a Great Valley girls 4×100 relay advanced to the Penn Relays finals. And it means even more to our team, with our assistant coach Andrew Lee being treated for leukemia.”
It was a neck-and-neck race throughout for the Patriots, who finished just ahead of Maryland school Elizabeth Seton (48.99) and Clayton (N.J.), which ran 49.02.
Great Valley placed seventh in the High School Girls 4×400 Philadelphia Area race, with a quartet of Yonce, Shalya Bismark-Pettit, Julia Dill and Cristinzio clocking 4:02.97. This Patriot foursome finished first in the High School Girls 4×400 Suburban ChesMont race Thursday, with a time of 4:00.94.
Kennett junior Kirstin Hoffman finished second in the High School Girls Pole Vault Championship Thursday with a mark of 12-3 ½. The first-place finisher, Veronica Vacca of Mount St. Joseph, recorded 12-7 ½.
“Kirstin is the best vaulter we have had in our program when it comes to jumping in the wind,” said Kennett coach John Ramagano. “She has covered three PRs in the past two years in wind gusts over 20 mph and is not fazed when it comes to vaulting in less than ideal conditions. With the wind up [Thursday], we knew she would place well.”
Villa Maria Academy’s Maddy Kelley placed fifth in the girls’ pole vault event with a mark of 11-7 ¾.
Unionville senior Alexandra Pancoast finished 12th at the High School Girls’ Discus Throw Championships Thursday with a mark of 121-4.
“Alex is having a great year and has broken her own school record twice in the shot put,” said Unionville coach Mark Lacianca. “We think she has the biggest upside in the discus and has been over 126 twice and is within a foot of that school record.”
Coatesville’s Lorelei Eberly finished 15th at the High School Girls Long Jump Championship Thursday, with a mark of 16-2 ¼.
“Lorelei is coming off a hamstring pull and we were very excited that she was able to long jump and run in the Relays,” said Coatesville girls coach Rebecca Eberly. “It brings back all the memories from my own high school days – I competed in the long jump at Penn Relays in 1990. I have always wanted at least one of my four children to follow in my footprints as a jumper. I am looking forward to seeing Lorelei surpass her personal best of 18-2.”
In other local Penn Relays action Thursday and Friday, the Downingtown West foursome of Lilly Henning, Ellen Ramsey, Julia Marasco and Ryleigh Hearn placed second in the High School Girls 4×400 Suburban ChesMont race with a time of 4:08.50; the West Chester Rustin quartet of sophomore Amelia Fiore, junior Ava Alexander, junior Sidney Sagullo and junior Keturah Darwon placed eighth in the High School Girls 4×100 National race; and the Downingtown East quartet of junior Katie Riley, sophomore Faith Fuqua, freshman Olivia Dever and senior Olivia Binns finished eighth in the High School Girls 4×100 Northeast race.

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