Wednesday, April 14, 2021

County track athletes bring home the gold

ALTOONA — St. Joseph’s senior Clare Marsh won both hurdle events to highlight a banner day for Centre County girls’ competitors at the unofficial start to the central Pennsylvania track and field season, the 44th Altoona Igloo Invitational Meet, on Saturday, March 27 at Mansion Park Stadium.

Marsh accounted for two of the four gold medals garnered by county girls, the others being won by Penns Valley performers: senior Leah Beben in the high jump and junior Anna Stitzer in the 1600 meters.

Penns Valley senior Brendan Colwell took home the only gold for county boys, capturing the 1600 to go along with a silver medal in the 800.

There was no team scoring at the event, which drew 27 schools from both Class 3A and 2A from all over Pennsylvania.

Marsh crushed the field in both of her events. Her finals time of 15.85 seconds in the 100 was two-thirds of a second ahead of Mifflin County’s Ella Spriggle, while the 46.90 she posted in the 300 bested Spriggle for first by two and two-thirds seconds.

The girls’ mile turned out to be a showcase for Penns Valley on a banner day for the Lady Rams, with Stitzer finishing in 5 minutes, 15.14 seconds to overcome teammate and second-place finisher Kelsey Hull by 1.46 seconds. Stitzer also placed second in the 800 meters, posting a time of 2:30.52, while Abigail Stitzer copped the bronze in 2:33.48.

Hull, meanwhile, was second in the 3200, as well, clocking 11:57.48.

Beben’s 5-foot high jump was 2 inches better than anyone else in the event, and she also garnered an eighthplace ribbon in the 200 dash, where she ran 28.56.

Bald Eagle Area’s Sarah Holler placed in three individual events. She took silver in the shot put, where her best throw of 37-2 was 8.5 inches behind Homer-Center’s Justley Sharp. Holler combined that with a sixth in the javelin (98-6) and an eighth in the discus (92-8); Holler finished 2 inches ahead of teammate Abby Hoover in the jav.

Other county girls placing in the top eight individuals were St. Joseph’s Camryn Eby (sixth, 3200, 12:55.68), Penns Valley’s Alexis Durn (seventh, 1600, 5:55.35) and St. Joseph’s Amber Fisher (eighth, 3200, 13:13.39).

Two St. Joseph’s relays also placed. The WolfPack’s four-by-800 was fourth at 10:57.51, while its four-by-400 took eighth at 4:43.75.

In the boys’ half of the meet, Colwell clocked in a 4:28.55 in the mile to cross the line a little more than a second ahead of Altoona’s Jack Hatch. In the 800, Colwell registered a 2:03.39, about 3.5 seconds behind Hatch for the gold.

Two St. Joseph’s relays notched top-four finishes. The 3200 relay collected silver, finishing behind only Altoona with its 8:34.34. The WolfPack 1600 team was fourth with an 8:34.34.

St. Joseph’s Josh Hershbine joined BEA’s Zebulon Fry with bronze-medal performances. Hershbine ran the 800 in 2:08.36, while Fry threw the javelin 146-8.

Bald Eagle’s Owen Irvin took home two ribbons. Irvin was fifth in the triple jump with a best effort of 40-10. He also was sixth in the 100 dash with a time of 11.91.

Other county boys to capture ribbons included St. Joseph’s Jonah Clark (fifth, 400, 53.30), Penns Valley’s Micah Good (sixth, 400, 53.59), Penns Valley’s Thad Smith (seventh, 3200, 10:35.17), BEA’s Everett Herr (eighth, high jump, 5-6), St. Joseph’s Thad Smith, seventh, 3200, 10:35.17) and the Penns Valley four-by-100 relay (fifth, 47.55).


Both the boys and girls teams from Bald Eagle Area secured wins over archrival Bellefonte in a Mountain League double dual that also included Clearfield on Tuesday, March 30.

The BEA girls topped the Red Raiders 87-62, while the Eagles eked out a 76-74 win. The Bellefonte boys bested Clearfield, 75-66, but Clearfield edged Bald Eagle, 80-69. The Clearfield girls beat both Centre County foes — Bellefonte by a 75-66 count and BEA by an 80-69 score.

Irvin followed up his strong performance at the Igloo Meet by taking four individual firsts against Bellefonte and Clearfield, winning 100 (11.72), 200

(23.89), long jump (19-6.75), and triple jump (40-6). He was the Eagles only double-winner individually.

The Eagles’ 1600 relay of Kevin Taylor, Nathaniel Spicer, Tanner Bower and Max Yetsko ran a 3:55.31 to beat Bellefonte.

Holler sparked the Lady Eagles by winning both the shot put (37-6.5) and discus (101-10) in both meets. BEA’s quartet of Jordan Franks, Hoover, Heather Leskovansky and Rachel Veneziano won the 1600 relay against Bellefonte with a time of 4:42.49, while Leskovansky won the 800 and Hoover the javelin individually.

Austin Melius spearheaded the Red Raiders with firsts against both opponents in the 1600 (5:01.08) and 800 (2:14.87). Melius also was part of the winning 3200 relay against Bald Eagle, joining Eric Bennett, Chase Ebeling and Dillon Sette to finish in 9:13.14.

Bellefonte’s 400 relay team of Landyn Miller, Logan Naspinski, Nolan Weaver, Jacob Hummel ran 48.10 to win in both meets. Logan Naspinski won both hurdle events against the Eagles, clocking 18.32 in the 110 and 44.20 in the 300s). Chase Ebeling took the two-mile run against both visitors (10:55.96).

Bellefonte received first-place points from its 400 relay of Sara Proctor, Kerri Shutika, Lauren Benner, and Rebecca Methven

(58.12) and its 3200 relay of Ashleigh Aukerman, Abbye Schomer, Mykayla Cole and Mia Elmore versus BEA. Aukerman (3200), Elmore (1600), Schomer (800) and Shutika

(100) also won individual events.

Bellefonte’s Kathryn Gearhart won the pole vault (6-9) in both meets along with the 300 hurdles (55.51) against Bald Eagle and the high jump (4-2) against Clearfield. Gabrielle Deitrich won the shot put (25-9) and discus (80-4) against Clearfield.


The homestanding Philipsburg-Osceola boys opened the season with wins over Central and Huntingdon in a Mountain League double dual on March 30.

The Mounties beat Central by a 107-43 count while topping Huntingdon 95-55.

Josiah Kephart won two throwing events against Huntingdon and two against Central. He prevailed in the javelin against both opponents, throwing 134-2. He took first in the shot put against Huntingdon with a 34-11 and picked up his second win against Central in the discus with a 106-8.

Cody Beauseigneur and Matthew Mc-Clenahan captured two individual events each while teaming up with Braydon Little and Thomas Pelesky to for first in the 400 relay in 47.46 in both duals. Beauseigneur captured the 100 dash with a time of 11.63 and the 200 dash with a finish of 25.46. McClenahan took the top spot in the long jump (19-9) and the triple jump (40-6).

Chad Muckey finished first in both meets in the 800 and the 1600. His time at the shorter distance was 2:14.14, while he completed the mile in 5:02.90.

Little also was part of the winning fourby-400 relay with Braeden Fenton, Andrew Faust and Carter Webster (4:11.47) against Central while notching an individual first against both visitors in the 400


The Lady Mounties split, scoring a 101-49 win against Central but falling to Huntingdon on the most-first-places tiebreaker after the meet finished deadlocked at 75.

Starcia Bainey was a three-event individual winner against Central, sweeping the jumps: 14-7 in the long, 30-0 in the triple and 4-4 in the high. Bainey was second in all three of those events in the Huntingdon meet but took first in the 100 hurdles (18.89).

P-O swept the relays in both sides of the meet. Jaylee Cook, Kylie Timko, Audrey Smith and Manna Potter won the four-by-800 with a 12:16.05. Sarah Bock, Madison Barger, Kate Yoder and Savannah Miller took the four-by-100 with a 57.78. Megan Holenchik, Barger, Miller and Jordyn Williamson captured the fourby-400 in 5:15.37.

Potter also was first invididually in the 1600 (6:29.18) and 800 (2:57.87). Yoder won the 200 against Central (30.37), while Timko won the 3200 in that part of the meet (15:59.08).