By Pete Chiodo
It all came down to the 1,600-meter relay. That would decide the girls winner as the Meadville and Corry track and field teams squared off in a Region 3 meet on Tuesday at the Barco-Duratz Athletic Complex.
Corry went into the final event holding a 73-72 lead. And the Lady Beavers would leave that final event still on top, winning the 4-by-400 to hand the Meadville girls their first loss of the season, 78-72.
The Meadville boys team, meanwhile, fell to 0-2 on the season after losing to the Beavers 93-51.
“That was very tight one,” Meadville head coach Carl Roznowski said. “It was down to the last race for the girls. Whoever won the relay won the meet. And Corry came out ahead.”
That’s not to say it wasn’t a successful day for many Meadville athletes.
On the girls’ side, junior Kendall Dickson was a three-event winner, sweeping the three jumps. She was highest in the high jump at 4-foot-7, longest in the long jump at 15-2, and made the most of her three strides in the triple jump with a distance of 33-5.
“And (Dickson) was also part of the 4-by-100 relay team that took first,” said Roznowski. “She had a good day for us.”
That 400-meter relay team he spoke of also included Amber Griffith, Kelly Vincent and Erykah Mitchell. Griffith later added second-place marks in the 100 and 200 sprints.
Sophomore Jordan Lynn also racked up plenty of points for the Lady Bulldogs. Along with a third-place distance in the triple jump, she was also the victor in both hurdling events. She started the day taking first in the 100 (16.2), and then followed that up with a close race in the 300 (51.0), in which she edged Corry’s second-place finisher by 0.4 seconds.
“I was just trying to stay ahead,” said Lynn. “On the last hurdle I was thinking, ‘I just have to go as hard as I can.’”
Other winners for the girls included the 3,200-meter relay team of Samantha Whitney, Paige Whitney, Libby Volna and Abbey Peters, which finished first in 11:05.
Samantha Whitney went on to place first in the two-mile run (13:19).
Franki Mullen added a top finish in the 400-meter run in 1:07.
Corry’s Jaynee Corbett was a bit of a show-stealer in the girls meet, setting new stadium records in both the discus and the shot put. Her distance in the discus of 120-feet-5 shattered the old course standard by 12 feet.
Her record distance in the shot was 41-5.
One of the main contributors for the Meadville boys team was freshman Matt Neubert.
He picked up an individual victory in the 400-meter run in a time of 58.6 and also helped out in the Bulldogs’ winning run in the 1,600 relay.
He and his teammates — Vince Paczkoskie, Max Cramer and William Grove — finished the event in 4:02.
Another winner for the boys was senior Tyler Wickham in the discus. He and Corry’s Josh Daniels engaged in an exciting shoot-out for the win.
Wickham’s second attempt was a personal best at 144-2 while throwing into the wind. Daniels second throw landed at 135-4.
Wickham’s third try didn’t travel as far as his second. And Daniels’ final attempt sailed to 144-7, but was out of vector. Wickham held on for the victory.
“We’ll have to take what I got from that throw and try to do better next time,” said Wickham. “It’s the best I’ve ever thrown in a meet. I’ll definitely get 160. I’m going to try my hardest to get to states and that’s 153. And I’m all about that right now.”
Also winning for the ’Dogs was junior Dan Gawne, who added a victory in the pole vault with a height of 10-feet.
“Another one that did nice was Matt Pendolino,” said Roznowski. “He took three seconds — the high jump, the long jump and the triple jump.
“And Max Cramer. He took second in the 100 hurdles, second in the 300 and third in the triple jump and he was part of the 1,600 meter relay.”