By Drew Karpen
May 7, 2013 7:00 a.m. MEADVILLE —
The Meadville track and field team ended the season with a bang on senior day and will be rolling into next week’s District 10 Class AAA Championships at Harbor Creek High School after sweeping Central Tech on Thursday at the Barco-Duratz Athletic Complex.
The boys (1-5) delivered a nail-biting 75-70 win, giving them their first win of the season, while the girls (3-3) cruised to a 120-26 victory.
“They were close a couple other times and just fell short,” coach Carl Roznowski said. “This time they were able to pull it through and it feels really nice.”
Once again it came down to the wire for the boys, clinching the win in the second to last race, the 3,200-meter run. Although they did not win the race, Matt Svetz’s second-place finish gave the Bulldogs the three points they needed to clinch their first victory.
A big reason the Bulldogs were able to jump out to a commanding lead was the performance of seniors Tyler Wickham and Brandon Grove in the field events. Wickham took first in the discus (132 feet, 6 inches), second in shot put (39-4) and third in the javelin (81-10), which he picked up for the first time on Thursday.
“I didn’t have the best day down at shot but I can work on that before districts,” Wickham said. “I didn’t have the best day in discus but I can definitely work on that too. I just did javelin for fun because we needed another person. My disc I need to work on more before districts because a week ago I had a big fall and I was only throwing in the 120’s, which isn’t good compared to my normal 140’s. We will get there before districts hopefully.”
Grove had a fine day as well in his last home track meet, picking up points with a first-place finish in the javelin (131-5) and a second-place finish in the discus (98-8).
Also placing three times was sophomore Matt Pendolino and senior Maxwell Cramer. Pendolino took first in the triple jump with a distance of 38-feet. Cramer was a foot behind in second. Pendolino also placed third in long jump (17-5) and high jump (5-2). Cramer was second in the 300-meter run with a time of 45.36 seconds and third in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 19.62.
As a team, the boys outscored the Falcons 40-22 in field events.
Meanwhile, the girls were on cruise control, winning 13 of the 18 events on the day. One of the many Bulldogs on their A game was Kendall Dickson. Dickson completed the sweep in the long, triple and high jump, including a personal best in the long jump.
Dickson took first after jumping a distance of 15-11, besting her previous record of 15-6. She took first in the triple and high jumps with distances of 33-1 and 4-9, respectively.
“Triple jump wasn’t so good but long jump was my personal best so I was happy about that,” Dickson said. “It feels good, especially going into districts.”
Also winning for the Bulldogs were Jordan Lynn, Brittany Wygant, Heather Sternby, Frankie Mullen, Ellen Mook, Abby Weagraff and Kaitlyn Newman.
Lynn continued her dominance in the 100-meter hurdles with a first-place time of 16.51, nearly three seconds ahead of Mook in second. Lynn opted to forgo the 300-meter hurdle, giving her legs a chance to rest before districts.
“Yeah especially with districts coming up I just wanted to rest them a little,” Lynn said. “I got close to my best time in the 100 so I was pretty happy about that. I did high jump for the first time this year. It was interesting. I did it last year but I gave it up to focus on other things.”
Lynn finished second behind Dickson in the high jump with a distance of 4-5.
Wygant crushed the competition in the discus, earning five points for her team with a throw of 80-6. Meadville rounded out the top three in the discus with Haley Wickham (73 feet) and Katie Newman (69-5) coming in second and third, respectively.
Sternby took first in the 100-meter with a time of 12.8 seconds. Mook finished ahead of the pack in the 300-meter run at 54.91. In the pole vault, Weagraff won with a height of 7-6 and Newman smashed the competition in the javelin with a distance of 109-5. Cadi McCoy came in second with a throw of 91-7.
As for the team’s immediate goals, coach Roznowski believes Thursday’s performance is a step in the right direction for a lot of his athletes going into next week’s district meet.
“Some of these kids are starting to come around and that’s what I like to see,” Roznowski said. “They are starting to peak a little bit.
“Tyler Wickham looks like he can do something. He has a possibility of going to states. We are also looking at Jordan Lynn. She has an outside possibility in the hurdles. Kaitlyn Newman is getting closer. We would like to see her in the teens for the javelin. The other one is Fiona Mosley getting into districts in the shot put. She was already in for the discus but it was nice to see her get in the shot put because we were talking about it.”