By Pete Chiodo
The Meadville Tribune
Both outcomes were uncertain. But both ended up going Vince Paczkoskie’s way during the Meadville track and field team’s meet against Franklin on Tuesday at the Barco-Duratz Athletic Complex.
First he got a date for prom. Then he won a race.
“Great day,” said the junior.
It was early in the meet when Paczkoskie met teammate Chloe Boughton at the finish line of the girls’ 1,600-meter run with a posterboard sign that read, “Prom????”
Bent over, catching her breath, Boughton answered with an exhausted, “Sure.”
“I was nervous at first,” Paczkoskie said. “But I was glad I did it in the end.”
A little later in the day, Paczkoskie grabbed himself another exciting win when he edged Franklin’s Daniel Crockette in the 200-meter dash by way of a photo finish.
It looked as if Paczkoskie had won the race. But when the initial times were reported to the runners it was Crockette in first by a fraction of a second.
The camera was checked just to be on the safe side. Sure enough, it was Paczkoskie by a hair. His time was 24.5. Crockette’s was 24.6.
“Vince got past him by eight one-thousandths of a second,” said Meadville head coach Carl Roznowski. “That’s amazing.”
Said Paczkoskie, “I was really happy. I was really excited after I heard that time. It was my best all year.”
Paczkoskie also ran the lead lap on Meadville’s 400-meter relay team. Followed by John O’Laughlin, William Grove and Alex Parker, the squad finished the quarter mile in first place in 48.9.
“It was a good day,” said Paczkoskie.
Girls get a win
Paczkoskie wasn’t the only Bulldog have a good day on Tuesday. The girls team earned its second dual meet win of the season, defeating the Knights 89-60.
Jordan Lynn earned quite a few of those points for the Lady Bulldogs (2-3, 2-3 Region 3), coming in first in the 100-meter hurdles (17.31 seconds) and 300 hurdles (53.0) while helping out on the Lady ’Dogs’ victory in the 1,600 relay.
Samantha Whitney also had a productive meet for Meadville, winning both distance events. She was fastest in the 1,600 (6:13) as well as an uncontested 3,200 (13:37), which involved just her and teammate Libby Volna covering the distance at a leisurely pace.
Paige Whitney grabbed a win in the 400 (1:04.80) and ran legs in the 3,200 relay and 1,600 relay. The 3,200, which also included Franki Mullen, Volna and Abbey Peters, won in 11:47. The 1,600 relay team, which included Lynn, Ellen Mook and Mullen, was first in 4:34.
Peters added an individual first in the 800 with a time of 2:41. And Heather Sternby claimed the fastest time in the 100 (12.7).
In the field events, Fiona Mosely had the top toss in the discus (95 feet, 3 inches), she also added a second-place finish in the shot put. And Kaitlyn Newman had the best throw in the javelin with a distance of 104-5.
Boys come close
The Meadville boys nearly earned their first victory of the season. But Franklin held off the Bulldogs, winning the meet 84-66.
Tyler Wickham picked up a slew of points for the Bulldogs (0-5, 0-5), taking first place in both the discus (128-1) and shot put (39-9).
Alex Parker added an individual victory in the 100-meter dash (11.7).
Nathan Lindeman and Matt Svetz both grabbed an individual win while helping out in a relay. Lindeman won the 1,600 in 5:08 and Svetz was first in the 3,200 in 10:59. Both runners — along with Louis McUmber and Matt Pendolino — had laps in the ’Dogs’ victorious run in the 3,200 relay, finishing in 9:16.
Also getting a win for Meadville was Dan Gawne, who was first in the pole vault with a height of 10 feet.
Wrapping things up
Meadville is back at home on Thursday, hosting Central Tech for the team’s senior day. The meet starts at 4 p.m.
It will be the final tune-up for Meadville before the District 10 Class AAA championship meet at Harbor Creek High School on May 15.
“We’re seeing better times. The field events, their distances were good,” said Roznowski. “But I’m always hoping for things to be better. I saw some better performances (on Tuesday). But we’re getting close to districts and I would like them to get up a little bit more. This Thursday is the last chance for anyone that is close. So we’re going to see if we can get them to go all out.”