.eenan Uunv Wo WKIUG 800 Jolg

North Penn Life - - SPORTS - By Kev Hunter khunter@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com

Emma Keenan over­came a mid­sea­son in­jury, in­spired ef­forts from her com­pe­ti­tion, and — on Satur­day afWeUnoon — a fieUce, unUe­lenWing wind, to win her third straight 8MM-me­ter run state WiWle.

The Gwynedd Mercy Acad­emy se­nior raced to a win­ning time of 2 min­utes, 11.37 Ve­conGV in WKe ClaVV AAA evenW, finiVKinJ oII KeU KiJK VcKool caUeeU in GoPi­nant fash­ion at Ship­pens­burg rniver­sity.

“I tried not to think about the pres­sure. When you’re on top, ev­ery­body’s gun­ning for you,” said Keenan, who is headed to Ge­orge­town in WKe Iall. “Hav­inJ Uun WKiV race so many times, I know iW’V GefiniWely GiI­fi­culW, EuW you Kave Wo PenWally Ee wiWK it and know that ev­ery­body’s go­ing to be in pain dur­ing WKaW Ve­conG laS. You’ve MuVW JoW Wo fiJKW IoU iW anG KolG on IoU WKaW Ve­conG laS.”

Keenan did just that and earned her third con­sec­u­tive ap­pear­ance at the top of WKe Pe­Gal VWanG. 0any PoUe WUiSV Wo WKe SoGiuP Ey lo­cal coPSeWiWoUV woulG Iol­low, caSSeG oII Ey a VenVaWional, JolG-Pe­Gal eIIoUW Ey 1oUWK Penn’s since Es­pos­ito in the Sole vaulW.

.eenan exSeUWly aGMuVWeG KeU uVual VWUaWeJy Wo Sull away to yet an­other vic­tory in WKe KalI Pile.

“:iWK WKe winG, iW’V al­ways nice to have some­body in IUonW oI you anG leW WKeP (take the force of the windF, but I’m used to go­ing out strong, go­ing out hard,” VKe VaiG. “((PPauV’ Hanna BroskyF passed me around WKe 200 Vo , leW KeU Wake WKe wind for that time and then I passed her when I knew I KaG one laS leIW.”

Keenan opened up ground EeWween KeUVelI anG WKe UeVW oI ClaVV AAA, win­ninJ WKe race by more than three sec­onds. A strong per­for­mance by Soud­er­ton Area’s Em- ily DuVel­lieU waV JooG IoU a Vil­veU Pe­Gal anG a WiPe oI 2:14.ST.

“, wanWeG Wo celeEUaWe when the race was over but I was so tired, I thought I PiJKW Iall oveU,” .eenan VaiG. “(2n WKe laVW VWUaiJKW­away), iW waV all aGUe­naline. ,W waV kinG oI like, ‘WKiV iV Py laVW KiJK VcKool Uace anG WKeUe’V only 100 PeWeUV leIW.’ You MuVW Jive iW eveUyWKinJ you Kave. 0ove youU leJV, Pove youU aUPV anG Eelieve WKe finiVK line iV JeWWinJ cloVeU anG cloVeU.”

.eenan, wKo EaWWleG Eack from a ham­string in­jury in ASUil, eaUneG a VSoW on WKe 1aWional )eGeUaWion oI HiJK 6cKoolV HonoU 5oll wiWK KeU time of 2:11.PT.

(VSoViWo, Pean­wKile, coulGn’W waiW Wo JeW uS in WKe air.

“,W waV a lonJ weekenG. We got here on Thurs­day and , GiGn’W MuPS unWil 1 o’clock (Satur­dayF. I wanted to jump so bad,” he said. “When I got up there, my team just WolG Pe, ‘Ue­lax, Ue­lax.’”

7Ke 1oUWK 3enn Ve­nioU waV in VucK conWUol WKaW Ke waV SeUIecW all WKe way WKUouJK 15 IeeW, neveU leWWinJ WKe EaU GUoS. ,W evenWually came down to just Es­pos­ito anG 1oUWKeUn LeEanon’V DeUek DiAnJeliV. :Ken nei­ther made 15-S, Es­pos­ito’s con­sis­tency earned him the vic­tory on fewer misses.

,W waV WKe coPSleWion oI a jour­ney for Es­pos­ito, who MuVW PiVVeG a Pe­Gal laVW yeaU wiWK a ninWK-Slace finiVK.

“Af­ter that, my coach (Jay JonesF had me take a pic­ture of the podium and I had it on Py SKone all yeaU,” Ke VaiG. “, fi­nally JoW uS WKeUe WoGay.”

As Es­pos­ito heads south nexW Iall Wo vaulW aW WKe 8niveUViWy oI 6ouWK CaUolina, anoWKeU 1oUWK 3enn Ve­nioU,

Jac­ques, will be com­pet­ing at Tem­ple. She, too, had her mo­ment at states, earn­ing bronze in the triple jump and sil­ver in the 1MM hur­dles.

Just like Es­pos­ito, a medal nar­rowly eluded her last year, as she got ninth in the 1MM hur­dles.

“That was a rough day,” she said with a smile. “I didn’t have time to get ninth place to­day.”

Jac­ques ran an im­pres­sive 14.S9. Chel­tenham’s Kayla Co­ley was the only one to go faster (14.PPF.

“She pushes me,” Jac­ques said. “She helps me, she def­i­nitely does.”

An­other dou­ble medal­ist was Pen­nridge’s Joey Logue. He was part of the oams’ sil­ver medal 4x4MM re­lay team, join­ing John Kim, Mike Class and Nick Sten­derow­icz to go P:19.8M in a clas­sic bat­tle with Ben­salem (P:19.TPF, and Logue was also a bronze medal­ist in the 8MM, when the blus­tery wind was at its peak.

“It was a mix be­tween the ZLQG DQG HvHryRQH fiJKWLQJ for po­si­tion,” Logue said. “We wanted to take it out hard but with the wind, you feel like you’re go­ing fast and you’re not ac­tu­ally go­ing that fast. And ev­ery­one got knocked around a lit­tle bit. With 2MM to go, the wind just felt like a wall.”

Logue, who even had to dodge an­other run­ner who had fallen to the ground, still emerged with the bronze.

“I’m ex­cited,” the ju­nior said. “7KLV LV Py firVW WLPH ruQQLQJ the open 8 here so I’m ex­cited.”

Wis­sahickon’s Nkosi Jones earned a pair of state medals, in­clud­ing a 2P-P.25 to get sil­ver in the long jump.

“It feels great ac­tu­ally. I can’t com­plain with this week­end,” he said. “I was seeded 2Mth in the triple jump, got eighth and medaled, had a good time at the prom (Fri­day nightF, came back in the morn­ing, didn’t feel as bad as I thought I would, and got sec­ond in the long jump.”

The CB West girls nearly pulled off a re­peat in the 4x4MM re­lay but Penn Wood (P:5M.2MF edged them out DW WKH fiQLVK OLQH WR ZLQ Ey half a sec­ond. The Bucks’ four­some of Lizanne Furst, Court­ney Tay­lor, Kelsey Horst and Jamila Branch earned sil­ver in P:5M.5S.

“It’s a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing to fall short but Penn Wood is a fan­tas­tic team. They ran a fan­tas­tic race and they to­tally de­serve this win,” Horst said. “It was re­ally an honor to get to run against them to­day.”

lver in Class AA, Christopher Dock sopho­more Bai­ley Kratz ran a 25.5S to get sixth in the 2MM.

“I dropped a sec­ond and a half from the be­gin­ning of the year and that’s a lot of time,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it with­out my coaches and team­mates — they re­ally pushed me all year.”

On Fri­day

A lo­cal ath­lete who saw his ex­tra hours of work pay off at Ship was North Penn’s Jared Al­ston, a sil­ver medal­ist in the Class AAA triple jump.

“,W IHHOV JRRG IRr LW WR fi­nally pay off,” said Al­ston, who had a leap of 4T-2.25. “Not be­ing here last year just mo­ti­vated me more. Do­ing in­door track, fo­cus­ing on the lit­tle things (was keyF... get­ting those things down and just get­ting my foot on the board and rip­ping it.”

Al­ston, who beat his pre­vi­ous P.o. of 4T-M.T5, out-jumped Dave Clowney of Strouds­burg (4S-8F for the sil­ver.

“Com­ing home with a state medal is what I was af­ter,” said Al­ston, a se­nior. “Even if I got eighth place, that means my sea­son didn’t go to waste.”

Gar­net sal­ley’s Welling­ton waza, who earned a spot on the NFHS Honor ooll with a leap of 49-1M.25, was the only per­former to out-jump Al­ston. Wis­sahickon’s Nkosi Jones also medaled, plac­ing eighth with a 45-4.T5.

Also hav­ing a good day on the run­way were Christopher Dock’s Bai­ley Kratz, who placed fourth in Class AA long jump with a 1T5, and Methac­ton’s Aghina Mar­shall and Pen­nridge’s Ari­ana Przy­by­lowski, who placed fourth and sev­enth in the Class AAA por­tion.

Mar­shall’s last jump, good for a mark of 18-4.T5, was her best of the day by over three feet.

“My last jump is al­ways VR PuFK EHWWHr WKDQ Py firVW two,” Mar­shall said of the fiQDOV. “, DOZDyV MuVW JHW LQ the zone on my last jump. I had good speed, I was on the board and I just stretched as IDr DV , FRuOG. 7KLV LV Py firVW year do­ing long jump and it feels good (to medal hereF.”

Przy­by­lowski, also a sopho­more, had a leap of 1T-11.25 to earn a trip to the medal stand.

“I told my coach, I want to be on that podium,” Przy­by­lowski said. “I don’t care if it’s the (eighth-placeF one that’s just an inch above the grass. A podium’s a podium. I got 25th at dis­tricts last year, so to come from that to get sev­enth in the state is crazy.”

Przy­by­lowski should have also got­ten to cel­e­brate a trip WR WKH 4x100 fiQDOV, EuW D con­tro­ver­sial call caused the 5DP 4x1 WR EH GLVTuDOL­fiHG.

De­spite pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence that showed the oams QHvHr OHIW WKHLr ODQH, DQ RI­fiFDO Dn’d Pen­nridge for a lane vi­o­la­tion in the pre­lims. Added to the bizarre na­ture of the rulLQJ ZDV WKDW WKH RI­fiFLDO ZKR made the call was in charge of mon­i­tor­ing lanes one through four. Pen­nridge was run­ning LQ ODQH fivH.

De­spite photo ev­i­dence of the ex­change, the Dn was not re­versed. Pho­tos are uVHG IRr ruOLQJV DW WKH fiQDO line but not on ex­changes.

The 4x1 team of Tay­lor Chap­man, Przy­by­lowski, Lind­say Shee­han and Natalia Pinkney ran the sec­ond fastest time on Fri­day.

“They worked so hard,” said oams coach Bill Smith, who tried ev­ery pos­si­ble way to get the call re­versed for his team. “We’ve had in­juries and they’ve done ev­ery­thing they can to get to this week­end. All the blood, sweat and tears...oight now there are a lot of tears go­ing on.”

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