Mar­ian’s Cap­par­ell claims pair of golds

The Republican Herald - - SPORT - BY MIKE CAR­NA­HAN stAFF writer

WHITE­HALL — For Mar­ian’s Tina Cap­par­ell, her fi­nal dis­trict meet turned out to be the best of her high school ca­reer.

Cap­par­ell won a pair of events Thurs­day, grab­bing gold in the Class AA girls’ 1,600 me­ters and 800 me­ters dur­ing the sec­ond day of the two-day Dis­trict 11 Track and Field Cham­pi­onships at White­hall High School’s Ze­phyr Sports Com­plex.

Cap­par­ell’s first vic­tory came in the 1,600 where she ran a 5:02.23 to dom­i­nate the field. North Schuylkill’s Cori McCormick (5:12.06) was sec­ond.

Dur­ing the 800, Cap­par­ell used a kick over the fi­nal 100 me­ters to hold off Jim Thorpe’s Lydia Wal­lace. Cap­par­ell fin­ished in 2:18.11, while Wal­lace had a 2:20.08.

The dis­trict ti­tle in the 1,600 was sec­ond for Cap­par­ell as her first came in 2016 when she was a sopho­more. The 800 cham­pi­onship was her first in the event at dis­tricts, while Thurs­day was the first time Cap­par­ell won two events as the same dis­trict meet.

“It is re­ally ex­cit­ing,” Cap­par­ell said. “I’ve wanted this for the past cou­ple of years. This is the first time I’ve ever won the 800. I am re­ally ex­cited to win it as a se­nior.”

It turned out be a suc­cess­ful day for fe­male Schuylkill League ath­letes as six oth­ers won cham­pi­onships, while a to­tal of 16 qual­i­fied for states with ei­ther ti­tles or sec­ond-place fin­ishes.

Earn­ing gold medals Thurs­day in Class AA were Ma­hanoy Area’s Mered­ith Rhoades (100 hur­dles), Weatherly’s Emily Zoscin (100), North Schuylkill’s Sarah Wagner (triple jump), Jim Thorpe’s Deb­bie Loyd (pole vault) and Wal­lace (400). Le­high­ton’s Is­abelle Meckes (dis­cus) won a Class AAA ti­tle.

Zoscin’s ti­tle was her sec­ond in as many years, while Rhoades won her sec­ond in two days af­ter she took first in the 300 hur­dles Wed­nes­day.

Oth­ers qual­i­fy­ing for states with sec­ond-place fin­ishes in Class AA in­di­vid­ual events in­cluded Jim Thorpe’s Emma Dun­bar (100) and De­von Lig­nore (shot put), North Schuylkill’s Sara Man­beck (400), Pine Grove’s Nil­itza Malave (200), McCormick (1,600) and Wal­lace (800).

Blue Mountain’s Kylie Kutz (100, 200) qual­i­fied for states in a pair of events af­ter run­ner-up fin­ishes in the Class AAA 100 and 200.

Two re­lay teams are also go­ing to Ship­pens­burg as the Spar­tans’ Man­beck, Brinn DeAn­gelo, Liz Harner and McCormick were sec­ond in the 1,600 re­lay and Jim Thorpe’s Kylee Dul­ski, Dun­bar, Loyd and Wal­lace were sec­ond in the 400 re­lay.

Cap­par­ell’s two cham­pi­onships Thurs­day fol­lowed her pair of Schuylkill League ti­tles in the same events last week. She was al­most as dom­i­nat­ing in the 1,600 as she was at leagues, win­ning Thurs­day’s race by around 10 sec­onds. The only thing Cap­par­ell didn’t do was run un­der 5 min­utes.

“I was go­ing out to break 5, that’s been my goal all sea­son,” she said. “I am two sec­onds away from it. Hope­fully I can do that at states.”

The 800 was also turn­ing into a rout be­fore Wal­lace started to close in with about 200 me­ters left. But just when it ap­peared Wal­lace might get even closer, Cap­par­ell turned on the jets and pulled away.

“I saved a kick at the end,” Cap­par­ell said “I make sure to have a kick so us­ing it at the end helps.”

Cap­par­ell will mak­ing her fourth trip to states and plans on com­pet- ing in both events. She is also look­ing to im­prove upon her sixth-place fin­ish in the 1,600 at Ship­pens­burg last year.

Rhoades had the best time dur­ing the 100 hur­dle pre­lim­i­nar­ies Wed­nes­day at 16.81 sec­onds and fol­lowed that up with an­other ti­tle Thurs­day by run­ning a per­son­albest 16.14. Palisades’ Elora Mitchell (16.27) was sec­ond.

“It hon­estly feels just as good (as Wed­nes­day’s ti­tle), but over­all I feel amaz­ing to get two,” Rhoades said. “This was my goal all sea­son and to achieve it means ev­ery­thing to me.”

A big fo­cus for Rhoades this post­sea­son, and for Thurs­day’s fi­nal, was to fo­cus and worry about her­self and not oth­ers in the race. She feels it’s been an is­sue dur­ing her ca­reer.

That fo­cus was im­por­tant Thurs­day as Mitchell was right with Rhoades for the en­tire race, but Rhoades was able to get the vic­tory.

“Hon­estly, I just didn’t think too much and said to my­self the en­tire race ‘At­tack it, at­tack it,’ ” Rhoades said. “I just went out and ran as fast as I could.”

Zoscin won last year’s 100 with a time of 12.74 sec­onds. She was clocked in 12.73 on Thurs­day, get­ting past Jim Thorpe’s Dun­bar (12.76). The top four fin­ish­ers were from the Schuylkill League as Shenan­doah Val­ley’s Emily De­malis (12.82) was third and Pine Grove’s Malave (12.93) took fourth.

When asked about her cham­pi­onship Thurs­day, Zoc­sin brought up the mem­ory of for­mer Weatherly cross coun­try and track coach Jonathan Kid­dish, who passed away last Au­gust.

“It feels re­ally amaz­ing be­cause the last time I was here was my fresh­man year and my coach passed away and just felt like he was here with me be­cause this is where I last ran with him,” Zoscin said. “It felt re­ally good. I am just so happy.”

Zoscin was sec­ond dur­ing last week’s Schuylkill League meet to Blue Mountain’s Kutz. The Class AA race was in­deed a close one, and Zoscin be­lieves her im­proved starts have re­ally helped her this sea­son.

The fact that the Wreck­ers don’t have a track to run on is a mo­ti­va­tion for Zoscin, too.

“Hon­esty, the odds are kind of against me,” she said. “Most of the girls have a track and we sadly do not, but that is what kind of makes me push harder be­cause I don’t have a track so I do have the disad­van­tage.”

Wagner be­came the sec­ond North Schuylkill fresh­man to win a cham­pi­onship dur­ing this dis­trict meet af­ter McCormick won the 3,200 on Wed­nes­day. Wagner’s win­ning dis­tance was 35 feet, 11 inches, which she hit dur­ing her sec­ond at­tempt of the pre­lim­i­nar­ies.

“I just didn’t kind of think about it on that one,” Wagner said. “I just let my­self go and it worked out.”

Wagner en­tered Thurs­day knowing she had al­ready wrapped up a trip to states by beat­ing the state qual­i­fy­ing stan­dard in the long jump Wed­nes­day. That helped re­lieve what­ever pres­sure Wagner might have felt go­ing into Thurs­day’s event.

“I just wanted to come out here and have fun,” Wagner said. “But it is fun to win, too.”

Andy MAtsko / stAFF pho­tog­rA­pher Mar­ian’s Tina Cap­par­ell takes a com­mand­ing lead in the girls’ 1,600-me­ter run dur­ing Thurs­day’s Dis­trict 11 Track and Field Cham­pi­onships in White­hall. Cap­par­ell won the event in 5:02.23.

Andy MAtsko / stAFF pho­tog­rA­pher

Ma­hanoy Area’s Mered­ith Rhoades clears a hur­dle on her way to win­ning gold in the girls’ Class AA 100-me­ter hur­dles dur­ing Thurs­day’s Dis­trict 11 Track and Field Cham­pi­onships at the Ze­phyr Sports Com­plex in White­hall. The vic­tory was Rhoades’ sec­ond of the meet af­ter win­ning the 300 hur­dles Wed­nes­day.

andy maTSko / STaff pHo­Tog­ra­pHer

Blue Mountain’s Kylie Kutz fin­ished sec­ond in both the Class AAA 100- and 200-me­ter dashes, qual­i­fy­ing for states in both events.

emily zoscin

Weatherly

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