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Track and field: Local athletes compete at Penn Relays


For some teams, the Penn Relays can be a proving ground for their athletes, who are competing against some of the finest athletes from the state and the country.

For others, it’s a good test before the upcoming leagues and districts.

Though none of the local teams brought home any medals, it proved to be a worthwhile endeavor.

Central Bucks East head girls track coach Steve Martin saw some strides that should help the team’s performance in the next few weeks. Martin watched the 4x800 team improve their mark by eight seconds (9:34.66), and the 4x400 squad gained an eighth-place finish in the Philadelphia Area final. The Patriots’ freshman 4x100 unit finished sixth in a time of 53.25.

Martin also was pleased with Mia Rivera, who threw 112-9 in the javelin for 17th place.

“The Penn Relays went well for the most part,” said Martin. “Our 4x800 will definitely be looking to be in the mid-9:20s by districts. We have been consistently getting better in the 400s, so we are looking to get down into mid 3:50s going into leagues and districts. We had a mishap with baton handling in the 4x100 but feel we can put a district qualifying time up before the league championship.

“Mia Rivera is ahead of where she was last year before throwing her best at districts, so looking to keep progressing over the next couple weeks. Our freshman 4x100 team has been really consistent in improving and making an immediate impact.”

On the boys side, head coach Chris Pierangeli was satisfied with his team’s showing at the Penn Relays, as well as thrower Jacob Tannenbaum, who continues to build a successful season with a discus mark of 161-3 for an 11th-place finish in the high school division.

“We ran well,” he noted. “We were experimenting with two new lineups. The guys executed their roles, and competed aggressively. Tommy Donnelly had a solid anchor leg in the 4x400.

“We were very proud to have discus thrower Jacob Tannebaum represent us and set a season best.”

Pennridge head boys coach Ty’Shawn Hopkins was pleased with his 4x400 unit that took second in the Philadelphia Suburban National Division in a time of 3:21.62, making their time the fastest in the SOL Colonial Division ahead of the league division championships.

“Overall, the season is going fairly well,” offered Hopkins in his first year coaching the Rams. “There’s an eagerness to compete and win, and these guys want to get on that track and keep improving.

“Before this year, they had gone two seasons without a dual meet win. I think that’s been bottling up and now this year we’ve got the perfect brew of coaching in every event, talent, work ethic, and attitude, which has led to them achieving their first win in two years.”

“I think what excites me most is that so much of our talent is young. We’ve got a lot of sophomores and juniors that have stepped up this year to make a huge impact on the program and are only going to continue to improve as we move forward. I think the program is moving in the right direction and is paying respect to the legacy left behind by Bob Hosier.”

Aside from the Penn Relays, Central Bucks West’s Mimi Duffy took first place in the 200 and 400 at the Whitehall Zephyr Invitational last weekend. Duffy clocked a 25.64 in the 200 and a 57.75 in the 400. Teammate Ella Lentini was second in the 3,200 (5:36.90) and third in the long jump (15-11.75). The Bucks 4x800 relay team took third in 10:12.39.

Duffy, who has battled through some hamstring issues, is optimistic that she can reach her season goals. Duffy was a district champ and won a bronze state medal in the 400 last season.

“I’m very happy that my times this season in all my events have been trending downward,” said Duffy, who also runs the 100. “I’m getting closer to a sub-par 12 (100), sub-25, and sub 57. It’s only a matter of time that these season goals become a reality.

“Obviously, I have some big shoes of my own to fill because of my past accomplishments, so my ultimate goal is to be back in the mid-55s as the postseason begins.”

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