by Tom Utescher
By taking a short jaunt out to Plymouth Whitemarsh High School last Saturday, track and field athletes from Chestnut Hill Academy, Springside School, and Penn Charter were able to square off against opponents hailing from as far away as Delaware and upstate Pennsylvania.
Performers for the Blue Devils, Lions, and Quakers came away with a number of medals from the annual Pa. Track and Field Coaches Association Colonial Classic.
After seeing her 2011 best-in-Pennsylvania time in the 200 meter dash from early April eclipsed by Cierra White of Engineering & Science High School, Springside senior Taylor Ellis-Watson upped the ante again last Saturday, winning in 24.13 seconds to take the lead once more in the state sweepstakes. White did not run the 200 at the Colonial, but the two went head-to-head in the 100, where the Pittsburgh-bound Springsider won in 12.02 (another Pa. best) and White (12.17) came in third.
White did win the 400 after Ellis-Watson missed the sign-in announcement and was not allowed to race.
Penn Charter struck gold in the girls’ 1600 meters thanks to senior Elyse Wilkinson. Challenged by Regan Rome of Dallas High School near Wilkes Barre, Wilkinson pushed through hamstring pain to win in 5:16.38. Rome would go on to win the 3200 by a full 11 seconds, with PC sophomore Ani Schug finishing fifth in that race, at 12:34.44.
Wilkinson had been slated to run the 800 meters, but was held out of the event since coaches did not want to worsen her hamstring situation. Springside’s Natalie Bates, who is signing a scholarship agreement with Lehigh University this week, was feeling a lot of muscle stiffness herself prior to the 800. She had already won a bronze medal in the 300 hurdles (46.90) and had placed seventh in the high jump. She gave the 800 a go and was in fourth place halfway through, but she tightened up and had to drop out of the race along the final back straight.
Charter senior Colleen Fehm, headed to Penn to play squash, won the javelin (unfortunately, not an Inter-Ac League event) with a heave of 108’1”, almost eight feet better than the runner-up. She also won the bronze medal in the high jump at 5’2”, and was seventh in the pole vault.
A pair of Springside juniors came home with medals for fifth place in the shot put and the triple jump. Ashlee Hale chucked the shot 30’2.5” for the Lions, and McGinn traveled 33’7.25” in the triple, exactly one foot farther than seventh-place Amma Ntoso, a Penn Charter senior. McGinn was also 10th in the long jump competition.
Chestnut Hill Academy junior Dustin Wilson, fifth in the New Balance Indoor Nationals two-mile race back in early March, was the defending champion in the 1600 at the Colonial Classic. On Saturday Wissahickon High School’s Hong Cho pulled ahead of Wilson halfway through the final lap of the 1600 to win the race in 4:20.18. He broke Wilson’s 2010 meet record of 4:20.27, while the CHA runner, uncharacteristically showing signs of fatigue after the race, finished in 4:23.45.
Blue Devils senior Mike Fuery came in seventh in 4:34.79, and Penn Charter placed freshman Tre Williams 11th and sophomore Etienne Dumas 13th. In the 3200, sixth place went to Quakers senior Jorin Schug (brother of Ani), who clocked in at 10:18.42.
Neither CHA nor PC entered the 100 or 200, and in the 400 meters Dan Gallagher, a Chestnut Hill senior, came in 11th. In a crowded field in the 800, Charter had freshman Charlie Hoyt wind up 15th, and junior David Zager was 16th.
A time of 41.17 seconds netted fourth place in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles for Quakers sophomore Josh Cannon. CHA senior Ian Miller was ninth in that event and in the 110 high hurdles, and in the high hurdles Blue Devils junior Dan Trulear finished 11th.
Miller saw action on other fronts, as well, placing sixth in the long jump (19’2.25”) and eighth in the triple jump (36’4.5”). His freshman teammate Graham Allen was 10th in the triple and 11th in the long jump.
Fourth place in the shot put went to a Chestnut Hill senior, Colin Kelly, who thrust the metal ball 43’11.75”, and one spot behind, with a toss of 42’7.5”, was Charter upperclassman Jake Richards. Chris Howard of the Blue Devils placed 11th, and another junior, PC’s Tyler Mercer, was 13th.