by Tom Utescher
In the Girls Inter-Ac League dual meet opener for both teams, host Penn Charter’s superiority in the field events could not overcome Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s advantage on the track. In the six footraces, two hurdling events, and two relays the visiting Blue Devils built up more than a 30-point margin, and won last Thursday’s meet by a score of 77-49.
SCH won both relays, starting with the 4 x 100 meters, in which freshmen Essence Walden, Singley Risico, and Calder McNeil teamed up with sophomore anchor Bridget Lipp. At the end of the afternoon, the Blue Devils captured the 4 x 400 with a line-up consisting of Walden, senior Drew Davis, Lipp, and freshman Brooklynn Broadwater.
In individual competition, freshman Julia Reeves won the 200 meters (27.5) and the long jump (15’2.5”) and placed second in the triple jump. She also finished first in the 300 intermediate hurdles, but that event was invalidated by the meet officials due to several missing hurdles on the course.
Broadwater, who had run in the 57-second bracket in the 400 meters five days earlier, cruised to first place in that event at PC, clocking in at 1:05.7. She also turned in a second-place performance in the 800, which was won by her teammate E.K. Helstrom, a seventh-grader who was timed in 2:33.7.
Blue Devils freshman Nicole Novo captured the 3200 meter run in 13:17.7, and in the 1600 she finished third while Helstrom wound up second.
Penn Charter picked up a victory in the 1600 thanks to senior Catie Skinner, who ran with one forearm in a cast (snowboarding) and still crossed the line in 5:31 flat. Skinner, a Mt. Airy native who is the reigning Pa. Independent Schools Cross Country Champion, will attend Middlebury College.
The Quakers’ other first-place finish on the track was owing to senior Zoe Claire Allen, who ran the 100 meter high hurdles in 19.7 seconds, leading a one-two-three sweep for PC that included freshman Kristina Ohemeng and senior Celia Tow. Allen finished second in the 300 hurdles, and sophomore teammate Maya Pressley was third. In other events on the track, the Quakers marked down second-place finishes for senior Ani Schug in the 3200 and for freshman Emily Smith in the 400.
For the Blue Devils, eighth-grader Melanie Graves led a sweep in the 100 meters (13.3). She was backed up by Davis and Lipp, who tied for second. Lipp was alone in second in the 200, coming in behind Reeves, and Walden made it another one-two-three effort for Springside Chestnut Hill.
The visitors also grabbed all the points in the 800, where senior Maddi Hinchey secured third place behind Helstrom and Broadwater. In addition, there were third-place performances turned in by freshman Brenna Isackman in the 3200, and by sophomore Ayana Rhym in the 400. Rhym was also third in the high jump.
In addition to Reeves’ long jump victory over at the field events venue, the Blue Devils had Hinchey set a PR in winning the high jump (4’8”), while sophomore Kyra Jackson came out on top in the shot put with a heave of 29’9.5”.
The host Quakers had freshman Willow Tierno place first in the pole vault (6’0”) and second in the high jump, and junior Hailey Bennett triumphed in the triple jump (31’10”). PC sophomore Carolyn Brady was second in the long jump and third in the triple, and runner-up honors went to Ashleigh Brown in the shot and fellow senior Michelle Gross in the pole vault. Charter collected third-place points from senior Sapphire Johnson in the shot put and junior Jessie Levin in the long jump.