by Tom Utescher
Of the 15 events contested at last Saturday’s Inter-Ac League track and field championships at Malvern Prep, the girls of Germantown Academy won seven and runners from Springside Chestnut Hill placed first in four others, but it was a broad-based effort by Episcopal Academy that allowed the Churchwomen to repeat as league champs.
While the GA Patriots (100 points) and SCH Blue Devils (87) each came away without points in several events, EA scored in everything save the long jump to pile up a winning total of 145.5 points. It was a much more decisive victory than in 2013, when the Churchwomen won the final event of the meet (the 4 x 400 relay) to edge out SCH by a single point.
Penn Charter made a strong showing in the field events this year, ringing 48 points overall at the meet to finish fourth ahead of erstwhile power Academy of Notre Dame (46.5). The sixth and seventh spots were filled by Agnes Irwin (30) and Baldwin (8).
Springside Chestnut Hill sophomore Brooklyn Broadwater won the 200-meter dash and both the 100 high hurdles and the 300 intermediate hurdles, while classmate Julia Reeves won the 100 meter race, was runner-up in the 200 and the triple jump, and placed fourth in the long jump.
Penn State signee Megan McCloskey, who finished fourth in an elite field of high jumpers at the Penn Relays last month, gave GA a major boost in the field events early in the meet, winning the high jump, long jump, and triple jump, and sophomore Tesa Pribitkin soared to first place in the pole vault. Three athletes from the Patriots’ league champion cross country squad gave GA victories in the 800, 1600, and 3200 meter footraces.
GA coach Pete Jennings was more than pleased with his team’s point total, and its second-place finish.
“It was almost the perfect meet; just about everything we hoped would happen did happen,” he said. “We’re a pretty small team, and with the numbers and the depth that Episcopal has, we knew it would be tough for anybody to beat them. Winning seven events was fantastic for us, and a number of other girls had PR’s today. We have a great group of girls who work hard and always support one another.”
For SCH, which has one of the smallest rosters around, any little glitch has a major impact on its scoring capabilities. A member of the school’s Penn Relay champion 4 x 400 meter relay did not compete last weekend, and a promising high jumper was also out for the Blue Devils.
Individually, Broadwater, Reeves, and junior distance runner Jamie Costarino furnished 82 points out of Springside’s total of 87, with the other five coming in the two relay races.
After Broadwater won the high hurdles by eight-tenths of a second, her second-place outcome in the 400 was a bit of an anomaly. She is the current indoor national champion and she ran the fastest split in the 4 x 400 relay (54.6 seconds) of any Philadelphia area runner at the Penn Relays. However, as she qualified for numerous events at trials on Thursday evening, she wound up seeded in the slow heat of the two 400 meter races on Saturday.
She won her race by more than 25 meters with a time of 57.30, but in the second section, senior twin sisters from Episcopal were able to push each other all the way around. Brianna Belo put up a winning time of 56.35, and her sibling Brittany was third in 57.75.
In the intermediate hurdles, EA junior Tara Boyle actually gained the slimmest of leads over Broadwater after the pair cleared the final barrier, but an oh-no-you-don’t burst at the line won it for the Blue Devil sophomore.
Earlier, GA’s McCloskey given the Pats three victories in the jumps, and in her specialty, the high jump, she had no need to try and better her league record of 5’9”, which she set as a sophomore. Her 5’8” leap gave her the gold this year, while the runner-up dropped out at five feet even. In the pole vault pit, Pribitkin’s winning figure of 9’0” for GA was a new personal best for her.
Penn Charter didn’t win any gold medals in the field events, but this is where the Quakers demonstrated solid depth of talent and collected the great majority of their points in the meet. Piling up 44 points in the five field disciplines, they were actually first in the point standings before the athletes took to the track.
Silver medals went to senior Hailey Bennett in the long jump and freshman Mireyah Davis in the shot put. Davis also placed third in the high jump, and Bennett was fourth in the triple, where she was one spot behind junior teammate Carolyn Brady. PC freshman Alexis Capers came away with the bronze medal in the long jump.
On the track, SCH and GA combined to win seven of the eight individual events. While the Blue Devils galloped to gold in the sprints and hurdles, the distance runners got it done for Germantown. In the 1600 meters the Inter-Ac cross country champion, freshman Abbe Goldstein, came in first, a fraction of a second ahead of senior teammate Kerry Lawlor. In the 800 it was Lawlor’s turn; she won by more than a second over Episcopal’s Alexis Malmberg.
After one more event was staged, everyone was herded inside as a thunderstorm approached. It turned out that the rain wasn’t such a bad thing, since just before it arrived, dry grass had caught fire behind the bleachers of Malvern’s Quigley Stadium.
When competition resumed, the GA girls delivered another one-two punch, as sophomore Paige Kupsky won the 3200 meter race, with Goldstein coming in second. The meet then wrapped up with the 4 x 400, where Episcopal capped its impressive overall effort with a victory. In one of its better efforts, Notre Dame came in second but still couldn’t catch Penn Charter in the final rankings, while third place in the relay went to a GA quartet made up of sophomores Shayne Cerebe and Maggie Hallahan, along with Goldstein and Lawlor.
1. SCH Julia Reeves 12.65
2. EA Brianne Belo 12:73
3. EA Margaux Paolino 12.80
1. SCH Brooklynn Broadwater 25.80
2. SCH Julia Reeves 25.96
3. EA Brittany Belo 26.77
1. EA Brianna Belo 56.35
2. SCH Brooklynn Broadwater 57.30
3. EA Brittany Belo 57.75
1. GA Kerry Lawlor 2:22.89
2. EA Alexis Malmberg 2:23.94
3. EA Leighann Adelizzi 2:24.06
1. GA Abbe Goldstein 5:10.34
2. GA Kerry Lawlor 5:10.79
3. EA Alexis Malmberg 5:11.80
1. GA Paige Kupsky 11:34.65
2. GA Abbe Goldstein 11:39.71
3. SCH Jamie Costarino 11:42.90
100 high hurdles
1. SCH Brooklyn Broadwater 15.21
2. EA Tara Boyle 16.00
3. AI Steph Williams 16.69
300 intermediate hurdles
1. SCH Brooklynn Broadwater 47.62
2. EA Tara Boyle 47.87
3. AI Marin Bloise 49.53
1. GA Megan McCloskey 5’8”
2. EA Gianna Smith 5’0”
3. PC Mireyah Davis 4’8”
1. GA Megan McCloskey 17’5.75”
2. PC Hailey Bennett 16’1.5”
3. PC Alexis Capers 15’6.5”
1. GA Tesa Pribitkin 9’0”
2. EA Silicia Lomax 8’5”
3. EA Emma Howley 7’6”
1. EA Gianna Pileggi 31’10”
2. PC Mireyah Davis 31’3.5”
3. AI Nishi Bhagat 29’10”
1. GA Megan McCloskey 34’9”
2. SCH Julia Reeves 33’10.5”
3. PC Carolyn Brady 33’5”
4 x 100 relay
1. Episcopal Academy 49.67
2. Notre Dame 50.44
3. Agnes Irwin 51.73
4. Springside Chestnut Hill 51.76
5. Germantown Academy 52.86
6. Penn Charter 53.70
7. Baldwin School 54.45
4 x 400 relay
1. Episcopal Academy 4:04.93
2. Notre Dame 4:08.89
3. Germantown Academy 4:19.95
4. Penn Charter 4:22.65
5. Baldwin School 4:23.27
6. Springside Chestnut Hill 4:23.36