Penn Charter junior Ben Szuhaj is on his way to a silver medal performance in the 3200 meter final at the 2014 Pennsylvania Independent Schools Championships. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

Penn Charter junior Ben Szuhaj is on his way to a silver medal performance in the 3200 meter final at the 2014 Pennsylvania Independent Schools Championships. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

The Penn Charter boys finished fifth and Germantown Academy was sixth last Wednesday in a field of 15 teams competing in the 2014 Pennsylvania Independent Schools track and field championships. Springside Chestnut Hill Academy wound up eighth in the team standings, while two other Inter-Ac League teams, Malvern Prep and the Haverford School, took first and second place in the meet at the Hill School.

Germantown Friends, focusing more on the upcoming Friends Schools League championships, came in 13th overall on Wednesday.

Malvern had also claimed the Inter-Ac League title while playing host to the championships back on May 10. However, there was some shuffling of places among some of the other Inter-Ac squads compared to how they finished in the league meet. Malvern put up 96 points to win, but Haverford, which was third at the Inter-Ac’s, was now a very close second, with 90.

Charter, the league runner-up, was displaced at the Pottstown gathering not only by the Fords, but by host team Hill (third with 83.5 points), and by another member of the Mid-Atlantic Prep League, Mercersberg Academy (75). PC’s 59-point showing still put the Quakers comfortably ahead of GA, which had 38 points.

The FSL’s Westtown School edged out SCH for seventh place by a single point, 33-32. In the Inter-Ac meet, the Blue Devils had played catch-up to tie with Episcopal Academy for fifth place at the end, but here SCH enjoyed a double-digit margin over the Churchmen, who were 10th with 21 points in the meet.

Penn Charter had one gold medalist, senior James Biggs-Frazier, who won the 100 meter dash in 11.18 seconds. The Quakers derived most of their team points from an assortment of second-place finishes.

Another PC senior, Charlie Hoyt, came in less than two seconds behind Malvern’s victorious Jaxson Hoey in the 800, and in the 4 x 800 relay, the runner-up group was a Quakers quartet consisting of junior Jamir Brown and seniors Tre Williams, Scott Mason, and Hans Stedman. Junior Ben Szuhaj was second in the 3200, and freshman high jumper Akeem Blake was also a silver medalist.

Charter derived a total of nine points from the pole vault, courtesy of seniors Gavin Hatfield (third) and Drew Pierce (fifth), while junior Sean Fitzgerald was fourth in the 400 meters.

Germantown Academy had sophomore Devon Goodman to thank for 24 of its 38 points. Winning the 110 high hurdles in 15.78 seconds, he was runner-up in the 300 hurdles and also secured a bronze medal in the high jump. Junior teammate Sam Ritz also brought home a gold for the Patriots, taking the 1600 meter race in 4:16.85 to break the meet record by almost six seconds.

GA picked up a fifth-place finish in the 4 x 400 relay with its foursome of Ritz, senior Nelson Floyd, and freshmen Alejandro Gonzalez and Cole Storm.

One spot behind in that four-by-four was a GFS team made up of freshman Nick Dahl, sophomore Grayson Hepp, and juniors Isaac Zukin and Mathias Hammer. The Tigers took fifth place in the 4 x 800, where the line-up featured senior Andy Bugos, sophomore Zach Schwartz, junior Ethan Jones, and freshman Daniel Stassen.

Dahl had the best individual finish for GFS with his third-place run in the 1600, and Hepp was sixth in the 800.

Like GA, Springside Chestnut Hill had one multi-tasker furnish a big chunk of its points. For the Blue Devils, it was senior Frank Jackson, who earned second place in the 110 hurdles, fifth in the long jump, and sixth in the triple jump. Another SCH 12th grader, Graham Allen, garnered third place in the 800 meters.

The Blue Devils picked up seven team points for tying for second place in the 4 x 100 meter relay along with George School (the two foursomes ran in different heats and shared the same time). Freshman Justin Telemaque, juniors Sameir Madden and Alex Mollick, and sophomore Jordan Johnson ran for the Devils here, and Johnson also raced in the open 100 meters, coming in fifth.

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