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Hopewell Track and Field

Recap of Hopewell Track and Field Teams First Meet of the 2024 Season

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The Hopewell Track and Field team went to Moon High School Friday for the first meet of the season with Moon and Mars. Even in the chilly, windy weather there were many strong season opening performances from the returning lettermen, as well as promising starts from young newcomers.
The sprints and hurdles group dominated their events against both Moon and Mars. Senior Kira Shakespeare was first overall in the 100m hurdles with a time of 18.39, and junior Reese Murray placed 3rd against both Moon and Mars with 20.00. Reese also scored 2nd place finishes against both teams in the 300m hurdles.
Seniors Tyler Lewis and Matthias Goth smoked the field in the 110m hurdles, beating every Moon Tiger and Mars Planet hurdler by more than 2 seconds. Tyler, who was a WPIAL qualifier in the event last spring, won in 16.43 seconds, with Goth right behind him in 16.57. Goth also won the 300m hurdles in convincing fashion, posting an all-time personal best time of 44.72 seconds over the intermediate barriers.
Juniors Emma Palmieri and Zach Kovell led the way in the sprints, taking first overall in both the 100m and 200m. Emma ran a massive personal best time of 12.91 seconds in the 100m, and gapped the field in the 200m by a wide margin, although a clock error did not provide a time for her heat. Zach Kovell also smashed his personal records in the 100m (11.42) and 200m (23.09) while taking first overall in both.
Sophomore Josh Brunton posted his best times in the 100m (11.80) and 200m (23.92) finishing 4th overall and 2nd overall. Senior Naz Jeter was just behind him in the 100m at 11.83. Junior Nevaeh Persi-Jones (13.73 100m, 29.25 200m), Sophomore Maya Richburg (13.70 100m) and freshmen Avery Boyd (29.40 200m) and Makenna Douglas (13.90 100m) were impressive as well.
The girls 4x100m relay team of Richburg, Palmieri, Boyd, and Persi-Jones won despite some rough baton exchanges, as did the boys team of Brunton, Kovell, Lewis, and Jeter. The girls 4x400m team of Palmieri, McKenna Ladson, Persi-Jones, and Murray were second overall with a time of 4:35.
The distance runners also did well for themselves. Senior Zach Landry ran an all-time personal best in the 1600m (5:05), as did sophomore Antony Flitcraft (5:10). Landry also finished 2nd against Mars in the 800m run in 2:16. Flitcraft was also 1st against Mars and 2nd against Moon in the 3200m with a time of 11:28 – his first time running that distance on the track. Senior Vicki Dong took 1st place against Mars in the girls 1600m with 6:48. Madi Inderelst was 2nd against Moon in the 800m with 3:02, and senior Christy Sundy was 2nd against Moon in the 3200m with 15:58.
The field events saw a lot of development from our young stars in the making. Sophomore Nick Adams led the jump squad in the long and triple jumps with 2nd places against both Moon and Mars in the long jump (18’2”) and a triple jump (37’5”) that was good for 1st against Moon and 2nd against Mars. Naz Jeter, Thomas Pipkins III, Bryce Ray, and Julian Baldwin all continued to show improvement in the jumps.
Freshman Michael Biesenkamp cleared 4’10” in his first ever high jump competition, and that ended up being good for 1st place against Moon and 3rd against Mars.
Freshman Avery Boyd led the girls’ jumpers with a 14’4” long jump and a 4’2” clearance in the high jump.
Senior Caitlyn Anderson (5’6”) and freshman Audrey Kriger (5’0”) had scoring performances in the pole vault for the girls. Junior Connor Progar took first overall for the boys (10’0”) in an abbreviated pole vault competition.
Senior Sarah Casey led the girls’ throwers, placing 1st overall in the shot put (24’10”) and 3rd overall in the discus (64’10”, 1st against Mars, 3rd against Moon). Freshman Marlee Page (69’7”) and senior Christy Sundy (66’9”) took the top 2 spots in the javelin against Mars, and Page was 3rd against Moon.
The boys’ throwers were led by a group of sophomores. Dom Gaughan’s personal best discus throw of 96’8” placed 2nd against Moon. Brian McCabe was 1st against Mars with a javelin throw of 101’8” on a muddy runway. Nic Thomas was 3rd against Mars in the shot put with a personal best 34’0.5” effort.
Overall, it was a very encouraging early season meet for the Vikings, with dominating performances from our most experienced athletes, and lots of progress and personal bests from our developing stars. With 105 student athletes on the roster, nearly 1/6 of the student body is out for track and field this spring. There are a ton of talented, hardworking kids in this school, and with 18 events to choose from, track and field gives everyone a chance to find a discipline that they can become obsessed with and enjoy the work it takes to master.
The team will be back in action on Wednesday at Central Valley for another non-section meet against CV and West Allegheny.
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