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Hopewell Track and Field

Hopewell Track and Field Crown 3 Champions at City of Hermitage Invitational

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The boys and girls of Hopewell Track and Field ventured into unfamiliar territory Saturday morning, taking their first trip ever to the City of Hermitage Invitational at Hickory High School to face competition from mostly District 10 schools.
It was a good chance to test themselves against athletes that they would rarely or never see on the circuit of meets around the WPIAL. The Vikings found they measured up pretty well, bringing home 3 individual champions and scoring several more medal spots.
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Juniors Zach Kovell and Emma Palmieri were the king and queen of the quarter mile, winning the boys and girls 400m championships. Emma stormed to a commanding victory with a season best time of 1:01.69, beating the field by nearly 2 seconds. Zach held off a late charge from Brookville sprinter Hayden Freeman to win in 51.70.
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Like most outstanding pole vaulters, Connor Progar has had to master the art of waiting. The school record holder did not enter the competition until the bar reached 12’6”, and only he and Nicholas Savolskis of Lakeview remained in the competition. Both cleared the 12’6” bar and failed at the following height, but Connor had the tie breaker because he had fewer misses, and won the gold.
One familiar opponent that tagged along for the trip was the wind. A strong, persistent crosswind dogged the competitors all day, adding resistance to the runners on the track, and unpredictability to throwers in the field. Many Vikings, however, were able to overcome the elements and still achieve personal best performances.
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Sophomore Bryce Ray had probably the biggest personal improvement of the day. The rookie long jumper extended his PR by a foot and seven inches, leaping 19’10” on his fourth attempt of the day. That jump was good enough for 5th place overall, and a spot on the podium (top 8 medaled in each event). Bryce, who also plays soccer and basketball, is starting to figure out his newest sport, as he has added over 2 feet to his jumps in just the last 2 meets.
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Sophomore Emily Bauknight also had a big jump, and a big PR that got her a 5th place medal. The outstanding gymnast has been applying her gym skills to the pole vault, and was able to clear 9’, a full foot higher than her previous best from just 2 days prior. She is also quite new to her event, but has been catching on quickly.