Girls Track Recap - PTFCA Indoor State Championships
Sprints & Hurdles
Talitha Diggs wasn't quite feeling 100% on Sunday. The Saucon Valley senior said she was dealing with a "low flu," but the Florida recruit was still ready to go after a pair of state titles. She did just that. Diggs went 55.01 to win the 400 meters. Then she returned later for the 200 meters, where she went 23.87 for the victory, completing the double.
It was quite the record-setting day she was hoping for, but considering the circumstances, Diggs was pleased with the outcome. Now it's on to nationals for the senior sprinter. Girard College's Margaret Conteh took second in the 400 in a strong 55.97, while Norristown's Teliyah James was second in the 200 in 24.84.
It was the Warwick show in the 60 meter dash. Some quick semifinal times set the stage for a very interesting final, led by Warwick's Lily Palacio-Lewis and Meghan Quinn. In a close final, it was Quinn that got the slight advantage at the line, winning her first individual state crown in 7.66 with Palacio-Lewis taking second in 7.67. Mastery Charter-Hardy's Marlina Voker was third in 7.68.
In the hurdles, it was a freshman that stole the show in a veteran-filled field. Bishop McDevitt's Taleea Buxton successfully navigated the prelims and then the semis, before popping off a 8.72 in the finals to nip Pennsbury's Kayli Williams (8.76) at the line. For Buxton, Sunday's state title could be the first of many for the breakthrough ninth grader.
After opting for the USATF Indoor Championships last year, it was back to the high school scene and the final indoor state meet for Northern senior Marlee Starliper. And just as she did as a sophomore two years ago, Starliper successfully completed the mile/3K, winning both distance races on the day.
First came the mile, where Starliper let the pack hang on her in the opening laps. Then she made some moves and gapped the field, en route to the victory in 4:44.61. Friends' Central's Lydia Russell was a solid second in 4:51.07 and Bethel Park's Emily Carter took third in 4:51.79.
Then came the 3K. Starliper was content to hang in the pack for the early going of the race and let others set the pace. With about a half mile to go, Starliper put a move on the field and opened up a gap. Only the field wasn't ready to go down without a fight. Carter from Bethel Park kicked hard and made Starliper work in the closing meters. Ultimately, the win went to Starliper in 9:39.11, while Carter took second in 9:40.46.
In the 800 meters, Keara Seasholtz let it become her race. The Radnor senior went right to the front and opened up a solid lead on the rest of the talented field. She was up a second and a half on second place at the midway point. The aggressiveness paid off, as Seasholtz held on for the win in 2:10.88. Taryn Parks of Greencastle-Antrim, the defending champion, was closing hard, but she ran out of track, taking second in 2:11.75.
It was an exciting opener to the indoor state meet, right out of the gates with the 4x800 meter relay. In a loaded field, it turned into a battle between the defending champions from Neumann Goretti and the talented Friends' Central squad. The teams were about even at the final exchange, but it was Neumann Goretti's Kami Joi Hickson that split a 2:11.08 to lead the Saints to a repeat victory. NG clocked
Friends' Central clocked a US#2 of 9:09.19 for second and Central Bucks West went US#3 for third in 9:12.05.
Neumann Goretti, of course, wasn't done. The Saints dominated the final girls event of the day, the 4x400 meter relay, grabbing the team's third straight indoor state title with a 3:50.09, a US#4 clocking.
Friends' Central would get its relay victory in the distance medley relay. The Phoenix, behind a terrific anchor leg from Lydia Russell, who had already run the mile and 3K earlier in the day, went from third to first to win in 12:08.90, just off the team's season best. Penn Charter, the reigning state champs in the DMR, went 12:11.31 for second, and Carlisle placed third in 12:13.21 as anchor leg Sophia Toti split a 4:52.94 to bring the Herd from eighth to bronze.
The 4x200 meter relay provided plenty of drama. The Chester girls, from the third of five sections, put down a 1:44.63 to set the standard ahead of the next two sections. That time would end up holding up, and the Clippers claimed the state title. Pennridge, also from that third heat, took second in 1:45.09.