AA BOYS PREVIEW
By Lex Mercado
Marquis White of Constitution High School ran a PA#10 time of 10.83 in the 100 meter dash at the District 12 Championship, making him one of the favorites in this event. Thomas Walker of Milton Hershey ran 10.87 this season and finished 4th in 2009. He will be White’s toughest competition. Jarred Gambrell (11.04) of Athens Area, Josh Maloney of Mount Carmel (11.06) and Ron Jackson of Farrell (11.05 season best) are also in the mix to break into the top three.
Almany Bangura of Milton Hershey is ranked PA#7 this season in the 200 meter dash, and is the only guy in the field to break 22 this season. Marquis White is also in this event, and he is part of a close pack of sprinters featuring Trenton Coles of Clairton, Nicholas Patton of Tyrone Area, and Ozzie Bryan of West Catholic, who was 7th in 2009 and is the only returning finalist.
In perhaps the deepest sprint event in AA, Bangura is PA#8 and is the defending champion in the 400 meter dash, and he was the only guy to break 48 last season. This time around, Trenton Coles has run the fastest time in AA this season (48.29 on May 7) and finished 4th in the event as a freshman in 2009. Ozzie Bryan finished 3rd in this event last year and will be in the mix once again. Kyle Younkin of Somerset is PA#9 and the 2nd seed in this event.
Josh McFrazier of New Brighton is the top returning runner in the 110 meter hurdles and has run 14.0 hand timed this season. Brian Lauff of Fort Cherry (6th in 2009) and Brett Warner of Bermudian (8th in 2009) are the other returning competitors from last year. Kyle Pane of Athens Area (14.74 season best) and Trevor Foley of Titusville (14.88 season best) are the 2nd and 3rd seeds respectively.
Top seed Trevor Foley was 4th last season in the 300 meter hurdles and is the top returner from last year’s field. 2nd seeded Sean Deschamps of McGuffey (5th) and Zack Newton of Penn Cambria (7th) are the other returners in this year’s field. Other stiff competition will come from Josh McFrazier and David Burkett of Windber Area.
The 800 meter run is wide open, as there are no returning medalists or finalists from 2009 in the field. Evan Miller of Laurel is the top seed in the event at 1:56.22 and has over one full second over the field. The guys that will be chasing Miller are all clustered in the 1:57 range. Brandon Bednash of Valley View, LJ Westwood of Quaker Valley, and Abram Nace of Lewistown are within .06 seconds of one another as the 2-3-4 seeds.
Omar Hyjek of Quaker Valley is the top returner from last season (6th) and has run the fastest 1600 meter run in AA this season. Top seed Brett Kubiak of Milton Hershey was 7th last year, and freshman Ryan Smathers of North East has run 4:23.17 this season. Tommy Gruschow of Trinity is also in the PA top 50 this season.
Alex Beardsley of North East has run 9:26.23 for the 3200 meter run and has been very consistent throughout the spring season. Brett Kubiak (9:28.30) was 6th in this event last season and will be Beardsley’s best competition. Steven Welsh of Kutztown (9:37.17) is the only other runner in the field to run under 9:40 this season and is the top returner from last season with his 5th place finish.
Trinity and Milton Hershey are the only two teams under 43 seconds in AA in the 4x100 meter relay, with Trinity edging out Milton Hershey at the District 3 Championships. Wellsboro Area and Boiling Springs are the next closest teams to the top two seeds in the field.
With top AA team Milton Hershey getting disqualified in district 3, the 4x400 meter relay has become anyone’s event to win. Sharon (3:24.43), West Catholic (3:24.46), and Trinity (3:24.94) are the only three teams under 3:25 and are the top three seeds in the event.
The 4x800 meter relay has only four teams under eight minutes this season. Trinity (7:57.02), defending champ Quaker Valley (7:57.16), North East (7:58.44), and Elk-Lake (7:58.72) all ran their best times of the season in their respective district meets. With the top four teams running their best at the right time, the finals may be one fantastic race no one should miss.
Jarred Gambrell of Athens Area is the only medalist from 2009 (4th) and the top long jumper in AA this season with a mark of 22-08.75. Three other guys have cleared 22 feet this season and they include Derek Gaul of Schuylkill Valley (22-07.50), Luke Gallaher of Forest Hills (22-02.25), and Ronnie Howard of Sharon (22-00.50).
Gambrell is also the top seed in the triple jump and has an overwhelming lead of over two and a half feet over the field and a PA#2 mark of 49-02. Brian Leap of Bellwood Antis and Vinny Dougherty of Brookville are the closest challengers to Gambrell. Richard Somiari of Richland (7th) is only other returning medalist from 2009.
Darian Twyman of GAR Memorial is the returning silver medalist in the high jump from 2009 and has cleared 6-5 this season. Derek Fiedler of Fairview (3rd in 2009) and Levi Reinhart (7th in 2009) have cleared 6-6 this season. Luke Gallaher of Forest Hills is the top seed at 6-7.
Jeremy Nease of Bermudian (4th in 2009) and Robert Mitros of Towanda (6th in 2009) are the only returning medalists in the pole vault this season. Mitros has cleared 14-6 this season, but he is looking up at teammate Dylon Miller (15 feet) and Lanny Buck of Palmerton (15 feet). Eight guys cleared at least 14 feet at their district meets last week.
Jake Brenza of Trinity is the top returner in the shot put from last season with his 4th place finish and he is the top thrower in all of PA. Brad Zaborski of Wilmington is one of only four other guys to throw over 56 feet in the shot put this season (56-02). Jonathan Duckett of McDevitt (3) (6th in 2009) is the nearest challenger and the other medalist from 2009 alongside Brenza.
Brenza is also the top seed in the discus throw and is one of two PA athletes to throw over 170 feet in the discus (174-03). Brenza was 5th last season, two places behind Jonathan Duckett (3rd in 2009), and second seed Brice Beals of Bald Eagle was 8th last season as a sophomore. Beals is the only other guys in the field over the 160 foot mark and has a season best mark of 165-10.
Defending champion Kyle Smith of Lancaster Catholic threw 200 feet even in the javelin at his district meet, and trails top seed and PA#4 Thomas Lang of St Pius X by almost 8 feet. These two will most likely contend for the title, as the next seed is 12 feet behind Smith.