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VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: GAMBRELL EARNS TOP HONORS AS "FEMALE TRACK & FIELD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR" — BOWEN, HUTCHISON ALSO RECOGNIZED (4 PHOTOS) (2016-06-19)

Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — Athens sophomore Breana Gambrell won four District 4 gold medals and earned her second PIAA gold medal in as many years to repeat as the Valley Sports Report's 2016 “Female Track & Field Athlete of the Year.”

Tioga senior Malley Bowen is the “Track Athlete of the Year,” while Athens freshman Rachel Hutchison earns “Newcomer of the Year” status.

For the second year in a row, Gambrell qualified for the PIAA Championships in four events, and for the second year in a row, she brought home two medals, including another gold medal in the long jump with a school-record leap of 19-feet, 4 3/4-inches.

Gambrell was dominant throughout the season, despite battling a nagging leg injury early on. She consistently won three or four events during the dual season, capping the NTL season with four gold medals at the league meet.

She currently holds the school record in the long jump and triple jump, and was a part of this year’s record-setting 400-meter relay team that earned a fifth-place medal at States.

Bowen, who narrowly missed a trip to States in the 100-meter hurdles as a junior, was a force in the IAC during the regular season, routinely winning three or four events at duals. At the IAC Championships, she won the 100 hurdles, was second in long jump and pole vault, and third in triple jump.

Bowen won the 100-meter hurdles and pole vault at the Class C meet and finished seventh in the triple jump. She won the 100-meter hurdles at Section IV meet.

She finished third at States in the 100-meter hurdles, and graduates as school record-holder in 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump — an event she only participated in four times.

Hutchison burst onto the scene and was an immediate contributor for the Lady Wildcats in their NTL championship season, regularly winning three or four events. She placed in four events at NTL Championships, including a pair of first-place finishes

Hutchison finished third in the 400-meter dash at the District 4 Championship and hit state standard to qualify for the PIAA Championships. She was also a part of the gold-medal winning 400-meter relay team.

She finished fifth in her 400-meter heat at States and was on the record-setting 400-meter relay team that finished fifth at States.

Relay of Year: Te Athens 400-meter relay team of junior Shanell Baglini, Breana Gambrell, Hutchison, and freshmen Ariana Gambrell finished fifth at the PIAA Championships in a time of 49.41 seconds. The foursome set a school record in the preliminaries with a time of 49.18 seconds.

The foursome also won District 4 gold in a then school-record time of 49.41 seconds.

“All-Valley Super 7”

Breana Gambrell, sophomore, Athens: See above.

Malley Bowen, senior, Tioga: See above.

Rachel Hutchison, freshman, Athens: See above.

Kate Oteng-Bediako, sophomore, Waverly: Oteng-Bediako missed more than a month of the season with a knee injury, but came back just in time to win a Section IV gold medal in the triple jump with a mark of 37-feet, 4-inches.

At States, Oteng-Bediako earned a fifth-place medal, eclipsing her school record with an effort of 37-feet, 5 3/4-inches.

Oteng-Bediako, whose family is moving out of the area, leaves Waverly as the school record-holder in the triple jump and long jump.

Shanell Baglini, junior, Athens: A major contributor all season for the Lady Wildcats, Baglini consistently won points in four events.

She was a double-winner at the NTL Championships. Along with running a leg on the gold-medal winning 400-meter relay team, Baglini finished sixth in the 400-meter dash and eighth in the 200-meter dash at the District 4 Championships.

The 400 relay team went on to finish fifth at States, setting a new school record of 49.18 seconds in the process.

Melina Ortiz, 8th-grader, Waverly: Ortiz was a consistent point-getter for the Lady Wolverines all season in the sprints and relays.

She finished fourth in the 200-meter dash and eighth in the 100 at the IAC Championships, and placed in four events at the Class B Meet.

Ortiz finished fifth in the 200-meter dash at the Section IV State Qualifier.

Ariana Gambrell, freshman, Athens: Ariana Gambrell made an immediate impact for the Lady Wildcats, consistently earning points in four events during the team’s NTL Championship season.

Ariana Gambrell finished third in the 100-meter hurdles and the long jump, and was sixth in the triple jump at the NTL Championships.

Aside from running on the first-place 400-meter relay teams, she finished seventh in 100-meter hurdles, and eighth in the long jump at the District 4 Championships.

The 400 relay team went on to finish fifth at States, setting a new school record of 49.18 seconds in the process.

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IN PHOTO 1: Athens’ Breana Gambrell. IN PHOTO 2: Tioga’s Malley Bowen. IN PHOTO 3: Athens’ Rachel Hutchison. IN PHOTO 4: The Athens 400-meter relay team. … VSR STOCK PHOTOS.

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