Valley Sports Report
ATHENS — Junior Damian Hudson and sophomore Benny Gambrell were both triple-winners to lead the Athens boys to a fourth-place finish at the NTL Track & Field Championships here Friday at Alumni Stadium.
Towanda claimed the NTL crown with 136 points, while runner-up Wyalusing tallied 122.5, and third-place Troy had 99 points. The Wildcats tied Wellsboro for fourth place with 96 points, and Sayre was 10th with 13.
Hudson won the 100-meter dash in a time of 11.1 seconds. He also won the 200-meter dash in 22.7 seconds.
Hudson said he got a little help from an old friend (and former teammate).
“I wasn’t expecting that,” said Hudson of his win in the 100. “But in the prelims, I felt it.
“And Kalen (Keathley) came out once again for NTLs. He helped with my warm-up, and he boosted my confidence,” added Hudson.
Hudson and Gambrell teamed with senior Zach Trasco and freshman Shayne Reid to win the 400-meter relay in a time of 44.46 seconds.
Hudson also teamed with Trasco, Reid, and senior Brayden Murrelle to finish second in the 1,600-meter relay in a time of 3:36.7.
Gambrell won the long jump with a leap of 21-feet, 8 1/2-inches, and Athens senior Brayden Murrelle was eighth at 19-feet, 5-inches.
Gambrell also won the triple jump with a personal-best mark of 42-feet, 10 1/2-inches.
Gambrell went back-and-fourth with Troy’s T.J. Landis in the finals, before securing the win with his final hop, skip, and jump. Landis finished second with a personal-best 42-feet, 1-inch.
“It was a good experience,” Gambrell said about being pushed. “I haven’t really been pushed like that this year, and to have that really got me in the mindset to push forward.”
Sayre sophomore Bobby Benjamin was second in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 10-feet and Athens junior Ben Biles was fifth at 9-feet.
Athens junior T.J. Toscano placed fourth in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:06.1. He finished seventh in the 1,600-meter run in a time of 4:48.5, and also finished 12th in the 3,200-meter run in a time of 11:26.1.
Athens sophomore Asher Ellis finished fourth in the javelin with a throw of 132-feet, 7-inches, and junior Carson Stanfield was sixth at 130-feet, 3-inches.
Trasco finished fifth in the high jump, clearing the bar at 5-feet, 6-inches, and Biles was eighth at 5-feet, 4-inches.
Murrelle placed fifth in the 400-meter dash in a time of 54.3 seconds.
Athens senior Noah Wright finished fifth in the discus with a throw of 124-feet, 6-inches, and Sayre sophomore Zach Belles was eighth at 116-feet, 7-inches. Belles finished sixth in the shot put with a heave of 41-feet, 11 1/2-inches.
The Athens foursome of freshmen Brendan Jones, John Ayres, Connor Dahl, and Kyle Anthony finished sixth in the 3,200-meter relay in a time of 9:23.8.
Biles finished seventh in the 300-meter hurdles in a time of 46.3 seconds. He also finished 12th in the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 19.7 seconds.
Several Valley athletes narrowly missed the podium (top-eight finish) and placed in the top 12.
Murrelle and Reid tied for 10th in the 100-meter dash in a time of 12.0 seconds.
Athens freshman Kyle Anthony finished 10th in the 300-meter hurdles in a time of 47.5 seconds, and Sayre sophomore Connor Young was 12th in 48.9 seconds.
Sayre sophomore Tavone McClenny finished 11th in the triple jump with a mark of 35-feet, 5-inches, and Young was 12th at 35-feet.
Ellis was 12th in the discus with a toss of 102-feet, 1-inch, and Wright was 12th in the shot put at 37-feet, 6 1/2-inches.
Athens and Sayre return to action Thursday in Day 1 of the District 4 Championships at Williamsport High School.
IN PHOTO 1: Athens junior Damian Hudson. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY and MATT PATTON.
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