By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
W’PORT — Athens freshman Olivia Bartlow earned her first medal, the Sayre’s 3,200-meter relay team broke the school record, and Athens senior Ariana Gambrell and Sayre junior Julia Boyle advanced to the finals of the 100-meter hurdles here Thursday night at Day 1 of the District 4 girls Track & Field Championships.
Bartlow finished fourth in the discus with a toss of 94-feet, 3-inches.
“Olivia (Bartlow) finished fourth in the discus,” said Ben Gambrell. “As a freshman, that’s always a great experience.”
Gambrell qualified for the finals of the 100-meter hurdles by running the second-fastest time in the semifinals. She clocked in at 15.43 seconds, after running the second-fastest time in the prelims as well — 15.76 seconds.
“Ariana (Gambrell) is sitting in a good spot in the 100 hurdles,” said Ben Gambrell. “I like her chances.”
Boyle also qualified for the 100-meter hurdle finals, finishing seventh in the semifinals in a time of 16.66 seconds.
“Julia (Boyle) worked her butt off all winter long, and it paid off today,” said Sayre coach Amy Wheeler.
Ariana Gambrell missed out on an opportunity to join her younger brother Benny at States in the long jump. She finished fourth in the long jump at 16-feet, 2 1/2-inches. (The top two in each event advance, and the state standard is 16-feet, 11-inches.)
“I think the wear-and-tear of the (100 hurdles) preliminaries and the semis took a toll, then it got colder … it wears you down,” said Ben Gambrell.
“It wears on all the athletes,” he noted. “If you look at all the performances throughout the evening I think all of them are down because of the cooler temperatures.
“It’s disappointing she didn’t make it, but she put it all out there,” added Ben Gambrell.
Her older siblings Jarred and Breana, who won four PIAA gold medals in the event, each competed multiple times at States in the long jump.
The Sayre foursome of seniors Jennifer Shaffer and Anna Coller, junior Kayla Hughey, and sophomore Carrie Claypool finished ninth in the 3,200-meter relay in a school-record time of 10:32.83. They broke the record of 10:33.72, set by Hannah Robinson, Alex Middlebrow, Amanda Merrill and Rose Velazquez in 2010.
“My girls have been working really hard all year long,” said Wheeler. “We have a lot of good distance runners, so we’ve tried some different things this year, we moved some people around, and tried new people in the event.
“We put Anna Coller, who has never run in the relay, in there today, and it worked out perfectly — they broke the record,” added Wheeler.
Freshman Rozlyn Haney narrowly missed the 100-meter dash finals, finishing ninth in the semifinals in a time of 13.2 seconds. She ran the seventh fastest time in the prelims at 13.26 seconds.
“Roz (Haney) did a great job,” said Wheeler. “She came out of the blocks well today, and she PRed. We are really happy with that.”
The Athens foursome of Sophie Adams, Eva Wood, Elizabeth Carey, and Kayla Wood finished 16th in the 3,200-meter relay in a time of 11:59.92.
Athens senior Rachel Hutchison, Haney, and Athens freshman Hannah Walker were all scheduled to run in the 200-meter dash, but only Walker’s heat went off without a hitch. The remaining two heats were scrubbed due to timing issues, so the event will be run in a timed final on Saturday.
Action resumes Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
IN PHOTO 1: Athens senior Ariana Gambrell. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.
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