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NTL GIRLS TRACK & FIELD: 'TOTAL TEAM EFFORT' LEADS ATHENS TO ANOTHER TEAM TITLE AT LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS (24 PHOTOS) (2024-05-10)


BURGESS A TRIPLE-WINNER FOR WILDCATS

By CHRIS MANNING
Valley Sports Report
ATHENS — Athens continued its decade of excellence by claiming another team title at the NTL Girls Track & Field Championship here on a rainy Friday at Alumni Stadium.

“It feels really good,” said coach Michael Bronson. “The girls worked really hard, I think they felt a little bit of pressure to keep it going.

“You don’t really talk too much about that, but I think it’s important to them,” he noted. “They’re a great group of girls, our coaching staff has worked them really hard this year, and the girls, they had a great meet.”

Bronson touted the win as a “total team effort.

“We do have our big point-getters, but we also have a lot of girls who are getting fifth-places, and seventh-places — all those little points just add up over the course of the meet,” said Bronson.

““We asked a lot of our distance runners, usually, at this meet,” he noted. “They’re running a lot of hard races, and Sara (Bronson) and Ava (Hughes) came through, and (Thea) Bentley had a great 800, so they put up points.

“Our sprinters did a great job, our hurdlers really did a nice job, jumpers, I mean in every event our kids just came through,” added Bronson.

Wellsboro hung with the Wildcats for the first half of the meet, but they pulled away in the second, amassing 154 points to win. The Hornets finished second with 104.

“Wellsboro is a really good team, and they gave us a good run for quite a while,” Bronson said. “But our girls, they just kept doing what they’ve done all year long. They just keep performing well, and working hard.”

They got very strong performances out of their big guns sophomore triple-winner Abby Burgess in the sprints, Sara junior Bronson in the distance, senior Mya Thompson in the jumps, and senior Emma Pernaselli in the throws.

Burgess won the 100-meter dash in 12.34 seconds, and junior Gretchen Schmieg was seventh in 13.55 seconds.

Burgess also won the 200-meter dash in 26.07 seconds. She placed third in the 400-meter dash in 1:02.88.

Burgess teamed with senior Thea Bentley, junior Addy Wheeler, and sophomore Lizzie Gorsline to win the 1,600-meter relay in a time of 4:21.86.

Bronson won the 800-meter run in 2:31.89, with Bentley placing second in 2:32.96.

Bronson placed second in the 1,600-meter run in 5:19.21, with sophomore Ava Hughes sixth in 5:48.3, Bronson was also second in the 3,200-meter run in 11:34.45, and Hughes was fourth in 12:14.82.

Thompson was second in the long jump with a leap of 16-feet, 4-inches, and third in the triple jump at 31-feet, 6-inches. Senior Abbie Panek finished fourth in the long jump at 15-feet, 4 1/2-inches with freshman Kaitlyn Leonard sneaking into eighth at 14-feet, 1-inch.

Pernaselli finished third in the shot put with a heave of 31-feet, 6 1/2-inches, and fifth in the javelin at 93-feet, 2-inches.

The Wildcats also got good performances out of senior Emily Henderson and Gorsline in the hurdles. Henderson was second in the 100-meter hurdles in 17.06 seconds, and Gorsline placed fifth in 17.95 seconds.

Gorsline finished second in the 300-meter hurdles in 49.45 seconds,while Wheeler was sixth in 53.97 seconds, and Henderson was eighth in 55.11 seconds.

Bentley and Hughes teamed with freshmen Haylie Horton, and Brielle Mayo to place fourth in the 3,200-meter relay in a time of 10:54.64.

The 400-meter relay foursome of Henderson, Abbie Panek, and juniors Emma Renninger, and Gretchen Schmieg teamed to finish fifth in 54.22 seconds.

Sophomore Evelyn Panek finished fifth in the high jump at 4-feet, 8-inches, and sophomore Elizabeth Denlinger was sixth in 5-feet, 8-inches. Denlinger also got the Wildcats points in the pole vault, placing fifth in 7-feet, 6-inches.

There were also several girls who narrowly missed the podium:

•  Schmieg finished ninth in the 200-meter dash in 29.18 seconds, and Thompson was 10th in 29.21 seconds.

•  Junior Hannah Earls finished ninth in the discus at 77-feet, 8 1/2-inches, and sophomore Emma Cole was 10th at 75-feet.

•  Senior Emily Marshall was ninth in the shot put at 28-feet, 3-inches.

•  Junior Layla Grubb, and Renninger field for 10th in the pole vault at 6-feet, 6-inches.

•  Horton was 11th in the 800-meter run in 2:47.4.

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IN PHOTO 1: Athens sophomore Abby Burgess. … PHOTOS BY MATT PATTON, LANCE LARCOM, and CHRIS MANNING.

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