Chucks stay with Owls on track, fall short
BRADFORD — Despite a strong showing on the track after a long trip to Bradford Tuesday afternoon, the Chucks track and field team fell to a worthy opponent in the Owls, 90-60, in their final regular season meet.
Punxsy head coach John Smith said he was pleased with his team's effort, adding that a few key pieces on the field were ailing, which can make a big difference in swinging the points.
"We were strong on the track, but we just couldn't stay with them in the field," he said. "They have some very strong throwers, and some of our jumpers were feeling some effects. But overall, we had some strong performances individually."
The Chucks came firing out of the gates in the 4x800-meter relay, with Seth Burkett, Eric Ingros, Derick Kelly and Luke Fugate's time of 8:45.2 picking up five team points to give the Chucks an early lead.
Bradford won the next three events on the track, but Punxsy maintained its lead by picking up second- and third-place finishes in each event.
In the 110-meter hurdles, it was Punxsy's top duo of Dylan Lettie and Lance Deet finishing two-three, respectively, with times of 17.1 and 18.1 seconds.
The next event was the 100-meter dash, where Matt Burke took second with a time of 12.1 seconds, and William Boddorf finished third with a time of 12.3.
Then the meet turned to the distance events, where Nathan Ward and Jerad Meterko kept Punxsy ahead with times of 4:57.1 and 5:15.3, respectively.
The Chucks extended their lead to five points in the next event — the 400-meter dash — where Kevin Hughes continued to show dominance, earning first place with a time of 51.3 seconds. Ingros finished the race in 56.2 seconds to grab third place and one team point.
Bradford picked up five team points to tie the track score in the 4x100, though, and while the Chucks battled tooth and nail, they never could quite regain the lead.
Lettie took another second-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles, but Bradford finished one-three to take the lead 29-26.
Ward and Burkett finished second and third, respectively, in the 800, with times of 2:07.1 and 2:18.2.
Hughes picked up five more points for the Chucks with his second win of the day in the 200-meter dash, and Burke grabbed his second podium with a time of 24.8 seconds giving him third place.
Bo Dinger rounded out Punxsy's scoring on the track with a second-place finish in the 3200-meter run with a time of 10:42 — just 10 seconds behind Bradford's powerhouse distance runner Aziz Yousif.
On the field side, Punxsy's Brody Morgan had another strong showing — placing in all three throwing events — but he was out-dueled by another Bradford powerhouse in thrower David Reinhardt, who swept all three first-place scores.
In the shot, Reinhardt threw almost 10 feet better than Morgan's second-place throw of 44-8.5, and Punxsy's Zach Minich came in third with a throw of 41-11.
Morgan was narrowly edged by Reinhardt in the javelin, where his score of 165-11 was exactly three feet shy of his foe's winning mark.
In the discus, Punxsy's Jordan London was the Chucks' top finisher with a second-place throw of 132-6. Morgan finished third with a distance of 120-1.
Punxsy's only first-place score in the field came in the pole vault, where the Chucks actually earned a one-two sweep.
Senior vaulter Tyler Presloid cleared 11-6 for first and five team points, and freshman Perry Arrington cleared a personal-best 10-6 to earn second place and three team points.
The Chucks' final points in the field came via third-place finishes by Lettie in the high jump (5-5) and Thomas Renwick in the long jump (18-11.5).
With the regular season behind them and a week before Districts next week at Kane, the Chucks will turn their focus to making sure everyone is in a position where they can perform at their best next week, Smith said.