WEST MIFFLIN â€” According to Punxsy girls' head coach Barry Young, it was a "cold, wet, windy and miserable" day weather-wise Saturday at the Tri-State Track and Field Coaches Associa-tion's (TSTCA) outdoor championships in West Mifflin â€” but the show went on.
The meet hosted a number of the top track programs in the state â€” including a large sampling of Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) schools known for their strong athletics programs.
"We've been involved with TSTCA for a number of years through our indoor meets, and it's nice, as it gets us out of the area and allows us to see a lot of different, very good teams," Young said.
With the weather not cooperating, Punxsy boys' coach John Smith said some of the field events were more difficult than usual.
"It was tough to get the jumps in," he said. "There were a lot of scratches, and the boys' pole vault never even got underway. You have meets like that, but all-in-all, we are turning to getting ready for the All-League meet."
That meet in DuBois is scheduled for this afternoon, but inclement weather conditions may bump it to Wednesday.
Both the boys' and girls' teams competed at West Mifflin, with a pair of athletes' performances standing out, especially.
On the boys' side, thrower Brody Morgan impressed in all three events in which he participated, scoring all seven of Punxsy's team points at the meet.
The discus was his best-scoring event, where his throw of 132-11 was good enough for third best among the 43 competitors.
Morgan also scored in the shot put with a throw of 43-3. His throw was good enough for eighth place overall, giving the Chucks another team point, and was just three feet, five inches off the winning throw.
Morgan also just missed placing in the javelin, as his 150-6 throw more than doubled his seed throw and gave him ninth place.
"Under those weather conditions, Brody had some very good throws," Smith said.
On the girls' end, it was Juliann Boddorf who put up the most impressive performance for the Lady Chucks on the track.
Boddorf placed fifth in the 400-meter dash despite being placed in the third heat â€” and not the fourth, where the top-seeded runners ran.
"She's been consistent all year for us," Young said. "She just keeps doing what she does. There were a lot of really good WPIAL teams there, so I was really proud of her and the other girls as well. To place at a meet like that is a good achievement. She may have done a bit better in the fastest heat, because she won her heat by a good margin."
Boddorf also had a strong showing in the 200-meter dash, where she placed 18th with a time of 29.30 seconds.
The Lady Chucks had a pair of other top 10 finishers in the field, where Karah Hollis tied for ninth in the high jump (4-6) and Anna Monyak tied for 10th in the pole vault (7-0).
The Chucks also just missed a number of top 10s.
Distance runner Bo Dinger ran another solid 3200 with a time of 10:32.56 giving him 11th place.
Kevin Hughes also performed well for Punxsy on the track in his event of expertise: The 400-meter dash.
Hughes' time of 52.83 gave him 13th place.
Also finishing in the lucky No. 13 spot was Punxsy's long jumper, Kevin Byars, who jumped 18-0.5.
And in the discus, Punxsy's Jordan London picked up a 14th-place finish to accompany Morgan's third with a throw of 116-0.
Matt Burke also placed well for the Chucks in the 200-meter dash, taking 18th with a time of 25.29 seconds, and a pair of Chucks came in 19th â€” Ryan Presloid in the triple jump (35-2.5) and Nathan Ward in the 1600-meter run (4:51.75).
"We had a pretty good run out of Nathan in the mile," Smith said. "It was raining and it wasn't a good day for performance, but he and Bo Dinger had good runs."
Back on the girls' side, Punxsy's top-25 finishes were rounded out by a trio of Lady Chucks' performers.
Ala Small finished 19th in the 3200-meter run, and Kirsten Dean jumped 25-7.5 in the triple jump to earn 25th best. Sydni Bowers rounded out the top 25s with a 25-5 throw in the shot put.
Official results were not posted for the girls in the 1600-meter run, the 300-meter hurdles, the discus and the javelin.
Overall, despite the poor conditions, Young and Smith were both with their teams' performance given the difficult field it faced.
"A lot of the girls did really well, but in a meet with 31 schools there, it may not always show," Young said. "We had some really good performances who didn't end up placing. But it was a lot of fun with a lot of good competition."View more articles in: