PUNXSUTAWNEY — With cold, windy and rainy conditions constantly bearing down on the Punxsy and St. Marys girls' track and field teams Tuesday afternoon at Jack LaMarca Memorial Stadium, sometimes, regardless of ability, the group with a greater will to win in harsh situations comes out on top.
Tuesday, the team that overcame the weather was the Lady Chucks, who handled the Lady Dutch, 95-55, to improve to 2-1 on the season.
Punxsy first-year head coach Barry Young said that staying upbeat helped his girls win big Tuesday.
"I told them to forget about the cold weather. It's a mental thing. You have to deal with it," Young said. "If you can deal with it in a positive manner, you'll do well in your events. They really came through with that today."
That positive approach really showed in the field, where Punxsy dominated St. Marys, 53-10. Punxsy won six of the seven field events, swept three of them and placed first and second in two others.
"Definitely right now, the field is carrying us. We are pretty dominant in the field, which we expected coming into the season," Young said. "I was very surprised today with the performances put on, especially with this cold weather coming through."
Junior Shannon Carpenter led Punxsy in the jumps once again, placing first in the long jump (13-7 1/2) and triple jump (31-3 1/2). Also winning a pair of field events was senior Nickita Martz, who finished first in the shot put (31-4) and javelin (98-9).
Underclassmen Aly Dickey (high jump, 4-4) and Santana Smith (discus, 82-3) also registered first-place finishes in the field.
Dickey was joined by Karah Hollis and Timi Shiock, who each reached 4-4 in the high jump during a Punxsy sweep that Young didn't expect.
"On a day like this, that's a good jump," he said. "That's been a surprise event for us this year. We didn't really count on that. They've really come through."
Dickey followed up that top finish with a second-place triple jump of 30-5 and also tied for third in the pole vault with Alexandra Mancuso (both reached 6-0), and Shiock finished third for a second time Tuesday — this time in the long jump (12-3 3/4).
Junior Kirsten Dean was second in the long jump (12-6) and third in the triple jump (29-9) during Punxsy's sweeps, and freshman Alexis Minich was second in both the shot put (29-10 1/4) and discus (78-1).
Carpenter tallied her third place-winning mark in the pole vault (7-0), and Rebecca Athey finished third in the javelin (53-2).
Punxsy's depth continued to make a difference on the track. The Lady Chucks lost on the track, 45-42, but won a relay and four other events after struggling last week in Brookville.
"I was very happy to see that. Brookville really beat us bad on the track (last Tuesday)," Young said. "We're just going to keep working and keep plugging, and we're going to get better."
Winning on the track were Hollis in the 100-meter dash (13.5); Keaton Mohney in the 200-meter dash (30.1); Lauren McGarvey in the 400-meter dash (65.2); and Shannon
Byerly in the 3,200-meter run (13:04). Hollis led Punxsy's only sweep on the track in the 100-meter dash, as she was followed by Lindsey Reed (14.9) and Adrienne Hess (15.1).
"We had multiple people scoring. That's pretty much been our strength this year. Nineteen to 20 girls have scored in every meet," Young said. "We've had a couple people that we expected to do better didn't do well, but the other people came through and scored for us."
Mohney also placed second in the 300-meter hurdles (55.0), but with a little convincing from Young, she ran the 200 Tuesday.
"That was a good, breakout day for Keaton Mohney," he said. "She always just wants to run the hurdles, and that's it. I said, 'You're fast. You can run the 200, too.' She came through. It was a great day for her."
The 4x100-meter relay team of Hess, McGarvey, Kayla Cameron and Hollis finished first in 67.2, and the Lady Chucks' 4x400 squad was one-tenth of a second from finishing a winner.
Byerly was also second in the 1,600-meter run; Schall finished second in the 800-meter run; and Punxsy's other third-place times came from Shaina Reddinger (100 hurdles, 19.0); Caro Feican (400 dash, 68.0); Hess (200 dash, 32.1); and Tamera Anthony (3,200 run, 14:45).
This week will provide a quick turnaround for the Lady Chucks, who host State College at 4 p.m. Thursday.