And they're off: Punxsy grabs a pair of dual wins at opener

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsy boys' track and field team is off to the races, and with a pair of dual meet wins — 93.5-56.5 over Hollidaysburg and 105-45 over ECC — things are looking bright for the Chucks so far.

"Overall, we got off to a good start," Punxsy head coach John Smith said. "We had a lot of kids scoring, and all of the teams were glad to get one under their belts."

The track portion of the meet started off well for Punxsy with the 4x800-meter relay team — consisting of Derek Kelly, Luke Fugate, Nathan Ward and Kevin Hughes — finishing in 8:48 to take first place and claim five points in each of the dual meets.

Dylan Lettie and Lance Deet each placed in both meets in the next running event, the 110-meter hurdles, with Lettie's time of 16.8 seconds good enough for first overall, and Deet's 18.3 not far behind.

"We got off to a good start with the two-mile relay," Smith said. "They push pretty well, and I figured it was a good way to start the meet. Then, Dylan and Lance gave us good performances in the high hurdles. So, that was a good way to start."

Hollidaysburg swept the 100-meter dash in their dual meet, but Punxsy's Matt Burke nabbed first in the 100 over ECC with a time of 12.1 seconds. Punxsy's Travis Perry took second, as well, with a time of 12.3.

Ward earned his second first-place in the 1600-meter run, where he edged ECC's Caleb Lecker with a time of 5:01 to claim first place. Jerad Meterko also placed in both duals with a time of 5:09.

Hughes claimed first place in the 400-meter dash outright in both meets with a time of 52.3 seconds, and Derrick Kelly's 58.3 was good enough to place third in the ECC meet.

In the 4x100-meter relay, Punxsy's squad of Thomas Renwick, Tyler Presloid, Burke and Tanner Evans earned five points over ECC with a time of 47.4, but were edged by Hollidaysburg in that dual.

Lettie and Deet took a one-two sweep in the 300-meter hurdles over Hollidaysburg with times of 45.2 and 47.2 seconds, respectively.

The Chucks had another pair of place-winners in the 800-meter run with Ward (2:10) claiming first place and Burkett (2:15) finishing second and third in the pair of duals.

Burke nabbed another first place over ECC in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.6 seconds, and Perry's 25.9 snuck him into third in each dual.

In the distance event, the 3200-meter, Punxsy swept the ECC meet with Bo Dinger claiming first prize by almost a minute in 10:50.

"Bo had a personal best, and that's about where we expected him to be," Smith said.

Luke Fugate (11:44) and Meterko (11:45) rounded out the sweep for Punxsy.

Punxsy finished third in the 4x400-meter relay, giving each of the other teams five points to conclude the track portion of the event.

"Unfortunately, we still need to work on our 4x100 and 4x400 relays," Smith said.

In the field, Punxsy's Tyler Presloid started things off right with a first-place in the pole vault, successfully completing 12 feet.

Evans also finished third in the pole vault against Hollidaysburg with a height of eight feet, six inches.

In the high jump, Punxsy's Lettie earned a first-place finish over Hollidaysburg by clearing five feet, eight inches.

Chris Fairman also placed in the Hollidaysburg meet with a height of 5'2.

Punxsy saw success in the long jump, with Jesse Reichard claiming first against ECC with a jump of 16 feet, 10 1/2-inches. Tommy Renwick also placed in both meets, jumping 16 feet, 8 1/2-inches.

In the triple jump, Punxsy's Kevin Byers earned a pair of wins with a final jump of 39 feet, one inch. Evans also placed third in each dual with a jump of 36 feet, two inches.

In the throwing events, Punxsy's Brody Morgan helped in Punxsy's 41-22 dominance in the field by taking first place in all three events.

Morgan threw the shot 42 feet and was followed by first-year thrower Zach Minich, who came in at 39 feet, eight inches.

Morgan and Minich took one-two in the discus, as well, with Morgan's 117 feet, 11 inches, besting Minich's 109 feet, one inch.

Morgan was Punxsy's only place-winner in the javelin with a throw of 162 feet, seven inches.

"We also did very well on the field end," Smith said. "Tyler Presloid did what he was expected to do in the pole vault, and of course, Brody Morgan had three big first places for us. Also, newcomer Zach Minich did really well for us, so that was good to see."

Now, the Chucks turn to preparations for their next match — another home match April 3 against Brookville, Altoona and St. Marys.

"Today was a good start, and this gives us a good chance to look at all the teams and maybe see where we're going to start moving some folks around," Smith said.