Chucks hang first track and field defeat of the spring season on Beavers

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The finally tally was close but the Chucks swept the final 14 points in the last two events to seal the victory.

After falling behind midway through the meet, Punxsy finished off strong to hand the first track and field defeat to DuBois, 89-61.

"At times, DuBois was ahead as it was a lot closer than people thought. We had a game plan going in. One where we wanted to win, and we put our guys in strategic spots to do so," explained Punxsy head coach John Smith. "We picked up second and third places we needed to as those points make a difference at the end."

The strategy included the meet's final event of the 3200-meter run.

"We kept some guys back for the 3200 where we finished one-two-three. Bo (Dinger) winning the event and then (Jerad) Meterko and Luke (Fugate) did a nice job staying ahead of DuBois' runners," pointed out Smith.

In fact, Dinger dominated the 3200 meters by 22 seconds (11:03), while Meterko (11:25) and Fugate (11:27) were close together for the event sweep.

The Chucks produced 12 first-place finishes in the 18 overall events.

The day started out exactly how coach Smith envisioned.

After losing last weekend to the DuBois contingent, Punxsy's 4x800-meter relay produced the best time. The quartet of Fugate, Seth Burkett, Eric Ingros and Nate Ward claimed the best time of 8:37.

Individually, Dylan Lettie produced the top day for Punxsy. Lettie recorded three first-place finishes including sweeping the hurdle events. The senior won the 110-meter hurdles by a tenth of a second (16.3) before taking the 300-meter hurdles by a wider margin of a half second (44.7). He made it a "hat trick" of firsts with a 5-8 high jump.

"It was a big day for Lettie. He won both hurdle events, which was a plus and one of the key things that kept us close," noted Smith.

Ward and Bo Dinger added their own quality outings. The two runners combined for three individual firsts and were part of two winning relays.

Ward raced across the 800-meter finish line six seconds ahead of teammate Burkett at 2:03 to 2:09. He was also third in the 1600 meters (5:09).

Along with running the anchor of the 4x800 relay, Ward finished the day as part of the 4x400 relay. Ward was joined by Ingros, Harmon and Hughes for the winning time of 3:39.

Dinger continued his long-distance excellence with the top times in both the 1600- (4:46) and 3200-meter (11:03) runs.

"Bo winning the one and two miles and Ward helping in the two relays and having a 2:03 half were good performances," said the Chucks' coach.

Hughes again had the top one-lap time of 52.6 in the 400 meters, which was almost three seconds better than runner-up Ingros (55.0). The junior also moved into the 200 meters with a second place in 23.0.

Rounding out the top three finishes on the track were Lance Deet (110-meter hurdles in 18.0) and Harmon (100-meter dash in 11.5) for third places.

While Lettie picked up one first, the Chucks took three other first places in other six field events.

"(Perry) Arrington had his best jump of the year to beat DuBois' best guy, and Reichard had his best long jump of the year," said Smith. "(Tanner) Evans and (Ryan) Presloid had nice triple jumps, and (Jordan) London had an expected good throw in the discus."

After vaulting 11-0 last weekend, Arrington went a half-foot better on Tuesday at 11-6. Dylan Stanford picked up third in the event at 8-6.

Jesse Reichard bested Evans by two inches for first place in the long jump of 19-4 to 19-2.

London's throw of 133-8 1/2 was more than 14 feet better than the Beavers' Clinger in the discus field.

Evans added a second in the triple jump (38-1/2), with Presloid being an inch back (37-11 1/2) in third.

Jonathan Voss and Will Curtis produced a second (129-3) and third (128-0) in the javelin competition.

Zach Minich's throw of 40-1 for third in the shot put completed the Punxsy scoring.

Punxsy will travel to West Mifflin to take part in the Tri-State Meet on Saturday.