Chucks split with Golden Tigers, Owls

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Tuesday was a bittersweet Senior Recognition Day for the Punxsy boys' track and field team, as the Chucks defeated District VI Hollidaysburg and lost to District IX Class AAA rival Bradford to conclude the regular season.

Punxsy (5-4) handled the Golden Tigers, 95-55, and was defeated by the Owls, 105-45.

The Chucks competed without distance-running senior Tom Wagner and junior Brody Morgan, who has by far been the team's finest thrower this season. Without them, Bradford earned every throwing point but one and was victorious in the 4x800-meter relay.

"It's pretty much what we expected as far as overall performance. We knew Bradford has a strong team," Punxsy head coach John Smith said. "Missing a couple guys didn't help. I'm sure we could have scored quite a few more points. It wouldn't have changed the win-loss, but it would have put us closer and made us look a lot better."

Senior distance runner A.J. Meterko had another impressive day for the Chucks. He won the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs in 2:04, 4:43 and 10:54, respectively.

"A.J. did a nice job today. He's doing what he has to do," Smith said. "He just seems to put himself where we need him. Hat's off to a kid like that."

Meterko is expected to be a favorite in at least one of those events at next Wednesday's district meet in Brookville. Punxsy's coaching staff will decide which events in which he and a few others should compete.

"We have to really sit down and look at where we want to put people where they have the best chance of qualifying for states," Smith said. "There's some real competition in each and every event at the district meet. It's going to be pretty cut-throat. I don't think anybody has a lock on anything."

Punxsy's other multiple winner Tuesday was Kevin Byars, who placed first in the two long jump (18-9 1/2) and triple jump (42-4). Byars, a junior, won the triple jump at districts last season.

"We're counting on Byars. He had a good long and triple jump today," Smith said. "He'll be a strong contender at districts in both of those (events)."

Meterko and Byars represented Punxsy's only wins against Bradford. Against Hollidaysburg, Jordan London (discus, 109-11), Spencer Fiumara (200-meter dash, 24.9) and Dylan Lettie (110-meter high hurdles, 17.0) each won an event.

London and Presloid finished third to Bradford in the discus and pole vault, respectively, and Lettie was third in the high jump ( 5-6) against the Owls. Lettie was second in the high jump versus Hollidaysburg.

Nathan Ward was second in the 1,600 run (4:56) and 3,200 run (11:05) against the Golden Tigers. He was second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600 versus Bradford.

Kevin Hughes (54.1) and Derick Kelly (55.9) were second and third in the 400 dash, and Glenn Perry was second against Hollidaysburg and third against Bradford in the 200 dash (25.2).

Lettie placed against both schools in the 300 hurdles (45.1), and Alan Mahan placed against both schools in the 110 hurdles (17.9) and third versus Hollidaysburgh in the 300 hurdles (47.5).

Punxsy swept the 800 run against Hollidaysburg, with Quinton Weber (2:16) and Kelly (2:19) following Meterko, and Caleb Fugate was third in the 3,200 run against the Golden Tigers in 11:25.

In the field, Jesse Reichard followed Byars with second-place marks in the long jump (17-10) and triple jump (37-9 3/4) versus Hollidaysburg. Tanner Evans (36-7 /12) completed the triple-jump sweep.

Stephen Stumpf (discus, 106-6 and shot put, 37-8 1/4), Devon Luzell (shot put, 38-10 1/4), Presloid (high jump, 5-4), Clint Lingenfelter (javelin, 109-6) and Kyler Smathers (discus, 90-3) also placed against Hollidaysburg.

The Chucks' 4x800 team of Ward, Hughes, Weber and Kelly beat Hollidaysburg with a time of 8:37. Punxsy's 4x100 group of Weber, Hughes, Kelly and Meterko did the same thing in 3:47.