Personal bests a theme for Punxsy at Invite

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Thursday afternoon was a rare occasion where the ninth- and 10th-grade members of the PAHS boys' track team could compete without the pressure of defeating the more-experienced juniors and seniors at the Indiana Ninth- and 10th-grade Invitational Tournament, and Punxsy head coach John Smith said Punxsy had a good showing.

With 10 teams at the tournament — including the Chucks, Indiana, Greensburg-Salem, Ligonier Valley, Latrobe, Altoona, Franklin Regional, Hempfield, Norwin and Calvary Baptist — the Chucks had plenty of solid competiton.

Despite the level of competition, though, Punxsy still had a number of impressive finishes, as well as a number of individuals who performed at their individual bests.

Kevin Hughes, who has seen success in the 400-meter dash all season, continued to tear up the track with a first-place finish for the Chucks in 51.4 seconds.

Eric Ingros also competed for Punxsy in the 400 and finished sixth with a time of 55.6.

Another Punxsy underclassman who has been bringing in the first-place finishes this season — freshman distance runner Bo Dinger — continued to dominate the 3200-meter run, which he won with a time of 10:35.8.

Punxsy's final victory at the Invitational came in the 1600-meter relay, where Ingros and Hughes helped lead a relay team, which also included Seth Burkett and Matt Burke, to a first-place time of 3:41.3.

Punxsy's 3200-meter relay team also placed, losing a close race with a time of 8:46.6. The team consisted of Burkett, Ingros, Luke Fugate and Hughes.

In the javelin, Punxsy's Luke Shiock threw a personal-best 126-11 to earn second place among those competing in the field events.

His teammate, Will Curtis, wasn't far behind with a throw of 124-10, giving him third place in the javelin.

Jerad Meterko finished fifth in the 1600-meter run with a personal best time of 5:02.2, and the 400-meter relay team — consisting of Tom Renwick, Tanner Evans, Burke and Travis Perry — also finished fifth with a time of 47.5 seconds.

Ryan Presloid grabbed Punxsy's final fifth-place finish in the triple jump, bounding 37-5.

Two other Chucks earned sixth-place nods in the field events with Evans picking up sixth in the long jump (17-6) and Brock Getch grabbing sixth with a personal best in the shot put (38-4).

Smith also noted other Chucks competitors who reached personal bests:

• Jake Whitman, 200-meter dash, 26.6 seconds.

• Perry Arrington, pole vault, 10-0.

• Kyler Smathers, discus, 102-2.

• Austin Milton, high jump, 5-4.

The Chucks — joined by their junior and senior athletes — will be back in action Saturday at West Mifflin.