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HIGH SCHOOL TRACK AND FIELD: Rams claim tie for third at districts

by on May 17, 2017 10:34 AM

ALTOONA — The Ligonier Valley boys took care of business, just like they have been doing all season.

The Rams tied for third place, claimed two gold medals in individual events and qualified three athletes and two relay teams for the state meet Tuesday at the District 6 Class 2A Track and Field Championships at Mansion Park.

Ligonier Valley tied with Central Cambria for third place in the team standings with 53 points each.

“It’s just been a great year,” Ligonier Valley’s Avery Arnone said. “We won our conference and came down here and competed. We’ve just had a good season.”

Arnone won the 400-meter run in 50.92 seconds, holding off Central Cambria’s Kayden Kutchman.

“It feels so good,” Arnone said. “I was seeded first last year and got fourth place, so it’s been a year’s worth of practice for this. I felt great until about the 100-meter mark, and that’s my worst part of the race, so I was just pumping my arms as hard as I could and was praying nobody passed me.”

The Rams’ Joseph Tomosky won the pole vault (14 feet) after finishing third last year.

He is looking to bounce back after a performance at last’s year state meet that he wasn’t pleased with.

The top three place-winners in each individual event and relay qualify for the state meet, which will take place over Memorial Day weekend at Shippensburg.

“I’m so excited to go back again,” Tomosky said. “I think I wasn’t really prepared for it last year, but this year, I’m ready.”

Homer-Center’s Sam Cunkelman also will be looking for redemption at the state meet. Last year’s district champ, he was the runner-up Tuesday in 1:59.38, a personal best.

“It’s not what I wanted because I wanted to come down here and defend my title, but it was a good, hard race,” he said. “I haven’t won a medal at states yet, and I wasn’t happy with last year, so hopefully I can get one this trip.”

Two Ligonier Valley relay teams placed second at districts — the 1,600 (3:31.66) and the 400. The Rams set a school record in the 400 relay at 44.19 seconds with a team of Zach Beitel, Arnone, Josh Fitz and Jackson Daugherty.

“It’s just fun running with these guys,” Arnone said.

Purchase Line’s 3,200-meter relay team, made up of Nathan Moore, Dominique Campbell, Ryan Butz and Micah Kurka, also finished second (8:16.42) and will move on to states. Butz is a four-time state qualifier.

“And that still isn’t our best team,” Purchase Line coach Sean Mack said. “We’ve run two relay teams the entire year — I have eight kids who can run on that relay and compete — but we haven’t run our best team all year. But they stuck to the plan. Micah held on at the end there as long as he could.

“I’m proud of them. We came in at an 8:33 and almost ran an 8:15, so I can’t complain. This relay team has been my baby for about the past eight years, and these guys, yeah, they deserve it. We’re excited.”

Campbell took second in the high jump (6-0), and United’s Sam Arblaster tied for third in the event (6-0).

United Devin Mack was the area’s other second-place finisher, the runner-up in the shot put (47-0 3/4) while juggling his time between two events.

“I was running around from javelin to shot put for the first hour of the meet,” he said. “But I came over from jav and just popped off a good one, and that was it. I was expecting to place in the top three. I knew it’d be a good competition, and it really was today.”

Ligonier Valley’s Nick Gongaware placed third in the discus with a throw of 138-11, and Northern Cambria’s John Paronish took third in the javelin (171-1) to advance.



Carly Krouse is a sports writer for The Indiana Gazette.
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