HAC-II squads chasing Class 2A champs

Mar. 28—Contending with the defending Class 2A champions in Central Columbia will prove to be a tall task, but fellow Heartland Athletic Conference-Division II squads are returning a ton of firepower to the track this season.

The Blue Jays took home the 2A team title after collecting five state medals and securing 39 points, which was 10 more than second-place West Catholic.

Central will be returning state-medalists Kendra Stout, Ava Rebuck, Haley Bull and Madelyn Blake. However, the rest of the HAC-II will also be filled with reigning district and state qualifiers.

In fact, one of them, Midd-West's Camryn Pyle, is a returning state champion in the 300-meter hurdles. Pyle, who earned Midd-West's first-ever state gold, edged out Rebuck in 44.80 seconds.

Pyle exited Shippensburg with two medals after she finished seventh in the 100-meter hurdles. Pyle, a senior, will be tasked with leading a small Mustangs roster that also includes district-qualifiers in Olivia Stroup, Jasmime Williams and Leah Zimmerman.

"We are always asking our veteran athletes to lead by example and also offer support to their teammates," said Midd-West coach Jason Gemberling. "We have a great group of kids back this year, and with the additions of our new athletes, we hope to see a lot of success."

Lewisburg is also poised to have a successful season on the track. The Green Dragons, which will compete in 3A again before moving back down to 2A next season, are returning four state-qualifiers in Baylee Espinosa (1600), Teagan Osunde (javelin), Caroline Blakeslee (4x100) and Maddy Moyers (4x100). Espinosa is coming off winning the Class 2A cross-country title in the fall with a time of 18 minutes, 48 seconds.

The Green Dragons bring back a total of 15 district qualifiers who helped propel them to the team title during last year's district meet. Of those 15, nine collected medals. They are Espinosa, Blakeslee, Osunde, Moyers, Alanna Jacob, Jenna Binney, Maya Sak, Lauren Schwartz and Layla Lachhab.

"Our team is composed of excellent leaders and hard-working, focused athletes," said Lewisburg coach Michael Espinosa. "I am very pleased with the size of our team. We have large classes of ninth and tenth graders, many who have proven themselves in fall and winter sports to be stellar athletes. We hope that translates to spring track and field success."

Like Lewisburg, Danville will be competing in 3A again. The Ironmen also saw success on the track last season with their 4x800 relay team winning first at the district meet and setting a District 4 record with a time of 9:33.91. Sarah Sharp and Bella Johns graduated, but the other half of the quartet, Hannah and Victoria Bartholomew, will both return for one more season. Victoria Bartholomew also qualified for the state meet in the 3200 after finishing as a runner-up to Shikellamy's Bri Hennett at districts.

Danville also has several members from its state-title winning cross-country squad who will run in many of its distance events, including both Bartholomews, Alivia Shen, Odin Ryer, Janie Cotner and Lauren Benfer. Ava Ross (throws), Emily Chillis (long jump), Maya Hasenbalg (high jump) and Haylee Gemberling (triple jump) are also expected to contribute to the team.

"I always look forward to the surprises that happen throughout the season with the development of the student athletes," said Danville coach Tina Bartholomew. "All of the girls will pull together to bring their best to their event areas and (show) strong support to their teammates. The team spirit is good and the girls are supportive of one another."

Shamokin is another HAC-II team that's coming off a successful track and field season and looks to build off that success this spring. The Indians only graduated a few seniors, so most of their roster from last year is coming back.

Shamokin coach Dave Kopitsky will lean on Carly Nye (sprints), Sierra Klinger (sprints, jumps) and Maddie Nolter (shot put, distance) for leadership. Kopitsky also expects big things from his school-record setting 4x800 relay team that returns Lexi Bressi, Kamryn Kramer and Alyiah Schivoni. Bressi also broke the school record in the 800 last season.

"Last year was the best dual meet season we have had in years, and we only graduated a handful of Seniors, so expectations are high going into this season," Kopitsky said. "The seamless blending of Shamokin and Line Mountain athletes has been a true blessing."

Mifflinburg will also return some district qualifiers, including Elizabeth Sheesley, who qualified made districts in all three jumping events. Sheesley medalled in the long jump and triple jump after finishing in fourth and eighth place, respectively.

The Wildcats' other district qualifiers include Jayda Tilghman (hurdles, relays), Jasmine Doebler (sprints, relays), Natalie Osborne (sprints, relays) and Laura Darrup (distance, relays).

Montoursville will also will look to content in the HAC-II.



COACH: Tina Bartholomew, 5th year.

ASSISTANTS: Sarah Taylor, throws; Caroline Dillon, sprints/hurdles; Sarah Hale, pole vault.

LAST YEAR: 4-3 overall.

KEY RETURNEES: Ava Ross, jr., throws; Emily Chillis, sr., sprints, long jump; Maya Hasenbalg, jr., hurdles, high jump; Haylee Gemberling, so., jumps, pole vault; Hannah Bartholomew, sr., 800, 1600, relays; Victoria Bartholomew, sr., 1600, 3200, relays.

REST OF ROSTER: Lauren Benfer, so.; Blake Blasick, fr.; Abigail Brady, so.; Taryn Boguslaw, so.; Brightness Che, so.; Sydney Clarke, so.; Janie Cotner, fr.; Paisley Crellin, fr.; Paige Dehart, fr.; Dylan Dressler, jr.; Emma Erdley, so.; Casey Fallon, fr.; Corine Falton, fr.; Alaina Gable, jr.; Hazel Gatski, so.; Hannah Hafer, jr.; Gianna Harvey, jr.; Sophia Johns, so.; Emily Kehoe, sr.; Lauren Law, jr.; Ingrid McElroy, so.; Emma Parker, sr.; Kiyla Rogers, so.; Zannie Romanot, jr.; Odin Ryer, fr.; Adriana Sanchez, so.; Alivia Shen, sr.; Elizabeth Soza, fr.; Alexis Snover, sr.; Saige Treon, so.; Lydia Weaver, jr.; Pearl Weaver, so.; Brooke Woll, sr.


COACH: Michael Espinosa, 8th year.

ASSISTANTS: Dillon Durinick, distance; Paul Miller, throws; Aaron Wynings, jumps; Mark Temple, pole vault and javelin; Ashleigh Espinosa (volunteer).

LAST YEAR: 4-1 overall, HAC and District 4 Class 3A champions.

KEY RETURNEES: Baylee Espinosa, so., 800, 1600, 4x400, 4x800; Caroline Blakeslee, jr., 100, 200, 4x100, 4x400; Maddy Moyers, so., 100, 400, 4x100m, 4x400m; Teagan Osunde, so., 200, javelin; Jenna Binney, sr., 800, 1600, 4x800.

REST OF ROSTER: Amina Aboueid, fr.; Addison Altoft, sr.; Emma Bailey, fr.; Megan Buchanan, fr.; Sakina Balavenkatesan, sr.; Ella Carr, fr.; Katherine Batkowski, so.; Liana Davis, fr.; Syd Del Vecchio, fr.; Claire Driver, fr.; Emma Bolton, so.; Hailey Hakes, fr.; Destiney Jordan, fr.; Lily-May Justice-Dean, fr.; Skylar Crosby, jr.; Romalise Kelbatyrov, fr.; Davia Cruz, so.; Chloe Kerr, fr.; Tainaliz Martinez, fr.; Novella Phillips, fr.; Jillianne Donner, jr.; Ava Roupp, fr.; Madeline Satteson, fr.; Nora Driver, so.; Cadence Shoeman, fr.; Anna Drouin, sr.; Sophia Strong, fr.; McKenna Erdly, so.; Ella Vance, fr.; Dayssi Weis, fr.; Ziva Williams, fr.; Carol Holmes, jr.; Alanna Jacob, jr.; Alivia Kohl, so.; Layla Lachhab, sr.; Madeline Lesher, so.; Julia Opperman, so.; Ella Mirshahi, sr.; Ellis Reed, so.; Gwynn Rowe, so.; Maya Sak, so.; Ava Satteson, so.; Orissa Reed, jr.; Lauren Schwartz, so.; Morgan Strieby, so.; Valeria Riley, sr.; Maya Vergauwen, so.; Theo Wilkinson, so.; Jalynne Routh-Landsman, jr.; Carol Holmes, jr.; Emma Trupp, sr.


COACH: Jason Gemberling, 17th year.

ASSISTANTS: Chelsey Beaver; John Daku; Tom Williams.

LAST YEAR: 1-7 overall.

KEY RETURNEES: Camryn Pyle, sr., hurdles, relays; Olivia Stroup, so., distance, relays; Jasmine Williams, jr., throws; Leah Zimmerman, jr., sprints, relays.

REST OF ROSTER: Bailey Adams, fr.; Ava Aitkins, fr.; Lana Aitkins, sr.; Makayla Arbogast, jr,.; Maura Aurand, so.; Abby Benner, jr.; Nicole Brouse, sr.; Allison Cramer, jr.; Nora DeLong, fr.; Carly Faulhaber, fr.; Ashlyn Hoffman, fr.; Alexis Hollenback, so.; Leah Houtz, fr.; Bella Knepp, fr.; Faith Maneval, fr.; Lauren Nesbit, fr.; Asia Seibel, so.; Claire Sellers, sr.; Lauren Sellers, sr.; Kylie Shaffer, fr.; Lilly Siska, sr.; Olivia Solomon, fr.; Nittany Weaver, fr.; Leah Wenger, fr.; Emma Williams, fr.; Addison Yerg, fr.; Maya Zechman, fr.


COACH: Jeff Kiss.

LAST YEAR: 2-4 overall.

KEY RETURNEES: Elizabeth Sheesley, sr., jumps; Jayda Tilghman, jr., hurdles, relays; Jasmine Doebler, so., sprints, relays; Natalie Osborne, jr., sprints, relays; Laura Darrup, so., distance, relays.

REST OF ROSTER: Sarah Barkafski, so.; Avery Edison, so.; Jalynn Gearhart, sr.; Natalie Gemberling, so.; Kylee Gessner, jr.; Calleigh Hoy, jr.; Emma Hyder, sr.; Annika Klinefelter, sr.; Shakira Moyer, so.; Laurel Ramsey, so.; Nakiya Sanders, sr.; Ally Shaffer, sr.; Ava Stephens, so.; Mackenzie Vasbinder, sr.; Makenna Walter, jr.; Kayla Winter, jr.; Sadie Zimmerman, jr.


COACH: Dave Kopitsky, 15th year.

ASSISTANTS: Rob Cowder; Todd Nye; Rachal Drumheiser.

LAST YEAR: 5-4 overall.

KEY RETURNEES: Carly Nye, sr., sprints; Sierra Klinger, sr., sprints, jumps; Maddie Nolter, sr., shot put, distance; Alexis Bressi, jr., 400, 800, 4x800; Kamryn Kramer, distance, 4x800; Alyiah Schivoni, jr., 4x800; Emily Rumberger, jr., 4x800.

REST OF ROSTER: Liela Bellis, sr.; Reagan Elios, sr.; Chloe Masser, sr.; Rosie Roman, sr.; Carley Wynn, sr.; Queenlyn Zartman, sr.; Susan Kurtz, jr.; Gabby Orner, jr.; Kenadie Rowe, jr.; Mya Slodysko, jr.; Nadia Williams, jr.; Cierra Yohe, jr.; Gabriella Jacoby, so.; Brylee Kessler, so.; Danika Lahr, so.; Gianna Schulein, so.; Giavonna Schiavoni, so.; Olivia Snyder, so.; Jessica Whalen, so.; Ameera Williams, so.; Macey Wynn, so.; Brookelyn Zartman, so.; Cassidy Alderson, fr.; Mia Anderson, fr.; Kendall Bowman, fr.; Reagan Boyer, fr.; Grace Cinqmars, fr.; Jenna Foulds, fr.; Kendal Heim, fr.; Maragret Hinds, fr.; Sophia Martinez, fr.; Cora Moyer, fr.; Lilah Pensyl, fr.; Molly Roman, fr.