Meadville could return home with plenty of hardware at district track meet

May 18—The Meadville track and field team will descend upon Slippery Rock's Mihalik-Thompson Stadium today for the District 10 Championship meet.

The Bulldogs are seeded well in numerous events and could come home with plenty of hardware, despite several athletes coming off of injury.

"We actually pulled some kids from different events," Meadville head coach Amy Lynn said. "We've had some injuries so we have a couple kids that qualified in multiple events, but we pulled them from other things to allow them to be able to qualify for states."

Three Bulldogs return after advancing to the state meet last season — Nic Williams, Marley Rodax and Megan Puleio.

Puleio won the 400-meter dash and the 800-meter run at last year's D-10 meet. The sophomore is coming off an injury and is listed as the top seed in the 800. Her seed time of 2 minutes and 14.27 seconds in about two seconds faster than the meet record.

"We've gradually brought her back and we're confident she'll be able to compete at her normal level in the 800 where she is the defending champ," Lynn said. "I know she qualified in the mile and she possibly could have made it there, but we wanted to give her the best chance. Her goal was to medal at states so we want to give her that chance."

Rodax is a junior and won the 100-meter hurdles last year. The Cochranton student is the second seed in both the 100 hurdles (16.86) and the fourth seed in the 300-meter hurdles (50.90). Rodax is within striking distance of the top spot in both races.

"She's worked so hard to defend her District 10 title. I really look forward to seeing her compete this weekend," Lynn said. "In the 100, she's beaten the top girl once at an invitational so that's what's on her mind. Just to run a clean race and try and repeat what she did last year."

Junior Marlaya McCoy is the fifth seed in the 100-meter dash (13.27) and the fourth seed in the 200-meter dash (28.10).

In the throwing events, Alaina Wilson-Dixon, a sophomore, is the top seed in the shot put (35-feet and 1-inch). Gianna Araujo and McKayla Roberts are the third and fifth seeds, respectively. Alivia Gomora is the third seed in the javelin while Payton Costello is the second seed in the discus.

"Alaina has just come on so much. For a sophomore she has thrown so well over the past couple weeks to set herself up for that top seed. She enjoys it and the smile on her face says it all," Lynn said. "For Payton, there are not many girls in disc and they're all within a few feet of each other. It's anybody's event to win on any given day. We're really hoping its Payton's day."

The girls are the defending District 10 champions and Lynn is hoping for a little bit of magic this year to repeat.

"We have three seeded in the hurdles and three in the throws. We did have to pull Megan from the 1,600 and another girl from the 200, but I think a lot of our girls will still medal," Lynn said. "Moving up a place or two here and there and scoring extra points, and it would be nice to be able to repeat."

For the boys, Williams, a senior and Mercyhurst University football commit, won the 400-meter dash at last year's D-10 meet. He is seeded first with a time of (51.12) this year.

Williams is also seeded third in the 200-meter dash (22.76). The state standard is 22.30.

"He qualified in the 100, the 200, the 4x100, the 4x400 and the 400, so we had to pick and choose. He's also coming off an injury so he's been resting," Lynn said. "The 400 is his bread and butter."

Jordan Lawrence, a sophomore, is seeded fifth in the triple jump (41-feet and 6-inches). Senior and Mercyhurst University cross country and track and field commit Max Dillaman is seeded seventh in the 1,600-meter run (4:37.99).

In the boys throwing events, several Bulldogs should come home with medals. Brennen Dinsmore, Alex Hauf and Justice Esser are the third, fourth and fifth seeds in the discus. In shot put, Hauf is seeded third and Dinsmore is fourth. Tate Reichel and Zach Carr at the seventh and eighth seeds in the javelin, respectively.

The winners of each event, plus any athlete that hits the state qualifying standard, will compete at the PIAA Championships on May 24 and 25 at Shippensburg University.

Alex Topor can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at