Valley athletes smash records at Blue Jay Classic

May 3—ALMEDIA — With a little more than a week left before the track and field postseason starts, Valley athletes representing eight schools impressed at the right time during Friday's annual Blue Jay Classic at Central Columbia High School.

In the process, many athletes broke school, meet and personal records in the precursor to the PHAC Championships, which takes place next Saturday at Milton.

The Shikellamy girls team ran away with the team title after being led by Jilly Deivert and Elli Ronk. Deivert won both the 100 and 200 while also being a part of the 4x100 relay team that clocked in a time of 48.90 seconds, which smashed the meet record set by Central Columbia's team last year. Ronk, Emma Koontz and Lily Persing also ran on the quartet that broke a school record.

"We did great," Deivert said about winning the 4x100. "We're just trying new stuff and we're working together really well, and I think it's paying off."

"It feels really great because there was a lot of good competition today," Deivert added about taking golds in the 100 and 200. "With PHACs and districts coming up, I just wanna keep pushing myself and see what I can do."

Overall, the Braves claimed golds in two of the three relays after winning the 4x800. Shikellamy's squad of Eden Daku-Treas, Olivia Solomon, Lauryn Ross and Savanah Yount registered a time of 9:54.41, which was more than 30 seconds better than second-place Hazleton. The quartet also broke a meet record that was set by Shikellamy last season — by just 0.23 seconds.

The Shikellamy relay teams also pocketed a silver in the 4x400 after losing to Central Columbia.

Ronk (400) and Aly Bingaman (pole vault) also took home gold medals in their respective events for the Braves.

The Shikellamy boys also had a successful meet. Ryan Williams won first place in the 800 with a time of 2:02.21. Williams crossed the finish line just before Bobby Kruskie (Selinsgrove), Jude Sterling (Meadowbrook Christian) and Ben Gehret (Southern Columbia).

Williams also helped the gold-medal winning 4x400 squad, which just finished ahead of Mount Carmel. Aidan Tressler, Luke Snyder and Mason Cianflone were also a part of the quartet.

Shikellamy's cross-river rival, Selinsgrove, which only sent the boys team to Almedia, also saw plenty of success. Colin Melhorn, a returning state-medalist in the shot put, won the event with a toss of 54-11 1/2. Melhorn's throw smashed a meet record set by Milton's Cole Goodwin in 2022. Shikellamy's Derek Turber-Ortiz came closest to Melhorn after hurling a throw of 50-8.

Derick Blair also took home a gold medal for the Seals in the 1600 with a time of 4:30.26. Blair also helped the Seals' 4x800 team earn a silver after clocking in a time of 8:09.12. Evan Dagle, Jack Kappen and Kruskie were also a part of the effort.

Midd-West won the event in under eight minutes. The Mustangs' squad featured Anden Aitkins, Wyatt Nelson, Connor Stoltzfus and Ben Hummel. Both Midd-West and Selinsgrove bested a meet record set by Shikellamy last year.

Camryn Pyle had a banner night for the Midd-West girls after winning the 300-intermediate hurdles. Pyle, a state champion in the event, was trailing Central Columbia's Ava Rebuck before the final hurdle. However, Pyle went ahead of Rebuck as she finished in 45.02 seconds, which bested a meet record that was set by Selinsgrove's Abby Parise last season.

Pyle also took home a silver in the 100 hurdles. Dallas freshman Julia Natitus won the event. Shikellamy's Carly Harter finished fourth in both hurdles races.

"I'm really proud of my 100 time (16.68) because I dropped like half-a-second, so that was awesome," Harter said. "My 300, I'm still working on, still dropping my time, so we're just progressing through the season."

Another state champion, Southern Columbia's Katie Moncavage, won first in the 800 and 1600. Moncavage registered a time of 2:19.33, more than six seconds better than anyone else in the race. Moncavage also set a new meet record in the process.

In the 1600, Moncavage was even more dominant as she won with a time of 5:02.35, more than 20 seconds head of the second-place finisher. Moncavage also smashed Bri Hennett's (Shikellamy) meet record of 5:19.34.

"Last year the 800 was more of my main focus," Moncavage said. "But this year I'm really trying to get that mile time down too. So I'm really happy to see that I'm starting to peak at the right time."

Linsey Donlan joined Moncavage as a gold medalist after winning the discus with a throw of 121-1. Mount Carmel's Liv Kopitsky was second with a toss of 116-4. Both Donlan and Kopitsky bested the meet record that was put in place by Mount Carmel's Alyssa Reisinger.

Xavier Diaz won the 100 for the Mount Carmel boys with a time of 11.19. Selinsgrove's Logan Rodkey was second. Diaz also helped the 4x100 team win first after crossing the finish line in 43.18. The quartet also included Andrew Lukoskie, Cole Spears and Cooper Karycki.

"We did great in the 4x100, we came and did what we wanted to do," Diaz. "PR in the 4x100 — broke our school record again. So that's always great."

Both of Milton's teams had winners as Charles Wright won the long jump with a mark of 21-3 1/2. On the girls side, Mackenzie Lopez won the javelin a throw of 123-4.

"Definitely could use some improvement like always," Lopez said. "But today felt smooth, today felt good. We had a lot of meets, so today was just a practice to just pop one out there."

East Juniata's Josef Book won both hurdles. Book finished the 300 intermediates in 38.96, which bested a meet record that was set by Book last season.