Cardinals Hit Career Best in Track

Tom Shade, Contributor

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The weather cooperated at the 15-school Redbank Invitational “Last Chance” meet and the DCC trackers were among the beneficiaries, finishing the regular season with important notations for the history books.

Martina Swalligan shattered her previous school record in the discus with an 87’ 6” heave, and this after throwing her best javelin of the season earlier that put her #4 all-time in the spear-throwing event. Swalligan’s mark in the discus is the third school record broken this season by the Lady Cards, after the 200 dash and the pole vault.

“Martina is only a sophomore and has great potential in this arguably most technical event in track & field. We still have some major issues to workout in technique and training, and once those are fairly resolved she will be aiming realistically at the state championships. School records are always big news and we are proud of her for achieving this in her final regular competition.”

Equaling his points record from last year(16), Noah Vokes easily led all DCC teammates in scoring once again. Vokes ran a blazing 15.4 high hurdles for 3 rd place before gaining another 3rd and 4th in the jumps.

“Noah is in the middle of the toughest competition in District Nine with all 4 of his events. It says a lot about his gifts that he has a legitimate shot at all four of them. That 110 hurdle run makes him state-ranked once again, and he has some big jumps waiting to bust out as well.”

Distance leader Johnny Ritsick came ready to run and showed he was up to the task as he cut six seconds from his 1600 time to officially qualify for the post-season. Ritsick’s 4:54.75 puts him at #5 all-time and only one of the few Cardinals to ever run below 5 minutes since 1970.

“Johnny had the right attitude all season and has been eyeing that qualifying time for two months, and there was no way he was going to be denied today. His work since last season is bearing fruit in remarkable fashion. It should be noted that Coach Skraba has done nice work with all the distance runners this season.”
Defending champion in the 800, Linkin Nichols, had his work cut out with two strong competitors of similar talent. All three came to the finish within seconds of each other, with Nichols getting the bronze.

“Linkin ran a good time but was not happy with the race. He knows he can win the big race with anyone in the district, and if he comes into post-season with the same great attitude as last year, he will succeed.”

Three-event qualifier Mariah Alanskas ran 2 of her regular 4 events and carried away a 5th place in the 100 dash, and a personal best in the high hurdles.
“Mariah has enough speed to succeed post-season in any event, and she is looking stronger every day at practice.”

All-in-all 10 DCC Cardinals achieved career best performances before the day was done, which included: J.P. Piccirillo(3200); John Swalligan(1600);Lily Sysko(100/4×1); Isaac Gray(200); Madison Miller(4×1); Alex Ochs(4×1) and Maddy Miscavish(4×1).

“J.P. is now 5th all-time in the 3200, and he, John Swalligan, and John Ritsick will be submitted for district consideration. Our distance team has been a very bright spot in 2018. Lily had a very nice day with 2 best runs, and the 4×1 relay(59.08) surprised themselves with their best time of the year to put them in the historic top ten at DCC. Those four girls deserve credit for their hard work, which we now see starting toblossom. It was good to see Isaac take interest to come and compete, then get a great run to take home. It was beautiful day to compete, and we had some good things happen. I was glad to see some tangible evidence of hard work. We moved a few steps forward.”

The Cardinals now move into post-season at the District Nine Championships on Friday at Brookville.