Record Books Re-written at Redbank Valley Invite for DCC Track and Field


Tom Shade, Contributor

The threatening rainstorm appeared for the first events of the day, then cleared up to present a pleasantly cool, comfortable day for competitors, with many DCC Cardinals taking full advantage on both the newly laid track at Redbank, and in the field.

Once again it was veteran thrower Martina Swalligan shattering the school discus mark she established earlier this season with a big throw(100’1”) that earned a place at the classic Redbank Invitational in New Bethlehem. Swalligan also placed in the shot put with a solid 31+ heave.

“Martina is ready for a big breakthrough. There are only a few throwers in District Nine at her level in both events, and she puts in the time on her own like all the best throwers do. Of all the events in track it is the throws that can see the really giant leaps of improvement in a short time when the work is put in”

Swalligan’s discus record is the 100th DCC school mark that has been set since 2014.

Middle distance expert Linkin Nichols had a big day as he gathered 16 points, second only to the legendary sprinter Alex Welsh of the 2010 season. Nichols scored in the 400 dash, followed by a pulsating silver medal performance in the 800 run, an event in which Nichols was the defending champion in 2017.

“One of the challenges of success on the track is that you become a target by other runners who are hungry to prove themselves. Linkin is a competitor and this could well be to his advantage in the end.”

Nichols ended the day as one of the scoring members of the boys 4×4 team(Lenny Swisher, Johnny Ritsick, Loren Way) that established the fastest mile relay(3:44.75) in 45 years, with the 1974 team of Dan Cathcart, Mike Bianco, Dan Armagost, & Steve Fauls still holding the DCC record by 3 seconds.

Lady Card leader Mariah Alanskas earned a bronze medal in the crowded 100 meter dash event, and also took points on the girls 4×4 relay team(Alex Ochs, Kylee Fink, Allie Cribbs) whose time is now ranked in DCC’s Top Ten record books and qualified for districts next Friday.

“The 4×4 is not an event for the timid or faint of heart. It is held at the end of the meet when mind & bodies can be tired, and the nature of the run is challenging even for trained athletes. We are always proud to see both teams participate in this race, and especially thankful to see that they both qualified this season, something never seen before in DCC history.

Lexie Allen scored in the pole vault while attempting to break the school record, just missing it by 3 inches.

Miler Johnny Ritsick ran an excellent(4:51) race to place 4th overall, and Loren Way broke his personal record in the 400 dash.

Hurdler Allie Cribbs had a great day as she performed at her highest level of the season in both the 300 & 100 barrier events, as well as her notable run in the 1600 relay.

Emily Calliari also performed well as she hit her career-best 800 run in her final competition of the year, and Bella Mangiantini & Jalen Kosko did well in the field.

“It’s great to see the athletes hitting their best marks at this time of year. This invitational is set up to give all competitors a final shot at qualifying, and we can say that all the Cardinals had respectable runs, jumps & throws. It is always considered an honor to be invited here.”

The Cardinals will take 15 athletes to compete in 15 events at the District Nine Track & Field Championships to held in Brookville on May 17.