‘Best of friends’: Bishop Carroll trio continues success

Maddie Murphy wins the triple jump for Bishop Carroll during Wednesday’s district meet at Mansion Park. / Photo for the Mirror by Teri Enciso

Bishop Carroll Catholic High School boasts three girls senior jumpers — Maddie Murphy, Caroline Ratchford and Kate Yahner — who have been consistently winning their events this track and field season.

The reason for their successes could at least be partially attributed to the fact that they aren’t competing alone in what is typically an individual sport. The bond they formed throughout their scholastic careers, which included a District 6 volleyball championship, gave them each a boost in track and field.

“We’re all the best of friends,” Ratchford said Wednesday at Mansion Park. “We encourage each other. We know what each one’s potential is, and when we go after them and tell them what they need to do, they do it. It’s nice having great teammates like that.”

All three stood out again at the District 6 Class 2A Championships Wednesday with Ratchford winning the high jump, Murphy taking the triple jump and Yahner placing first in the pole vault. The top three finishers in each event, along with anyone meeting a pre-determined qualifying standard, advanced to the state meet in Shippensburg on May 24-25.

In addition to the three BC jumpers, the girls meet was highlighted by impressive performances from Central Cambria senior Paige Wess, Penn Cambria junior Lyric Janosik and Portage freshman Lauren Shaffer, who qualified for states in three events apiece. Wess won the 800-meter run and also was part of the 1600 and 3200 winning relays, Janosik won the long jump and was second in both the high jump and 400 relay, and Shaffer won the 100 dash and finished second in the 200 and 400.

The only other girls event winner from the Mirror coverage was the Tyrone 400 relay team of McKenzie Latchford, Elise Gailey, Brianna Foy and Natalie Saltsgiver.

Murphy has already made her mark in the triple jump during her career. She’s already won three state medals in the event but turned it up a notch on Wednesday.

Murphy triple-jumped 39 feet, 7.5 inches, a career personal best, on her third jump in the preliminaries, and no one was able to get within 3 feet of her.

“We had a practice Saturday, and I was really working on sprinting through the board,” Murphy said. “I ran faster and tried to keep it up through the phases. Last year, I scratched on my first two jumps, and I was freaking out. This year, I tried to stay calm, and on my first jump I got 39-5 and felt a lot better.”

While Murphy was winning the triple jump, Ratchford cleared 5-2 in the high jump to hold off Janosik in the event. Ratchford has never been to the state meet but should be in the medal hunt if she can duplicate the 5-5 she had earlier this season.

“I’ve never gotten 5-2 (at districts) until this year, so I’m excited,” Ratchford said. “I’m expecting really good competition at states, but if I can do what I know I can do, I’ll be able to keep up with everybody else.”

Yahner has been to the state meet to compete in relays, but not for the pole vault. She overcame a foot injury that prevented her from competing in the recent Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference Meet to win the pole vault Wednesday with a height of 10-0.

“I was confident — I came ready to jump and do my best,” Yahner said. “I’ve been really close to making states the last few years, and I was really trying to finally get to go. I’ve jumped about the same heights the last few years, but this year I broke out a bit.”

Wess ran like she was on a mission. After finishing behind Penns Valley’s Isabella Culver and Saint Joseph’s Kathleen Simander in the 800 run at the Bellwood-Antis Invitational a few weeks ago, Wess beat both of them Wednesday in one of the more exicting races of the meet.

Her time of 2:17.91 was a career personal best, and she has a fifth-place state medal in her possession.

“The last time I lost to them, I wasn’t sure what I could really do,” Wess said. “This time, I knew when they started fast that I would go with them and be able to stay with them.”

Wess took the lead with about 200 meters remaining and held off Simander at the finish line.

“I could see some shadows, and I knew they were coming,” Wess said. “But I knew I was already close to finishing and had to keep pushing because I’ve worked hard for it.”

Wess began the day by anchoring the winning 3200 relay, which finished in a time of 9:41.64. Her teammates were Abby Walwro, Faith Wilson and Ella Vrabel. Wess ended the day by anchoring the winning 1600 relay in 4:04.19 with Walwro, Olivia Ratchford and McKenna Hayward, who gave the Lady Devils the lead over Saint Joseph’s on the third leg.

“We know Saint Joseph’s is really strong, and it was going to be close,” said Hayward, who has won six state relay medals in her career, along with Wess. “At the 200 mark, (Coach Randy Wilson) said, ‘drop it now, you got this.’ And I just went.”

Janosik is returning to the state meet after getting a seventh-place medal in the long jump there last season, but this year she’ll go as a district champion. She nearly broke the district meet record by jumping 18-1 but came up an inch short. She jumped 18-9.5 earlier this year.

“I’m so excited,” said Janosik, who also finished second in the high jump to Ratchford by clearing 5-2 and also teamed with Emmy Harvey, Olivia Papi and Daijah Lilly to finish second in the 400 relay. “It feels amazing. I hit that 18. I didn’t get 18-9 (again), but that just means I can do it at states. It’s coming; I know it.”

Shaffer made her mark in her first-ever district meet by prevailing in a competitive 100 dash. She finished in 13.12, but was followed closely by state qualifiers Latchford (13.14) and Bishop Guilfoyle’s Aurielle Brunner (13.16).

Shaffer finished second in both the 200 and 400 dashes, while almost overtaking Culver in the 400.

“I was hoping to do well in the 400; that’s my main event,” said Shaffer, who finished her day by placing seventh in the 3200 run. “I wanted to get a good place in the 400. In the 100 and 200, I was just hoping to get top three.”

Tyrone’s 400 relay pulled off somewhat of a mild surprise because it was seeded fourth in the event. The team had won at the Bellwood Invite and the Mountain League meet, but the girls admittedly just were looking to make the top three at districts.

Saltsgiver held off Janosik at the end to win in 51.66.

“I was (across the stadium),” said Gailey, who ran the second leg. “I couldn’t see (the finish). I looked up at the (scoreboard), and I was freaking out because it seemed like a million years. Once I saw (we had won), I started bawling.”

Central Cambria freshman Stella Kuntz qualified for states in two events by placing second in the 3200 run and third in the 1600, and Northern Cambria’s Regan Sheredy placed third in the shot put to qualify.

Notes: Saint Joseph’s won the team title with Central Cambria finishing second and Bishop Carroll fifth … Blair County Outstanding Performer Awards were presented to BG’s Brunner, Bellwood-Antis’ Jenna Bartlett, Central’s Jocie Miller, Tyrone’s Chesney Saltsgiver and Williamsburg’s Aliyah Ross … United’s Maizee Fry was a triple winner, taking the shot put, discus and javelin, and Saint Joe’s Clare Marsh won both hurdles.

Key, team standings: 1, SJ–Saint Joseph’s, 86; 2, CC–Central Cambria, 70; 3, FH–Forest Hills, 57; 4, U–United, 47; 5, BC–Bishop Carroll, 46; 6, PV–Penns Valley, 44.33; 7, MC–Marion Center, 37; 8, PC–Penn Cambria, 32; 9, ST–Saltsburg, 31; 10, T–Tyrone, 30.33; 11, (tie), BEA–Bald Eagle Area and P–Portage, 28; 13, J–Juniata, 23; 14, R–Richland, 18; 15, BM–Bishop McCort, 16; 16, BG–Bishop Guilfoyle, 14.5; 17, WH–Westmont Hilltop, 13.5; 18, PO–Philipsburg-Osceola, 13; 19, (tie), CN–Central and NC–Northern Cambria, 9; 21, LV–Ligonier Valley, 8.5; 22, (tie), CH–Cambria Heights and PM–Penns Manor, 8; 24, PL–Purchase Line, 7; 25, HU–Huntingdon, 6.83; 26, (tie), WB–West Branch and HC–Homer-Center, 5; 28, BV–Blacklick Valley, 1.

100 dash: 1, Shaffer, P, 13.12; 2, Latchford, T, 13.14; 3, Brunner, BG, 13.16; 4, Simpson, ST, 13.19; 5, Caddy, FH, 13.30; 6, Janosik, PC, 13.35; 7, Burns, J, 13.37; 8, Papi, PC, 13.48.

200 dash: 1, Caddy, FH, 26.61; 2, Shaffer, P, 26.68; 3, Simpson, ST, 27.17; 4, Latchford, T, 27.36; 5, Ingram, BM, 27.41; 6, Bartley, CN, 28.02; 7, Lilly, PC, 28.16; 8, Burns, J, 28.38.

400 dash: 1, Culver, PV, 58.63; 2, Shaffer, P, 58.71; 3, Simpson, ST, 1:00.97; 4, Hayward, CC, 1:01.20; 5, Stains, FH, 1:03.03; 6, Martin, BM, 1:03.21; 7, Kosut, PO, 1:03.43; 8, Ratchford, CC, 1:03.70.

800 run: 1, Wess, CC, 2:17.91; 2, Simander, SJ, 2:18.54; 3, Culver, PV, 2:23.24; 4, Cusatis, SJ, 2:28.98; 5, Cornetto, MC, 2:30.85; 6, Lewis, T, 2:31.66; 7, Schultz, MC, 2:31.95; 8, Houtz, J, 2:32.46.

1600 run: 1. Mazza, SJ, 5:18.04; 2, Hull, PV, 5:24.96; 3, Kuntz, CC, 5:31.95; 4, Dorian, WH, 5:33.61; 5, Wilson, CC, 5:38.44; 6, Admire, WH, 5:41.21; 7, Prestash, WB, 5:43.00; 8, Lewis, T, 5:43.92.

3200 run: 1, Walker, MC, 11:50.76; 2, Kuntz, CC, 11:59.85; 3, Hull, PV, 12:03.38; 4, Youngmark, SJ, 12:08.69; 5, Greathouse, FH, 12:12.73; 6, Dill, WH, 12:21.96; 7, Shaffer, P, 12:22.67; 8, Beer, PL, 12:23.06.

100 hurdles: 1, Marsh, SJ, 15.54; 2, Warren, SJ, 15.62; 3, Butler, PV, 15.86; 4, *Susick, U, 15.94; 5, Veneziano, BEA, 16.79; 6, Shima, FH, 17.02; 7, Kinney, CH, 17.26; 8, Slebodnick, BV, 17.33.

300 hurdles: 1, Marsh, SJ, 45.92; 2, Veneziano, BEA, 47.45; 3, Susick, U, 48.37; 4, Smith, FH, 48.76; 5, Walwro, CC, 49.43; 6, Bainey, PO, 49.46; 7, Packer, BEA, 49.58; 8, Gwinn, HU, 49.74.

400 relay: 1, Tyrone (Latchford, Gailey, Foy, N. Saltsgiver), 51.66; 2, Penn Cambria (Harvey, Papi, Lilly, Janosik), 51.74; 3, Juniata, 51.87; 4, Richland, 52.10; 5, Bishop McCort, 52.37; 6, Huntingdon, 52.65; 7, Bishop Carroll, 53.07; 8, Forest Hills, 53.09.

1600 relay: 1, Central Cambria (Walwro, Ratchford, Hayward, Wess), 4:04.19; 2, Saint Joseph’s, 4:07.88; 3, Forest Hills, 4:12.96; 4, Penns Valley, 4:18.62; 5, Bishop McCort, 4:21.24; 6, West Branch, 4:27.55; 7, Ligonier Valley, 4:27.56; 8, Central, 4:28.16.

3200 relay: 1, Central Cambria (Walwro, Wilson, Vrabel, Wess), 9:41.64; 2, Saint Joseph’s, 9:52.38; 3, Marion Center, 9:53.89; 4, Forest Hills, 10:16.18; 5, Purchase Line, 10:30.95; 6, Bishop Carroll, 10:42.13; 7, Ligonier Valley, 10:43.77; 8, Juniata, 10:55.11.

High jump: 1, Ratchford, BC, 5-2; 2, Janosik, PC, 5-2; 3, Beebout, R, 5-2; 4, (tie), Hoffman, LV, and Brunner, BG, 5-0; 6, Henry, CH, 5-0; 7, Upcraft, PV, 5-0; 8, (tie), Gwinn, HU; N. Saltsgiver, T, and Beben, PV, 4-10.

Long jump: 1, Janosik, PC, 18-1; 2, Warren, SJ, 16-4.25; 3, Beitel, ST, 15-11.75; 4, Brubaker, J, 15-11.5; 5, Murpy, BC, 15-11.25; 6, Wirfel, BC, 15-6; 7, Novitski, CC, 15-4.75; 8, Martin, BM, 15-1.75.

Triple jump: 1, Murphy, BC, 39-7.5; 2, Beitel, ST, 36-6.5; 3, Warren, SJ, 36-6; 4, *Brubaker, J, 36-0; 5, Brunner, BG, 34-11; 6, C. Saltsgiver, T, 33-10.75; 7, Hayward, CC, 33-10.5; 8, Philibin, R, 33-8.75.

Shot put: 1, Fry, U, 41-0.5; 2, Holler, BEA, 36-0.25; 3, Sheredy, NC, 35-4; 4, Bezek, CC, 34-5.75; 5, Kennedy, PO, 34-3.75; 6, Thompson, MC, 33-10.75; 7, Kint, J, 32-4.75; 8, Andrus, PV, 32-3.75.

Discus: 1, Fry, U, 118-11; 2, Thompson, MC, 110-8; 3, Mack, U, 106-6; 4, Holler, BEA, 104-11; 5, Bobroski, BC, 101-4; 6, Sheredy, NC, 100-8; 7, Cree, CC, 97-8; 8, Wehner, FH, 93-0.

Javelin: 1, Fry, U, 120-0; 2, Croyle, FH, 119-5; 3, Wehner, FH, 118-10; 4, Buggey, HC, 115-2; 5, Thompson, MC, 12-9; 6, Bailey, CH, 106-6; 7, Ward,PL, 106-0; 8, Bauer, CC, 103-5.

Pole vault: 1, K. Yahner, BC, 10-0; 2, Meagher, PM, 9-6; 3, Cascino, R, 9-6; 4, Kennedy, CN, 9-6; 5, Butler, PO, 9-0; 6, (tie), Knupp, WH, and McKinney, HU, 8-6; 8, Taylor, BEA, 8-6.

*–Advanced to states by meeting the qualifying standard


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