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History made at B-A meet

05/03/21 Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski Central Cambria's Annaliese Niebauer (left) edges Bellwood-Antis' Alexis Lovrich by 0.18 seconds with a time of 5:27.72 in the 1600 meter run.

BELLWOOD — The Bellwood-Antis Invitational, like every high school track meet in Pennsylvania last year, was not held a season ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A consistent downpour Monday didn’t do much to dampen the spirits of the athletes who were happy to be back competing.

It didn’t take long to make history, either. In both of the first two races of the day, the male and female 3200-meter relays, meet records were broken, and another race — the girls mile run — had people talking well into the night.

For most of the girls 1600-meter race, Central Cambria’s Annaliese Niebauer, Bellwood-Antis’ Lexi Lovrich and Juniata Valley’s Morgan Hess were running in a tight group.

Suddenly, a quarter into the final lap, Lovrich went into another gear and took a huge lead on her competitors.

“I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. I just knew I had to go, so I went,” Lovrich said.

As Lovrich pulled away, doubt crept into Niebauer’s head that she could win the race, but she wanted to stay ahead of Hess.

“Honestly, I thought I was done for,” Niebauer said. “I kind of gave up a little bit, but then Hess came up beside me and kind of pushed me to kick at the end.”

That kick came at the same time Lovrich’s burst began to peter out, and it just became a question of whether she could hold off Niebauer and Hess.

All three met at the finish line, with Neibauer and Hess charging hard all the way. In a photo finish, Niebauer crossed in 5:27.72, Lovrich held off Hess in 5:27.90 and Hess’ time was 5:27.97. It was Lovrich’s best time of the season in the event by a large margin.

“I really hit a wall at the end, but it was fun. I felt really good,” Lovrich said. “The competition was so good, and all the girls did so well. It was definitely really good for me. I haven’t made that big of a drop yet this season, so it felt really good to finally make that big drop.”

Niebauer said the race coming down to three girls was something she’d never been part of before.

“I’ve never been in a race like that where there were three girls right there at the end,” Niebauer said. “That was definitely a new experience.”

The Central Cambria sophomore said she expects it won’t be the last time the girls will have a competitive race this year.

“I have a feeling the mile in districts is going to be crazy like that,” said Niebauer, who was named the meet’s outstanding female runner. “There’s a lot of fast girls. It’s going to be a good competition, and it’s going to be interesting.”

Central Cambria coach Randy Wilson said he never lost faith in Niebauer despite the deficit she faced in the race.

“That was unbelievable to see the top three finishers all within less than half a second,” Wilson said. “That was an amazing effort by all the girls. Something similar happened at United in the 3200 with her where a girl might have had a bigger lead and she brought it back. She’s not going to settle. If there’s a chance, she’s going to go for it.”

Wilson was also pleased with his 3200-meter relay team of Abby George, Abigail Walwro, Faith Wilson and Stella Kuntz, which set the meet record in 9:49.9. Faith Wilson also won the 800-meter run, and Niebauer came back to win the 3200-meter run comfortably despite saying she was gassed during the second mile after putting so much effort into her comeback in the mile run.

“The (3200-meter relay team) ran amazing today,” Wilson said. “It was our season-best by 15 seconds. That was a real highlight. We had a good meet all around. (Bellwood-Antis boys coach) Nick (Lovrich) runs a great meet here. It’s not too big and not too far away. It’s just a really good event put on by good track people.”

Lovrich’s Bellwood-Antis team got a win from Joe Wertz in the shot put, a silver in the discus and a fourth-place finish in the javelin. Wertz was named the outstanding thrower. Zach Mallon, another Bellwood-Antis senior, was picked as the outstanding male jumper after he won the triple jump and finished fourth in the long jump.

“Joe has been doing well and has been consistent in all three of the events,” Bellwood-Antis coach Nick Lovrich said. “For him to place in all three is a big thing, and the shot put is his best event. We are hoping he just keeps getting a little bit better each day, and he continues to have a great season.”

Juniata Valley’s Jefferson Hill, who won both hurdles, was named the meet’s outstanding male runner.

Central Cambria’s Adam Lechleitner also had a good day as he won the 800-meter run and was part of the Red Devils’ wins in the 1600-meter relay and record-setting 3200-meter relay team as did teammate Tyler Gibson, who won the 3200-meter run and was on the record-setting relay. Central Cambria’s Toby Cree won the 1600-meter and finished second in the 800 to help the Red Devils cruise to the boys overall team championship.

United’s Maizee Fry won the shot put and the discus on the girls side and was named female outstanding thrower, and Tyrone’s Chesney Saltsgiver won both the long and triple jump and was named the meet’s outstanding jumper. Fry and Saltsgiver won the same awards when the meet was last held in 2019. Bedford’s Grace Sarver won the 100- and 200-meter dashes, and Saint Joseph’s Clare Marsh won both hurdles. Reagan Irons of Tyrone won the high jump, and Lydia Worthing of Bellwood-Antis won the girls pole vault. The boys pole vault was canceled due to the bad weather.

“I was a lot better today than the last couple meets, but I have been working really hard,” Saltsgiver said. “I have been trying to get back to normal, and I feel like I’m finally close. It feels really good to come back (and repeat as outstanding jumper), because I worked really hard in the offseason, and this was really good for me.”

The Tyrone girls edged Central Cambria for the team title.

BOYS

TEAM STANDINGS: 1, Central Cambria (CC) 152; 2, Bedford (B) 110; 3, Bellwood-Antis (BA) 87.2; 4, Juniata Valley (JV) 44.5; 5, Northern Cambria (NC) 42.2; 6, Southern Huntingdon (SH) 38.2; 7, Saint Joseph’s (SJ) 37; 8, Bald Eagle Area (BEA) 36.5; 9, Tyrone (T) 34.2; 10, Philipsburg-Osceola (PO) 29; 11, Tussey Mountain (TM) 18.2; 12, Cambria Heights (CH) 16; 13, Central (C) 11; 14, Mount Union (MU) 6; 15, United (U) 1.

100 dash: 1, Bearer, NC, 11.38; 2, Moore, SH, 11.47; 3, O’Brien, CC, 11.48; 4, Wracher, B, 11.52; 5, Gillis, TM, 11.71; 6, Weber, B, 11.72. 200 dash: 1, Moore, SH, 23.1; 2, O’Brien, CC, 23.7; 3, Wracher, B, 23.99; 4, S. Mallon, BA, 24.14; 5, Weber, B, 24.17; 6, Irvin, BEA, 24.26. 400 dash: 1, Lanzendorfer, NC, 52.74; 2, Clark, SJ, 52.76; 3, Roberts, CC, 53.94; 4, Robison, BA, 54.12; 5, Musser, JV, 54.23; 6, Little, PO, 54.44. 800 run: 1, Lechleitner, CC, 2:02.32; 2, Cree, CC, 2:04.24; 3, Muckey, PO, 2:06; 4, Reynolds, SJ, 2:06.7; 5, Scanlon, SJ, 2:06.98; 6, Detwiler, T, 2:11.36. 1600 run: 1, Cree, CC, 4:37.82; 2, Gibson, CC, 4:41.22; 3, Muckey, PO, 4:44.44; 4, Simander, SJ, 4:45.55; 5, May, B, 4:52.99; 6, Hoy, T, 4:55.82. 3200 run: 1, Gibson, CC, 10:24.61; 2, Hoy, T, 10:28.19; 3, Scritchfield, B, 10:31.49; 4, George, CC, 10:36.51; 5, Poe, BA, 11:17.35; 6, Imler, T, 11:21.33. 110 hurdles: 1, Hill, JV, 15.44; 2, Grata, CC, 16.2; 3, Wess, CC, 16.41; 4, Shawley, BA, 16.62; 5, Ford, B, 16.7; 6, Horton, C, 17.37. 300 hurdles: 1, Hill, JV, 41.57; 2, Ford, B, 41.58; 3, Shawley, BA, 42.22; 4, Grata, CC, 43.33; 5, Orange, CC, 44.37; 6, Yetsko, BEA, 45.41.

400 relay: 1, Bedford (Zimmerman, Weber, Arnold, Wracher), 44.81; 2, Juniata Valley, 45.38; 3, Central Cambria, 45.39; 4, Bellwood-Antis, 45.9; 5, Northern Cambria, 46.05; 6, Southern Huntingdon, 46.32. 1600 relay: 1, Central Cambria (Orange, Cod. Roberts, Lechleitner, Contorchick), 3:34.39; 2, Bellwood-Antis, 3:34.88; 3, Saint Joseph’s, 3:36.7; 4, Southern Huntingdon, 3:42.28; 5, Bedford, 3:42.85; 6, Northern Cambria, 3:44.15. 3200 relay: 1, *Central Cambria (Lechleitner, Gibson, Wandel, Roberts), 8:17.86; 2, Saint Joseph’s, 8:25.1; 3, Cambria Heights, 8:56.93; 4, Tyrone, 8:59.44; 5, Bellwood-Antis, 9:05.34; 6, Mount Union, 9:13.2. High jump: 1, Johnson, JV, 5-11; 2, Rishel, PO, 5-8; 3, Beisinger, C, 5-6; 4, Bearer, NC, 5-6; 5, Fitzpatrick, CH, 5-6; T-6, Arnold, B, 5-6; T-6, Koss, CC, 5-6. Long jump: 1, Irvin, BEA, 20-5; 2, Johnson, JV, 20-0; 3, Zimmerman, B, 19-2; 4, Z. Mallon, BA, 19-0; 5, Bearer, NC, 18-10.25; 6, Myers, NC, 18-10. Triple jump: 1, Z. Mallon, BA, 42-10.5; 2, Cor. Roberts, CC, 40-11; 3, Zimmerman, B, 39-5; T-4, Irvin, BEA, 38-11; T4, Johnson, JV, 38-11; 6, McCombie, CH, 38-0.5. Shot put: 1, Wertz, BA, 48-7; 2, Morningstar, TM, 43-8; 3, Vent, B, 41-3; 4, Becker, B, 41-0.3; 5, Villarial, CC, 40-8.25; 6, Kubat, CC, 40-6. Discus: 1, Vent, B, 140-7; 2, Wertz, BA, 132-8; 3, Morningstar, TM, 130-9; 4, Kephart, PO, 115-10; 5, Sigler, B, 112-5; 6, Letizia, CC, 108-0. Javelin: 1, Cook, B, 148-1; 2, Fry, BEA, 144-2; 3, Balles, SH, 141-0; 4, Wertz, BA, 140-3; 5, Orange, CC, 133-10; 6, Laird, BA, 127-10. Pole vault: Canceled.

GIRLS

TEAM STANDINGS: 1, Tyrone (T) 116.2; 2, Central Cambria (CC) 104.25; 3, Bedford (B) 92.2; 4, United (U) 58.5; 5, Bald Eagle Area (BEA) 49.7; 6, Saint Joseph’s (SJ) 46; 7, Bellwood-Antis (BA) 36.25; 8, Cambria Heights (CH) 35.75; 9, Juniata Valley (JV) 31.2; 10, Tussey Mountain (TM) 28.5; 11, Philipsburg-Osceola (PO) 27.25; 12, West Branch (WB) 22.75; 13, Southern Huntingdon (SH) 20.5; 14, Northern Cambria (NC) 20; 15, Central (C) 8.95; 16, Grier 4.

100 dash: 1, Sarver, B, 12.97; 2, C. Saltsgiver, T, 13.05; 3, Latchford, T, 13.25; 4, Molosky, TM, 13.4; 5, Mertz, WB, 13.41; 6, Patton, SH, 13.68. 200 dash: 1, Sarver, B, 26.76; 2, Popovich, U, 27.13; 3, Latchford, T, 27.24; 4, Molosky, TM, 27.84; 5, Lewis, T, 28.08; 6, Leskovansky, BEA, 28.63. 400 dash: 1, Mertz, WB, 1:01.35; 2, Lewis, T, 1:02.88; 3, Popovich, U, 1:02.89; 4, Horton, TM, 1:04.68; 5, Yingling, BA, 1:04.87; 6, Vance, T, 1:05.11. 800 run: 1, Wilson, CC, 2:30.04; 2, Hess, JV, 2:31.72; 3, Lippincott, B, 2:32.82; 4, Lewis, T, 2:33.34; 5, George, CC, 2:34.68; 6, Eby, SJ, 2:36. 1600 run: 1, Niebauer, CC, 5:27.72; 2, L. Lovrich, BA, 5:27.9; 3, Hess, JV, 5:27.97; 4, Kuntz, CC, 5:33.04; 5, Manfred, Grier, 5:35.98; 6, Miller, NC, 5:37.49. 3200 run: 1, Niebauer, CC, 12:06.05; 2, Dibert, B, 12:25.3; 3, Soyka, CC, 12:46.64; 4, Carmack, SJ, 12:58.5; 5, L. Lovrich, BA, 13:14.58; 6, Lang, B, 13:28.56. 100 hurdles: 1, Marsh, SJ, 15.37; 2, Payne, U, 17.13; 3, Becker, B, 17.48; 4, Kirkpatrick, 17.54; 5, Woods, CC, 17.59; 6, Decker, C, 17.62. 300 hurdles: 1, *Marsh, SJ, 45.98; 2, Walwro, CC, 47.45; 3, Becker, B, 50.59; 4, Veneziano, BEA, 51.37; 5, Kirkpatrick, CH, 52.32; 6, Patton, SH, 52.33.

400 relay: 1, Tyrone (Britten, Latchford, Irons, Saltsgiver), 52.4; 2, Bedford, 52.56; 3, Cambria Heights, 54.45; 4, Tussey Mountain, 55.31; 5, Bellwood-Antis, 56.17; 6, Central Cambria, 56.21. 1600 relay: 1, Saint Joseph’s, 4:13.78; 2, Bedford, 4:17.01; 3, Central Cambria, 4:17.01; 4, Tyrone, 4:23.11; 5, West Branch, 4:26.96; 6, Juniata Valley, 4:31.62. 3200 relay: 1, *Central Cambria (George, Walwro, Wilson, Kuntz), 9:49.9; 2, Saint Joseph’s, 10:19.7; 3, Bedford, 10:24.28; 4, Tyrone, 10:27.23; 5, Central, 11:33.16; 6, Philipsburg-Osceola, 11:40.89. High jump: 1, Irons, T, 5-0; 2, N. Saltsgiver, T, 4-10; 3, Bailey, CH, 4-8; 4, Kim, CC, 4-6; 5, Grieb, PO, 4-6; T-6, Burkey, CH, 4-4; T-6, Croyle, WB, 4-4; T-6, Molosky, TM, 4-4. Long jump: 1, C. Saltsgiver, T, 15-8.5; 2, Latchford, T, 15-4.5; 3, Kirkpatrick, CH, 15-2; 4, Bainey, PO, 15-1; 5, Stahlman, B, 14-10.5; 6, Hopsicker, JV, 14-5.5. Triple jump: 1, C. Saltsgiver, T, 36-6.5; 2, Bainey, PO, 32-0.5; 3, Irons, T, 31-7.5; 4, Stahlman, B, 31-6.5; 5, Polchito, CC, 30-7; 6, Zinobile, JV, 30-1. Shot put: 1, Fry, U, 39-11.5; 2, Holler, BEA, 33-8; 3, Sheredy, NC, 33-2.5; 4, Musser, JV, 31-8.5; 5, Baker, CH, 29-2.5; 6, Wilson, SH, 28-6. Discus: 1, Fry, U, 119-1; 2, Sheredy, NC, 97-1; 3, Holler, BEA, 93-7; 4, Wilson, SH, 93-5; 5, Walls, T, 87-7; 6, Cowder, WB, 85-4. Javelin: 1, Hoover, BEA, 106-5; 2, Long, CC, 98-10; 3, Holler, BEA, 95-9; 4, Martz, B, 91-5; 5, Bailey, CH, 89-3; 6, Butler, PO, 88-3. Pole vault: 1, Worthing, BA, 9-6; T-2, Peters, U, 8-6; T-2, Horton, TM, 8-6; T-4, Martin, BA, 8-0; T-4, Murlin, U, 8-0; 6, Butler, PO, 7-6.

*–New meet record

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