Thomas Jefferson track and field hangs tough at WPIALs

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Monday, May 28, 2018 | 8:30 PM


Thomas Jefferson was represented by seven athletes at the WPIAL Class AAA track and field finals May 17 at Baldwin Stadium.

“I was extremely proud of all our athletes who competed,” said Bill Paull, who shares TJ coaching duties with Kevin Gennaula. “The competition at this year's WPIAL championship was fierce. All of our athletes gave their best effort, and at the end of the day that is all I can ask.

“We are, as a whole, a very young team, so I have been reminding many of them that in order to be the best you must compete against the best, which sometimes means we may lose the race, but we improve our performance and gain a better confidence moving forward. I am thrilled to see what our team can do next year, especially with the acquisition of some of the young talent coming up from the middle-school level.”

At the WPIAL meet, TJ siblings Zach Wagner, a junior, and Molly Wagner, a sophomore, ran in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.

“Molly ran an outstanding 200-meter race with her season-best time of 26.02, which in previous years would have had her on the podium. But there were 11 girls who went sub-26 this year, which is the most I have ever seen at our district competition.”

TJ junior Jordan Murga qualified in the boys 400, as did freshman Claire Whalen in the girls 400. Whalen also was a WPIAL finalist in the long jump.

Sophomore Lydia Shaw competed in the girls 1,600, and junior Raelin Krueger participated in the girls javelin.

The 400 relay team consisting of Murga, senior Davin Manfredi, freshman Alex Folino and Wagner also qualified.

Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.

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