Derry track and field teams creating excitement

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Wednesday, April 10, 2024 | 10:46 PM


There is excitement around the Derry Area School District and community about the track and field team.

The girls are seeking their third consecutive section title, and the boys are vying for a WPIAL playoff berth after just missing in 2023.

The Derry girls also reached the finals for the first time.

What excites track coach Mark Curcio most is the size of the boys team.

“It’s the most boys (40) I’ve had on a squad,” Curcio said. “We have a young squad that has a chance to grow. We also have more depth on both squads. The boys just need to be more consistent.”

Curcio said the next two weeks are big for the teams. They both improved to 4-0 by defeating Southmoreland and Yough on Wednesday.

The girls defeated Southmoreland, 86-55, and Yough, 130-11. The boys defeated Southmoreland, 89-52, and Yough, 118-23.

They host Greensburg Central Catholic on April 16 and then travel to Mt. Pleasant April 18 for a triangular with Ligonier Valley. Greensburg Central Catholic boys are the returning Class 2A champions, and the girls made the finals.

“Last year, the boys finished 4-2 in the section (8-2A) and missed qualifying by one win,” Curcio said “The goal is to take it one more step and qualify for the WPIAL playoffs. We don’t set expectations, we set goals. The goal is to make it to the playoffs.”

Derry competes in a section that includes Frazier, Geibel, Greensburg Central Catholic, Ligonier Valley, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland and Yough. It already has defeated Frazier and Geibel.

Curcio will be counting on junior thrower Sophia Mazzoni, junior sprinter Julia Omlor, junior distance runner Jane Huss and junior jumper Regan Repak for big points.

“It’s nice to have girls that are capable of scoring big points for the team,” Curcio said. “Sophia has already had a big throw (156 feet, 10 inches) in the javelin. That ranks No. 1 in the state.”

He also expects big contributions from junior middle distance runner Mikah Horwat, senior hurdler/pole vaulter Reign Taylor, junior jumper Rain Loucks and freshman sprinter Adalyn O’Hanlon. Curcio calls Loucks a Swiss Army knife because she can compete in various events.

For boys, Curcio has a young group he hopes contributes early.

Leading the way is sophomore sprinter Ricky Daniels, junior hurdler Timothy Miller, freshman thrower Aiden Piper, junior sprinter Gabe Gess and freshman jumper Stanley Rajkovich.

“I’m eager to see how the team competes in upcoming invitationals, especially the bigger meets when they are competing against the Class 3A kids,” Curcio said. “If we can find consistency, we can compete for the playoffs.”

Curcio said if the teams continue to work hard and stay focused, big things will occur for some individuals.

Right now, Curcio wants the team to focus on the upcoming meets.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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