Gartley siblings find success with Quaker Valley track and field

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Sunday, July 2, 2023 | 12:21 PM


Mia Gartley of Quaker Valley is a 5-foot-2 dynamo of an athlete.

As a freshman this spring, Gartley won the WPIAL girls high jump event in Class 2A at the championship meet at Slippery Rock.

She also placed fifth in the high jump at the PIAA finals at Shippensburg.

QV coach Jared Jones said he knew Gartley had a great deal of promise in track, particularly in the high jump event.

“We knew right away Mia had a lot of potential. It was mainly knowing her brother’s ability and her immediate success in middle school,” Jones said. “To finish as the WPIAL champion and fifth overall in the state is truly amazing. I think the sky is the limit for Mia’s future in track and field.

“I expect Mia to continue to grow in the jumping events. She is so gifted and has such a wide range of events she can be successful in. We will have a lot more time to get her prepared for next season, and I think she may be able to add more events to her repertoire.”

Gartley ironically cleared a personal-best height of 5 feet, 2 inches at both postseason meets.

The school record in the girls high jump is 5-7 set by Jenise Lockhart in 1980.

“I didn’t realize that I had a chance to win WPIALs, to be honest,” Gartley said. “I was just trying to qualify for states.

“I PR-ed at 5-2 during the first track meet of the season; then I had a period of time where I couldn’t clear 5 feet. So clearing 5-2 at WPIALs was super exciting.”

Finishing fifth at the state finals proved to be a surreal experience for the WPIAL titlist.

“I was super stoked about my performance,” Gartley said. “It felt surreal to place as a freshman. When I found out I was a medalist, I felt so accomplished because this is what I had been working towards all season.”

The Quaker Valley girls have won back-to-back WPIAL Class 2A team championships in track and field and will be heavily favored to add another title next year.

“I have high expectations for next season,” Gartley said. “I’m hoping to clear heights that I wouldn’t even thought were imaginable in eighth grade, hoping to make my middle school proud.”

This season, Gartley competed in the high jump, long jump, triple jump, 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and the 1,600 relay. She added the hurdles to her practice schedule halfway through the season.

The athletic Gartley also is an outside hitter on the QV girls volleyball team.

She is preparing for the fall season by participating in a summer league with the Quakers.

“I’m doing a summer league, which is scrimmaging with other teams,” Gartley said. “My expectations for the volleyball team are pretty high since there are multiple juniors (on the team) that play club and are super skilled in the sport.

“And I have been busy with camp counseling.”

Gartley, who recently celebrated her 15th birthday, served as a counselor at a “Summer Celebration” church camp at St. Stephen’s in Sewickley.

Gartley’s brother Davin, known better as Macky (which is short for his middle name Makaio), was a sophomore at QV in 2022-23. He was a WPIAL and PIAA qualifier in the 110-meter hurdles event.

“Davin is also very gifted across multiple events,” Jones said. “This season, his best events were the 110 hurdles and triple jump, but he also high jumped and ran in the 4-by-400 relay.

“Davin had a lot of success as a distance runner when he was younger. He has the potential to be great at multiple events, and I think after the success he had this year, he is open to trying more events in the future.

He placed fourth in the 110 hurdles at the WPIAL finals, and also ran in the 1,600-meter relay with teammates Clark LaLomia, River Capek and Luke Hotchkiss.

“My early expectations for the boys track team are to be where we were as a team last year, which was in the WPIAL 2A finals,” he said.

In the fall months, the 6-2, 170-pound Gartley plays football for the Quakers as a wide receiver/defensive back. He “quarterbacks” the QV defense from his safety position.

“We were a really young team going into last season,” Gartley said. “My expectation for this year is for us to grow as a team.

“I’d like to thank my family, coaches and Derek (Clark), our athletic trainer, for always being there to help me.”

Gartley, 16, and Ronnie Berry, a rising sophomore wide receiver, are the two fastest players on the squad, which should bode well for the QV passing attack this season.

Berry also is a sprinter in the QV boys track and field program, specializing in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.

Jones ended his conversation with some high compliments for the Gartley siblings.

“These are two great kids that are extremely hard working and humble,” the Quakers’ veteran coach said. “Anything I ask of them in terms of workouts or events, no matter how they actually feel, they never complain and are always willing to step up.

“We are very glad to have them both on our team.”

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