Quaker Valley boys, girls track teams run away with section titles

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Sunday, May 7, 2023 | 11:01 AM


The Quaker Valley track and field program hit the daily double against section opponents this season.

Both QV teams captured first place in Section 3-2A, beating out Aquinas Academy, Carlynton, Cornell, Eden Christian, Sewickley Academy, Shady Side Academy, Sto-Rox and Riverview.

The QV girls are the defending WPIAL Class 2A champions.

“We knew coming into the season our girls team was strong after winning the WPIAL championship last year,” QV coach Jared Jones said. “I’m very happy with how they have handled themselves and progressed this season.

“The boys team’s growth has been rewarding, and I’m excited to see what they can do the rest of the season as a team and as individuals.”

The QV girls have their eyes on the big prize again, a return trip to the WPIAL championship meet. The Quakers defeated Greensburg Central Catholic, Shenango and Riverside in last year’s finals.

“The expectations coming into the season for the girls was different after winning the WPIAL championship,” Jones said “Our goal is to make it back to the championship to give ourselves a chance to defend our title.

“On the boys side, we have been taking things one meet at a time. The main goal was to win each meet so that we could win our section and compete in the team playoffs.”

Quaker Valley’s girls team is led by senior Nora Johns, a multiple PIAA and WPIAL titlist in the 300-meter hurdles.

Other top athletes on the team include juniors Ellie Cain and Kate Hines in the distance events, sophomores Jay Olawaiye (long/triple jump), Kwilai Karto (hurdles), Cecilia Montagnese (distance), Sarah Minard (pole vault) and Olivia Jordan (pole vault) and freshmen Zora Washington (sprints), Mimi Thiero (high jump) and Mia Gartley (high jump).

QV’s boys squad is paced by senior hurdlers Noah Leathers and Timmy Burda and seniors Alex MacDonald (throwing) and Luke Hotchkiss (distance).

Leading sophomores for the Quakers include Clark LaLomia (distance), Thomas Debelak (long/triple jump) and Davin Gartley (hurdles). Tyler Bell is a freshman distance runner.

“My expectation is to see growth from (both) teams throughout the rest of the season,” Jones said.

QV closed out its regular season with tri-meet wins against Riverview, Eden Christian and Sewickley Academy.

“The girls showed their depth by taking first in eight events, including all three relays,” Jones said.

Johns (300 hurdles), Karto (100 hurdles), Jordan (pole vault), Montagnese (3,200) and Thiero (high jump) were individual champions.

Jordan’s winning vault of 9 feet, 8 inches moved her to third all-time in school history in the girls pole vault.

Relay winners were senior Zoey Murawski, Hines, junior Lizzie Szuba and Cain in the 3,200; Washington, Karto, sophomore Vanessa Pickett and Johns in the 400; and Washington, Cain, Karto and Hines in the 1,600.

Top three finishes for the girls also were turned in by junior Margaret Elliott, Hines, Olawaiye, Washington, freshman Emma Currier, Szuba, Minard, Pickett, sophomore Amelia Pribik and Gartley.

“The boys team also had a great day and showed its depth by taking first in seven events, including one relay,” Jones said.

Burda (300 hurdles), senior Gavin Eshenbaugh (shot put), Leathers (110 hurdles), MacDonald (Discus), Debelak (triple jump) and LaLomia (800) captured individual titles.

Debelak, junior Izzy Emerson, senior Jakub Pickett and freshman Ronnie Berry took first place in the 400 relay.

Top three finishes also were registered by seniors Abe Djedid and Clayton Powell, Hotchkiss, Pickett, Emerson, Gartley and freshman River Capek.

The WPIAL championships for Class 2A were scheduled for May 9 at Peters Township.

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