Quaker Valley runners collect medals during strong season

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Sunday, May 8, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Kadin Johnson is the fastest athlete at Quaker Valley this school year.

A senior sprinter on the QV boys track and field squad, Johnson was a medalist in three spotlight events at the recent MAC Invitational at Shenango.

Johnson won the 400-meter dash in 51.02 seconds and placed second in the 200 in 22.84. He also had a seventh-place showing in the 100 (11.44).

“Kadin’s performance was excellent,” Quaker Valley coach Jared Jones said. “He was disappointed in his first event, the 100-meter dash, but he quickly put that behind him and won the 400-meter dash. Given the bitter cold elements (that day), his times were extremely impressive in all three events.”

Jones rates Johnson as No. 1 among sprinters in the Quakers’ track and field program this year.

“I believe it is fair to say he is the fastest at Quaker Valley High School,” Jones said. ”His 400-meter time at the Butler Invitational is second all-time on our school record board. He ran 49.87. The school record is 49.80. He is also a few hundredths of seconds away from the 100 and 200 record boards.”

Another highlight for the boys team at the invitational was Matthew Otto’s performance in the distance events.

The sophomore distance runner took second place in the 3,200 with a time of 10:04.29. He also placed fifth in the 1,600 in 4:46.86.

“Matthew also did an excellent job overcoming the elements,” Jones said. “He ran a very smart race in the 3,200. I am hopeful to see what he can do with better conditions down the stretch of the season.”

Two other individual medalists for the Quakers were junior Noah Leathers, who placed third in the 110-meter hurdles, and junior Alex McDonald, who corralled the fourth spot in the discus.

Quaker Valley’s boys team ended up in third place against section competition this spring.

“The boys’ season was very good overall,” Jones said. “We finished third in our section with two close losses to Blackhawk and New Castle.

“One of the biggest surprises on the boys team has been the performance of Noah Leathers in the 110 hurdles. He placed seventh at the Butler Invitational and third at the MAC Invitational.”

Quaker Valley’s girls squad, led by Nora Johns, Cecilia Montagnese and Ainsley Commens, as well as the relay specialists, finished second in the final team standings at the MAC Invite.

Johns, a junior, was outstanding. She captured first place in the 300-meter hurdles in 46.92 and second place in the 100 hurdles in 16.84.

Montagnese, a freshman standout, ended up second in the 3,200 with a time of 11:59.76 and sixth in the 1,600 in 5:39.34.

Commens, a senior, earned second place in the pole vault by clearing a height of 8 feet, 10.5 inches.

“The girls’ performance as a team was excellent,” Jones said. “We are a much smaller school compared to some of the schools in attendance. To take runner-up shows how strong the girls are across multiple events.

“Nora in the 300 hurdles was fun to watch. She simply loves to race. Cecilia’s performances in the 3,200 and 1,600 were very surprising for a young freshman. She is so positive all the time and races with no fear. I am excited to see how she continues to improve throughout the season.

“And due to the conditions, Ainsley was unable to reach some of the heights she would have wanted to, but she performed extremely well given the circumstances.”

The QV girls relay teams were medalists in all three events. The 1,600 and 3,200 teams placed second. The 400 team finished fourth.

“I think this was the most impressive part of the meet from a coaching perspective,” Jones said. “I am hopeful all three relays will continue to come together and get some great times down the stretch of the season.”

Two other individual medalists for the Quakers were freshman Kwilai Karto and sophomore Ellie Cain. Karto secured fifth place in the 100 hurdles in 17.17 and Cain captured fifth in the 400 with a time of 1:04.26.

QV’s girls team rolled to second place in Section 8-3A this season against the likes of Ambridge, Avonworth, Beaver, Blackhawk, Central Valley and New Castle.

Class 2A teams in 3A sections mush finish in the top three to qualify for the WPIAL team tournament. QV and Avonworth are designated as 2A teams.

The Quakers participated in the WPIAL 2A team semifinals May 5 against Brownsville, Southmoreland and Waynesburg at South Park.

“The girls’ season has been very successful,” Jones said, “and they hopefully have a lot of season left for them. They finished second in a 3A conference, even though they compete in 2A. The biggest surprise on the girls side is the impact new upperclassmen and the incoming freshmen have made on the team’s success.

“I am very proud of both the girls and boys teams for their dedication, attitude and performance throughout this season.”

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