PAHS track: District 9 meet

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
May 21, 2009

While no Port Allegany athletes qualified for states at the District 9 Championships Friday afternoon in Kane, it certainly wasn’t for lack of effort, as several recorded new personal bests at the meet.

Emily Schena led the way with a fifth-place finish in the girls’ 300-meter hurdles, winning her heat with a time of :50.99. Keystone junior Samantha Schwabenbauer won the district title in the event, running the race in :48.05 on her way to capturing the Jim Manners Award given to the meet’s top athlete.

Bryanna Evens qualified in all three sprints, running the 200 and 400-meter dashes. The sophomore placed sixth in the 400 – lowering her best time to 1:03.22 – behind Clarion’s Skyler Ganoe, who broke the tape in :59.87, and finished seventh in the 200.

“(Bryanna) ran her best race; those kids are just superfast. When you’ve got kids running sub-minute 400s, that’s pretty good,” Gators coach George Riley said.

Distance runner Jessica French also qualified in three events. She chose to run in the 800 and 1600-meter races, improving on her best time in the mile by finishing sixth in 5:44.32 behind Kane’s Dani Kojancic, who defended her district title with a winning time of 5:15.41.

French also placed eighth in the 800, and freshman Kelsey Payne did the same in the high jump.

On the boys’ side, the 400-meter relay team came in eighth, James Nellis placed 10th in the high jump, Chris Fabish finished 17th in the discus, and Ben Osani was 18th in the javelin.

“It was a great experience for those guys,” Riley said. “The kids who went down there are excited, and the ones who will be back are excited for next year. I think we’ll be better for it.”

With the season officially over for his teams, the Port coach reflected on another successful campaign.

“I said all year that I didn’t have any superstars,” Riley admitted, “but I’ve got good kids who win races, and we have depth. You look around at our league, and Smethport, Oswayo Valley, and Northern Potter all have kids going to states … We didn’t have those kids, but we did well as a team.”

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