Northwestern's Alex Partington (far left), Lehighton's Kyle Whiteman (center) and Northern Lehigh's Jake Lieberman (far right), receiving their medals for their top distances in boys' shot put at the 2014 Allen Invitational.
By TYLER TRUMBAUER
Many track and field athletes treat the Allen Invitational like the District 11 meet. This invitational includes nearly every school from the Colonial League, Lehigh Valley Conference, and Mountain Valley Conference. It has top talent from District 1 as well. It is staged to be the last rehearsal before the postseason meets begin in May.
Many athletes from the Extra Point coverage area wished the invitational this past Friday at J. Birney Crum Stadium was the district meet because, based on their performances, they would be heading off to states.
Palmerton had a good showing from their athletes as senior Austin Shupp took gold in both the boys’ 110 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles. Shupp, who will be continuing his track career at Shippensburg next year, knows how great of an event it is.
“This is like a huge invitational, especially around here,” he said. “It gets every athlete mentally ready for districts and states.”
A few other Bombers that seemed to be primed for districts are Jarred Sacks and Darris Rodrigues. Sacks grabbed gold in the boys’ triple jump and Rodrigues finished first in the boys’ pole vault.
Palmerton’s CL North Division foe Northwestern has turned into quite the track and field powerhouse of late. The girls’ squad needs just two wins in their last meet of the regular season this week to go 22-0 in the regular season over the last two seasons. Also, the boys’ team needs to grab two victories in this last meet to complete an undefeated 2014 campaign under new coach Tim Cunningham.
Their boys’ 4x100 relay team of Austin Weiss, Cole Miller, Harry Hall and Cam Richardson took first in the event with a time of 43.51, a new personal record and a new school record as well, breaking their own previous mark.
Richardson, who spoke on behalf of the group stated, “We definitely thought this was plausible. Having this success here make us all excited for what is to come in the next few weeks.”
Lady Tiger track squad member, Haley Yost, who will be running cross country and track at Eastern Kentucky beginning this fall, took home bronze from her time of 5:12.33 in the girls’ 1600 meter run.
The senior said it is all about her this spring.
“In previous years I’ve worried about other girls and how they are doing. This year I’m more focusing on myself and my goals, which is to break a five-minute mile. This meet just sets the tone for me,” said Yost. “I’m doing better than I have in others years, but this year, I’m just focusing on myself. I just want to run for me my senior year.”
Lehighton senior, Gwen Remaly, might have had the same mindset as Yost in her own events, but she ended up being better than the rest of the girls as Remaly earned gold from girls’ shot put and took a silver medal home from her distance of 109-11 in girls’ discus.
Also, fellow Indian Kyle Whiteman won the boys’ shot put event with a throw of 48-11.
Northern Lehigh also found their way to the medal stand as senior Jake Lieberman took third in boys’ shot put with a toss of 43-8.25.
The event always has the feel of a postseason meet. The plethora of talented athletes, the tears of joy, the tears of sorrow, and the awards would make one believe so much more is on the line. However, this is just the Allen Invitational and the real fun starts at the league meet on May 6.