Upper Perk's Trevor Weeks flies through the air as he participates in the pole vault. Weeks cleared 10 feet, taking first place.
Outstanding individual efforts were not enough for the depth-challenged Upper Perkiomen track teams in a pair of losses to Phoenixville last week on Senior Recognition Day. The girls dropped a close 74-70 decision to the Phantoms while the boys fell 83-65 Wednesday.
Leading the way for the girls were Aubrey Gibbs, Danni Moser, Lydia Keiper and Tiffany Whittaker.
Gibbs, a sophomore, took firsts in the high jump (4’6), the long jump (14’5) and the 100 meter run (13.1).
Running at home on a beautiful spring day finally comfortable for spring sports, Moser captured the 300 hurdles and the 100 high hurdles getting personal records (PR’s) in both events despite battling a heavy cold. The senior ran the 300 in 46.7 and the high hurdles in 15.2, two and a half seconds ahead of the Phantoms’ Keri Marini.
“Now that the weather is nicer, I’m getting PR’s in,” Moser laughed. Heading toward the post-season, Moser thinks she can do even better by refining her technique and has hopes of “getting to the finals in the high hurdles.”
So far, she is the only Upper Perk trackster who has qualified for districts.
Coach Dean Wright had high praise for both Moser and Gibbs.
“Danni and Aubrey, just the effort that they bring to every meet and the effort that they show to the other girls is inspirational.”
Keiper took wins in the 1600 meter (5:48.3) and 3200 (13:06.3) finishing ahead by nine seconds and 22 seconds respectively.
Whittaker threw the discus 88’4.5, a PR, and hurled the javelin 82’11.
Field coach Sean MacBain, returning to the track program after a 17-year hiatus, has liked what he has seen from Whittaker and fellow seniors Shakira Abrahams and Myra Moore.
“They’re a lot of fun to work with. They enjoy themselves. They’re making progress.”
Abrahams won the shot put with a toss of 24’6 and finished second to Whittaker in the discus, but Moore sat out the Phoenixville meet with an injury.
Moser, Gibbs, Rachel Landis and Rylee Fluharty teamed up to win the 4x400 relay in 4:26.8.
On the boys side, Mitch Fretz and Travis Kline led the way with a pair of victories apiece.
Fretz, a sophomore, took the discus (103’9) and javelin (144’4), while Kline, a junior, captured the long jump (19’7) and the triple jump (39’1).
The two teammates have developed a friendly rivalry that fuels both their performances.
“[Kline] cut one loose today (in the javelin), got a PR, and he quickly rubbed that into Mitch,” related coach MacBain.
“And then Mitch turned around and stuck a PR over top of him. It’s fun to see those guys get competitive with each other. It can only make good things happen, and they’re having fun doing it.”
MacBain sees a bright future for both and is encouraged by their performances in events that are new to them. Kline did not start throwing the javelin until three weeks ago, and Fretz is trying to learn the shot, discus and javelin at the same time.
Other winners for the boys were Mark Ziegenfuse in the 100 (11.4), Jake Keiper in the 1600 (4:51.5), Trevor Weeks in the pole vault (10’) and Robert Brett in the 100 high hurdles (17’).
The 4x100 relay of Robbie Hinson, Cory Gibson, Ziegenfuse and Kyle Kater was first in 44.2.
Coach Wright expects to see more District qualifiers, especially in relays, before the season ends and is stressing individual development.
“We’re just looking to improve every meet. We’re not concerned about wins and losses.”