Payden Montana, Abby Norwillo pull off surprising finishes at PIAA Track and Field Championships


Banas, Chafin and Robinson also make PIAA medal stand

By Paul Sokoloski - [email protected]



Berwick’s Payden Montana competes during the girls Class 3A shotput Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University. Montana set a personal record with a throw of 42-06 1/2 feet to take a bronze medal in the event for the highest finish among Wyoming Valley Conference competitors.


Hanover Area’s Brandon Chafin finished fifth to earn his first state medal in the boys Class 2A long jump Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.


Hanover Area’s Brandon Chafin competes in the boys Class 2A long jump Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.


Holy Redeemer’s Caroline Banas made her second straight trip to the state medal stand by finishing tied for fourth place in the girls Class 2A high jump Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.


Holy Redeemer’s Caroline Banas competes in the girls Class 2A high jump Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.


Coughlin’s Madisyn Hawkins competes in the girls Class 3A pole vault Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University. Hawkins finished tied for ninth place.


Coughlin’s Madisyn Hawkins competes in the girls Class 3A pole vault Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.


Hanover Area senior Nick Minnich finished 11th in the boys Class 2A high jump Friday in his first season of competing in track and field at the PIAA Championships at Shippensburg University.


Friday’s Results

Class 3A

Boys

Name, Grade`School`Event`Time`Finish

Uzee Ukattah, Sr.`Dallas`100 dash`11.34`17

Tyler Wozniak, Sr.`Valley West`shot put`51-0`17

Matthew Houser, Sr.`Hazleton Area`300 hurdles`40.61`T-17

Franco Balbuena, Sr.`Coughlin`1600 run`4:28.97`18

Ray Richard, Jr.`Valley West`400 dash`48.85`Q

Girls

Name, Grade`School`Event`Time`Finish

Payden Montana, So.`Berwick`shot put`42-06.50`3

Abby Norwillo, So.`Pittston Area`pole vault`12-0`5

Madisyn Hawkins, Jr.`Coughlin`pole vault`11-6`T-9

Bree Bednarski, Sr.`Wyoming Area`100 dash`12.79`22

x-Bree Bednarski, Sr.`Wyoming Area`200 dash`25.87`Q

Class 2A

Boys

Name, Grade`School`Event`Time`Finish

Brandon Chafin, Jr.`Hanover Area`long jump`22-0.50`5

Mark Robinson, Sr.`Meyers`long jump`21-11.75`6

Carlo Telesco, Sr.`Meyers`discus`137-11`9

Nick Minnich, Sr.`Hanover Area`high jump`6-0`T-11

Mohammad Chesson, Jr.`Hanover Area`100 dash`11.88`23

x-Raheem Twyman, Sr.`Meyers`110 hurdles`14.85`Q

x-Raheem Twyman, Sr.`Meyers`300 hurdles`38.76`Q

x-Tanner Kennedy, Sr.`Northwest`100 dash`11.38`Q

x-Mohammad Chesson, Jr.`Hanover Area`200 dash`23.20`Q

x-Tanner Kennedy, Sr.`Northwest`200 dash`22.79`Q

Girls

Name, Grade`School`Event`Time`Finish

Caroline Banas, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`high jump`5-4`T-4

Karen Hilenski, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`discus`104-10`14

Amiah Lukowski, Fr.`Nanticoke Area`100 dash`12.92`T-20

x-Autumn Kaminski, Jr.`Holy Redeemer`100 hurdles`15.91`Q

x-Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Jr.`Meyers`100 dash`12.29`Q

x-Amiah Lukowski, Fr.`Nanticoke Area`200 dash`26.15`Q

Relay team; Time; Finish

Meyers boys Class 2A 3200 (Simran Magnat, Sr., Rudy Rivera, Jr., Josh Schiowitz, So., Tim Snyder, Sr.); 8:24.56; 13

Wyoming Area girls Class 3A 400 (Jalen Rhodes, So.; Jillian Spak, Sr.; Vanessa Shedlock, Jr.; Bree Bednarski, Sr.); 49.18; 13

Coughlin boys Class 3A 400 (Mike Brown, Sr., Cole Horan, So., Vincent Todd, So., Nick Carman, Sr. ); 43.25; 19

Lake-Lehman girls Class 3A 3200 (Jade Fry, So.; Jace Garnick, So; Haley Kubiski, Jr.; Olivia Vasey, So.); 9:41

9.81; 20

Lake-Lehman boys Class 2A 400 (Tyler Billotti, Fr.; Trey Borger, Jr.; Nick Eury, Sr.; Zach Oulajahadamed, Sr.); DNF; 28

x-Qualified for Saturday’s semifinals and finals

Banas, Chafin and Robinson also make PIAA medal stand

By Paul Sokoloski

[email protected]

Berwick’s Payden Montana competes during the girls Class 3A shotput Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University. Montana set a personal record with a throw of 42-06 1/2 feet to take a bronze medal in the event for the highest finish among Wyoming Valley Conference competitors.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_track1-1.jpgBerwick’s Payden Montana competes during the girls Class 3A shotput Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University. Montana set a personal record with a throw of 42-06 1/2 feet to take a bronze medal in the event for the highest finish among Wyoming Valley Conference competitors.

Hanover Area’s Brandon Chafin finished fifth to earn his first state medal in the boys Class 2A long jump Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_track2-1.jpgHanover Area’s Brandon Chafin finished fifth to earn his first state medal in the boys Class 2A long jump Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.

Hanover Area’s Brandon Chafin competes in the boys Class 2A long jump Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_track3-1.jpgHanover Area’s Brandon Chafin competes in the boys Class 2A long jump Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.

Holy Redeemer’s Caroline Banas made her second straight trip to the state medal stand by finishing tied for fourth place in the girls Class 2A high jump Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_track4-1.jpgHoly Redeemer’s Caroline Banas made her second straight trip to the state medal stand by finishing tied for fourth place in the girls Class 2A high jump Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.

Holy Redeemer’s Caroline Banas competes in the girls Class 2A high jump Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_track5-1.jpgHoly Redeemer’s Caroline Banas competes in the girls Class 2A high jump Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.

Coughlin’s Madisyn Hawkins competes in the girls Class 3A pole vault Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University. Hawkins finished tied for ninth place.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_track6-1.jpgCoughlin’s Madisyn Hawkins competes in the girls Class 3A pole vault Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University. Hawkins finished tied for ninth place.

Coughlin’s Madisyn Hawkins competes in the girls Class 3A pole vault Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_track7-1.jpgCoughlin’s Madisyn Hawkins competes in the girls Class 3A pole vault Friday during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.

Hanover Area senior Nick Minnich finished 11th in the boys Class 2A high jump Friday in his first season of competing in track and field at the PIAA Championships at Shippensburg University.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_track8-1.jpgHanover Area senior Nick Minnich finished 11th in the boys Class 2A high jump Friday in his first season of competing in track and field at the PIAA Championships at Shippensburg University.

SHIPPENSBURG — Deep in her heart, Payden Montana knew she could hit a new distance.

Abby Norwillo had no idea she’d reach such heights.

Yet, both Wyoming Valley Conference athletes pulled off major surprises during the field events portion on the opening day of the PIAA Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University.

Berwick’s Montana moved into the top three in the state Friday, throwing the shot put 42-01 1/2 feet to finish with a bronze medal, just before Norwillo of Pittston Area cleared 12-feet to make the medal stand in the pole vault.

Both marks were personal bests for each sophomore state medalist.

“I was aiming for it,” said Montana, who moved up five spots from her No. 8 seeding in the girls Class 3A shot put. “Competition day, it’s always more adrenaline, more energy. At districts (where state seeding is obtained), I didn’t throw as far as I did earlier in the season. I knew I had more in me.

“Third place is all I was asking for. “

Norwillo wasn’t even asking for that much.

An 18th seed coming in, the Pittston Area sophomore wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near the girls Class 3A pole vault finals. But Norwillo kept clearing each height while watching 27 other competitors in the event fall out.

She cleared 12 feet faster than Spring Grove’s Nathalie Elliott, who finished sixth, and Hempfield’s Molly DeBone, who wound up seventh, before Norwillo got hung up on the 12-6 height to wind up the fifth-best pole vaulter among Class 3A girls at states.

“It’s such a shock, honestly,” said Norwillo, who was almost speechless after making the state medal stand. “I wanted to PR (set a personal record) today. That was the goal, to clear 12 feet. I’ve been working so hard for it, ever since I made it (the state meet) in districts. “

Hard work produced big dividends for a few other WVC athletes who were rewarded with state medals.

Holy Redeemer senior Caroline Banas cleared 5-4 to win her second state medal in the girls Class 2A high jump, finishing in a fourth-place tie with Lydia Bottelier of Palisades.

And the boys Class 2A long jump produced a pair of WVC medalists, as Hanover Area’s Brandon Chafin took fifth place and Mark Robinson of Meyers finished sixth.

Banas easily jumped the 5-4 height, but seemed to run out of steam when the bar moved to 5-6 on an especially hot and humid day at Shippensburg’s Seth Grove Stadium.

“I wish I cleared 5-6,” said Banas, who jumped 5-7 earlier this season. “I’m still happy I medaling and placing fourth. I hit 5-6 and I couldn’t clear it. I don’t know, I guess I didn’t have as much energy in my legs. But I’m walking away happy. That was my goal, to medal. I did.”

So did Chafin, although he fell a couple spots from his third-place seeding and dropped more than a foot from his District 2 championship jump.

“I got fifth — not really what I wanted,” said Chafin, a junior who wound up with a fifth-place jump of 22-1. “That really wasn’t what I was looking for. But I have to live with that.”

He’ll live with taking home his first state medal after bowing out early in the same state event last season.

“I’ll take it,” Chafin said. “I’m so happy I got one.”

So is Robinson, whose leap of 21-11 set a personal best by three inches and gave him a long-sought long jump medal in his final state meet at his future home. The Mohawks senior is headed to play football at Shippensburg in the fall, but he won’t join the track team.

“This is the last track event of my life,” Robinson said. “I’ll never do track again. I could, but I don’t want to. So it was do-or-die. First long jump medal at states, feels great.

“I’m going to end it on a good note.”

They’re far from finished.

Meyers standout Raheem Twyman qualified first for Saturday’s 110 meter and 300-meter boys Class 2A finals after finishing the 300 hurdles with a state silver medal last year.

In Class 2A, Meyers sprinter Nalasjia Harris-Johnson will run the girls Class 2A 100 dash semifinals, while Nanticoke Area freshman Amiah Lukowski and Wyoming Area senior Bree Bednarski qualified for the girls Class 2A 200 dash semis. Hanover Area’s Mohammad Chesson will join them in the semifinals of the boys Class 2A 200.

Holy Redeemer hurdler Autumn Kaminski made the girls 100 hurdles field along with Northwest’s Tanner Kennedy in the 100 boys sprints after qualifying Friday for the final day’s semifinals and finals. And Wyoming Valley West’s Ray Richard will join them in the boys Class 3A 400 field.

That intense action will begin at 9 a.m., when Lake-Lehman’s Syracuse-bound star Dominic Hockenbury trying to win his third straight state gold medal in the boys Class 2A 3,200-meter run. He’ll be followed by Dallas’ second-seeded girls Class 3A high jumper Katie Kravitsky, Hazleton Area’s fourth-seeded girls Class 3A javelin thrower Kayla Merkel and Berwick’s Montana, seeded fourth in the girls Class 3A discus throw, favored to win more state medals.

“I got to be here for two years, got comfortable with the situation,” Montana said. “I’m definitely looking for another podium.”

Friday’s Results

Class 3A

Boys

Name, Grade`School`Event`Time`Finish

Uzee Ukattah, Sr.`Dallas`100 dash`11.34`17

Tyler Wozniak, Sr.`Valley West`shot put`51-0`17

Matthew Houser, Sr.`Hazleton Area`300 hurdles`40.61`T-17

Franco Balbuena, Sr.`Coughlin`1600 run`4:28.97`18

Ray Richard, Jr.`Valley West`400 dash`48.85`Q

Girls

Name, Grade`School`Event`Time`Finish

Payden Montana, So.`Berwick`shot put`42-06.50`3

Abby Norwillo, So.`Pittston Area`pole vault`12-0`5

Madisyn Hawkins, Jr.`Coughlin`pole vault`11-6`T-9

Bree Bednarski, Sr.`Wyoming Area`100 dash`12.79`22

x-Bree Bednarski, Sr.`Wyoming Area`200 dash`25.87`Q

Class 2A

Boys

Name, Grade`School`Event`Time`Finish

Brandon Chafin, Jr.`Hanover Area`long jump`22-0.50`5

Mark Robinson, Sr.`Meyers`long jump`21-11.75`6

Carlo Telesco, Sr.`Meyers`discus`137-11`9

Nick Minnich, Sr.`Hanover Area`high jump`6-0`T-11

Mohammad Chesson, Jr.`Hanover Area`100 dash`11.88`23

x-Raheem Twyman, Sr.`Meyers`110 hurdles`14.85`Q

x-Raheem Twyman, Sr.`Meyers`300 hurdles`38.76`Q

x-Tanner Kennedy, Sr.`Northwest`100 dash`11.38`Q

x-Mohammad Chesson, Jr.`Hanover Area`200 dash`23.20`Q

x-Tanner Kennedy, Sr.`Northwest`200 dash`22.79`Q

Girls

Name, Grade`School`Event`Time`Finish

Caroline Banas, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`high jump`5-4`T-4

Karen Hilenski, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`discus`104-10`14

Amiah Lukowski, Fr.`Nanticoke Area`100 dash`12.92`T-20

x-Autumn Kaminski, Jr.`Holy Redeemer`100 hurdles`15.91`Q

x-Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Jr.`Meyers`100 dash`12.29`Q

x-Amiah Lukowski, Fr.`Nanticoke Area`200 dash`26.15`Q

Relay team; Time; Finish

Meyers boys Class 2A 3200 (Simran Magnat, Sr., Rudy Rivera, Jr., Josh Schiowitz, So., Tim Snyder, Sr.); 8:24.56; 13

Wyoming Area girls Class 3A 400 (Jalen Rhodes, So.; Jillian Spak, Sr.; Vanessa Shedlock, Jr.; Bree Bednarski, Sr.); 49.18; 13

Coughlin boys Class 3A 400 (Mike Brown, Sr., Cole Horan, So., Vincent Todd, So., Nick Carman, Sr. ); 43.25; 19

Lake-Lehman girls Class 3A 3200 (Jade Fry, So.; Jace Garnick, So; Haley Kubiski, Jr.; Olivia Vasey, So.); 9:41

9.81; 20

Lake-Lehman boys Class 2A 400 (Tyler Billotti, Fr.; Trey Borger, Jr.; Nick Eury, Sr.; Zach Oulajahadamed, Sr.); DNF; 28

x-Qualified for Saturday’s semifinals and finals

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski

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