The Lenape Regional High School District girls track and field teams competed in the NJSIAA South Sectional Championships June 4-5 at two locations, Washington Township and Delsea high schools.

Cherokee, Lenape and Shawnee were in the Group 4 competition at Washington Township, while Seneca competed in Group 3 at Delsea.

The top six finishers in each event qualified for the NJSIAA State Group Championships June 11-12 at Pennsauken High School (Groups 1 and 3) or Franklin High School (Groups 2 and 4).

Cherokee, led by its winning 4-by-800 relay, placed third in Group 4 and Seneca senior Julia Greeley captured the pole vault title in Group 3.


Team Finish: 3rd, 50 points.

State Group Qualifiers: Kelsey Niglio, so., 400; 4th; 59.61 and 800; 2nd; 2:17.40; Alison Cooke, ju., 400; 6th; 1:00.22 and 400 intermediate hurdles; 4th; 1:05.76; Nicole Clifford, ju., 800; 6th; 2:22.37 and 1600; 2nd; 5:07.10; 4-by-400 relay; 2nd; 4:00.58 (Meghan Carroll, Clifford, Cooke, Erin Jackson); 4-by-800 relay; 1st; 9:29.05 (Clifford, Jackson, Niglio, Carroll); Jillian Strauss, sr., pole vault; 3rd, 9-0

Coach’s Comment: “Sectionals this year for us was a great meet,” said Cherokee coach Mark Jarvis. “With such a young team, and many competing for the first time at an outdoor sectional meet you never know what might happen, but these girls rose to the occasion. We had 18 season best performances with many of those lifetime bests. The meet started off Friday with Ali Cooke running a lifetime best in the 400 intermediate hurdles of 1:05.76 – No. 6 all time in school history - to finish fourth. Then the rain delay came. Despite sitting in uncertainty for over an hour, the meet picked up with the 1600-meter run. Nicole Clifford ran a lifetime best of 5:07.10 - No. 5 all time in school history - to place 2nd. Kerry O'Day ran her PR of 5:21.95 to place seventh and Olivia Parkinson ran a PR of 5:24.61 to place ninth. We had two girls advance in the 400 meters. Sophomore Kelsey Niglio ran 59.61 to finish fourth and Ali Cooke ran 1:00.22 to finish sixth. Friday night ended with the 4-by-800 relay, running 9:29.05 – No. 3 in school history - to win the school's first ever sectional championship in the event. Meghan Carroll (2:25.31), Nikki Clifford (2:18.65), Erin Jackson (2:23.96) and Kelsey Niglio (2:21.16).”

Jarvis continued: “Saturday was a day to bring on the heat. The 3200-meter started the day off with Kerry O'Day running 11:42.74 (7th) and Olivia Parkinson 11:48.94 (lifetime best) to finish eighth. Ali Cooke ran 16.66 to advance to the finals and then ran 16.20 in the finals to place eighth. The 800 meters saw Kelsey Niglio run a lifetime best of 2:17.40 (No. 5 all time) to place second and Nikki Clifford ran 2:22.37 to place sixth. The 4-by-100m relay team of Katie Zubryzcki, Maddie Van Haren, Jill Strauss and Alexa Ronning ran a season best time of 50.95 to finish seventh. Jill Strauss cleared 9 feet to finish third in the pole vault. Carissa Phillips had a big PR in the triple jump, getting 31-4. Freshman Maddie Van Harren ran 26.83 to finish eighth in the 200 meters. The meet ended with the 4-by-400 relay team running a season-best time of 4:00.58 to finish second with the team of Kelsey Niglio (59.3), Ali Cooke (60.7), Meghan Carroll (60.8) and Nikki Clifford (59.7).

“We are excited to see what will happen at states this coming week. Kelsey (Niglio) and Nikki (Clifford) really had a great weekend. To advance to the state meet in four events says a lot. Kelsey had the hardest time running the open 400 meters and coming back roughly 20 minutes later for the 4-by-800 relay. She is a certainly a very competitive person.”

Individual Results: 100: Madison Van Haren (15th; 13.19), Jillian Strauss (tie 20th; 13.37), Kathryn Zubrzycki (27th; 13.71). 200: Van Haren (8th; 26.83), Strauss (tie 13th; 27.54), Alexa Ronning (20th; 28.40). 400: Kelsey Niglio (400; 4th; 59.61), Alison Cooke (400; 6th; 1:00.22), Nicole Edelman (400; 19th; 1:03.42). 800: Niglio (2nd; 2:17.40), Nicole Clifford (6th; 2:22.37), Erin Jackson (10th; 2:27.24). 1600: Clifford (2nd; 5:07.10), Kerry O’Day (7th; 5:21.95), Olivia Parkinson (9th; 5:24.61). 3200: O’Day (7th; 11:42.74), Parkinson (8th; 11:48.94), Allison Rathman (20th; 13:03.55). 100 High Hurdles: Cooke (trials; 8th; 16.66, finals; 8th; 16.20), Jean Pasquarello (24th; 19.11). 400 Intermediate Hurdles: Cooke (4th; 1:05.76). 4-by 800 Relay: 1st; 9:29.05 (Clifford, Jackson, Niglio, Carroll). 4-by-100 Relay: 7th; 50.95 (Zubrzycki, Van Haren, Strauss, Ronning). 4-by-400 Relay: 2nd; 4:00.58 (Meghan Carroll, Clifford, Cooke, Erin Jackson). Long Jump: . Triple Jump: Carissa Phillips (21st; 31-4), Amanda Butler (26th; 29-7 ¾). High Jump: Jocelyn Kugler NH, Butler NH. Pole Vault: Strauss (3rd; 9-0), Isabella Kadar (tie 11th; 7-6), Edelman NH. Shot Put: Angelina Baliton (18th; 28-11 ½), Jasmeen Duque (24th; 27-4 ¾), Rachel Schor (34th; 23-1 ¾). Discus: Baliton (14th; 81-7), Duque (21st; 76-6), Despina Minou (39th; 51-0). Javelin: Baliton (tie 20th; 75-3).


Team Finish: 15th, 10 points.

State Group Qualifiers: Katherine Pappas, ju., 400; 5th; 59.75 and 800; 4th; 2:20.82; Sidney Whetstone, sr., long jump; 4th; 16-3 ¾.

Coach’s Comment: “Group 4 sectionals always a very tough meet to win. Although we were not in the team title hunt, we did have some good performances. Katherine Pappas PR'd in two events 400 (59.75) and 800 (2:20.82), and Sidney Whetstone advancing in the long jump. Looking forward to seeing how these two will do at states,” said Lenape coach Gerald Richardson.

Individual Results: 100: Keira Gibbons (26th; 13.62), Sidney Whetstone (28th; 13.76). 200: Whetstone (18th; 28.29), Gibbons (21st; 28.52). 400: Katherine Pappas (400; 5th; 59.75), Kacey Thomas (27th; 1:06.39). 800: Nicole Ficken (24th; 2:35.86), Julia Sellers (34th; 2:40.32). 1600: Ficken (29th; 5:59.20), Sellers (34th; 6:09.01), Anna Ruley (40th; 6:17.79). 3200: Ruley (28th; 13:50.04), Grace Boltz (29th; 13:53.68), Isabella Cao (30th; 14:08.98). 100 High Hurdles: Gibbons (17th; 18.35). 400 Intermediate Hurdles: Jacqueline Swann (16th; 1:14.61). 4-by 800 Relay: No entry. 4-by-100 Relay: No entry. 4-by-400 Relay: 9th; 4:25.56 (Fiken, Gibbons, Sellers, Swann). Long Jump: Whetstone (4th; 16-3 ¾), Kinder (25th; 13-10 ½). Triple Jump: Anyae Kinder (19th; 31-11). High Jump: Kinder NH. Pole Vault: No entries. Shot Put: Kayla Stewart (9th; 32-9 ½). Discus: Kaleigh Christ (26th; 72-8). Javelin: Christ (8th; 89-6), Stewart (18th; 77-6).


Team Finish: 16th, 4 points.

State Group Qualifiers: Sally Guinta, ju., high jump; 6th 4-10; Carley Polan, sr., shot put; 6th; 34-7 ¾; Kathryn McCrosson, fr., discus; 5th; 103-6.

Coach’s Comment: “Carley Polan threw a personal best of 34-07 3/4 for sixth place on Saturday morning after a long Friday night that also included a Senior Prom. Freshman Kathryn McCrosson threw a personal best in discus of 103-06 and placed fifth. Sally Giunta jumped a season's best 4-10 to take sixth place in high jump just two weeks after returning from injury. The field did a great job this weekend and are looking forward to competing at states. Notable personal records on the track were Kyra Birdsall in the 1600 with a time of 5:29.93, Madelyn Valasek in the 3200 with a time of 12:28.47and Emmalynn Malixi in 400 with time 1:05.87. The 4-by-400 relay also ran a season's best with a time of 4:17.03,” said Shawnee coach Darren Welsh.

Individual Results: 100: Diana DeMarco (12th; 13.10), Amy Lynam (tie 18th; 13.36), Sophia Constantinou (23rd; 13.41). 200: Lynam (15th; 27.77), Morgan Broderick (28th; 29.70). 400: Mackenzie McCready (16th; 1:02.70), Emmalynn Malixi (25th; 1:05.87), Laura Tedesco (400; 35th; 1:10.79). 800: Jillian Anderson (22nd; 2:35.03), Charlee Grovatt (23rd; 2:35.53), Ryann Sheehan (36th; 2:41.54). 1600: Kyra Birdsall (11th; 5:29.93), Madison Koveloski (21st; 5:42.15), Sydney Kiernan (22nd; 5:44.21). 3200: Madelyn Valasek (13th; 12:28.47), Maddie Baughman (25th; 13:27.17). 100 High Hurdles: No entries. 400 Intermediate Hurdles: Casey Riley (33rd; 1:224.01), Grace Johnstone (36th; 1:28.52), Kaitlin Sullivan (37th; 1:37.94). 4-by 800 Relay: 8th; 10:32.81 (Grovatt, Koveloski, Sheehan, Birdsall). 4-by-100 Relay: 12th; 54.67 (Brooke Tenet, Constantinou, Tedesco, Kate Gsell). 4-by-400 Relay: 8th; 4:17.03 (Constantinou, Morgan Broderick, Lynam, McCready) 4:17.03. Long Jump: Lynam (tie 10th; 15-6 ¼), Gsell (14th; 15-2 ½), Lindsey Millere (tie 30th; 12-0). Triple Jump: Gsell (18th; 32-1), Rebecca Howley (NM). High Jump: Sally Guinta (6th 4-10), Millere (tie 11th; 4-6), Riley NH. Pole Vault: Gabrielle Pullen NH, Morgan Kelly NH. Shot Put: Carley Polan (6th; 34-7 ¾), Kathryn McCrosson (17th; 29-1), Allison Burton (33rd; 24-5). Discus: Kathryn McCrosson (5th; 103-6), Polan (7th; 98-1), Guinta (tie 11th; 84-9). Javelin: Guinta (12th; 82-5), McCrosson (16th; 78-0).


Team Finish: 9th; 28 points (Group 3).

State Group Qualifiers: 4-by-100 relay; 5th; 51.83 (so. Kyra Julius, ju. Mia Hill, sr. Julie Greeley, fr. Emma Buttocovla), 4-by-800 relay; 3rd; 10:31.18 (fr. Alex Butcher, ju. Delaney Hackney, ju. Elizabeth Heinemann, so. Megan O’Keefe), Julie Greeley, sr., pole vault; 1st; 11-9; Mia Hill, ju., long jump; 3rd; 16-9 ¾; Tess Strittmatter, ju., shot put; 5th; 34-1; Aspen Mazzatta, sr., discus; 5th; 106-10.

Coach’s Comment: “We were very happy with our performance at sectionals,” said Seneca coach Kasey Colombo. “We had a third-place finish by Mia Hill in long jump, which was not expected. Mia jumped a PR of 16-9 3/4, we were so proud of her! Our pole vaulter, Julia Greeley, was expected to win but not with an awesome PR of 11-9 and very good attempts at 12-0 (school record, Brittney Raffo, 2016). We are excited to see what Julia can do at states! Our throwers, Tess Strittmatter and Aspen Mazzatta, were seeded seventh going into sectionals in both of their events and they both ended up finishing in fifth place with PRs. Their hard work this season really paid off. We were super happy with our relay teams, 4-by-800 and 4-by-100, finishing third and fifth, respectively. The girls love competing as a team and are excited to see if they can improve their times at states.”

Individual Results: 100: Mia Hill (trials; 8th; 12.86, finals; 7th; 12.95), Emma Buttocovla (18th; 13.33), Amanda Benzenhafer (27th; 13.58). 200: Kya Julius (tie 28th; 28.50), Benzenhafer (tie 28th; 28.50), Haylee Mehigan (44th; 30.04). 400: No entries. 800: Megan O’Keefe (9th; 2:32.14), Alex Butcher (14th; 2:35.58), Elizabeth Heinemann (16th; 2:36.75). 1600: Delaney Hackney (13th; 5:58.09), Lindsey Hough (19th; 6:13.85). 3200: No entries. 100 High Hurdles: Remington Walter (12th; 18.99), Amanda Welsh (21st; 21.84). 400 Intermediate Hurdles: Catie Andrews (15th; 1:17.90). 4-by 800 Relay: 3rd; 10:31.18 (Heinemann, Hackney, Butcher, O’Keefe). 4-by-100 Relay: 5th; 51.83 (Julius, Hill, Julia Greeley, Buttocovla). 4-by-400 Relay: 8th; 4:22.76 (Hill, O’Keefe, Hough, Buttocovla). Long Jump: Hill (3rd; 16-9 ¾), Julius (22nd; 14-2), Benzenhafer (23rd; 13-9 ½). Triple Jump: Katyra King (16th; 30-7), Julius (20th; 30-1 ½), Benzenhafer (24th; 28-8). High Jump: Jillian Humphries (7th; 4-10). Pole Vault: Greeley (1st; 11-9), Walter (tie 8th; 8-6). Shot Put: Tess Strittmatter (5th; 34-1), Talia Lemyre (20th; 28-7), Aspen Mazzatta (23rd; 27-11). Discus: Mazzatta (5th; 106-10), Strittmatter (16th; 84-1), Lemyre (tie 20th; 80-4). Javelin: Mason Laarkamp (10th; 88-9), Strittmatter (12th; 86-2), Jessica Pronchick (28th; 38-10).

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