Dominant day by four NTL girls at districts.

By: Brian Fees | Towanda Daily Review | May 17, 2015 | Photo courtesy Brian Fees


Dominant day by four NTL girls at districts.ATHENS - Just four girls from the NTL earned trips to states at the District 4 Track and Field Championships.

However, that number is a little deceiving since the four girls are all going in multiple events and between them qualified for states in 11 individual events and a relay.

A pair of Athens freshmen had dominant days on their home track as Breana Gambrell made states in four events, while Emily Lunger is going in three events.

Wellsboro's Jada Jackson is going in three events, including teaming with Lauren BleggiRaisa Rogers and Lindsey Graver in the 4x100 relay, and Northeast Bradford's Lydia Werner made states in two events.

A week ago Gambrell picked up one win at the NTL Championships, but on Saturday she was a three-time district champion.

"I am really excited, I was surprised, today was definitely a re-do from last week," Gambrell said. "I was not expecting this at all."

Gambrell started her day off by breaking the school record in the long jump, winning with a jump of 18-feet, 2 3/4-inches.

"18s is what I've been working for all year, it felt great," Gambrell said.

Gambrell finished third in the triple jump, making states, with a jump of 36-feet, 3-inches.

Gambrell won the 100 in 12.24 with Jackson fifth in 12.73 and Bleggi eighth at 13.10.

"It was pretty good," Gambrell said. "It wasn't my best, but it's up there."

Gambrell and Lunger went 1-2 in the 200 meters with Gambrell winning in 25.41 and Lunger second in 25.56. Bleggi was seventh at 26.82.

"That was very special, her and I winning that together, that was awesome," Gambrell said.

Going to states with Lunger is going to make things fun for Gambrell.

"She is my best friend and I'm glad I get to spend that time with her," Gambrell said.

Now that Gambrell has qualified for states the goal is to bring home a medal.

"It's my goal to at least place down there."

After making it in four events Gambrell has some decisions to make if she wants to run them all next week.

"I might scratch the two, but I'm not sure yet," she said. "It's definitely going to kill me, so I think it's best to scratch so my legs are fresh for the jumps."

That's a decision that Gambrell knows she will discuss with her dad, and coach, Ben Gambrell and her brother, Jarred Gambrell, who went to states in multiple events throughout his career.

"I'll definitely talk to them all night about it," she said.

Lunger finished third in the high jump, qualifying for states with the state standard of 5-feet, 2-inches.

For Lunger it is the second straight week she has cleared 5-feet, 2-inches or higher.

"It gives me a lot of confidence, I can't wait," Lunger said.

And, Lunger nearly had 5-feet, 4-inches, clearing the bar, but it fell as she hit the mat.

"I don't remember touching it at all, it is just my luck I guess," she said.

Werner finished fourth in the high jump at 5-feet and Rogers was seventh at 5-feet.

In the 400 meters Lunger won with a personal-best of 58.13. Williamson's Ryan Hughes took third at 1:00.73 and Wyalusing's Morgan Sutton was fifth at 1:01.26.

"I guess I was being pushed more than normal," Lunger said of why she ran such a fast time in the 400. "Now I can't wait to see how I'm pushed at states and see how my time decreases."

Werner made states in both the 100 and 300 hurdles.

In the 100 hurdles Werner was second in 15.36, with Heather Merrifield of Hughesville winning at 15.33. Cassie McDonald of Athens was fifth at 16.52 and Jocelyn Burns of Athens took seventh at 17.10.

In the 300 hurdles Werner took second in 46.50 with Merrifield winning in 45.53.

"I am so thrilled right now," Werner said.

While Werner made states in the 100 hurdles last year, she wasn't sure she could make it in the 300 hurdles.

"I was hoping really for the 100s, I didn't think I'd really be able to make it in these (300 hurdles), but I did, so I'm just ecstatic right now."

For Werner in the 300 hurdles it was a little different as she ran in an outside lane in lane two.

"I haven't been in lane two before, I don't think, so it was definitely different," she said.

For Werner as she came to the final 100 meters she just knew she had a chance to go to states.

"I wanted it," she said. "I saw where I was and I thought I feel great, so why not just go. When I came around the corner and I just started going the last 100, I thought I'm picking up speed and I'm just going to take off.

"It's going to be fantastic, I can't believe I'm going in both hurdles."

After just missing states in the high jump Werner was happy to get there in the hurdles.

"I didn't make it there, so I still wanted to go to states and I knew I had two other opportunities, so I took advantage of that," Werner said.

Jackson qualified for states in the long jump, taking second at 17-feet, 10 1/4-inches. Athens' Shanell Baglini was seventh at 16-feet, 1-inch.

After hitting 17-feet for the first time all season last week the Wellsboro junior has now consistently hit the distance the past two weeks.

"Jumping high 17s is definitely the normal now, so my goal is definitely 18 to try and shoot for that at states," Jackson said.

Jackson will be making a return trip to states in the triple jump after finishing second at 37-feet, 1/4-inch. Kirsten O'Malley of Montoursville won at 37-feet, 10 1/2-inches.

North Penn's Alysa Davey-Bostic was fourth and just missed states at 35-feet, 5-inches and Towanda's Lauren Risch was sixth at 34-feet, 5 1/4-inches.

"It's very exciting to go back in the triple jump, I want to make a tradition all four years of going in the triple jump," Jackson said.

With the way she has performed in all her events the past couple of weeks Jackson has a lot of confidence heading into districts.

"It definitely gives me more confidence," she said. "I go into every meet with confidence and confidence is definitely the key."

In the 4x100 relay the Green Hornets finished third in 50.48, hitting the state standard to make it to states.

"We were just excited, we were pumped up," Rogers said.

Waiting to see if they had the time to make it to states was tough for the Green Hornets.

"It was very stressful," Graver said.

Wellsboro went into the meet just wanting to go as fast as they could.

"Just do our best and hope for a best time," Jackson said.

Now the group is hoping they can bring home a medal next week.

"That's our goal, definitely our goal," Bleggi said.

For Jackson making it to states in three events is special.

"It's very exciting to go to states in three events, I never thought I could do that," she said. "It's going to be completely different having three events at states. I am so excited my relay team is going down, we are going to have a blast and do great."

Troy's Jenn Shults finished fifth in the discus at 102-feet, 10-inches and in the shot Towanda's Jessica Tice finished third at 34-feet, 10 1/4-inches, while Shults was fourth at 34-feet, 8 1/4-inches.

In the pole vault Towanda's Ally Tama finished sixth with a personal best of 9-feet, 6-inches.

Sarah Dawsey missed a podium finish by one place in the javelin, finishing ninth at 99-feet, 7-inches.

In the 3200 meters Canton's Randi Jennings finished third in 12:05.55 and NEB's Karli Moyer finished seventh in 12:45.64.

In the 1600 Anna Bleggi of Wellsboro finished fourth in 5:32.84 and in the 4x400 relay Towanda's team of Tama, Elaina Johnson, Sierra Cazassa and Lauren Risch finished eighth in 4:19.90.

Behind the performances of Gambrell and Lunger the Wildcats finished third as a team with 71 points, Lewisburg was second at 77 and Montoursville won with 82 points.

Wellsboro was the other NTL team in the top 10, finishing eighth with 35 points.


About the Author

Brian Fees Author Bio
Brian Fees

Brian Fees is the sports editor of the Daily & Sunday Review in Towanda, PA.