Girls Varsity Track & Field
Game Summaries & Headlines.
Williamsport Sun-Gazette Reporter Mitch Rupert announces the Girls Track & Field All-Decade Team
2010: Class AA first place (Shannon Wright, Hannah Bowen, Kalyn Fisher, Julia Buffinton, 9:19.47)
One of two state champions in the event from the decade, Lewisburg’s winning time was six seconds faster than that of Montoursville’s 2011 state championship team. The Green Dragons had the best anchor in the state in Kalyn Fisher, who later in the day would wrap up her third consecutive state championship in the open 800. But around her was a cast which included a pair of state qualifiers in the 1,600 (Shannon Wright and Hannah Bowen) and a District 4 finalist in the 800 (Julia Buffinton). The Green Dragons outpaced their district-winning time by 20 seconds in the PIAA final to defeat perennial championship contender Central Cambria by 5 seconds.
Torrey Hollis, Hughesville
2011: Class AA first place (15.10)
Hollis was a team manager for the Hughesville track team when Rachel Houseknecht won a state championship in the 100 hurdles in 2007. Before leaving the Spartans, Hollis earned a gold medal of her own. Hughesville has become synonymous over the years with great hurdlers, but nobody was better during the last decade than Hollis. She took just two losses as a senior in her signature event. One came to eventual 300 meter hurdles state champion Brodie Ercole of Lewisburg at the Susquehanna Valley Coaches Invitational two weeks before states by .14 seconds. The other was a .02-second loss to Penn State recruit Brianna Rauenzahn of Blue Mountain at the early-season Mount Carmel Invitational. Other than that, Hollis was flawless. She won her preliminary heat in the 100 hurdles at states and followed it with a win in her semifinal heat. And consider this, the seven finalists she bested for state gold went on to combine for 26 PIAA medals and four state titles.
Heaven Maeshack, Williamsport
2013: Class AAA qualifier; 2014: Class AAA qualifier; 2015: Class AAA qualifier; 2016: Class AAA qualifier
During the decade, only two athletes in District 4 — boys or girls — qualified for four consecutive state meets in the 100 meters. One was Bloomsburg’s Jahvel Hemphill, who is the only runner in state history to win four 100-meter state titles. The other is Maeshack. Even though she never reached the podium in Shippensburg, the Williamsport product was the most consistent winner for the Millionaires from the day she arrived as a freshman. She was a four-time District 4 champion in the 100 meters and a two-time 200-meter champion. On top of that, she garnered three individual Heartland Conference meet titles. Maeshack still holds the Williamsport school record in the 100 at 12.15, and just for good measure she was a member of four district championship 400 relay teams and helped the Millionaires finish 10th in the event at states in 2015. That team’s PR of 48.61 was less than two-tenths off the school record set in 1986.
Jenna Farmer, Lewisburg
2014: Class AAA fourth place (4:56.49); 2015: Class AA second palce (5:04.19)
For the most part, when Farmer ran for the Lewisburg, the Green Dragons won. She was a five-time individual District 4 champion for Lewisburg, three times winning the 800 and twice winning the 1,600. She helped the Green Dragons’ 3,200 relay team to three consecutive district championships which turned into three consecutive state medals. And just for good measure, she helped the 1,600 relay team finish seventh in the state in 2014. She was as consistent a competitor in the district as there was during the decade, and few owned an event the way she owned the 800 and 1,600. Even though she won three 800 district titles, she ran in the event at states just once, placing ninth as a sophomore. She finished as a six-time state medalist, with her best result a silver medal in the 1,600 as a senior.
Melanie Hartley, Milton
2012: Class AA sixth place (58.35)
This has not been an event of immense success for area athletes over the last decade. In fact, only two athletes — Hartley and Lewisburg’s Elena Malone — have placed at the state meet in the 400 over the past 10 seasons. And for Hartley, it was her lone individual appearance at the state meet. But for a couple glorious weeks in 2012, Hartley caught lightning in a bottle and turned it into a state medal. Hartley went under 1 minute in the 400 for the first time at the Heartland Conference meet that season. She won her only district title the following posting a new PR of 58.38, breaking 59 seconds for the first time. She ran the best race of her career in the prelims at the state meet (58.25) and had her second-best career time in the final (58.35) to earn her only state medal.
2011: Class AA third place (Rachel Brame, Olivia Lopes, Ines Antensteiner, Jaclyn Fisher, 48.66)
Ines Antensteiner was a mainstay on Lewisburg’s sprint relays during the first two years of the decade. She was such a presence, she sacrificed individual success to help the 400 and 1,600 relays. She was a two-time District 4 champion in the 200 and a one-time runner-up in the 100. And she was the key cog in this best-finishing relay team. Antensteiner was joined by Rachel Brame, Olivia Lopes and Jaclyn Fisher on a team which went sub-49 seconds at the state meet and still finished third. It was one of only two times during the decade the top three teams in the 400 relay at the state meet all went under 49 seconds. Brame was a three-time District 4 finalist in the 100 and a one-time state qualifier. Lopes was a sub-13-second 100-meter runner, and Fisher helped round out the team which set a district-meet record in both 2010 and 2011 which was previously held by the Lewisburg team which won a state title in 2005.
Brodie Ercole, Lewisburg
2011: Class AA first place (44.17)
Ercole’s comeback story was fierce. So fierce, in fact, that she was almost unbeatable in her signature event for her final season. She missed a large majority of he junior season in 2010 after breaking her collarbone in April. It was a season in which she was poised to break through as one of the state’s best in one of the most grueling events. Instead, she channeled that energy and work into her senior season. Ercole, as a sophomore, was a state qualifier in the 300 hurdles who was hovering around the 48-second mark in the event as a sophomore when she first qualified for states. She came back as a senior sitting at 46 seconds before putting together the best race of her career when it mattered most. She ran the fourth-best time of the prelims to win her heat and then improved on her personal best time in the finals by more than a second to win a state championship.
Kalyn Fisher, Lewisburg
2010: Class AA first place (2:10.62)
The reality is Fisher is one of District 4’s all-time great track athletes. We were just fortunate enough for the purpose of this list she competed as a senior in 2010. It was a season in which Fisher was more unbeatable than the 1972 Miami Dolphins. She was the rightful anchor on the 3,200 relay which one state gold. She was on the 1,600 relay which took bronze. She ran as hard as was necessary during the season, winning with ease with times in the mid-2:10s. But when pushed is when you saw her greatness shine through. Her time of 2:10.62 was bested only three times during the decade, and all three times it came in a state-meet record performance. How good was Fisher? She set the district meet record as a sophomore in 2008 and it still stands even though it was 4 seconds slower than her PR.
GeZoriea Amos, Williamsport
2012: Class AAA qualifier; 2015: Class AAA seventh place (24.91)
One of the most naturally-gifted female athletes Williamsport produced over the last decade. When she ran, she was in control of what was happening on the track. While she showed glimpses of the dominating force she could be in the sprints early in her career — she was a district champion and a state qualifier in the 100 and 200 as a freshman — it was her senior season when she did her most impressive work. As a senior she won the Selinsgrove Invitational in the 200, the Lock Haven High School Classic, the Heartland Conference meet and the District 4 title. Her fourth-place finish at the Jack Roddick Invitational at Shippensburg was behind three runners from Susquehanna Township who would eventually medal at the state meet. The 24.91 she ran to finish seventh in the state was 2.5 seconds faster than the time she ran at the state meet as a freshman. And, just for good measure, she helped the Millionaires win a pair of district 400 relay titles, including taking 10th at the state meet as a senior. Her career-best time of 24.89 is still a school record.
Isabel Sagar, Loyalsock
2017: Class AA qualifier; 2018: Class AA second place (10:51.06)
Maybe no area athlete since Kalyn Fisher was more dominant in their signature event on the track than Sagar was over he final two seasons at Loyalsock. A transfer from Texas as a sophomore, Sagar was an instant success, winning a district cross country title that fall. She only got better from there, winning a pair of District 4 titles in the 3,200 and another one in the 1,600. Only an injury her senior season kept her from winning a third consecutive 3,200 title as her season’s-best and personal-best time that year of 10:32.09 was the second-best time run by a Class AA runner in the state in 2019. She won all seven 1,600 meter races she entered in 2019, and six of the seventh 3,200 races. Her second-place finish as a junior in the state in the 3,200 was tied with Warrior Run’s Lauren Trapani for the highest state-meet finish in the event for the decade.
2010: Class AA third place (Olivia Lopes, Kalyn Fisher, Ines Antensteiner, Jenny Bierly, 3:54.90)
It should really come as no surprise there was so much overlap between this relay team, the 2010 3,200 relay team and the 2011 400 relay team. The individual pieces were fast in their own right. Collectively, they dominated nearly every relay they ran. Part of what made Lewisburg so good for so long in the relays, is the competition which was present just to get on the team. Lopes, Antensteiner and Fisher finished their careers with multiple state medals and were the core of this team. But Bierly was a former state qualifier in the 400 who also won a silver medal in the event at districts. This group still holds the District 4 meet record.
Rachel Fatherly, Williamsport
2010: Class AA sixth place (39-8 1/2); 2011: Class AAA third place (43-2 1/4); 2012: Class AAA first place (46-9 1/2)
Few area athletes enjoyed the success they did at the high school level and followed it up at the collegiate level the way Fatherly did. She could have been represented on the list at either the shot put or the discus, where she was a state champion and multiple-time medalist in each event. In her career she garnered six state medals, including one in all four seasons in the shot put. She doubled up on gold medals as a senior in 2012 winning both the shot put and discus state titles. She was also a Penn Relays shot put champion in 2012. Fatherly was the only area girl to win an individual state title in multiple events over the last decade. Her winning throw in the shot in 2012 was the sixth-best throw of the decade, regardless of class, at the state meet.
Kate Allred, Lewisburg
2016: Class AA sixth place (130-1); 2017: Class AA third place (137-5)
One of the most underrated performers of the last decade, Allred helped balance an always potent lineup of runners with major points in the field. Most impressively, Allred won her second consecutive state medal as a junior dealing with a back injury which left her in pain every time she threw. An injury eventually stole almost her entire senior season, but her legacy had already been cemented for the Green Dragons. She was a two-time discus district champion and a one-time shot put district runner-up. She finished behind a pair of eventual Top-3 state placewinners at her first three invitationals of the 2017 season but then ran off eight consecutive victories in the discus leading into her third-place finish at states. Her career-best throw of 137-5 was the 29th-best throw of the decade at the state meet.
Jenna Wargo, Lewisburg
2010: Class AA fourth place (138-7)
Wargo finished as a two-time state placewinner in the javelin, but only her 2010 fourth-place finish came this decade. A consistent scorer in all three throws for Lewisburg, Wargo was a District 4 discus and javelin champion and a shot put runner-up in 2010. She got a taste of some of the best competition in the country as a senior, competing at the Penn Relays where she finished 14th in the javelin. Her personal best came in the Susquehanna Valley League meet as a senior where she popped a 147-3, and she went on to the University of Louisville where she still holds the school record in the javelin. She was also an NCAA qualifier as a graduate student at the University of Georgia.
Hailey Zurich, Loyalsock
2019: Class AA first place (18-1 1/2)
Let’s be honest, this was not Zurich’s signature event. She was one of only two local athletes to place four consecutive years at the state meet in one event. Williamsport’s Rachel Fatherly is the other. But this was the event where Zurich won her only state title. She was a two-time runner-up in the pole vault (once to South Williamsport’s Katie Jones) and her long jump state title was pretty improbable considering she had just begun to take the event seriously as a senior. But a list of the decade’s best which did not include Zurich would be a farce. The key points from her signature event as a pole vault translated to the other areas of her career. Runway speed helped her win a District 4 100-meter title and twice run on a state medal-winning 400 relay team. The jumping aspect, well you can see what it did for her here in the long jump. Zurich was potentially the area’s best all-around girls track and field athlete of the entire decade. Just let that sink in.
Jada Jackson, Wellsboro
2013: Class AA qualifier; 2014: Class AA qualifier; 2015: Class AA third place (36-11)
This event was one of the most difficult to select because of the depth of competitors. You had the bright flash of Montoursville’s Kaylee Caruso who competed in the event just one season and took third in the state. Warriors teammate Kirsten O’Malley was a three-time state qualifier and-time placewinner. And Wellsboro’s Dahlia Hosey once took fourth in the state. But where Jada Jackson stands out is her consistency. A three-time state qualifier in the event, Jackson finished 11th, ninth and third in the event. The same year she took third in the triple jump in the state, she also took fourth in the long jump. Although she never won a district championship, she finished in the Top 3 in the triple jump each season, taking second behind Caruso as a freshman, third behind eventual state champion Britni Phillips and O’Malley as a sophomore and second behind O’Malley as a junior. Captured three consecutive Northern Tier League triple jump titles.
Amelia McCloy, Central Mountain
2018: Class AAA fifth place (5-4); 2019: Class AAA second place (5-8)
McCloy was a nervous bundle of energy when she jumped. She was always up front about having to deal with her own anxiety as much as the bar which she had to jump over. But in the moment when he toe would line up on her mark, a sense of calm always seemed to flow over the Central Mountain jumper. Coming from a jumping family where her older brother Samuel set the boys school record and her older sister Grayson set the girls school record, McCloy seamlessly transitioned into the next great jumper in the family. She was a three-time Heartland meet champion, a two-time District 6 champion, and a two-time state placewinner. It took a state-meet record jump from three-time state champion Lydia Bottelier of Palisades to defeat McCloy at the 2019 state meet where she set a school record of 5 feet, 8 inches to win silver. Her 5-8 jump would have been good enough to win a state title in six of the decade’s 10 years.
Katie Jones, South Williamsport
2014: Class AA qualifier; 2015: Class AA fourth place (11-0); 2016: Class AA first place (13-0); 2017: Class AA first place (13-4)
Very few area athletes can make the argument they were the best the state has ever seen in their event. Jones is one who can and, quite honestly, it’s not a difficult argument for her to make. She set the state’s outdoor record by clearing 13-feet, 7-inches at the District 4 meet as a senior. She set the PIAA state meet-record with a vault of 13-4 a week later. She was a Penn Relays champion, a two-time New Balance Outdoor Nationals runner-up. And after finishing fourth in the state as a sophomore, Jones never lost another PIAA competition she entered. She made an impossibly difficult event look so effortless and easy. Crowds formed to watch her jump and if a record wasn’t set it was almost a disappointment. She held herself to impossible standards and somehow managed to live up to them all.