By Rich Rhoades
BROOKVILLE — With just three title performances, the Kane Wolves ran away with the team title at Friday night’s District 9 Class AA Track and Field Championships.
But there were plenty of other scoring going on as the Wolves won their third straight title with 99 points, easily ahead of Karns City’s runner-up point total of 64.
The titles came, not surprisingly, in the pole vault from Shane Rolick, the 4×400-meter relay of Chris Hunt, Hunter Yasurek, Chris Udovich and Nathan Moore, and Griffin Greenwalt in the shot put.
Rolick cleared 13 feet and stretched the Wolves’ district title streak to nine straight years. His teammate Tyler Rolick also cleared 13 feet, but Shane won on the fewer misses tiebreaker. The 4×400 relay crossed the line in 3:32.69, almost two seconds ahead of Karns City. Greenwalt won the shot put with a toss of 44 feet, 7 ¾ inches.
From there, the Wolves had five other runner-up finishes that also secured a berth in next weekend’s PIAA Championships at Shippensburg University. Hunt added second-place finishes in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs. Joseph Newton was second in the 110 hurdles and Nathan Moore was second in the 300 hurdles. The 4×800 relay of Jon-Luke Gelsick, Udovich, Bailey Colson and Hunter Yasurek also finished second.
This year’s James Manners Award went to Brookville’s Braiden Smith, who had a busy and successful day all over the complex. Smith, heavily favored in the 110 hurdles, won with a time of 14.96 seconds, coming within a hair of Port Allegany’s Nick Conway’s record of 14.9 set last year. Smith also won the high jump (5 feet, 10 inches), also qualified for states in the triple jump with a runner-up finish and added a third in the 300 hurdles.
Clarion’s Ian Corbett was a double-winner, taking the 100 dash and long jump while finishing second in the 200 dash. Bobcats junior Liam Raehsler won the 3,200 run.
Karns City’s Logan Moroney was second to Corbett in the 100, but beat him in the 200 dash. He also joined teammates Tyler Kepple, Zach Moore and Nathan Weckerly on the winning 4×100 relay. The Gremlins’ 4×400 relay of Dakota Mohney, Collin Dunmyre, Chandler Turner and Wyatt Everetts qualified for states with a runner-up finish.
Brookville’s Ryan Thrush became the first freshman to win the 1,600 run since Smethport great Ben Hahn did it back in 2004.
Northern Potter’s Matt Morgan and Ethan Kibbe finished 1-2 in the 800 run and joined Aaron Olney and Jason Perry on the winning 4×800 relay. The Panthers’ 4×800 was sixth at states last year.
Also picking up district titles were Keystone’s Gideon Coleman in the 400 dash, Redbank Valley’s Korbin Hornberger in the discus, North Clarion’s Nick Popoleo in the triple jump, Otto-Eldred’s Adam Farmelo in the 300 hurdles and Johnsonburg’s C.J. Herbstritt in the javelin.