NEPA Sports Nation

PIAA Track – Saturday Blog

PHOTO: Susquehanna’s Tatum Norris and Montrose’s Tangi Smith, pictured above in their District 2 race, finished first and third in the state in the 100-meter dash. (Tim Drewes Photo)


SHIPPENSBURG – Tatum Norris won two of her events decisively and finished second, losing only on a tiebreaker, in her third.

That was the combination the junior sprinter/pole vaulter used to produce the 28 points Susquehanna used to win the Class 2A girls team title at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Track and Field Championships.

It was an historic event – the first state team title of any kind for Susquehanna, the first title ever for a District 2 girls track and field team and believed to be the first by a Lackawanna Track Conference member, boys or girls.

Susquehanna coaches Lauren Soden (left) and Susan Day with the state championship plaque. (Tom Robinson Photo)

The effort that put Susquehanna over the top came in the 200-meter dash when Norris finished in 24.94 seconds, well in front of the 25.62 posted by Quanajia Reed from Masterman in Philadelphia.

It wasn’t until late in the regular season that Norris decided to even try the 200 on the state level.

“The 200 had been my tougher race throughout last year, my first year of varsity track,” Norris said. “The 200 was pretty tough. My times weren’t comparable to my 200 and I thought, ‘why aren’t these matching up. I’m going to states for the 100, but I can’t even think about getting there for the 100.’

“I put in a lot of work over the summer, putting in a lot of timed 200 reps and I think that really helped build my muscles to be capable of running faster times.”

The state final was the first time she went below 25 seconds, breaking her school record for the fourth straight time – district preliminaries, district final, state preliminaries then state final.

Norris won the 100 earlier in the day in 12.40 seconds, beating Wyomissing’s Alexis Hardy by 42-hundredths of a second.

The 100 final was contested after the pole vault competition had begun. Despite interrupting her event to get ready for, run in the 100, then go through the medals presentation, Norris still managed to be one of three Class 2A girls to clear 11-6 in the pole vault.

Susquehanna’s Tatum Norris (left) and Western Wayne’s Ella Dougher with their pole vault medals. (Tom Robinson Photo)

Norris had the tiebreaker advantage on one opponent, but came up second in the pole vault to Western Wayne’s Ella Dougher.

“Tatum is a very driven, very hard-working, obviously very talented athlete,” Susquehanna coach Susan Day said. “She’s just amazing.

“Beyond an athlete, she’s a leader to her team and just supportive and encouraging to her team.”

Norris was Susquehanna’s only state meet qualifier.

Coaches Day and Lauren Soden were there with Norris, along with a large family support system and some of her teammates who made the trip. It is a 205-mile drive from Susquehanna High School to Shippensburg University.

Susquehanna’s Tatum Norris on the 200-meter dash medal stand. (Tom Robinson Photo)

They were there to support the individual pursuits, which turned into an historic team achievement.

“I was more focused on her individual events than I was the team competition,” Day said.

15TH UPDATE: 8:18 p.m.

Former Wilkes-Barre Meyers star Raghib “Rocket” Ismail was inducted into the Pennsylvania Track and Field Hall of Fame, joining his brother Qadry Ismail, who had been inducted previously.

The ceremony took place in the infield during a break in action.

The Ismails led Meyers to state team championships in 1987 and 1988. Rocket was a three-time state long jump champion who won three events (100, long jump, 400 relay) and finished second in the 1600 relay as a senior.

After high school, Rocket Ismail played football and ran track at Notre Dame on his way to a professional football career in the NFL and the Canadian Football League.


Return to this website for more news.

14TH UPDATE: 7:06 p.m.

Berwick’s Allie Melchiorre and Western Wayne’s Richie Reed captured District 2’s last two medals at the two-day state championships.

Melchiorre finished fourth in the Class 3A girls javelin with a throw of 132-4.

Reed was part of a three-way tie for fifth in Class 3A boys after clearing 13-6 in the pole vault.

Lakeland’s Jon Seamans and the Montrose girls 1600 relay team had clinched Class 2A medals with Friday’s preliminary heat efforts.

Seamans placed fifth in the 200-meter dash in 22.43.

Montrose finished sixth in the final of the Class 2A girls 1600 relay. The team of Stephanie Summerville, Chloe Diaz, Katie Diaz and Tangi Smith finished in 4:08.09.

The official time for Tatum Norris’ win in the 200-meter dash was 24.94 seconds, making it the fourth straight time she has lowered the school record in the event and the first time she has gone under 25 seconds.

Montrose’s Smith ran a 26.61 for eighth.

Other late results included:

Riverside’s Madelyn Perfilio finished 11th of 26 in the Class 2A girls triple jump in 35-7¼.

Mid Valley’s Gabe Pacyna was 13th of 24 in the Class 2A boys 800 with a time of 2:01.04.

Matthew Cusatis from Hazleton Area was 14th of 24 high jumpers in Class 3A boys at 6-0.

Wyoming Area’s Drew Mruk was 14th and Mid Valley’s Josh Angelo 16th out of 25 Class 2A boys shot putters. Mruk finished at 45-5 and Angelo 45-2¾.

North Pocono’s Mason Natalini was 23rd out of 29 in Class 3A boys 800 with a time of 1:57.75.

Nikolai Williams from Abington Heights placed 23rd of 25 in the Class 3A boys discus with a throw of 109-9.

Mid Valley’s Vincenzo Iacavazzi finished 23rd of 24 in Class 2A boys in the 800 in 2:22.00.

Nicholas Scalzo from Wyoming Area was one of 5 Class 2A boys pole vaulters from a field of 21 that did not clear a height.


Still more information to be shared on the blog. Check back later.

13TH UPDATE: 5:19 p.m.

SHIPPENSBURG – Susquehanna was not alone in putting together an impressive team finish.

While the Lady Sabers outscored West Catholic from Philadelphia, 28-25, in Class 2A girls, county rival Montrose was tied for fifth with 19 points.

The Holy Redeemer boys tied for fifth in Class 2A with 21 points.

Wyomissing won with 32.


Return to this page for more state meet coverage including the last results of the two-day meet for District 2 teams.

12TH UPDATE: 5:12 p.m.

SHIPPENSBURG – Tatum Norris’ performance this weekend if forcing a deep dive into the archives.

The team championship by Susquehanna is the first ever by a District 2 girls track and field team.


Return to this page for more state meet coverage including the last results of the two-day meet for District 2 teams.

11TH UPDATE: 4:24 p.m.

SHIPPENSBURG – Susquehanna has won the Class 2A girls title, 28-25 over West Catholic from Philadelphia.

Nearly a quarter century later, Tatum Norris accomplished what Teresa Covert, one of District 2’s finest track and field athletes ever, just missed at Susquehanna.

Covert scored enough points by herself in 1998 to put the Lady Sabers in second place in the final Class 2A girls point standings.


Return to this page for more state meet coverage including the last results of the two-day meet for District 2 teams.

TENTH UPDATE: 3:41 p.m.


Unofficially, Susquehanna girls track and field team has captured the first state team title for the school in any sport.

Tatum Norris provided all 28 points with two wins and a second.

The Sabers appear to have outscored second-place West Catholic from Philadelphia, 28-25. We’re awaiting official announcement from the PIAA after the last two 1600 relays.


Further updates on the way on this and other stories.

NINTH UPDATE: 3:28 p.m.

SHIPPENSBURG – Tatum Norris has put Susquehanna in the team lead in Class 2A girls late in the meet with her win in the 200.

More coming up on this soon.

Tangi Smith from Montrose was eighth.

Norris scored 28 points by herself with two wins (100 and 200) and a second (pole vault).

EIGHTH UPDATE: 3:15 p.m.

SHIPPENSBURG – The medal haul continues for District 2 athletes.

Rachel Korty from Carbondale Gigi Sabatini from Abington Heights and Anastasia Ioppolo from Wallenpaupack are the latest additions to the list.

Korty was fourth in Class 2A and Sabatini sixth in Class 3A in the 800-meter run. Korty finished in 2:17.55; Sabatini in 2:14.71.

Ioppolo took seventh in the Class 3A girls long jump with 17-3¾. The four-event entry had come up just short Friday in ninth- and 10th-place finishes.


Return to this page throughout the day for additional updates.


SHIPPENSBURG – North Pocono’s Colin Kravitz and Mid Valley’s Nate Zarnowski have added to the District 2 medal count.

Kravitz finished seventh in the Class 3A 400-meter dash in 49.09.

Zarnowski took second in the 300 hurdles final in Class 2A, finishing in 40.29.


Return to this page throughout the day for additional updates.

FIFTH UPDATE: 1:03 p.m.

SHIPPENSBURG – Track and field athletes measure results against their own past performance as well as against competition.

That explains Western Wayne’s Ella Dougher saying “I was a little sad,” when discussing her state title in the Class 2A pole vault


Dougher’s top height today was 11-6, compared to 12-3 when winning the District 2 championship.

“I was trying to go for a school record,” she said.

Disappointment, however, subsided quickly.

A gold medal will do that.

“I’ve been working toward this the whole season,” said Dougher, who is committed to Mount St. Mary’s, a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I program in Emmitsburg, Md., as a high jumper.

Dougher won on a tiebreaker over a familiar opponent, Susquehanna’s Tatum Norris, the District 2 runner-up, who Dougher pointed out used to make the trip to Western Wayne for additional pole vault training.

Lilyana Carlson from Bermudian Springs also cleared 11-6.

Dougher won because she had not missed at any height before the senior came up short on her three tries at 12-0.

Norris took second because she cleared 11-6 on the first try while Carlson needed two.

Two earlier misses by Norris at 11-0 gave Dougher the tiebreaker advantage over her.

Norris earned the silver in the pole vault despite leaving the event long enough to capture the gold medal in the 100-meter dash, then returning to resume pole vaulting.

A tiebreaker was also needed in the Class 3A girls high jump.

Anna Scoblick from Abington Heights was one of seven girls, who cleared 5-foot-2, but were not among the seven to clear 5-4.

Scoblick and Ashley Laukus from Norwin were the only two from the 5-2 group that did not have a miss prior to that height, so those two shared eighth place.

There continue to be other close calls in the difference between earning and not earning medals.

Wyoming Area freshman Ella McKernan was the second-fastest of 24 anchor runners in the Class 2A girls 3200 relay to move Wyoming Area from 12th into a temporary hold on eighth, only to come up 13-hundredths short of a medal at the finish, placing ninth in 9:55.12.

Other District 2 results, including the completion of all early-session field events, since the previous updates:

Mid Valley’s Avery Rebar was 10th in the Class 2A girls shot put with 35-0.

Mid Valley and Holy Redeemer placed 14th and 15th out of 24 teams in the Class 2A boys 3200 relay, less than a second apart in 8:30.99, 8:31.35.

Ryan Walton from Holy Redeemer was 16th of 24 in the Class 2A boys triple jump with 40-4.

Abington Heights was 20th of 27 teams in the Class 3A girls 3200 relay in 10:05.85.

Rocco Pizano from Wyoming Area was 20th of 24 in the Class 2A boys triple jump with 39-10.

Berwick’s Allie Melchiorre was 21st of 25 in the Class 3A girls discus with a throw of 99-9.

North Pocono was 23rd of 26 teams in the Class 3A boys 3200 relay in 8:29.92.

Antonio Hairston from Scranton fouled on all three Class 3A boys long jump attempts to wind up last of 25 entries.

Samuel Guzman from Hazleton Area was 10th of 26 in Class 3A boys in the javelin with a throw of 169-5.


Return to this page throughout the day for additional updates.

FOURTH UPDATE: 12:07 p.m.

SHIPPENSBURG – District 2 has its second gold medalist of the day and third of the meet.

This time, it was a 1-2 finish in the Class 2A girls pole vault where Ella Dougher from Western Wayne defeated Tatum Norris from Susquehanna on a tiebreaker after each cleared 11-6.

Anna Scoblick from Abington Heights medaled by tying for eighth in the Class 3A high jump.

Hectic pace at the moment with District 2 athletes competing in many events.

Back with more details on the medals and more reports soon.

THIRD UPDATE: 11:06 a.m.

SHIPPENSBURG – Two of the three fastest Class 2A girls in the state reside in Susquehanna County.

Susquehanna junior Tatum Norris won her first state title – she is the favorite for another and a contender for a third – by winning the 100-meter dash in 12.40 seconds.

Montrose’s Tangi Smith was third in 12.95 seconds.

After slowing down past the finish line, Norris turned to her left and put her arm around Smith, who had been running in the next lane.

Norris did not have long to celebrate.

She went to the medal stand where she was announced as being from Susquehanna Township – a Harrisburg-area school – rather than Susquehanna Community.

Norris stopped by for a quick interview, paused for a few more seconds for a picture, then headed to the pole vault area where she had to catch back up to other competitors who were progressing through the event while she took a break to head to the track.

Norris also has the finals of the 200 ahead where she is the top seed and Smith, a returning state medalist, is again in the field with her.

Lakeland’s Jon Seamans, Scranton Prep’s London Montgomery and Wyoming Area’s Aaron Crossley finished 6-7-8 in the Class 2A boys 100. They finished in 11.34, 11.35 and 11.38 seconds.


Return to this page throughout the day for additional updates.

SECOND UPDATE: 10:25 a.m.

SHIPPENSBURG – Lake-Lehman’s Nick Hockenbury and North Pocono’s Caleb Kenyon each performed well above their seeds during the boys 3200-meter run.

Hockenbury’s effort was good enough for a medal in seventh place while Kenyon missed out on a medal by one position, taking ninth.

After coming in as the 15th seed in a field of 26 Class 2A runners, Hockenbury placed seventh in 9:23.95, more than 30 seconds faster than he ran in the District 2 meet.

Dunmore’s Joseph Cardillo was 23rd in the same race in 10:01.60.

Kenyon finished ninth out of 29 in Class 3A with a time of 9:20.82.

Chloe Diaz picked up the first of what should be at least five Montrose medals, finishing fifth in the Class 2A 100 hurdles in 15.48 seconds.

Crestwood’s Molly DeMarzo was 24th of 31 in Class 3A girls in the 3200 in 11:19.55.


Return to this page throughout the day for additional updates.

FIRST UPDATE: 9:55 a.m.

SHIPPENSBURG – Madelyn Keating was still going strong as the 3200-meter run came to a close.

Keating ran the fastest final lap, completing a steady climb from eighth after one lap and seventh after three laps to her final finish of a second straight third-place medal.

Just as she did Friday, the Wyoming Area junior opened the day with the best effort of her career, turning it into a bronze medal.

“I just got this surge of energy the last two laps,” Keating said.

Wyoming Area’s Madelyn Keating with Riverside’s Lacey Danilovitz, obstructed over her shoulder, and Carbondale’s Kate Korty close behind early in 3200. (Tom Robinson Photo)

While Jolena Quarzo from Brownsville was running by herself in a meet record time of 10:19.41, Keating was working her way up through the pack with fourth-place finisher Lacey Danilovitz from Riverside right on her heels for most of the second half of the race.

“Each lap I was catching one or two people, especially in the second mile,” said Keating, who was third in the 1600 Friday and will be trying to bring the Lady Warriors’ 3200 relay team in with a medal as its anchor runner later in the morning. “That’s just what I did, picking people off.”

With a final lap of 1:15.14, even faster than her first of the race, Keating broke the 11-minute mark, again lowering her school record. She finished in 10:58.11, more than 13 seconds better her District 2 winning time from last week.

Danilovitz was fourth in 11:01.68.

Korty, a freshman from Forest City who runs for Carbondale in a cooperative sponsorship, just missed her second straight medal by one place and less than a second. She was ninth in 11:11.06.


Return to this page throughout the day for additional updates.

By Tom Robinson,

INITIAL POST: 8:50 a.m.

SHIPPENSBURG – The second – and busier – day of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Track and Field Championships is about to get started at 9 a.m. with the 3200-meter run and the start of seven field events.

Three-quarters of the titles will be decided during today’s action and District 2 athletes again figure to be contending in several events.

Tatum Norris, the Susquehanna junior who led all qualifiers by a wide margin in the Class 2A girls 100- and 200-meter dashes, leads the way.

Montrose’s Tangi Smith, also in Class 2A girls, has made it to four finals.

Friday’s efforts were led by a gold medal effort from Wyoming Area’s Drew Mruk in the Class 2A boys javelin.

Holy Redeemer begins the day in the Class 2A boys points lead.

If you haven’t read it already, start the day with a look back at Friday’s Blog for every District 2 result.


Friday Blog:

Return to this page throughout the day for updates.

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