Athletes grateful to compete in District One Championship

Twelve Souderton track and field athletes qualified for and competed in the AAA District One Championship. Five athletes qualified for AAA Pa States Championships, which took place on May 29.


**Falling to grace…***After clearing the bar in the boys pole vault at the West Chester Henderson Invitational, senior Ayden Stankus falls to the mat.* *Arrowhead photo by C. Hickey*

Athletes competing in districts wanted to perform their best and move on to the next level of competition through a high performance at the district level. This year’s competition took place at Coatesville Senior High on May 21-22. Twelve Souderton track and field athletes competed.
To make it to the state championship, athletes had to qualify and perform well in the district one championships.
Due to COVID-19, This year districts were a one day event; normally it is a two day event. “Even the mile used to have trials and finals,” head girls track coach Mike Feliciani said. “The rigors of the two day competition are way easier.”
According to Feliciani the competition at the District One Championship is difficult.
“District One is overrepresented at the state meet which makes the district championship meet just absolutely brutal,” Feliciani said. “I think that’s something the average person doesn’t understand, how difficult it is to achieve in the District One meet.”
Athletes are seeded before their races, their seed is where their entry time places them before competition.
Junior Dekai Averett was seeded seventh in districts and placed third overall in the boys 110 meter hurdles (AAA), qualifying for state championships.
The girls 4X100 meter relay (AAA) consisting of senior Hannah Alderfer, senior Maddy McCarthy, senior Emily Schulingkamp and freshman Ava Mills qualified for districts and were seeded 14. They finished 17th overall.
“I’ve never really done anything like this before, so I’m really excited to have this new experience under my belt,” Mills said.
The 4X100m relay is different compared to other track events.
“I get really excited coaching the relay. I hate watching it at the championship meet,” Feliciani said. “I’m terrified that something little is going to derail the entire event.”
Schulingkamp also qualified for the girls 200 meter dash (AAA), being seeded 11th and finishing 19th overall.
“I feel like the nerves got to me and they impacted my performance in a way I didn’t want them to,” Schulingkamp said.
Schulingkamp’s personal record is 25.87 seconds, and she ran 26.77 seconds in her 200 meter dash at districts.
“It wasn’t my best run but I guess it was an okay way to finish out my 200 season,” Schulingkamp said.
Along with the 4X100 relay Alderfer qualified in three events, the other two being girls triple jump (AAA) and girls long jump (AAA). She was seeded fifth overall in the long jump and placed second overall, qualifying for state championships with a jump of 18 feet and one inch.
“I love doing all of the events and I’m so grateful I have the chance to compete further,” Alderfer said.
Senior Aonghas Evanick was seeded fourth in boys discus throw (AAA) and placed fifth overall. He was seeded fifth overall in the boys shot put (AAA) and placed eighth overall. He qualified for states in the discus throw.
“You have Aonghas [Evanick] who lost a whole year of competition due to the shut down and he only competed his sophomore year,” throws coach Krysten Momsen said. “He is performing at such a high level [while] not having as much experience and it’s so amazing to see him rise during this season.”
Senior Evan Kutzler was seeded tenth in boys high jump (AAA) and placed fifth overall. He qualified for states.
Freshman Anita Josiah was seeded 12 in girls javelin throw (AAA) and placed 12th overall. “[I] didn’t get to the finals, but I’m pretty good because I’m a freshman and I still have more years to come,” Josiah said.
Despite her season coming to an end, Josiah is happy to have reached her season goal of making districts. “I finally got to achieve my one goal this season,” Josiah said.
“I’m so excited Anita is a freshman and for her to get here as a freshman is such a huge accomplishment,” Momsen said. “I predict she will be district champion by the time she graduates.”
Senior Aiden Stankus was seeded fourth in the boys pole vault (AAA) and placed sixth overall. He missed states by one spot. “I’m happy about making districts as it’s an accomplishment just to make it,” Stankus said.
Junior Francie Flores qualified to compete in the 3200 meter race, but was injured and unable to compete.
Senior Cara Hickey was seeded ninth in the girls 400 meter dash (AAA) and placed eighth overall, qualifying for states.
This meet was an important one for the seniors. It was the last for many of them.
“I’m going to look positively at it because that was my last time running the 200 meters ever,” Schulingkamp said. “Just to have the opportunity to run at districts was good enough.”