Friday, April 20, 2012

Ones to watch at County Invitational

The Washington-Greene County Track Coaches Invitational takes place Saturday at Canon-McMillan High School starting at 9:30 a.m.

Girls javelin is the premier event at the meet as several of the nation's top throwers will be in attendance led by Fort Cherry senior and Wake Forest signee Jesse Merckle.

According to, Merckle has the third-ranked girls high school javelin throw of the outdoor season at 151-0, which ranks 12th on the WPIAL's all-time list. Canon-McMillan's Mira Carrozza, a South Florida signee, has the second-best throw in Class AAA of 138-10 according to the WPIAL girls track honor roll compiled by Jim Faiella. Carrozza's throw would rank 16th on the list.

Big Macs teammate Anna Lombardo (124-0) ranks seventh in Class AAA. Fort Cherry's Jenna Lucas has the second-best throw (131-1) of any sophomore in the nation. Waynesburg's Richelle Tharp (122-5) and Fort Cherry's Beka Bellhy (118-8) also rank among the WPIAL's best.

* With the emergence of Canon-McMillan senior Shawn Johnson, the boys triple jump will likely draw a wall of spectators around the outside of the fence near the jumping pit.

Johnson has posted the top long jump and triple jump marks of the WPIAL season, and some of the nation's best marks too.

During a meet at Canon-McMillan Tuesday, Johnson triple jumped a school record 48-10 3/4, the eighth best mark in the nation and second best in Pennsylvania to Reading's Imani Brown (49-3 1/4). Johnson's best long jump of 23-5 is the top mark in the state and ranks 40th nationally.

Big Macs teammate Kelvin Parnell should push Johnson in the long jump and Washington's West Jones and Mijerean Witcher are among the top distances in Class AA. Jones jumped 44-5 earlier this season.

* As always, the boys 100 will draw attention, and the field looks particularly crowded. Wash High boasts four of the top 10 times in Class AA in Matt Brower (10.9), Shai McKenzie (10.93), Darius Spinks (11.0) and Chivar Brown (11.1). Trinity's John Lachinsky has run an 11.2 and Canon-McMillan, which hasn't submitted times and distances to the boys honor roll always contends in the event.

Ringgold's outstanding crop of sprinters (Demetrius Louis, Quad Law, Joey Wall and Alfon Cook) are all struggling with injuries. If two or three run, the Rams might be able to push Washington in the 400 relay.

In the girls sprints, Washington sophomore Alyssa Wise is one to watch as is Ringgold's Christina Wills. Wise has the top Class AA time in the 100 (12.1) and 200 (25.4). Wills ranks third in Class AAA at 12.2.

* Dustin Fuller ran his first open 400 dash recently and posted a 49.83, which leads Class AA runners. He'll be pushed by Trinity's Josh Urso, who ranks second in Class AAA at 50.3.

Fuller owns the top times in the 110 high hurdles (14.83) and 300 hurdles (39.8).

* The boys high jump features three of the WPIAL's premier jumpers in Washington's Josh Wise and Jones in addition to Johnson. Wise has cleared 6-6 already this season.

* Prexies senior Joe Phillips had a 49-8 in the shot put Thursday against Waynesburg. The mark ranks second in Class AA.

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