SCA junior easy choice for Boys Athlete of the Year
For a guy who spent much of the season gimping around on a bad ankle, Southern Columbia's Luke Rarig certainly put his stamp on the 2014 track and field season. Although Rarig failed to win a district title for the first time in three seasons, he qualified for the PIAA state championships in three events, and placed in two of them.
For the second straight season, he ran away with the area scoring title, amassing an amazing 258 points after scoring 230.25 as a sophomore. He broke Matt Moore's school record in the 110-meter high hurdles, with a 14.4 hand-held time, and just missed the 22-feet mark in the long jump with a leap of 21-11½.
For these reasons, Rarig is a runaway choice as Athlete of the Year on The News-Item's 2014 Boys Track and Field All-Star Team. Rarig shared last season's honor with North Schuylkill distance runner Brendan Shearn, who is now competing the University of Pennsylvania.
Rarig had area bests in four events this season - 11.1 in the 100, 14.4 in the high hurdles, 40.45 in the 300 intermediate hurdles and his long jump.
He placed third in the high hurdles and eighth in the intermediate hurdles at the state meet, after taking seconds in the highs and long jump, and third in the intermediates at the District 4 AA meet. He won the high hurdles at the Heartland Conference Invitational, and added a fourth in the long jump and seventh in the 200 meters.
Rarig might have accomplished more had he not injured his left ankle midway through the season. Although he missed just one dual meet, the injury bothered him enough to cause problems in his approaches both in the hurdles and the long jump.
Rarig has now scored 595 points for the Tigers in three seasons, with a full season to go. He
and Southern teammate Andrew Steely, a senior, are three-time selections on a team which, for the most part, is full of first-time selections.
Shamokin's Chris Petraskie, Southern's Cody Pavlick and Mount Carmel's Nate Bartos are other repeat picks. After that, new faces abound on the team. First-time picks include Shamokin's Noah Rachau, Southern Columbia's Trent Donlan, and Cody Olson, Mount Carmel's Tommy Moser, David Fletcher, Christian Kelley, Zeke Zsido, Dominic Farronato and Ciaran Fisher; and North Schuylkill's Jadyn Anczarski, Ryan Mazeika, Kris Karlonis and Bobby Wagner.
Following are thumbnail sketches of the athletes:
Andrew Steely Southern Columbia, sr.
Completed a fine career with a seventh-place finish in the 800 (1:57.49) at the PIAA Class AA state championships, after finishing third in the 800 and fifth in the 1600 at the district meet. Scored 115 points and finished his career with 518.25 points. Plans to run at Susquehanna University.
Chris Petraskie Shamokin, soph.
Won second consecutive District 4-AAA high jump title, tying school record of 6 feet, 5 inches. Was second at Heartland Conference Invitational and added sixth in the triple jump. Consistent scorer all season and finished second to Rarig in area with 207 points. Has scored 337.5 points in two seasons.
Cody Pavlick Southern Columbia, sr.
Pavlick won his second straight district AA title in the discus with a throw of 157-2, then medaled for the second time at the state championships with a fourth after taking seventh as a junior. Teamed with Donlan to give the Tigers solid footing in the throws. Scored 91 points.
Nate Bartos Mount Carmel, jr.
Climaxed a fine season with a career-best time of 9:39.95 in finishing seventh in the 3200 at the state meet. A week earlier, he upset PIAA cross country champion and Heartland Conference 3200 champ Griffin Molino of South Williamsport to win the district title. Also ran 1600 and was part of 4 x 800 relay group which went to state meet. Scored 115.25 points.
Noah Rachau Shamokin, sr.
A consistent scorer for the Indians in dual meets, Rachau also placed seventh in the 3200 and eighth in the 1600 at the District 4-AAA meet. Scored 81.5 points.
Trent Donlan Southern Columbia, jr.
District runnerup and state qualifier in the shot put and sixth in the discus. Also Heartland Conference runnerup in the shot and eighth in the discus. Had a best of 50-2½ in the shot. Scored 132 points.
Cody Olson Southern Columbia, sr.
Came on late in season to take fifth in the long jump at the District Four meet and sixth at the Heartland meet. Did 20-4½ in the long. Also consistent point scorer in the triple jump. Scored 73.25 points.
Tommy Moser, Mount Carmel, jr.
Moser finished eighth in the 1600 (4:39.67) at the District 4 AA meet, but his bigger contribution was as a member of Mount Carmel's relay teams. He was a member of the state-qualifying 3200-meter relay team and also ran both the 3200 and 800 during the season, and scored 65.75 points.
David Fletcher Mount Carmel, soph.
Fletcher was second in the district and fourth in the state in the 800, with a school record 1:55.98 in the latter. Was also a member of the district championship 1600-meter relay team (3:27.87) and the state qualifying 3200-meter relay. Scored 135.25 points.
Christian Kelley Mount Carmel, jr.
Kelley was a double threat, both in the throws and on the track, for the Red Tornadoes. Was third in the 110-meter high hurdles at the Heartland Conference Invitational and fourth at the district meet. Also ran on the 400-meter relay team and was a solid point scorer in the shot put. Scored 107.25 points.
Zeke Zsido Mount Carmel, sr.
Zsido had the area's best time in the 200 (22.94) and took third at the District 4 meet, and was a member of the district championship 1600-meter relay team, and the 400-meter relay. Scored 68.25 points.
Dominic Farronato Mount Carmel, soph.
Farronato placed seventh at the state championships in the javelin after throwing a career-best 178 feet, 1 inch in placing third at the district meet. Was fourth in the javelin and sixth in the discus at the Heartland Conference Invitational. Also ran on 400 relay team for the Red Tornadoes. Was area's third-leading scorer with 156 points.
Ciaran Fisher Mount Carmel, jr.
Fisher was a key member of the Red Tornadoes' state qualifying 3200-meter relay team and was valuable as a scorer in dual meets in all the distance events.
Jadyn Anczarski North Schuylkill, soph.
Won Schuylkill League championship in the discus and placed sixth in shot put, then took fourth in the discus at the District 11-AA meet.
Ryan Mazeika North Schuylkill, sr.
Double threat in jumps, placed fourth in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump at the Schuylkill League meet.
Kris Karlonis North Schuylkill, jr.
Schuylkill League champion in the 110-meter high hurdles (15.83) and third at the District 11-AA meet.
Bobby Wagner North Schuylkill, fr.
Teamed with Mazeika to give the Spartans a strong tandem in the jumps. Did 41-8 in the triple jumpt for fourth at the Schuylkill League meet, and took fifth in the high jump at the District 11 meet.
Mount Carmel - Alex Mrozek, Treyvon White, Juwan Sullins; North Schuylkill - Evan Brouse; Shamokin - Christian Duganitz, Shane Williams, Draven Faus, Alek Bonshock. Southern Columbia - Connor Houseknecht, Josh Tripp.