by Tom Utescher
The area track and field athletes who compete year-round have made the transition from the spring scholastic season to the major summer meets, and recently a number of performers achieved All-American status at the 2013 New Balance Outdoor Nationals on June 14-16.
Megan McCloskey, who just completed her junior year at Germantown Academy, earned that distinction with a second-place finish in the high jump, and the girls’ distance medley relay team from Germantown Friends School also came home from the meet as All-Americans after coming in fifth in the DMR.
The New Balance Nationals were held on the campus of North Carolina A & T University, but the group of high jumpers who assembled on the Bulldogs’ campus in Greensboro was led by a pair of Pennsylvanians.
Both McCloskey and Abby Jones of Franklin High School in northwestern Pa. topped out at 5’8.5”, but Jones had fewer misses along the way and won the competition, while the rising Patriot senior was the runner-up. Floridian Nicole Green was third, clearing the bar at 5’6.5”.
Several jumpers who have hit the six-foot mark in the past were off their game in Greensboro. Among them was PIAA Class AAA state champion Cyre Virgo, who comes from Fleetwood High School near Pottstown. She placed 12th at a height of 5’4.5”.
Germantown Friends’ DMR quartet, which was second at the Penn Relays back in April, came in fifth at the New Balance championships with a time of 12 minutes and 1.21 seconds. In race order, the Tigers’ foursome consisted of rising sophomore Sarah Walker (3:37.280/1200 meters), rising juniors Taryn Milbourne (57.802/400 meters) and Brigit Andersson (2:21.776/800 meters), and 2013 graduate Eliza Lukens-Day (5:04.352/1600 meters), who will attend Brown University.
GFS ended up right in the middle in this nine-team race, which included a quartet from California and which was won (in 11:51.46) by a quartet from West Springfield High School in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Another 2013 grad who is moving on to the Ivy League was at the meet, Columbia-bound Ben Ritz of Germantown Academy. He came in 18th in the one mile championship in 4:25.56, and his brother Sam, two years younger, finished three places higher; 15th in 4:17.64. Last month the younger Ritz produced a time of 4:11.73 in the mile, which is still holding up as the second-fastest time for any Pennsylvania runner in the class of 2015.
Also among the Patriots performing at the Outdoor Nationals was distance ace Paige Kupsky, a rising sophomore who is the title holder for the 3200 meter run in both the Girls Inter-Ac League and the Pa. Independent Schools Athletic Association for 2013. A time of 11:30.04 positioned her 14th overall in the freshman two-mile down in Greensboro.