POTTSTOWN — Perkiomen Valley was looked upon as a legitimate threat to win the PAC-10 heading into the 2014 season.
Now, with the season moving past the halfway mark, that has been proven to be true.
Squaring off against Pottsgrove and Pottstown, the Vikings took home wins in the boys and girls category.
The Perk Valley boys held off Pottsgrove, 88-62, as the battle with the Falcons came down to the last two running events. Perkiomen Valley (7-0) also topped Pottstown, 104-46.
The Pottsgrove boys beat Pottstown, 99-51.
The Perk Valley girls had an easier time, beating Pottsgrove, 118-32. Perk Valley also beat the Pottstown girls, 130-20, while Pottsgrove also beat the Trojans, 111-39.
The double win upped the Vikings record to 6-1, with their only loss coming to powerhouse Methacton. The Pottsgrove girls are now 4-3, while the Trojans dropped to 0-8.
"We have a lot of sophomores and freshmen who are doing a lot better than we expected,' said Perk Valley head coach Joe Petsko. "We had a really good winter indoor season and that has made a big difference. We had 100 kids come out for winter track and our numbers are really up this year. Pottsgrove has a tough and very competitive team, so this is a big win for us.'
The Falcons' grit made it a close meet, but Vikings' Jeff Montgomery crossed first in the 3,200-meter in the next to last running event before the Perk Valley 4x400 boys relay won the last event to seal the victory.
Veteran Falcons boys coach Larry Rechtin, a master at keeping a running score, watched the meet slip away after a close start.
"Our kids ran very well. They did well in the events, including the jumps and throws. (They) gave it their all,' Rechtin said. "But Perk Valley has a very good and very deep team. They are just very strong and deep in every event.'
The Vikings boys swept all three relays, which added up to a lot of points. In the individual events, Dave Garton won the 1,600 (4:38.3) and also anchored the Vikings winning 4x800 relay. Chad Keller won the 400 (49.72), Matt Town the 800 (2:01.43), Montgomery the 3,200 (9:58.7), Tom Jaworski the shot put (42-8 1/2) and Josh DiJohn the pole vault (12-0).
For Pottsgrove (5-2), football standout Marquis Barefield and Aaron Webb were double winners in the individual events, with Barefield taking the 100 (11.15) and the triple jump (42-2) while Webb took the high jump (6-2) and long jump (21-2). Devon Fink won the 300 hurdles (41.75), giving the Falcons momentum with a win in the first event.
For the Pottstown boys (2-6), hurdles standout Bryant Quill was their lone winner on the track, taking the 110 hurdles (15.16). Jolatae Lighty won the discus (122-11).
The Perk Valley girls were led by their throwing standout Macey Tanseco who swept the throws. She took first in the shot put (38-0), the discus (99-3) and the javelin (98-3 1/2). Jen Maurer won the 400 (1:00.16) and also the triple jump (35-2). Stephanie Hedin won the 300 hurdles (49.15), Annie Glodek the 1,600 (5:28), Lola Holcomb the 3,200 (12:56.82), Emily Town the high jump (4-10), Rebekah Bondi the long jump (16-5) while Julia Lyons took first in the pole vault (6-6).
Pottsgrove was led by freshman Diana Randleman with two wins, crossing first in the 100 (12.75) and the 200 (26.31). She also anchored the Falcons winning 4x100 relay. Alivia Faison won the 100 hurdles (15.75) and also ran on the 4x100.
For Pottstown, Mya Pope won the high jump (4-10).
For the PV boys, their PAC-10 championship hopes moved up another level.
Garton, now a senior, has been the mid and distance standout, as well as a team leader for the Vikings since his freshman year, when he debuted with a district medal in the 800.
"I love tough competition like this,' Garton said. "From what I have seen this year from our team, I think we definitely have a chance at the championship. There have definitely been days where I've seen our people winning event after event. If we do that at PAC-10s, there's no reason we should lose.'
Montgomery had no idea that his win in the 3,200, when he held off Pottsgrove distance standout Derek Lopez, would pretty much seal the win.
"I was so tired going into that last 400 I thought I might not be able to finish,' Montgomery said. "But I kept thinking I have to keep going, I have to win this. I'm so happy I did.'
Maurer was also dominant for the Vikings as she led the girls to a win in the 400.
"I haven't run the 400 at all this season, so I was real nervous,' Maurer said. "But it went well. We were excited for today's meet because we know Pottsgrove and Pottstown have some really good runners. It felt good to contribute some points for the team.'
Barefield, a standout athlete both on the football field and on the track, was pumped about his effort against Perkiomen Valley, a top opponent in the conference.
"We're pretty pumped because PV is one of the powers of the PAC-10,' Barefield said after his 100 win. "Today is more of a team thing for us. We want to win this for the team today. For me, track also keeps you going for football all through the year. In track, my favorites are the 100 and long jump. I've been doing those for four years. (I) added the triple this year. Beating PV would give us a great chance to for the Final Four.'
It didn't happen that way, but Fink also did his part pushing for it with his great hurdle running.
"I just go out there every time and try to do my best,' Fink said. "This is great competition and I was looking forward to it.'
For the Pottsgrove girls, the future looks very bright with Randleman leading the charge.
"It feels good to win here today,' Randleman said shyly. "I wasn't expecting to win the relay either because there are a lot of fast runners here. I've been running ever since I could. All the meets mean a lot, today is no different. You always go in to do your best and win no matter how hard the competition is.'
Faison, now a senior, has always been a Falcons hurdle standout, but it was on this day she ran a personal best in the 100 hurdles with a time of 15.75. She also took second in the 300 hurdles.
"I'm pumped today because it was against a bigger and more powerful team and it was more competition,' Faison said. "It pushed me. I just ran the 4x100 and I'm so excited because we won that. It's my favorite event.'
It was a tough day for the Pottstown boys, usually among the sprint and hurdle standouts. With several of their top performers ineligible and watching from beyond the fence, the team had dwindled down considerably with little chance for a team win and leaving Quill with Pottstown's lone running win.
"In a way I feel honored to have won and making sure we did get a win,' Quill said. "But it is depressing when you know your team doesn't have a chance to win coming in. But you have to put that out of your mind and do your best no matter what the circumstances are. For yourself and for your team.'
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