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South Western girls regain Division I title

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Text messages and emails poured into South Western coach Bruce Lee's phone all day on Tuesday afternoon, with former athletes wishing him luck and requesting updates as the undefeated Mustang girls went for a division title.

A few former athletes even skipped college classes to come back to Penn Township to see what happened.

The meet ended up getting postponed due to an impending thunderstorm that never came, and those athletes headed back to their college campuses. But Lee made sure to text and email every one of them back after the rescheduled meet ended in dreary weather on Wednesday night, sending good news through the airwaves: The Mustang girls beat previously-undefeated Spring Grove 81-69 to win their third YAIAA Division I title in four years (one was a split title) and 23rd division title in team history.

“The teams of the past were really, really up for these kids,” Lee said, who gave an emotional speech to his team after that meet reminding them that life will be difficult at times but no one will ever take away that they are champions.

South Western got 20 points from senior Lynne Mooradian, who won the 110 hurdles, triple jump and 300 hurdles and anchored the winning 400 relay team.

“I thought that if everyone did their job, we’d be fine," Mooradian said. “It’s perfect. We had a dry year last year, so it was nice, it was everything I wanted.”

The Mustangs also got important contributions from some of its underclassmen. Sophomore Sammy Trone won the 400 run, took second in the 200 dash and was part of the winning 400 and 1,600 relays. Fellow sophomore Emily Newton was also part of the winning 1,600 relay, and added her own individual victories in the 800 and 1,600 runs.

“You win the mile, you win the 800 and you lead off with a big lead in the (1,600 relay), you had a big day," Lee said of Newton. "She’s gotta turn around and run the relay at the Penn Relays tomorrow, but I told them, if you get to the state meet, you’ve got to run hard two days in a row, so get used to it. She had a monster day, but we know she’s a kid we can go to and she’s gonna give everything she’s got.”

The Mustangs also got wins from two freshman that helped seal a victory in a closely-contested meet. Kayla Brooks won the high jump and Maddy McMaster clinched South Western's win with a throw of 31-9 1/2 in the shotput, the final event of the day.

“What a great day for her," Lee said of McMaster "That’s what we talked about; maybe some of the kids didn’t have their best day, but the kids on this team have each other’s backs. That’s how you win championships.”

GoPro VIDEO: Nathalie Elliot practices pole vault
Spring Grove junior Nathalie Elliot will compete in the pole vault at the Penn Relays next weekend. In this video, she takes a practice run wearing a GoPro on her head and another while wearing a GoPro on her chest.
Zach Miller -