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Knoch's Novotny wins boys' Field MVP honors at Mars Invite

| Saturday, April 26, 2003

MARS: Knoch's Nick Novotny won the triple jump and placed second to Hampton's Mike Santos by one inch in the long jump to bring home boys' Field MVP honors. Jen Thomas of Highlands won the shot put, placed second in the discus and sixth in the javelin to win the girls' Field MVP.

Those honors capped an impressive day -- which went rain-free for the first time since coaches can remember -- for Alle-Kiski Valley athletes at the 38th annual Mars Invitational on Friday at Mars Athletic Complex.

  • Freeport sophomore Lacey Cochran won the 200 and set a new meet record in the 400 to share Track MVP honors with Greenville's record-breaking distance runner Jesi Christiansen.

  • Mycah Clemons of Valley and Tom Slosky of Highlands set new meet records at the 29-team invitational.

  • Deer Lakes athletes broke four school records -- Lindsay Fortuna (100 run, 300 hurdles), Erica Fish (pole vault) and Jen Mitchell (triple jump), and Jen Latronica showed why she was the top-seeded discus thrower by wining the title with a throw of 115 feet, 5 inches.

  • Cam Christeson of Plum won the 800-meter title in 2:02.83.

  • Scott Kallner of Freeport won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.82 seconds. Teammate Nick Haynes took the discus title with a mark of 143-7.

  • The Highlands boys and Burrell girls 400 relay teams took firsts.

  • Kerri Melis of Knoch won the girls javelin.

  • Seth Fox of Ford City, who won Track MVP honors last season, finished second in the 100 and 200.

    Clemons knows only one speed. She won the 100 high hurdles in 14.4 seconds to deal Hampton senior Julianna Reed her first loss of the season and break Reed's year-old record of 14.62 in the event. Clemons also won the long jump with a leap of 16-9.

    Quaker Valley outdistanced runner-up Freeport for the girls team title, and Greenville scored 70 points to win the boys' team trophy.

    Two days after suffering his first loss of the season, state champion sprinter Brad Mueller of Mars won the 100 and 200-meter dashes to earn Track MVP.

    The victories eased the sting of Mueller's upset loss in the 200 at Mars two days earlier in the MAC Invitational. Mueller won the 100 in a season-best 10.67 seconds and the 200 in 22.14, which was more than a second faster than his runner-up time to Center's Brandon Scarsella in the 200 finals at the MACs on Wednesday at Mars.

    "It was cold and I lifted on Monday and I was sore," Mueller said. "(The MAC) was a fluke. I'll see him (Scarsella) again at qualifiers."

    Mueller, who missed last year's Mars Invitational with an injury, will face a stiffer challenge Friday, when he competes against North Hills' Andrew Johnson at the Baldwin Invitational.

    While the rest of his Mars track and field team is headed to the nearby Pine-Richland Invitational, Mueller will be competing alone at Baldwin in a 100-meter dash field that will include Johnson.

    The North Hills junior beat Mueller in the Pine-Richland Invitational last year when Johnson was still at Central Catholic. Mueller has run a 10.67 this season; Johnson at 10.61 at the Butler Invitational.

    "I want to run a 10.5," said Mueller, a Boston College football recruit.

    Markfield won the 1,600 - breaking a meet record at Mars for the second time in three days - and finished behind Jesi Christiansen in the 3,200. Markfield, a three-time WPIAL Class AA cross country champion, hit the tape in 5: 06.96 to break the old mark of 5:07.60 set by former Hampton great Stacey Vidt in 1998.

    Markfield shrugged off a sluggish first lap to surpass the school-record time of 5:09.37 that she set while winning the 1,600 at the MAC on Wednesday.

    "My first lap was really slow (77 seconds) and I had to pick it up," Markfield said.

    Jed Christiansen, one of seven brothers and sisters from the running-crazy family from Greenvile, sliced more than 17 seconds off the previous meet record in the 3,200 with a time of 9:21.87. He broke the old mark of 9:39.65, set by Knoch's Kevin Doyle in 1998.

    Doyle's meet record in the 1,600 also was broken. Slosky covered the 1,600 in 4:27.62 to erase the old mark of 4:29.21.

    Christiansen's sister, Jesi, broke her own record in the 3,200 with a time of 11:08.10.

    Seneca Valley sophomore Carrie Wack won the 100 in 12.6 seconds. Cochran won the 200 in 25.59 and raced to the 400 with a meet-record time of 58.30 to top the old record of 59.05 (Washington's Tam Nixon, 1998).

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