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Sheffield competes in event ahead of districts

Sheffield’s Lucas McNeal is pictured with his Outstanding Male Field Athlete plaque after the Northern Tier League Championships held this past weekend at the CARP Complex in Coudersport. Submitted Photo

COUDERSPORT — With the District 9 Championships on the horizon, the Sheffield Wolverines competed over the weekend in the 2022 Northern Tier League Championships held at Coudersport’s CARP Complex in the final competition of the regular season.

Sheffield had numerous athletes achieve personal bests, a challenge put forth by Wolverines head coach Jason Snell, with the ultimate goal of making districts.

As the season closes, Sheffield’s district qualifiers are: Emily Foster for high jump, Landon Mead in the 100-meter run and Lucas McNeal in high jump. Mead and McNeal will be joined by Michael Mihalic and Leihden Wotorson in the 4×100-meter relay.

“Landon Mead and Michael Mihalic are athletes and competitors,” Snell said when describing his 4×100-relay team ahead of Friday’s D9 Championships. “They both know that this relay and Landon’s 100 meters could very well be their last races; look for personal-best times and a few heads to turn. They won’t go down to Brookville to just experience the district experience. They have both been here before. They are going to want to walk out of there with the best yet. That has been the 4×100’s expectations all year — and what better teammates to share that with than Leihden Wotorson and Lucas McNeal.”

McNeal dominated the NTL Championship field events, being voted Most Outstanding Field Athlete by the coaches. McNeal took first in long jump (19 feet, 5 inches), triple jump (38 feet, 3.5 inches), and as a member of the 4×100-meter relay team. McNeal placed third in high jump, where he was forced to take all three jumps just moments after running the final leg of the 4×100 relay that resulted in the Wolverines hitting a new best time of 46.82 seconds.

Sheffield’s Emily Foster is pictured with her gold medal after winning the high jump at the Northern Tier League Championships at the CARP Complex in Coudersport.

“Lucas is a very easy going kind soul,” Snell said. “He wouldn’t really come out saying how disappointed he was having to jump all those jumps at once, dead tired, and not getting the results he knows he could have.” Snell continued to elaborate on just how McNeal will handle his frustrations. “Lucas expresses his frustrations or motivations in his next jumps or runs. I believe in Brookville that frustration of last Friday will come out in his distances this Friday. He talks with his performances.”

Emily Foster easily won the high jump with a 4-foot-11-inch jump; her second year in a row of being an NTL champion.

“Emily is definitely an inspiration to the younger girls,” said Snell. “There is a very athletic group of young ladies moving up from the eighth grade next year that can’t wait to be her teammates. The girls program will be up with the boys in the near future and Emily will be a huge part of that turnaround.”

The Wolverines went home with a lot of hardware with seniors Landon Mead placing in four events, Michael Mihalic in three, and Cooper Traister in two. Freshmen Bryden Letendre and Leihden Wotorson, sophomore Dylan Hardwick, and juniors Lexi Goldthwaite, Gage Mott-Macalush and Alex Eaton also all took home medals.

“All in all, it was a wonderful night for the whole community to be a Wolverine,” said Snell as his second year as head coach winds down. “All of the coaches on this staff are amazing and have a great relation with the kids. It was impressive to say the least, but it is not over. The District 9 Championships at Brookville High School next Friday afternoon and the PIAA State Championships meet the following weekend are now in our sites.”

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