The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

April 6, 2014

Track preview: Meadowbrook boys looking for 14th straight league title

MILTON — Meadowbrook Christian’s boys team is gunning for its 14th consecutive ACAA league championship as the 2014 season begins. On the girls’ side, the Lions hope to qualify their first female athlete for the PIAA championships in Shippensburg.

Coach Melissa Baughman, who started the programs, has hopes for both squads. Her boys team boasts a large roster for a small school.

“We have a little more depth on the boys’ side,” she says. “I think we’ll be really strong on the field events. ... I think we’ll be able to fill most of the events.”

Baughman is expecting a lot from the Lions’ Kurtis Klodnicki, a junior distance runner. He was a District 4 provisional qualifier in the mile last year.

“He’s a hopeful for that (this year),” Baughman says.

Sophomore David Aumer is another impressive distance runner.

“They’re good training partners for each other,” Baughman says.

Also on the track, Meadowbrook features junior Dakota Pickett, a sprinter whose strength is the 110 hurdles.

In the field, the Lions will be looking for points from senior Dan Gallagher.

“(He’ll) be really strong in the shot put,” Baughman says.

Baughman doesn’t have as much depth on her girls’ team — there’s only 11 girls on the squad — but she does have a freshman who’s expected to contribute.

“We’ll be relying heavily on Katie Benfer,” she says. “She’s a real solid distance runner. She set some league records last year at our league meet. She’ll be a big part of things.”

Baughman thinks that Benfer has the potential to qualify for the District 4 Class AA meet. The same could be said for senior jumper Madison Burrows, who took eighth at districts in 2012 in the triple jump.

In the throwing events, the Lions have junior Sarah Marks, who could qualify for districts in the shot.

No Meadowbrook Christian girl has ever qualified for states.

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