For the first time the District 4 Track & Field Championships will involve every team in the district on the same day at the same site.
On May 19, the top athletes in both classifications will descend upon Athens High School for the championships. In year's past, the AAA meet was held mid-week with the much larger AA event on Saturday.
This year's meet is tentatively scheduled to being with AA trials in the hurdles at 9:45 a.m. and AAA trials set for 11:25 a.m. The final track event is set to start at 8 p.m.
The field events are divided into five time slots, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m.
FIND GOLD: If you are looking to break through as a District 4 champion, the place to do so is certainly on the boys side where only eight individual champions return between Class AA and AAA.
Thanks to the graduation of the likes of Brett Yeomans (Shikellamy), Bryant McCorey (Williamsport), Vince Fadale (Selinsgrove) and Mike Rodriguez (Selinsgrove), there are plenty of gold medals to be had in Class AAA. The only returning champions are Williamsport's Austin Rizzo (200, long jump), Mifflinburg's Brandon Walls (800), Selinsgrove's Christian Burke (pole vault) and Jersey Shore's Tyler Kachelreis (javelin).
The pickings are even better in AA, where only Southern's Matt Moore is back after winning the high and 300 hurdle titles last year, as is Wellsboro's Jordan Jackson in the mile.
On the other hand, in girls Class AAA, nine individual champions return, including Valley participants Jess Davis of Selinsgrove (800), Danville's Alison Billas (3,200), Selinsgrove's Kayla Swartz (300 hurdles) and Shamokin's Alaina Petrovich (high jump).
NEW COACHES, OLD FACES: There are several new coaches in the Valley this year to go along with the old standbys.Among the new coaches are Ana Ditchey with the Mount Carmel girls, Tom Donlan with the Southern boys and Jim Sowers with the Mifflinburg boys.