COOPER LEAD ATHENS TO SIXTH-PLACE FINISH AT SELINSGROVE INVITE

COOPER LEAD ATHENS TO SIXTH-PLACE FINISH AT SELINSGROVE INVITE

August 20, 2022 Tim Birney

SELINSGROVE, Pa. — Sophomore Dylan Saxon had a career-best day, and junior Evan Cooper continued his strong play to lead Athens to a top-10 finish here Saturday in the Selinsgrove Invitational at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club.

“It was a very tough and competitive field, and a very tough golf course,” said Athens coach Lenny Pientka.

Saxon fired a 78 on the 6,261-yard, par-72 course, while Cooper shot an 80 to help the Wildcats to a four-player aggregate score of 256 for a sixth-place finish in the 30-team field.

Senior Lucas Kraft carded a 98 for Athens, and junior Nicholas Jacob added a 100.

Athens returns to action Monday in NTL golf action at the Tyoga Country Club in Wellsboro.

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ATHENS WINS OPENING LEAGUE MATCH

ATHENS WINS OPENING LEAGUE MATCH

August 17, 2022 Tim Birney

WAVERLY — Athens junior Evan Cooper earned low-medal honors, leading Athens to a 6-0 record in the opening NTL golf match of the season here Wednesday afternoon at The Club at Shepard Hills.

Athens fired a four-man aggregate score of 346 to earn six wins, while Wyalusing was second at 369, followed by Wellsboro at 381, North Penn-Mansfield at 406, Cowanesque Valley at 410, and Towanda at 436. Sayre was 0-6 at 503.

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 WRIGHT, BRONSONS NARROWLY MISS OUT ON TRIP TO STATES — SARA BRONSON, EMMA BRONSON EACH BREAK SCHOOL RECORD

WRIGHT, BRONSONS NARROWLY MISS OUT ON TRIP TO STATES — SARA BRONSON, EMMA BRONSON EACH BREAK SCHOOL RECORD

May 21, 2022 Tim Birney

WILLIAMSPORT — Athens saw several athletes come up just short of making States at the District IV Track and Field Championships here Saturday.

It’s the first time in recent memory, dating back more than 15 years that no Athens track & field athlete advanced to the State meet.

For the boys, junior Jaden Wright (11.38 second) was sixth in the 100, less than 0.1 second away from the state standard. He also took sixth in the 200 in 23.30 seconds.

For the girls, freshman Sara Bronson (3,200 meters) and junior Emma Bronson (1,600 meters) both set new schools records.

Sara Bronson’s time of 11:29.32 was good enough for second. She hung with winner, Selinsgrove’s Shaela Kruskie (11:21.58) for seven laps, but Kruskie pulled away at the end.

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ATHENS FALLS TO LEWISBURG, 5-3, IN CLASS 4A QUARTERFINALS

ATHENS FALLS TO LEWISBURG, 5-3, IN CLASS 4A QUARTERFINALS

May 21, 2022 Tim Birney

LEWISBURG — Athens outhit Lewisburg, 10-1, but the Green Dragons took advantage of base on balls, and three costly errors early in the game to pull out a 5-3 win here Saturday in the quarterfinals of the District 4, Class AAAA baseball playoffs.

“Our nerves were up in the first couple innings, and it took us some time to settle down with walks and defensive miscues,” said Athens coach Charlie Havens. “Mason (Lister) and Lucas (Kraft) did a good job not allowing the big inning, but the runs left us playing catch up all day.

“The hardest pill to swallow was we outhit Lewisburg, 10-1. We just couldn’t get that clutch hit to create the big inning,” noted Havens in reference to the Wildcats leaving 10 runners on base, including six in scoring position.

“Hats off to (Lewisburg pitcher Forrest) Zelechoski, who really settled down late,” added Havens. “It was even more impressive to do it in this heat.”

After Lewisburg ace Forrest Zelechoski pitched around a two-out single by junior Cam Sullivan in the top of the first inning, the Green Dragons scored two runs in the home half of the inning without the benefit of a hit, taking advantage of two walks, an error, and an errant throw on a dropped third strike to take a 2-0 lead.

The Wildcats closed the gap to 2-1 in the top of the second inning on a two-out double by senior Kaden Setzer, and an RBI single by senior J.J. Babcock.

Lewisburg added another unearned run in the bottom of the second, but it could have been a much bigger inning.

After an error and consecutive walks loaded the bases with no outs, Kraft recorded a strikeout, but a flyball that resulted in a double play allowed a run scoring before the third out was recorded to give Lewisburg a 3-1 lead.

Athens again trimmed the deficit in the top of the third inning.

Senior Karter Rude led off with a double, and moved to third on an error off the bat of junior Caleb Nichols. Cam Sullivan drove home a run with an RBI single to make it 3-2, but Zelechoski retired the next three batters to escape further damage.

Shea Girton led off the bottom of the third with a single — Lewisburg’s only hit, and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Zelechoski to push the lead to 4-2.

The Wildcats took advantage of a Lewisburg miscue in the fourth as Setzer reached second on an outfield error to lead off the inning. Babcock followed with an RBI single to close the gap to 4-3.

Rude laced a one-out single to center field to put runners on first and second, but the next two Wildcat batters were retired.

The Green Dragons used a pair of walks, and a double steal to add an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth inning, and extend their lead to 5-3.

Junior Jaren Glisson singled with two outs in the fifth inning, and Rude reached on an error with two outs in the sixth inning, but neither advanced past first base.

In the top of the seventh inning, Sullivan led off with a single, but was replaced on the base paths by junior Mason Lister on a fielder’s choice.

Junior Lucas Kraft singled to put runners on first and second, but Zelechoski induced a fly ball to right field, which allowed pinch-runner Josiah Stringham to tag and take third base, and a groundout to end the game.

Sullivan singled three times and drove in one run, while Babcock singled twice and scored two runs, and Rude doubled and singled, and scored one run to pace Athens at the plate.

Setzer doubled and scored two runs for the Wildcats, while Kraft and Glisson each added a single

Kraft was tagged with the loss, allowing four runs — all unearned — on one hit, while striking out three and walking four in three innings.

Lister relieved and allowed one run, while walking four and striking out three.

The Wildcats end the season at 12-9.

“We all wanted to play a few more for the seniors,” said Havens. “That last game is always a tough one to get over.

“(Kaden) Setzer, (Karter) Rude, and J.J. Babcock all had hits,” he noted. “It was obvious they didn’t want to be done.

“They will forever be my first group and will surely be missed,” added Havens. “All had amazing high school athletic careers. I’m looking forward to watching them play different sports at the next level.”

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ATHENS TEAMS EARN FOUR MEDALS AT DAY 1 OF DISTRICT MEET

ATHENS TEAMS EARN FOUR MEDALS AT DAY 1 OF DISTRICT MEET

May 19, 2022 Tim Birney

WILLIAMSPORT — The Lady Wildcats, competing in Class 3A, brought home a trio of medals from Day 1 of the District 4 Track & Field Championships, while the Class AA Athens boys earned one medal.

GIRLS — CLASS AAA
The foursome of junior Emma Bronson, sophomores Thea Bentley and Mya Thompson, and freshman Sara Bronson had the best finish of the day for the Wildcats. They placed fourth in the 3,200-meter relay in a time of 10:10.79.

Seniors Olivia Bartlow and Taylor Walker earned the only individual medals of the day for the Athens teams.

Bartlow placed sixth in the shot put with a heave of 30-feet, 8 1/2-inches, and sophomore Emma Pernaselli was 12th at 27-feet, 6 1/2-inches.

Taylor Walker finished sixth in the triple jump with a mark of 31-feet, 7 3/4-inches, and sophomore Mya Thompson was seventh at 31-feet, 7-inches.

Senior Hannah Walker qualified for the finals of the 100-meter hurdles, running the seventh-fastest time — 17.16 seconds — in the preliminaries.

Freshman Hannah Earls was 10th in the high jump at 4-feet, 5-inches, and Pernaselli finished 12th in the javelin with a throw of 91-feet, 3-inches,

Junior Jenny Ryan was 14th in the 100-meter dash in 14.23 seconds, and freshman Addy Wheeler was 15th in 14.54 seconds.

BOYS — CLASS AA
The foursome of seniors Kyle Anthony, Sander Bertsch, and Ryan Thompson, and junior Ethan Denlinger scored the only team point of the day for the Athens boys. They teamed to finish eighth in the 3,200-meter relay in a time of 8:37.19.

Junior Jaden Wright qualified for the finals of the 100-meter dash. He ran the fifth-faster time in the prelims at 11.57 seconds, and the fourth-fastest time in the semifinals at 11.5 seconds.

Senior Levi Kuhns ran the 13th-fastest time in the prelims of the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 17.3 seconds. Kuhns finished 16th in the semifinals in a time of 18.76 seconds.

Freshman Kolsen Keathley finished 19th in the 100-meter dash in 12.08 seconds, while sophomore Josh Martin was 21st in the javelin with a throw of 130-feet, and freshman Ronel Ankam was 23rd in the 110-meter hurdles in 22.34 seconds.

Day 2 of the District 4 Championships is Saturday at Williamsport High School. The action begins at 9 a.m.

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ATHENS FALLS AT MONTGOMERY IN SEASON FINALE; ELIMINATED FROM POSTSEASON PLAY

ATHENS FALLS AT MONTGOMERY IN SEASON FINALE; ELIMINATED FROM POSTSEASON PLAY

May 18, 2022 Tim Birney

MONTGOMERY — Faith Persing tossed a three-hitter, and drove in four runs to lead Montgomery to a four-inning, 15-0, win over Athens here Wednesday in non-league softball action.

The loss eliminates the Lady Wildcats from postseason play. They finish the 2021 campaign with a 9-11 record.

After a scoreless 1 1/2 innings, the Lady Red Raiders scored six runs in the bottom of the second. They added two runs in the third, and closed the game out via the “mercy rule” with seven runs in the fourth inning to take a 15-run lead.

Pressing allowed three singles in four scoreless innings, while striking out 10 and walking two to earn the win.

Senior Caydence Macik, and freshmen Jules Pack, and Ella Coyle all singled to account for Athens’ three hits.

Pressing doubled and singled, scored one run, and had four RBI, and Shelby McRae doubled and singled, scored two runs, and drove in three runs, and Jenna Waring singled twice, scored three runs, and knocked in one run to pace Montgomery’s 10-hit attack.

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ATHENS FALLS TO SAYRE, 15-3, AT PNC FIELD

ATHENS FALLS TO SAYRE, 15-3, AT PNC FIELD

May 15, 2022 Tim Birney

SCRANTON — Sayre poured nine runs across the plate in the second inning to erase an early deficit en route to a 15-3 five-inning win over Athens here Sunday afternoon at PNC Field.

The Wildcats took advantage of two errors after a one-out single by junior Caleb Nichols to load the bases. With two outs, junior Jaren Glisson stroked a two-run single to right field to take an early 2-0 lead.

The Redskins struck back quickly in the top of the second inning.

David Northrup led off with a triple to deep center field, and scored on an RBI single up the middle by senior Kannon VanDuzer to close the gap to 2-1.

After walks to junior Jackson Hubbard, and senior Mason Houseknecht the Redskins had the bases loaded with one out. An RBI single by senior Oakley Gorman tied the game at 2-2, and a wild pitch gave Sayre the lead for good, at 3-2.

With two outs, three consecutive errors by the Wildcats allowed runs to score, giving Sayre a 7-2 lead.

Sayre loaded the bases again on a walk to Hubbard, and added runs on a walk to senior Dom Fabbri, and an RBI single by Houseknecht to make it 9-2.

 The Redskins added two runs in the third inning by Northrup to extend their lead to 11-2.

Sayre added five runs — all with two outs — in the fifth inning in a rally highlighted by a two-RBI double by junior Kegan Hayford, and an RBI single by senior Josh Arnold to make it 15-2.

Senior Karter Rude led off the home half of the fifth inning with a single, and scored on an RBI double by Nichols, but Sayre starter Luke Horton retired the next three batters, including a strikeout for the game’s final out.

Lucas Horton earned the win for the Redskins, allowing three runs — one earned — on six hits, while striking out 11 without a walk in five innings.

Northrup tripled and singled, scored two runs, and drove in two runs, and VanDuzer singled twice, scored three runs and had one RBI to pace Sayre’s 10-hit attack, while senior Brayden Horton tripled and scored two runs, and junior Zach Garrity doubled and scored two runs.

Hayford doubled, scored one run, and had two RBI in the win, while Houseknecht and Gorman each singled, scored one run, and drove in one run, Arnold singled and drove in one run, Fabbri drove in one run, and Lucas Horton, Hubbard and sophomore Tanner Green each scored one run.

Nichols doubled and singled, scored one run, and had one RBI to lead Athens at the plate, while Glisson singled and drove in two runs, Rude, and junior Cameron Sullivan each singled and scored one run, and senior J.J. Babcock added a single.

Sayre improves to 17-2 and will host Troy Monday in the season finale, while Athens wraps up the regular-season campaign at 12-8.

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THENS PULLS OUT 8-4 WIN OVER TIOGA IN OPENER OF 'BATTLE AT THE BORDER'

THENS PULLS OUT 8-4 WIN OVER TIOGA IN OPENER OF 'BATTLE AT THE BORDER'

May 14, 2022 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Athens used a five-run fourth-inning rally to erase an early deficit on its way to an 8-4 win over Tioga here Saturday morning in the opening game of the softball “Battle at the Border.”

“Savanah (Persun) threw really well,” said Athens coach Mickey Farrell. “Defensively, we only committed three errors.

“Offensively, we only struck out three times, so we put the ball in play.

“Overall, we did a pretty good job,” added Farrell.

Tioga scored the first run of the game in the top of the third inning on a lead-off double by senior Austyn Vance, and a one-out RBI single by senior Abby Foley, but Athens tied the game in the home half of the frame on an RBI groundout off the bat of freshman Jules Pack.

Freshman McKenzie Williams and senior Alissa Hine rapped back-to-back one-out doubles in the fourth inning to put Tioga up 2-1. Hine later scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 3-1.

In the bottom of the third, sophomore Marissa Butler led off with a walk, and freshman Savannah Persun, and senior Macie Coyle followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases.

An error plated one run, and a fielder’s choice another to tie the game at 3-3, then senior Caydence Macik ripped a two-run double to center field to give the Lady Wildcats the lead for good, at 5-3.

After a single by senior Aliyah Butler, Macik scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Pack to push the lead to 6-3.

Junior M.J. Thetga launched a one-out home run over the center field fence in the top of the fifth to close the gap to 6-4.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Athens added a pair of insurance runs. Macik and Aliyah Butler started things off with back-to-back singles to put runners at first and third. An error on Butler’s hit allowed Macik to score to make it 7-4.

Pack provided the final run of the game with a line-drive RBI double.

Eighth-grader RaeAnne Feeko rapped a one-out double in the top of the seventh, but Persun recorded the final two outs to finish off the complete game.

Persun allowed four runs — three earned — on seven hits in seven innings, while striking out eight and walking two in the win.

Aliyah Butler stroked three singles and scored one run to lead Athens’ nine-hit attack, while Macik doubled and singled, scored three runs, and drove in two runs, and Persun added a pair of singles.

Pack doubled and drove in three runs in the win, while Macie Coyle singled and scored one run, Braelynn Wood and Mackenzie Morgan each scored one run and drove in one run, and Marissa Butler crossed the plate once.

Foley singled twice and drove in one run to pace Tioga at the plate, while Thetga hit a sole home run, Williams, Vance, and Hine each doubled and scored one run, and Feeko added a double.

Freshman Erin Luther was tagged with the loss, allowing five runs — four earned — on four hits, while striking out three and walking one in three innings of work.

Hine finished off the game, allowing three runs — two earned — on five hits, while striking out one and walking nine in three innings.

Athens improves to 8-10, while Tioga falls to 11-5.

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PERSUN SHINES, LEADS ATHENS TO 11-1 WIN OVER WAVERLY IN 'BATTLE AT THE BORDER' FINALE

PERSUN SHINES, LEADS ATHENS TO 11-1 WIN OVER WAVERLY IN 'BATTLE AT THE BORDER' FINALE

May 14, 2022 Tim Birney

ATHENS — After pitching seven inning in a win over Tioga earlier in the day, Athens freshman Savanah Persun told her coach she “wanted the ball” again against Waverly here Saturday afternoon in the nightcap of the “Battle at the Border.”

Wildcat coach Mickey Farrell granted Persun’s wish, and she made him look like a genius, lead Athens to an 11-1 win over the Lady Wolverines.

“I wanted to start Aliyah (Butler), but Savanah (Persun) wanted the ball again,” said Farrell. “She pitched great, pounding the zone, and throwing strikes.

“Plus, we changed our infield except for Caydence (Macik) at shortstop and only had one error,” noted Farrell, who pointed out a couple of key performances for the Lady Wildcats.

“Brea Wood from the 9-spot had a great day hitting and is doing a great job at first base,” said Farrell. “Caydence had a great game as well .

“Macie (Coyle) also had three big hits and has been doing a great job catching in place of Ash (VanFleet), who is out for the season,” added Farrell.

With wins over Tioga and Waverly on Saturday, and Sayre earlier this season, the Lady Wildcats also capture the mythical “Valley championship.”

Persun allowed an unearned run on two hits, while striking out eight and walking two in a five-inning complete-game win.

Waverly took an early 1-0 lead with a run in the top of the first inning. Lead-off hitter Michaela Lauper reached on an error, and eventually scored on a two-out RBI single by Aubrey Ennis.

The Lady Wildcats erased the deficit in short order as Caydence Macik, Aliyah Butler, and Jules Pack rapped back-to-back-to-back doubles to open the inning for a 2-1 lead.

With one out, Persun helped out her own cause with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1.

Braelynn Wood and Macik stroked RBI singles in the second inning to give Athens a 5-1 lead.

Persun and Macie Coyle belted back-to-back doubles to start the bottom of the third, extending the Lady Wildcat advantage to 6-1.

With one out, Mackenzie Morgan plated Macie Coyle with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-1, and Macik capped the rally with a two-out RBI double to push the lead to 8-1.

The Lady Wildcats scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to close out the game via the 10-run “mercy rule.”

Macie Coyle led off the inning with a single, and Emma Renninger worked a walk. After Coyle scored on a wild pitch, Wood hit a RBI single up the middle to make it 10-1.

After a single by Macik and a walk to Pack, Ella Coyle ended the game with an RBI single to left field.

Macik was 4-for-4 with two doubles, one run scored, and two RBI, while Macie Coyle was 3-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored, and two RBI, and Wood was 3-for-3 with a double, three runs scored, and three RBI to pace Athens’ 14-hit attack.

Butler, Pack, and Persun each doubled, scored one run, and drove in one run in the win, while Ella Coyle singled and drove in one run, Morgan scored one run and drove in one run, and Renninger scored one run.

Ennis singled and drove in one run, and Lea VanAllen added a single to account for Waverly’s two hits, and Lauper scored one run.

With the win, Athens improves to 9-10 on the season, and now needs a win at Montgomery (14-2) Wednesday to qualify for the upcoming District 4, Class 4A playoffs.

“We are like Jeykill and Hyde,” said Farrell. “When we play with heart and some enthusiasm, we beat some really good teams like Wyalusing and Liberty and Selingsgrove, but then we lose games to teams we should beat … but played like a bad version of the Bad News Bears.

“Our season comes down to one game,” noted Farrell. “Montgomery is a really good team and to beat them would mean we really earned a district spot, but it’s gonna come down to what team shows up.

“We will have to play our best game of the season to have a chance,” added Farrell. “Canton showed they are not invincible, so anything can happen. All it takes is one time, so why not now.”

Waverly falls to 9-8 on the season.

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LADY WILDCATS WIN LEAGUE MEET; ATHENS BOYS FINISH THIRD

LADY WILDCATS WIN LEAGUE MEET; ATHENS BOYS FINISH THIRD

May 13, 2022 Tim Birney

ATHENS — The Athens girls track and field team continued their dominance at the NTL Championships, pulling away late to claim the title with 159 points.

“The girls did a really great job tonight,” said coach Mike Bronson. “We asked a lot of them in the heat. We really loaded a lot of them up, and they came through. I couldn’t be happier with them, they’re a great group of girls here.”

Wyalusing was second with 117 points, while Towanda (111.5) also finished in the top three.

“They’ve worked so hard for this this off-season,” Bronson continued. “We came here, and kind of did what we talked about just coming here and doing what we’ve done all season at the podium.”

Distance runners Sara and Emma Bronson combined for 44 points between the 800-,1,600–, and 3,200-meter runs, while also helping the 4x800 to a win in 10:55.62, for another 10 points.

“We talked about trying to maximize what we could get points wise, and they came through,” Bronson said.

Sara won the 1600 in 5:35.60, with Emma (5:39.37) second. Sara (2:29.06) was second in the 800, while Emma (2:34.91) took fifth.

In the 2-mile Sara (12:51.27) was second, with Emma (12:59.68) third.

Hannah Walker was also strong in the hurdles, winning the 100 high hurdles in 16.65 seconds, and also winning the 300 hurdles in 48.59 seconds. She helped the 4x400 relay team to a second-place finish in 4:29.50.

“We knew she was a really good 300 hurdler, and she just a few weeks ago asked about doing the 100 hurdles,” explained Bronson. “She took to it pretty quick, then won the 300 hurdles, and, you know, then came back with a solid 200, and a really nice anchor on the 4x4. She’s just a great hard-working kid for us.”

Walker was fourth in the 200 in 27.61 seconds.

Other scorers on the track include Cassy Friend taking fifth in the 400 in 1:04.68, Thea Bentley finishing seventh in the 800 in 2:42.13, and Emily Henderson finishing fifth in the 100 hurdles in 17.64.

In the field, Mya Thompson (16-feet, 8 1/2-inches) won the long jump, while Friend (14-feet, 5 1/2-inches) was seventh, and Taylor Walker (14-feet, 4-inches) took eighth.

Thompson returned to win the triple jump at 33-feet, 6 1/4-inches, with Taylor Walker (31-feet, 5 1/4-inches) seventh.

Olivia Bartlow (96-feet, 1-inch) won the discus, while Emma Pernaselli (79-feet, 2-inches) was fourth, and Rachel Jelliff (77-feet) came in seventh.

Pernaselli (96-feet, 9-inches) won the javelin, with Bartlow (88-feet, 2 1/2-inches) sixth. Bartlow (29-feet, 1/2-inch) was third in the shot put, and Pernaselli (27-feet, 2 1/2-inches) came in eighth.

On the boys’ side, Jaden Wright had himself a day with wins in the 100 (11.24 seconds) and the 200 (23.50).

“I feel it was pretty amazing,” said Wright. “I PRed in pretty much every event today, and I ran a state qualifying time for the 100, so if I can do that at districts, I’ll be in good shape.”

Wright’s hoping the added competition at districts next week will push him to go even faster.

“I’m focusing on block starts, because my block starts right now are kind of bad,” Wright said. “My topping speed is just kind of carrying me through the 100.”

Athens was third as a team with 100 points.

Kolsen Keathley (11.58) was fourth in the 100, while running 24.0 to take fifth in the 200.

Kyle Anthony medaled in the 800 (2:07.87) with a fourth-place finish, and the 1,600 (4:42.62) in fifth. Ryan Thompson (2:09.38) was sixth in the 800, while Ethan Hicks (5:00.67) came in sixth in the mile.

Hicks (11:19.04) was fifth in the 2-mile.

Levi Kuhns (16.03) was second in the 110 hurdles, with Ronel Ankham (17.66) sixth. Ankham (44.13) was third in the 300 hurdles.

Their 4x800 relay (8:48.35) won, their 4x400 relay (3:40.66) was second, and their 4x100 relay (45.99) came in third.

In the field, Ethan Denlinger (5-feet, 6-inches) was fourth in the high jump, with Josh Martin (139-feet, 6-inches) third in the javelin.

“This is the best tracking we’ve had all season, so it feel good to run good times in this weather,” said Wright.

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ATHENS EDGES WATKINS GLEN / O-M, 2-1, BEHIND PITCHING GEM FROM KRAFT

ATHENS EDGES WATKINS GLEN / O-M, 2-1, BEHIND PITCHING GEM FROM KRAFT

May 13, 2022 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Junior Lucas Kraft pitched a complete-game, and drove in the winning run in the sixth inning to lead Athens to a 2-1 win over Watkins Glen / Odessa-Montour here Friday afternoon in non-league baseball action.

“Luke Kraft came out in full control tonight,” said Athens assistant coach Andy Podolinski. “He pounded the strike zone and was hitting his locations. He was in control from the first inning and controlled the game.

“You could tell in warm-ups he was locked in,” noted Podolinski. “His velocity was up today, and he was locked in. He dominated the game today and it was fun to watch.

“The kid has worked hard and it’s fun to be a part of watching him and the team grow,” added Podolinski. “Absolutely his most dominate performance of the season, and we’re coming together at the perfect time.”

Kraft allowed one run on five hits, while striking out 10 and walking one in a seven-inning performance to earn the win.

After five scoreless innings, the Seneca Indians pushed a run across the plate on a double by Daniel Lewis and a sacrifice fly by Dom Fazzary.

Senior Karter Rude led off the home half of the sixth with a single to right field, and ended up on third after the ball was misplayed. He scored moments later on an RBI single by junior Caleb Nichols.

After Nichols stole second base, Kraft stroked a two-out, 0-2 pitch to left field to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead.

Kraft pitched around a one-out double in the top of the seventh inning, ending the game with a pair of strikeouts.

Nichols singled twice, scored one run and drove in one run, while Rude singled, scored one run, and stole two bases, and Kraft singled and knocked in one run to account for the Wildcats’ four hits.

Lewis was tagged with the loss for the Seneca Indians, allowing two runs on four hits, while striking out five and walking one in six innings.

Athens, now 12-7, squares off with Sayre Sunday at PNC Field in Scranton.

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LISTER, SULLIVAN COMBINE ON FIVE-HITTER; LEAD ATHENS TO 7-0 WIN OVER NP-MANSFIELD

LISTER, SULLIVAN COMBINE ON FIVE-HITTER; LEAD ATHENS TO 7-0 WIN OVER NP-MANSFIELD

May 9, 2022 Tim Birney

MANSFIELD — Juniors Mason Lister and Cameron Sullivan combined on a five-hit shutout to lead Athens to a 7-0 win over North Penn-Mansfield here Monday afternoon in NTL Large School Division baseball action.

Lister, who pitched a complete-game four-hitter in his last start, tossed 5 2/3 innings to earn the win, allowing three hits, while striking out nine and walking one.

Sullivan allowed two hits, while striking out two and walking one in 1 1/3 innings of relief.

Athens took a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Senior Karter Rude led off the game with a single, stole second, and scored on a two-out outfield error off the bat of Lister, who scored on an RBI double by junior Lucas Kraft.

Senior Kaden Setzer, J.J. Babcock, and Dylan Merritt led off the second inning with consecutive singles to load the bases. With two outs, Sullivan looped a two-run single to right field to make it 4-0.

Athens added an unearned run in the third inning, then tacked on two runs in the fifth in a rally highlighted by an RBI single by J.J. Babcock.

Kraft doubled twice, scored one run, and drove in one run, while Babcock singled twice, scored one run and knocked in one run, and Setzer singled twice and scored two runs to pace Athens at the plate.

Sullivan singled and scored two runs in the win, while Rude and junior Jaren Glisson each singled and scored one run, Merritt added a single, and Lister scored one run.

Cam Fabian was 3-for-3, and Hunter Thompson had two hits to account for all five of NP-M’s five hits.

Athens, now 11-7, returns to action Tuesday at Lansing.

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NP-LIBERTY BESTS ATHENS, 9-4, DESPITE MACIK'S TWO HOME RUNS

NP-LIBERTY BESTS ATHENS, 9-4, DESPITE MACIK'S TWO HOME RUNS

May 9, 2022 Tim Birney

MANSFIELD — Athens senior Caydence Macik belt a pair of solo home runs, but North Penn-Liberty ace Mackenzi Tice held down the rest of the line-up in a 9-4 win here Monday afternoon in NTL Large School Division softball action.

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CANTON PULLS AWAY LATE IN 10-3 WIN OVER ATHENS

CANTON PULLS AWAY LATE IN 10-3 WIN OVER ATHENS

May 5, 2022 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Canton scored five runs in the top of the sixth inning to blow open a close game en route to a 10-3 win over Athens here Thursday afternoon in NTL softball action.

“For five innings it was a ballgame,” said Athens coach Mickey Farrell. “Again, though other than Aliyah (Butler) and Emma (Renninger), no one was swinging the bat well, but we were making enough plays to give us a chance, and then like many times this year defensively we fell apart.

“Savannah (Persun) threw a pretty good game, but we’re allowing the other team too many opportunities to score because we just can’t make the play when we need to,” added Farrell. “You can’t give a good team like Canton extra outs because they will and did take advantage of it.”

The Lady Wildcats took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, highlighted by an RBI single by senior Aliyah Butler.

Canton got on the board in the top of the third inning with one run, and took a 3-2 lead with two runs in the fourth innings.

The Lady Warriors’ big fifth inning game them a 8-2 lead after 5 1/2 innings.

Butler belted a lead-off double in the bottom of the sixth inning, and eventually scored to close the gap to 8-3.

Canton provided the final margin with two runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Butler was 3-for-3 with a double, one run scored, and one RBI, and Emma Renninger singled twice to account for five of Athens’ six hits.

Freshman Jules Pack singled and scored one run for the Lady Wildcats, and freshman Ella Coyle scored one run.

Athens, now 7-9, returns to action Monday against North Penn-Liberty.

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 WALKER, FRIEND LEAD ATHENS TO WINS OVER NEB, NP-M IN FINAL DUALS OF SEASON; BRONSON BREAKS SCHOOL RECORD IN 1,600

WALKER, FRIEND LEAD ATHENS TO WINS OVER NEB, NP-M IN FINAL DUALS OF SEASON; BRONSON BREAKS SCHOOL RECORD IN 1,600

May 3, 2022 Tim Birney

ATHENS — Senior Hannah Walker won four events, and junior Cassy Friend was a triple-winner to lead Athens to regular-season closing wins over Northeast Bradford and North Penn-Mansfield here Tuesday afternoon in NTL track & field action.

On Friday, freshman Sara Bronson established a new school record in the 3,200-meter run. On Tuesday,  junior Emma Bronson broke a long-standing school-record in the 1,600-meter run.

Emma Bronson finished second in the 1,600-meter run in a school-record time of 5:24.94, breaking the record of 5:27.2 set by Julie Young in 1986. Sara Bronson finished third in 5:25.4, which also broke the record.

“The 1600 was a tremendous race tonight,” said Athens coach Mike Bronson. “(NEB’s) Gracelynn Laudermilch, Emma, and Sara all ran really well, working together to all set PRs and a school record for Emma.”

Overall, Bronson was pleased with his team’s performance.

"The girls had a very solid meet tonight,” said Athens coach Mike Bronson. “We had a lot of girls set PRs, so we are definitely headed in the right direction leading up to NTLs and Districts.  

“Cassy Friend had a great meet,” he noted. “The throwers came through once again — Olivia Bartlow had a nice PR in the shot … and Hannah Walker had a great day.

“Now, we have 10 days until the NTL meet,” he added. “We will get back to work to sharpen up for the league meet and then districts.”

Athens amassed 106 points, while North Penn-Mansfield tallied 33 points, and NEB had 31 points.

Senior Olivia Bartlow, junior Emma Bronson, sophomores Mya Thompson and Thea Bentley, and freshman Sara Bronson were double-winners for the Lady Wildcats.

Hannah Walker won the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 17.44 seconds, and sophomore Emily Henderson was second in 18.21 seconds. Walker also won the 300-meter hurdles in 49.73 seconds, and Henderson was second in 1:08.29.

Hannah Walker teamed with Henderson, junior Jenny Ryan, and freshman Addy Wheeler to win the 400-meter relay in 56.49 seconds.

Hannah Walker also won the 200-meter dash in 28.26 seconds, while Friend was second in 29.09 seconds, and Ryan was fourth in 30.6 seconds.

Friend won the 400-meter dash in 1:04.84, and Thompson was second in 1:07.45.

Friend led a sweep in the long jump with a leap of 14-feet, 2-inches, while senior Taylor Walker was second at 13-feet, 11 1/2-inches, Ryan was third at 13-feet, 9 1/2-inches, and Thompson was fourth at 13-feet, 8-inches.

Emma Bronson won the 3,200-meter run in a time of 13:13.59, and Sara Bronson was second in 13:13.64.

The Bronsons teamed with Friend, and Bentley to win the 1,600-meter relay in a time of 4:52.08.

Bartlow won the shot put with a heave of 31-feet, 6-inches, while sophomore Emma Pernaselli was second at 30-feet, 4 1/2-inches.

Bartlow also won the discus with a toss of 94-feet, 9-inches, and Pernaselli was third at 78-feet, 7-inches.

Thompson won the triple jump with a mark of 31-feet, 4-inches, and Taylor Walker was third at 28-feet, 11-inches.

Bentley, sophomore Abby Prickitt, Thompson, and junior Audrey Clare teamed to win the 3,200-meter relay in a time of 12:43.23.

Hannah Earls was second in the high jump at 4-feet, 2-inches, and Taylor Walker was third at 3-feet, 10-inches.

Ryan finished third in the 100-meter dash in 14.32 seconds, and Henderson was fourth in 14.37 seconds.

Bentley finished third in the 800-meter run in 2:45.43, and Pernaselli finished third in the javelin with a throw of 81-feet, 4-inches.

Athens returns to action May 13 at the NTL Championships.

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