QZ93 Sports

Windber boys and girls ready for early challenge

In Berlin, Chestnut Ridge, District 5, Track and Field, WestPAC, Windber on April 16, 2009 at 6:00 am

The Windber boys and girls track teams are going to figure out a lot this afternoon.

A season after the boys won the WestPAC regular season championship and the girls captured the conference championship meet crown, the Ramblers will face off against Chestnut Ridge and Berlin.

It will be a critical afternoon for the Ramblers, who have only had one meet this season. It’s also going to be a big meet with major conference implications.

“It’s early yet, but it could determine the WestPAC championship,” Windber boys and girls coach Tim Saylor said in an interview with QZ93 Sports Central. “Windber and Berlin are the favorites and you have to think that Windber’s girls and Berlin’s boys are outright favorites. Throw Chestnut Ridge into the mix and it should be really good meet.”

Today’s action starts a busy few days for the Ramblers, who head to the Shippensburg Invitational on Saturday and then into conference meets on Monday and Wednesday.

“We only wish we had more than one meet under our belts, but we’ve had some good practices,” said Saylor, who is in his 16th season as head coach.

The Ramblers boys will be looking to runners like Tim Roddy and David Burkett on the track to help score points this season. Senior Jarod Spinelli should be a leader in the throwing events.

Roddy, a two-time conference cross country champion, is one of the stars in District 5 in only his junior year. His classmate, Burkett, is a strong hurdler (110 and 300) and has the ability to help the team in the relays as well as some jumping events.

The boys can also score points elsewhere through the lineup as evidenced by the team’s performance in its lone meet, against Blacklick Valley. Four Windber pole vaulters cleared 10 feet, including one freshman. Another freshman just missed the mark, settling for 9 foot, 6 inches.

The girls are led by senior Sarah Snyder, who finished fourth in the state in the 300 hurdles last year. Snyder signed her letter-of-intent on Wednesday to compete for NCAA Division I Mount St. Mary’s next year.

Tonya and Sara Bibby, twin juniors, should help the Ramblers in several events this year, including the pole vault. Courtney Mullen, a senior, is among the team leaders in the throwing events.

The depth among the Ramblers boys and girls can also be traced to the strong history of the team’s junior high program, which has raised the talent level of some of the underclassmen, who Saylor will rely on this season.

“All of this is the credit to the assistants,” Saylor said. “Guys like Bob Snyder, George Englert and Garrett Wright, who is the school’s record holder in the pole vault. We’ve got good junior high coaches and numerous volunteer coaches. Everybody contributes as a coaching staff and it means a lot.”

BY MATT JORDAN
matt@qz93sports.com

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