Bradley, Wittman to states
After an impressive showing at the Colonial League meet, Catasauqua’s track team took another step forward at the PIAA District 11 meet.
The Roughies’ Kenzie Bradley and Jacob Wittman will be heading to the PIAA state meet at Shippensburg University this weekend. Overall, the Catty girls’ unit finished sixth overall.
Bradley finished second in the long jump and high jump, and she also took a fifth-place finish in the triple jump. She finished just a half inch behind Palisades’ Lydia Bottelier (17.02-75) in the long jump with a mark of 17-02.25.
After a second-place finish at the league meet, Wittman improved his mark as he registered 13-6. He will be making his initial trip to Shippensburg after a third-place finish at districts last year.
“Districts went very well,” said head coach Kyle Rusnock. “Kenzie Bradley showed she belongs at states by qualifying for both the high and long jump. She was clutch.
“Jacob Wittman looked his usual self and won the pole vault.”
Other Roughies who did well were senior Tyra Brown, who finished fourth in the 200 (26.57) and fifth in the 100 (12.96) and sophomore Tory Simmons was seventh in the javelin (93-01).
Rusnock saw a bittersweet moment for Brown.
“Tyra Brown just missed qualifying by hundreds of seconds,” stated Rusnock. “She should keep her head up knowing how well she did and how awesome her season and career has been. She will go down as one of the greatest sprinters Catty every had.”
The girls’ 4 X 100 relay team of Brown, sophomore Madison Hicks and freshmen Lexi Rushatz and Olivia Emery was fourth in a time of 51.65 and achieved a medal. The 4 X 400 team of Brown, senior Madison Emery, Hicks, and Rushatz was fifth in a time of 4.36.55.
Bradley, a senior, then was on Bottelier’s heels, as she narrowly missed her in the high jump with a leap of 5-2 compared to Bottelier’s 5-6. Bradley’s mark in the triple jump was 34.00.
Bradley knew she could have improved her showings, as she and the rest of the field dealt with driving rains on the opening day of the meet.
“The weather was really bad,” said Bradley, who will continue her track career at Bucknell next year. “I haven’t performed in something like that before. We all could have done better with better weather.
“But I know I tried my best.”
Bradley will be making his second straight trip to states. She fouled three times in the long jump last year.
This time around, she plans to make the most of her visit in the high and long jump. It has been a memorable ride in the high jump, an event in which she literally took a chance.
“I figured I would try it out,” she said. “I always have loved to jump and this was another thing that involved jumping. I am still trying to figure it out and do it correctly. It has been a lot of fun.”
For Bradley and her teammates, it has been an enjoyable and productive ride.
“Overall, the athletes achieved their best times,” added Rusnock. “It was pretty cool to see the Rough Riders represented in some many events. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”