Athens girls third at states; Tama, Hosey also medal - 2017 NTL and District 4 News -

Athens girls third at states; Tama, Hosey also medal.

By: Brian Fees | Towanda Daily Review | May 28, 2017 | Photo courtesy Brian Fees


Athens girls third at states; Tama, Hosey also medalSHIPPENSBURG — The Athens girls knew going into the 4x400 relay that they wanted to improve on their school-record of 4:03.95 set in the prelims, and they also knew they wanted to move up from their seventh-place seed for the finals.

They accomplished both goals, finishing third in the event in 4:02.34 as Emily Lunger, Rachel Hutchison, Shanell Baglini and Ariana Gambrell ended the state meet with a state medal.

"That was the perfect way to end things here," Athens coach Ben Gambrell said. "Every time they run, they persevere through everything. To finish up moving up four places is a good statement and way to end the season."

For Baglini, it was the last race of her career.

"It was very emotional at the end because I knew it was my last race with the girls," Baglini said. "I think in our minds we were going to place either second or third. It feels great."

For Baglini, Gambrell and Hutchison, their whole focus on Saturday was the relay.

"The day actually went pretty quick," Hutchison said. "You have to really focus what you are doing because the time flies. You always have to be prepared."

The girls were happy with what they accomplished on Saturday.

"Just to be able to medal two years in a row is a great feeling and the 4:02 is just the icing on the cake," Ariana Gambrell said.

Lunger qualified for states in four events, but dropped the open 400 to focus on the relay more.

"I am glad I did it, it was a great team effort. None of us would be here without each other," Lunger said.

What was accomplished on Saturday just makes the three underclassmen anxious for the future.

"I definitely want to be here next year for hurdles and this is more motivation to be here and be on the podium for hurdles next year," Gambrell said.

Lunger earned two state medals on Saturday as she finished sixth in the 200 in 25.85.

"It felt great. I wasn't able to get on the podium for the 200 my freshman year, so to come back and medal after a year off really builds my confidence," she said. "I got my adrenaline pumping, it was a great feeling being on the medal stand."

As a team, Athens finished third with 37 points, trailing HIckory with 51 and Neumann Goretti with 56.

"Going in as one of the smaller schools, no one even knows who we are," Hutchison said.

But, after Saturday, that might all have changed.

"It may not be huge in numbers, but it's huge in heart and athletic ability," Ben Gambrell said about his team. "These are multi-talented, multi-sport athletes and when you get girls like that together and they compete at the state meet, you should expect good things to happen."

Wellsboro's Dahlia Hosey didn't enter the weekend expecting to medal in the triple jump, but on Saturday she took fourth in the event at 36-feet, 9-inches, nearly eight inches better than her seed.

"I did not think I was going to do that," she said. "I didn't even think I was going to make it to finals. I PR'd first or second jump and I was very much behind the board."

It was a nice weekend for Dahlia as her brother Dupree also competed at states.

"If I was by myself, I would be like 'I don't know anyone, I don't know what to do,'" she said.

Just a sophomore, Hosey is excited for the future.

"I am excited to do my next two years," she said.

Towanda's Ally Tama didn't have the day she wanted in the pole vault, finishing at 10-feet, 6-inches, but it wound up being enough to earn her an eighth-place medal.

"I don't want it to end," Tama said. "It's something I'm going to remember. It feels awesome (to medal). It's a step up from last year."

While Tama doesn't always worry about medals, she was happy to finish her career with one.

"I don't like to always make it about the medal, but since this is my last year, it's pretty nice," she said.

Tama is happy her last memory of states was standing on the podium.

"It's better than thinking about I went two heights under what I normally do, so this is better," she said.

Towanda's Jessica Tice finished 21st in the shot put with a top throw of 34-feet, 9-inches.

For Tice, the weather made it tough to match the distances she had gotten this year.

"We had a good week," Towanda coach Mark Vail said. "We got here this morning and the rain happened and made that circle slippery. I don't believe, even at the end, the girls got what they were seeded at. It was a tough day. The rain made it a tough day."

While the day wasn't what Tice wanted, it was a great year for the junior.

"She had a good year, she did well," Vail said. "It wasn't what we wanted, but she made it a second year and still has one more year. We are expecting big things from her."

Making states caps a big year for Tice.

"Her year went very well," Vail said. "In a three-year period she has thrown in 34 events and has won 28 of them. She's a competitor and we expect big things out of her next year."


About the Author

Brian Fees Author Bio
Brian Fees

Brian Fees is the sports editor of the Daily & Sunday Review in Towanda, PA.