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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts categorized "PIAA"
Posted: April 21st, 2014

McDowell senior Chris Jiuliante successfully completed Monday’s Boston Marathon in only his second career attempt at that distance.

Jiuliante placed 4,941st out of an estimated 36,000 entrants. He crossed the Boylston Street finish line in 3 hours, 14 minutes, 57 seconds.

The finish line was near the site of last year’s homemade bomb explosions that killed three spectators and injured more than 250 others.

Jiuliante was eligible to run Monday’s Boston Marathon based on his 10th-place finish (2:53.13) in last September’s Erie Marathon at Presque Isle. The McDowell tennis player said he took up running last summer as a way to relieve stress.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: April 20th, 2014

McDowell senior Chris Jiuliante is one of the youngest participants scheduled to appear in Monday’s 118th annual Boston Marathon.

Jiuliante, 18, qualified to be eligible for the race when he placed 10th overall (2 hours, 53 minutes, 13 seconds) during last September’s Erie Marathon at Presque Isle State Park. It was a remarkable effort, given it was his first-ever marathon.

The Boston Marathon takes place in the midst of Jiuliante’s last tennis season for McDowell. He said he took up running last summer when he read it was effective at relieving stress.

Jiuliante’s bib number is 2127. His race progress can be followed at www.baa.org.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: April 9th, 2014

The McDowell boys tennis team, with coach Richard Beck watching from outside the courts, swept rival Cathedral Prep 5-0 on Wednesday afternoon.

The victory not only upped the Trojans’ overall record to 7-0, but was Beck’s 500th in charge of the program. He’s in his 45th season at McDowell.

Logan Williams won the No. 2 singles match for the Trojans. Williams filled in for starter Chris Jiuliante, who sat out the meet with the flu.

Nick Donovan and Ben Bongutu were McDowell’s other victors in singles.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: April 8th, 2014

When the McDowell boys tennis team beat Nichols (N.Y.) 3-2 on Tuesday, it left the Trojans 6-0 overall.

It also left Richard Beck with 499 coaching victories over 45 seasons in charge of the program.

McDowell’s first chance to give Beck his 500th win comes today against the most appropriate opponent: Cathedral Prep.

The first of the rivals’ two Region 4 duals is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Trojans’ Caughey Road courts. Prep arrives with a 2-0 record thanks to Monday’s 5-0 sweep of Oil City.

Prep and McDowell are scheduled to meet a second time at Frontier Park on April 25.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: April 6th, 2014

The 2014 District 10 lacrosse finals will take place May 20 at Cathedral Prep’s Dollinger Field.

Ramblers athletic director Bill Flanagan has confirmed that date for the championships, with the girls match scheduled for 5 p.m. and the boys match at 7.

The McDowell boys and Fairview girls are the district’s defending titlists.

– Mike Copper

Posted: April 1st, 2014

Bermudian Springs wrestler Tristan Sponseller, who beat Corry’s Ryan Morris in the 195-pound final at the PIAA Class AA wrestling tournament on March 8, was a finalist in that same division for the National High School Wrestling Championships.

The 25th annual meet, which attracts some of the nation’s best talent, was held over the weekend at Virginia Beach, Va.

Marcus Harrington, a two-time Iowa champion, decisioned Sponseller 7-5 in their final. Harrington plans to wrestle for Iowa State, while Sponseller is a Lock Haven recruit.

– Mike Copper

Posted: March 22nd, 2014

Two of District 10′s veteran boys tennis coaches saw their schools win their 2014 openers this week.

Those victories also nudged them closer to career milestones.

The Warren Dragons, the district’s defending Class AA champions, returned to action with Saturday morning’s 7-1 non-region win over Olean (N.Y.) Their dual took place indoors at St. Bonaventure University’s Tripodi Athletic Center.

That victory nudged Warren coach Jeff Bartsch closer to the 250-victory plateau. Bartsch is currently 247-16 over 17 seasons in charge of the Dragons.

Earlier this week, McDowell’s debut resulted in a 5-0 shutout of Fairview at Pennbriar Athletic Club. That win pulled coach Richard Beck within six of 500 for his career.

Beck goes into the last week of March with a record of 494-151. He’s in his 45th season with the Trojans.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: March 18th, 2014

PIAA semifinals
Boys
Class A
Math, Civics & Sciences 76, St. John Neumann 53
Lincoln Park 70, Bishop Carroll 28
Class AA
Constitution 55, Meyers 44
Seton-La Salle 46, Greensburg Central Catholic 44
Class AAA
Neumann-Goretti 65, Philadelphia Electric 53
Susquehanna Township 42, Central Valley 31
Class AAAA
La Salle College 61, Chester 55
New Castle 58, Abington 54
Girls
Class A
Old Forge 43, Phil-Mont Christian 31
Vincentian Academy 60, Bishop Guilfoyle 45
Class AA
Neumann-Goretti 55, Dunmore 30
Seton-La Salle 48, Burrell 37
Class AAA
Archbishop Wood 74, Holy Redeemer 56
Blackhawk 49, Palmyra 41
Class AAAA
Cumberland Valley 61, West Chester Rustin 45
Spring-Ford 46, North Allegheny 32

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Basketball, PIAA
Posted: March 16th, 2014

All PIAA basketball semifinals are on Tuesday
Boys
Class A
At East Pennsboro High School
St. John Neumann vs. Math, Civics & Sciences, 7 p.m.
At Hempfield High School
Lincoln Park vs. Bishop Carroll, 7:30 p.m.
*Championship is Friday at 2 p.m. in Hershey

Class AA
At Parkland High School
Constitution vs. Meyers, 7:30 p.m.
At North Allegheny High School
Seton-La Salle vs. Greensburg Central Catholic, 7:30 p.m.
*Championship is Saturday at 2 p.m. in Hershey

Class AAA
At South Philadelphia High School
Neumann-Goretti vs. Philadelphia Electric, 7 p.m.
At Altoona High School
Susquehanna Township vs. Central Valley, 7:30 p.m.
*Championship is Friday at 8 p.m. in Hershey

Class AAAA
At Coatesville High School
Chester vs. La Salle College, 7 p.m.
At Chambersburg High School
Abington vs. New Castle, 7:30 p.m.
*Championship is Saturday at 8 p.m. in Hershey

Girls
Class A
At Freedom High School
Old Forge vs. Phil-Mont Christian, 6 p.m.
At Hempfield High School
Vincentian Academy vs. Bishop Guilfoyle, 6 p.m.
*Championship is Saturday at noon in Hershey

Class AA
At Freedom High School
Neumann-Goretti vs. Dunmore, 7:30 p.m.
At North Allegheny High School
Seton-La Salle vs. Burrell, 6 p.m.
*Championship is Friday at noon in Hershey

Class AAA
At Parkland High School
Archbishop Wood vs. Holy Redeemer, 6 p.m.
At Altoona High School
Palmyra vs. Blackhawk, 6 p.m.
*Championship is Saturday at 6 p.m. in Hershey

Class AAAA
At Warwick High School
West Chester Rustin vs. Cumberland Valley, 7 p.m.
At Chambersburg High School
Spring-Ford vs. North Allegheny, 6 p.m.
*Championship is Friday at 6 p.m. in Hershey

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Basketball, PIAA
Posted: March 15th, 2014

Lauren Barber defended as the state’s best Class AA female swimmer in the 100-yard breaststroke. The Wilmington junior, competing as an independent because her school has no pool or program, won back-to-back titles in that event with a championship-final time of 1:03.05.

Corry’s Brent Benedict was named the outstanding male swimmer at the conclusion of Saturday’s PIAA Class AA meet.

District 10 went 1-2 in the championship final of the boys’ 100-yard backstroke. Corry’s Brent Benedict, one day after becoming the Beavers’ first PIAA swimming champ of any kind in 20 years, added a second gold medal in his specialty. Benedict returned in PIAA record 48.69 seconds. Mercyhurst Prep rival Griffin Schaetzle was second at 49.86. Schaetzle sought to become the Lakers’ first male swimming champ at the state level.

Franklin senior Phil Emerson won the boys’ 100-yard freestyle for the third consecutive season with a time of 45.65 seconds. The gold medal was the sixth overall for the University of Kentucky recruit and fifth as an individual sprinter for the Knights. Emerson repeated as the state’s 50 free titlist Friday night.

Updates of District 10 entrants from Saturday’s PIAA Class AA swimming and diving meet at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. The top eight in each event will receive medals.

Because the media center is not immediately adjacent to Kinney Natatorium, updates will only be provided at the end of each preliminary and championship session. However, posts will be made as soon as possible if a district entrant places first or second in a championship race.

– Mike Copper

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 14th, 2014

Wilmington junior Lauren Barber was the silver medalist to Courtney Harnish’s record-setting performance in the final of the girls’ 200-yard freestyle. Barber returned in 1:47.32, but was more than one second slower than the West York freshman. Harnish, who was seeded first going into Friday morning’s preliminaries, set a new PIAA standard with her time of 1:45.91.

The Franklin boys’ 200-yard freestyle relay, consisting of Douglas Merchbaker, Connor Virgile, Isaac Cooke and anchor Phil Emerson, combined for a second-place time of 1:27.97. District 11 Salisbury knocked off the Knights with a low time of 1:27.56.

Brent Benedict became Corry’s first PIAA swimming champion of any kind in 20 years with his victory in the boys’ 100-yard butterfly. Benedict’s time of 48.57 seconds was .01 off tying the state record set by York Suburban’s Kevin Marsteller in 2009.

Franklin sprinter Phil Emerson repeated as the boys’ 50-yard freestyle gold medalist. The University of Kentucky recruit went down and back in 20.61 seconds, only .04 away from tying the state record set by Daniel Gosek of Holy Ghost Prep in 2011.

Mercyhurst Prep’s Griffin Schaetzle (backstroke), John Mackowski (breaststroke), Joseph Swanson (butterfly) and Ryan Campbell (freestyle) were the silver medalists for the boys’ 200-yard medley relay (1:37.08). District 3 Trinity edged the Lakers with a time of 1:36.99 in the championship final.

Updates of District 10 entrants from Friday’s PIAA Class AA swimming and diving meet at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. The top eight in each event will receive medals.

Because the media center is not immediately adjacent to Kinney Natatorium, updates will only be provided at the end of each preliminary and championship session. However, posts will be made as soon as possible if a district entrant places first or second in a championship race.

– Mike Copper

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 13th, 2014

–Tom Reisenweber

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