Warm Up the Bus: 21 Sheffield Track and Field Athletes Headed to District 9 Championships Today

Sheffield's 2023 District 9 qualifiers. Front row left to right: Dylan Hardwick, Marc Lewis, Collin Brown, Leihden Wotorson, Colby Barr, Trenton Mead, Gage Mott-Macalush, Jaylen Dougherty, Alex Eaton, Emre Morgan, Austin Fiscus, Chris Joblon, and Jack Chapman. Back row left to right: Kadence Steffan, Emma no Roell, Kassidy Orinko, Madison Connolly, Lily Benton, Bryana Butler, and Emily Foster. Missing from the photo is Senior Lucas McNeal. Photo courtesy Jason Snell.

SHEFFIELD, Pa. – Sheffield track and field coach Jason Snell had high expectations for his Wolverines coming into the 2023 season. On Friday, he’ll see one of those goals realized.

The Wolverines have typically had a small contingent of competitors at the District 9 Championships. This year, Sheffield is taking a bus to Brookville.

“In the past 20 years I have been involved coaching track here, we have always taken a van to the District 9 championships,” Snell said. “This year we will be taking a bus and it was one of our preseason goals!”

With relay alternates included the Wolverine boys and girls will be taking 21 athletes to Brookville High School and the District 9 Championships to compete in 11 different events.

Ironically, Sheffield’s two returning district medalists, Lucas McNeal and Emily Foster, are the Wolverines’ two biggest question marks going into districts.

Both are currently injured and their participation status for tomorrow is still very uncertain. Foster, a two time state qualifier in the high jump, injured her ankle in the last dual meet in Smethport and is still battling the injury. McNeal early in the season pulled his quad muscle and has battled pain all year just to compete.

“It is so heartbreaking for both of them to work so hard and get to this point and possibly not compete,” Snell said. “If they were both 100 percent, you probably could have added at least 3-4 more events to our district resume. Emily has another year, but for Lucas this is it! He has been such a huge contributor to this program for the last three seasons and it’s just heartbreaking for it to end like this. He is such a positive role model to all of his teammates and the youth of Sheffield. He didn’t deserve this, but I know he will so succeed in whatever he journeys to do in the game of life.”

The boys’ team fell just 11 points short of a perfect season and a Northern Tier Championship, and the relay teams-all three of which will compete at districts-paved the way for much of that success. This Wolverines have the potential to continue this type of success as they’ll lose only a couple of seniors from this year’s team.

“What’s really exciting is with the exception of Collin Brown (who leads The Wolverines competing in the maximum 4 events allowed), all of them will be returning next year with the exception of our heart and soul the last few years, senior Lucas McNeal,” Snell said.

With the girls’ 4×100 relay also a district-qualifier, Sheffield will have four relay teams running in Brookville.

“We have had great results with our lady sprinters at the Jr High and varsity level,” Snell said. For these young ladies to get to compete on this platform, will only pave the way for future district teams.”
For Snell, participation alone isn’t enough. He fully expects another amazing performance at districts.

“We look to continue doing what we have done all season,” Snell said. “Go give our all and then some, have a blast, and cheer each other on in doing so! With these kids any result is possible. They have continued to surprise and amaze me all year! Why would the D9 championships be any different!?

2023 Sheffield Wolverines District 9 Championship Qualifiers:

*Boys 4×800 Relay:
-Emre Morgan
-Trenton Mead
-Alex Eaton
-Dylan Hardwick
-Chris Joblon/Alternate
-Marc Lewis/Alternate

*Girls 4×100 Meter Relay:
-Bryana Butler
-Kadence Steffan
-Kassidy Orinko
-Emma Roell
-Lily Benton/Alternate
-Madison Connolly/Alternate

*Boys 4×100 Meter Relay:
-Colby Barr
-Collin Brown
-Leihden Wotorson
-Lucas McNeal
-Jack Chapman/Alternate
-Gage Mott-Macalush/Alternate

*Boys 4×400 Meter Relay:
-Collin Brown
-Jaylen Dougherty
-Dylan Hardwick
-Colby Barr
-Trenton Mead/Alternate
-Austin Fiscus/Alternate

*Boys 100 Meter Dash
-Collin Brown

*Boys 200 Meter Dash
-Collin Brown

*Boys 400 Meter Dash
-Colby Barr

*Boys 800 Meter Run
-Dylan Hardwick

*Girls High Jump
-Emily Foster
-Kassidy Orinko

*Girls Long Jump
-Kassidy Orinko

*Girls Discus
-Emma Roell