Indians score at the 8th annual Unionville Invitational

Unionville track and field athletes set records, put on strong performance while hosting 27 schools

By Hannah Christopher, Staff Writer,

Unionville senior Alicia Minella races to the lead the 200-meter, run one of two victories for the day. All photos courtesy Megan Minella.

EAST MARLBOROUGH — It might make them seem like rude hosts, but Unionville High School’s boys and girls track teams put on a dominant performance, Saturday, at the Unionville Invitational.

For the eighth annual invitational meet, the Indians hosted athletes from 27 other schools but it was the home school’s day to shine on their home track.

Conditions were absolutely perfect with cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 50’s.  I started my day out with a brisk two-mile run and I had a feeling it was going to be a great day for fast times at the track invitational  because of the cool conditions.

The first “final” event of the day was the 3200-meter run.  This was a change from years past having this event early in the day. It suited one Unionville young lady in particular.  Anne Birkenmaier, a sophomore won the event in a battle over two senior Tatnall girls, from the running power house school from Northern Delaware.  Annie ran in second or third most of the way with the one Tatnall girl shoving her here and there on the inside lane.  Anne gave it right back and I think it made her dig even deeper to beat the Tatnall girls and show them who is boss.

Next up for another Unionville victory was the girls 4 by 800 relay race.  Lauren Ellsworth ran the first leg and got the rest of the girls a great margin over their opponents.  After Ellsworth, the rest of the legs were run by Jordan Close, Casey Tureszyn and Kelsey McDonald.  Ellsworth set the pace and Unionville finished first in a very fast 9:38 time over Avon Grove.  Avon Grove had a good run and were very happy were their second place finish and one of their relay runners was BethAnn Ilgenfritz. She is the daughter of Christy Ilgenfritz, Patton Middle School’s renowned English and Lit teacher.

And the girls 4 x 400 meter relay of Kim Lapzynski, Maddy Ferraro, Christina Mapa, and Kelsey McDonald qualified for districts and broke a school record by running a time of 4:04.73

Unionville's Glenn Burkhardt wins the mile, Saturday, just ahead of teammate Steve Yannocone, who took third.

The 1600-meter run (the mile) was the next thrilling race for both the boys and girls Unionville teams.   Lauren Mills (senior-committed to Penn State) set a meet record by edging out the Duke bound Lindsey Olivere from Archmere in Delaware by 3 tenths of a second for a victory in 5 minutes flat.  A ninth grader placed fourth from UHS named Emily Fisher in a 5:23 mile which is quite impressive.

Penn State University Main Campus has lucked out by gaining not only Lauren Mills for their track and field program but also the Unionville Senior Glen Burkhardt who won the mile in a phenomenal 4:20.  In third place was a sophomore, Steve Yannocone in a 4:24.  Unionville is becoming a feeder program to their track and field program with Susie Pancoast agreeing to compete in the field events for the next four years at PSU. Susie won the discus yesterday with a throw of 115-04, beating the second place Rustin opponent by over 6 feet.

Unionville Sophomore Anne Birkenmaier wins the 3200-meter run.

Alicia Minella(senior- Colgate) continued her winning ways with easy victories in the 100 meter hurdles and the 200 meter run.   After beating her Rustin opponent Sharnise White by a decisive distance in the 200, I watched Minella finish with amazement in a 25.85 and immediately smile and look although she was not even out of breath.  It will be quite interesting to watch this young lady and see what she is capable of at districts and states when she is pushed by some stiffer competition.

Casey Taylor won the 400 meter run in a 51.27 and right behind him was Kennett’s Carlos Figueroa.  A Unionville 9th grader Francis Peabody finished in a strong fourth position. The boys had some good showings in the field events with Dima Curtis placing second in the discus and Perry Hopkins second in the Javelin.  Another Pancoast on the boys side is showing that the Pancoast tradition continues with their athletic throwing talents and that would be sophomore Tom who placed third behind Hopkins in the javelin.  In the boys High Jump Kennett’s Malik Rochester edged Ross Kim- McManus in the high jump for 6th and 7th.

The meet finished with both the Unionville boys and girls winning the 4 by 400 meter relay races.  The girls ran a 4:03.73 (Christine Mapa, Casey Turezyn, Jordan Close, and Kelsey McDonald) and the boys ran a 3:30.70 (Casey Taylor, Jason Brown, Evan Urbani, and Steve Yannocone)

Mark LaCianca, head coach at UHS for track and field and meet director was very happy with the day’s events and the way the meet ran by the mostly volunteer staff.  “There were lots of PR’s (personal records), and it was a successful meet. The kids competed and helped out and it was a great day for the Unionville track and field program.”

This Tuesday on May 3rd the UHS Indians travel across town to compete with the Kennett Blue Demons in a dual meet.


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