Girls Varsity Track · Girls Track & Field Take Back League Title in Exciting Fashion


The old saying every point matters held true for the Dock girls track and field team in the Bicentennial Athletic League Championships.

The Pioneers rallied on Day Two of the championships to squeak out a 189-188 win over defending champion and class AAA school Lower Moreland on Thursday. After Day One, Dock trailed by 20 points.

For Dock’s seniors, it’s their third championship in four years, and it was nice redemption from a difficult lose in 2017.

Abbie Woods was named the Female Track Athlete of the Meet for her wins in the 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. She also placed second in the triple jump.

McKenzie Swartley won the 1,600 meters and 800 meters on the second day after placing second in the 3,200 meters on Day One. Swartley also anchored the 4×400 of Elle Bergey, Ruth Michel and Isa Rodriguez that placed second to hold off Lower Moreland for the team title.

The girls 4×100 of Molly Hand, Kate Landis, Peyton Scialanca and Ruth Michel edged Bristol for the win, and Landis made a big jump in ranking from being seeded third to winning the javelin. Hand also won the long jump, but those were the only wins for Dock, which pulled out the team victory thanks to their depth.

Dock’s depth gave it a slowly growing momentum. Through ups and downs, the Pioneers continued to plug away and scored big points down the stretch to earn the victory.

The meet opened Wednesday with Woods taking second at 34-feet-6 to break up a strong Lower Moreland contingent and Alison Keach, seeded seventh, finished sixth at 29-4½. In the discus, Audrey Schweizerhof placed fourth at 84-feet-6 and Mikayla Martin picked up a point in eighth place with a personal-record 66-11. Schweizerhof had a personal-best 31-3 for second in the shot put.

In the girls 4×800, Bergey, Rodriguez, Lydia King and Bernd took third place in 10:38.0. Swartley was second and Sara Kennel made the most of her final chance to qualify for the District One championships by running a qualifying time of 12:55.64 for fourth place. Erica Gunden, in her first year out for track, also contributed two points with a seventh-place finish in 13:48.24, ahead of Lower Moreland’s top finisher.

The rest of the track and field events were completed on Day Two. The day began with a solid showing in the javelin with Landis moving up two spots from her seed to win at 100-feet-8. Bernd threw a season-best 95-4 for third place.

Also in the field, freshman Sydney Putera cleared a personal-best 4-6 to move up from her eighth-place seed to fifth place in the high jump.

Woods got the track events off to a flying start by beating three Lower Moreland girls across the line handily for the win in the 100 hurdles in 15.98 seconds. Landis took sixth in 18.11 seconds and Keach picked up another point with eighth in a personal-record 19.24 seconds.

Dock didn’t have a finisher in the top three, but they still earned 10 points in the 100 meters. Hand placed fourth in a personal-best 13.25, Michel went 13.76 for sixth and Scialanca ran 13.79 for seventh place.

Swartley followed with a come-from-behind win in the 1,600 meters in 5:27.06 and Kennel took seventh for two points in a personal-record 6:07.97.

The 4×100 relay came up big with its win by one-tenth of a second over Bristol, a tenth that going the other way would have cost the Pioneers the meet.

Dock picked up eight points in the 400 meters with Bernd taking fourth in 1:05.31, Bergey getting seventh in 1:06.50 and Rodriguez, who came in seeded 12th, sliding all the way up to eighth in a district qualifying personal-best 1:06.53. Lower Moreland led by 14 points after 12 events, and that’s when Dock made a big push.

Woods won the 300 hurdles in a 47.92, just five-hundredths of a second off her personal best, Landis placed fourth in a personal-best 53.31 seconds, Keach jumped from eighth to sixth with a personal-record 54.52 and freshman Laura Frederick ran a personal-best 55.35 to move from seeded 10th to eighth finisher and hit the district qualifier. Dock netted three points in a strong event for Lower Moreland to start to gather momentum.

In the race of the day Swartley pulled to the front to win the 800 meters in 2:30.05 with Bernd storming down the backstretch to overtake Lower Moreland’s top finisher for second place in 2:32.08. Bergey passed another runner in the final stretch for fourth place in 2:36.38 and King nearly picked up another point (but still achieved her district qualifier) finishing ninth with a personal-record 2:39.06. The 23-8 edge in the event helped to push Dock into its first lead of the day.

Hand helped immensely by winning the long jump at 15-11 -a jump that would injure her ankle and prevent her from finishing out her day.   Mercure came up big with a personal-record 14-10 district A standard jump for fourth ahead of three Lower Moreland jumpers.

Dock’s lead was trimmed to just three points with Hand unable to go in the 200 despite Scialanca finishing a solid fifth in the 200 meters in 28.61 seconds.

Going into the final event, the 4×400, Dock led by three points, which meant if the Pioneers placed more than one spot behind Lower Moreland in the relay that Lower Moreland would win the team title. The team of Bergey, Rodriguez, Michel, and Swartley ran strong on every leg to hold off New Hope and secure second-place in the race in 4:26.48 and kick off a celebration of the overall team championship by the narrowest of margins.