Members of Riverside's Boys and Girls Track and Field Teams traveled to Shippensburg, PA on May 28th to compete in the PIAA Track and Field Championships. Students who earned the opportunity to compete came away with an impressive list of accomplishments. Coach Chuck Kotuby couldn't express enough how proud he was of the student athletes and that "it is no easy road to the State Championship. These students' achievements are the result of hours of hard work, practice, and dedication." When you factor in the pandemic forcing the teams to take a year away from official competition, their year was nothing short of amazing. Coach Kotuby also recognized the efforts of coaches and volunteers who pour into these student athletes such as Chelsea Kordecki, Royann Winfield, Deb Evans, Tom Godsen, Dave Sullivan, and Clint Kotuby.
In team events, the Panthers outran all Pennsylvania Class AA relay teams in the 4 X 400M Relay to place 1st. The gold medal-winning relay team of Brody Barton, Ty Fluharty, Alden Wetzel and anchor Colby Belczyk helped Riverside Boys achieve 3rd place in the overall PIAA team standings at a competition where over 150 school districts participated. It is important to mention that this gold medal win at States was achieved with the help of Noah Zelch, who ran with the relay team all year but was injured prior to States, preventing him from competing in the PIAA games. Junior Brody Barton, a Riverside hurdler, stepped in to fill the gap left by the injured Zelch, who was there to cheer his relay teammates on.
In individual events, the Riverside School District was well-represented. Senior Colby Belczyk broke his own school record with a 1st place finish (and second gold medal) in the Open 800M Run with a time of 01:53.97. Coach Clint Kotuby was proud of his distance runners, as Ty Fluharty finished in 4th place in that same Open 800M Run as well. The Riverside Girls Track and Field Team was excited to celebrate junior Sydney Hale as she secured 6th place in the State AA Discuss Throw, which puts her among very few girls in Riverside history to compete in the discuss field event at the State level. Senior Aubriante Cleckley, who is no stranger to State competition (having been there as a freshman), returned to compete in the 100M Hurdles and Sophomore Jordan Chesko finished a successful year by competing at the PIAA level in the High Jump. Panther Pole Vaulters Trevor McNeill and Teddy McHale achieved their trip to States, with Teddy bringing in an 8th place finish. Graham Kralic, also a Riverside Boys Swim Team stand-out, competed in the PIAA Finals as Riverside Boys' only hurdler in the 300M Hurdles.
Congratulations to the Riverside Track and Field Teams and Coaches!