Devan Coon may be a freshman, but she is already one of the key members of the Schuylkill Valley girls' track team and the best sprinter in the county.
At the Shaner Meet May 6-7 at Wyomissing, Coon won both the 100 and 200-meter dashes, duplicating her performance at the county-wide Stephan Meet.
Coon is chasing Liz Staus's school records in the 100 and 200. It should only be a matter of time before Coon supplants Staus in the record book, which is somewhat ironic, since Staus coached Coon in Junior High track last year.
At Shaner, Coon set Berks season-best times in both events.
She also ran the anchor leg of the Lady Panthers' 4x100 relay that took fourth. Maggie Majka, Shannon Carl and Heather Hobbs helped Coon attain this achievement.
In the 4x400, Coon led off, followed by Katie Derer, Alli Tucul and Courtney Whitmoyer. They raced to a fifth place finish, quite impressive considering Coon, Tucul and Whitmoyer are freshmen.
Tucul, an accomplished swimmer, normally places in the javelin, but she had an off day at this meet. Whitmoyer is devoting all her sports time to track now that the soccer season has ended. She finished fourth in the 400 at the Shaner Meet.
If Whitmoyer hadn't been playing in a soccer game, the girls might not have lost a close meet to Hamburg.
In other action at the Shaner Meet, Lauren Poletti claimed third in the pole vault and Majka took eighth. Angela Manzella would also have been in the mix for a top eight medal in this event, but she was absent.
Senior Derer ran well in the 100 and 300 hurdles, finishing sixth and seventh, respectively. Fellow senior Cara Weist placed eighth in the discus.
Cara's twin sister, Christie, is the co-captain of the girls' team (2-2, 3-4) with senior Hobbs. Unfortunately, she broke her right wrist and is sidelined, although she has been trying to throw the shot and discus with her left hand in practice. She was the team's best shot and discus thrower.
Other girls who often contribute are Hilary Rentschler (mid-distance), freshman Nikki Lykens (shot) and Emily Fair (distance).
The boys who made their presence felt at the Shaner Meet were junior Jake Ammarell in the 110 hurdles (fifth) and high jump (seventh), Shaun Rupp in the long jump (eighth), Brett Gaul in the 200 meters (seventh), Cody Minnich in the shot (fourth) and Zach Barker in the shot (fifth). This is Minnich's first year on the track team.
The boys also placed seventh in both the 4x100 and 4x800 relays. Ammarell anchored the 4x100 team that also included Addison Nuding, Brad Bechtel and Brett Gaul. They ran their best time, which should qualify them for districts.
"This is Brett's first year running track," S.V. track coach Terry McKechnie said. "He runs the 100 and 200 as well as the 4x100." In the fall, Gaul is the starting quarterback on the football team.
The 4x800 team was comprised of underclassmen Dan Shuman, Jason Hartman, Josh Renner and Jaime Waack. The only senior on these two relay teams is Nuding, so the future looks bright.
Nuding captains the boys' team (2-1-1, 4-2-1) with fellow senior Chris Rine, the Panthers' best 400 runner, who has lowered his time in this event by six seconds this season.
In the pole vault, the school record has changed hands between Poletti and Majka all season.
The team heads to Firing Meet this weekend.