Sierra Hess leads Gov. Mifflin to girls title at Berks track and field championships

May 11—Gov. Mifflin junior Sierra Hess entered the second day of the William H. Firing Memorial Victory Meet with only one goal.

"I really was just trying to have fun," Hess said. "I stress myself out too much during track season, so I was just trying to take this meet, because it's one of the last ones, and just try and have fun with it."

On Saturday, Hess and the Mustangs experienced more than just fun.

With Hess leading the way, Gov. Mifflin scored 123.5 points to win its first Berks girls track and field title since 2008, snapping Wilson's streak of four straight championships.

"We have a lot of exceptional athletes," Mustangs coach Gary Mitzel said. "I'm proud of them, and they worked hard to get what they got."

Hess contributed to 40 of Gov. Mifflin's points, highlighted by a gold medal in the 400. The 2022 Berks girls 400 champion, Hess finished with a career-best time of 58.64 to win the title for the second time in her career.

"I haven't run it that many times this year," said Hess, who entered the event as the top seed. "It meant a lot to me (to win)."

Hess finished third in the 100 with a time of 12.82 and second in the 200 with a time of 26.05. She was the county champion in the 200 in 2022.

"She's a tremendous athlete," Mitzel said about Hess. "We ask a lot out of her. Very proud of her."

Hess took home five total medals and two golds, as she ran the second leg on the Mustangs' 400 relay team comprised of Juliana Lopez, Hess, Rianna Johnson and Bridget Martin, which took first place with a time of 49.54. Hess ran the first leg on Gov. Mifflin's 1600 relay team, which finished third with a time of 4:09.33.

Kaitlyn Highduch was the Mustangs' only other event champion, as the senior won the 3200 on Thursday night. With 91.5 points, Wilson finished second to Gov. Mifflin in the team standings.

"We worked so hard on handoffs (during) every practice," Hess said about the 400 relay. "It meant so much to us (to win)."

Aside from the Mustangs, Saturday's events were dominated by a few standouts, as four female athletes took home two individual gold medals.

Exeter senior Gabrielle Keith won the 800 with a time of 2:19.77 and the 1600 with a time of 5:03.84. She was also a member of the Eagles' 1600 relay team, which took fifth.

"It's really cool (for) my last county (championship) meet to go out with two wins," Keith said. "I think it's pretty amazing."

Keith entered the 800 as the top seed and the 1600 as the No. 2 seed. She also won gold in the 1600 last year.

"My legs didn't feel the best today, so it was just trying to hang with whoever was (the) top girl," Keith said. "Then use the speed to my advantage to win both events."

Muhlenberg senior Nadly Gyapong won the 100 with a time of 12.57 and the 200 with a time of 25.94. She also finished second in the 400 with a career-best time of 59.59.

"I'm very happy," Gyapong said. "I'm proud of myself."

Gyapong entered the day as the defending champion in the 200. She was the top seed in both events.

"My goal was to win both the golds for the 100 and 200," Gyapong said. "I'm proud that I put in the work and how my results came to pass with my performance today."

Twin Valley freshman Addison Nudy won the high jump with a leap of 5-2 and the triple jump with a 35-9.25, the latter of which took place on Thursday. Along with the two gold medals, Nudy finished fifth in the long jump with a 16-2.5 and was a member of the Raiders' 1600 relay team which finished second with a time of 4:04.84.

Wilson sophomore Violet Houck won the 100 hurdles with a career-best time of 14.78 and the 300 hurdles with a career-best time of 44.57 to sweep the events. The defending champion in the 300 hurdles, Houck entered the 100 hurdles as the top seed and the 300 hurdles as the second seed.

"It means a lot," Houck said. "I put a lot of time into hurdles, so to see it pay off is really nice."

Houck carried that momentum into the 1600 relay, as she ran anchor and helped the Bulldogs advance from third to first on the final lap to complete the comeback victory. Comprised of Claire Troutman, Cameran Huyett, Ella Reidinger and Houck, the Wilson relay team finished with a season-best time of 4:03.81.

"I wanted to win," Houck said. "I hate losing, so I just knew that I was going to push myself."

Other Berks girls event champions from Saturday: 3200 relay: Berks Catholic (Olivia Lampron, Madison Langdon, Ally Devine, Mackenzie Langdon), 10:01.48. Long jump: Annie Gao, Schuylkill Valley, 16-10.75. Discus: Annissah Magloire, Muhlenberg, 113-07. Javelin: Sophia Barrell-Kobryn, Fleetwood, 125-8.