Track returns 14 district qualifiers
Following a strong 2017 season, the Northampton track and field team is looking for more success at the district and state level.
Both the boys and girls’ teams went 9-2 in meets last season.
Head coach Tim Caffrey, who is in his 39th year with the program, has 14 District 11 qualifiers returning for this season.
Ten of those 14 district qualifiers are on the girls’ side.
Senior Alexis Barrall smashed the K-Kids’ school record in the pole vault, clearing 11-0 to win last year’s district championship. Barrall also qualified for the District 11 meet in the 400-meter and 1,600-meter relays.
Senior Hannah Flaven broke the longest-held record on the girls’ side last season. Flaven eclipsed Donna Liggitt’s 34-year-old record in the 400 meters in a dual meet against Parkland, then topped the time again (58.65) at the East Penn Conference meet. Flaven will look to improve upon her fifth-place finish from last year’s District 11 meet.
Six of the ten returning qualifiers on the girls’ side are underclassmen. That group is led by junior pole vaulter Mikayla Davidson, who finished third in last year’s EPC meet.
On the boys’ side, three members of the successful 1,600 meter relay team are returning: Senior Sam Arnold, senior Jared Jackson, and sophomore Nick Bodnar. In addition to the relay, Arnold and Bodnar each qualified for the District 11 meet in the 300-meter hurdles, and Jackson participated in the 400 meters.
Senior Zach Liggitt placed third in the EPC meet and fourth in the District 11 meet in the discus last year.
The K-Kids’ first two meets of the season have been canceled due to weather issues. Coach Caffrey hopes to get the season kicked off on Thursday, April 5 in a dual meet at Emmaus. Northampton’s first home meet is scheduled for Monday, April 9 against Whitehall and Pleasant Valley.
Despite the weather hiccups, Caffrey has been pleased with the amount of work that his team has been able to put in this spring. The two-year-old track surface and turf at Al Erdosy Stadium has allowed the team to continue practicing while schools with cinder tracks wait for the conditions to improve.