May 29—Schuylkill Valley has added a fourth state championship to its rich track and field history. This one belongs to the girls.
Ashlyn Giles’ two gold medals and Madison Ziska’s all-around excellence fueled the Panthers at the PIAA championships Friday.
Schuylkill Valley collected 39 points and shared the title with North Schuylkill.
“This feels great,” SV co-coach Terry McKechnie said. “We’ve had that experience with the boys. This is the first one with the girls. It’s a fantastic feeling.”
Giles set a PIAA meet record at 165-4 in the discus and took first in the shot put at 49-2.25. She owns the Berks County record in both events.
Ziska won four medals. She was third in the 200, fourth in the long jump, seventh in the 400 and was part of a third-place 400 relay team.
That achievement was even more remarkable given the meet was condensed to one day.
“The officials were basically running her across the field,” SV co-coach Allyson McKechnie said.
The husband and wife duo has turned Schuylkill Valley into a dynasty since taking over in the late 1980s. The girls won the district title last week. The boys have three previous state titles.
This is the first girls state championship in any sport in school history.
“I never would have thought we’d win a district and then a state title,” Allyson McKechnie said. “I knew our girls were solid but that’s quite a feat.”