Kelly Leszcynski of Nazareth and Aiden Hurlburt of Emmaüs are the all-around field athletes of the year

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Rosy smiles and shrugs accompanied most of the responses regarding Kelly Leszcynski’s dominance this season in women’s javelin.

From start to finish, the Nazareth eldest was the pitcher to beat in the state.

Leszcynski delivered when it mattered most, earning EPC, District 11 and PIAA Class 3A gold medals.

Aiden Hurlburt put one of his hands to his chin at various points in the playoffs as he tried to explain his incredible progress in 2022. This included EPC and District 11 3A gold and a fourth-place finish in the PIAA.

If you told them they’re The Morning Call All-area male and female contestants of the year, you’d get goofy smiles and puzzled looks.

“I kept telling myself to relax and have fun,” Leszcynski said. “Having fun is so important, keep that smile on my face.”

Leszcynski led the United States on the second of his six shots. Three of his throws were better than everyone else.

Consistency and focus were the traits that made him a stellar tri-sport star (football and basketball as well). She will continue to compete in basketball and track and field at Bloomsburg University beginning in the fall.

“All this season Kelly hasn’t been intimidated by anything,” Nazareth coach Ken Rolek said.

If Hurlburt was intimidated or nervous at last year’s state event, he used that experience to fuel a stellar junior season that included a school record in the regular season finale against Parkland. It cleared 15 feet that day.

He hopes to add another foot or more to that mark in 2023.

“It’s amazing,” Hurlburt said. “I’m incredibly happy, but I never thought [fourth place].

“I would be pleased [next year] with 16, but I’m aiming for 16-6. It’s my goal.”

Leszcynski leaves Nazareth with the school record in the javelin, reaching 145 feet and 5 inches in the district meet, more than 12 feet better than second. She won state gold with a best of 141-3, with the closest contender nearly eight feet behind.

“That’s crazy,” she said. “I don’t really have words for it. We weren’t able to do it in basketball. To be able to do it on the track, yes, it’s just great to bring it back to Nazareth.

Morning Call reporter Tom Housenick can be reached at 610-820-6651 or [email protected]

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Best Field Athletes of the Year

BOYS

Aiden Hurlburt, Emmaus: PIAA 3A pole vault 4th

Taylor LaBarre, Pen Argyl: PIAA 2A pole vault 3rd

Max Mueller, Wilson: PIAA 3A disc 5th

Bobby McClosky, East Stroudsburg South: PIAA 3A javelin 6th

Gian Greggo, Pen Argyl: PIAA 2A shot put 7th

Aiden Raub, Stroudsburg: PIAA 3A disc 7th

Dean Bartels, Palisades: PIAA 2A javelin and discus 15th

Thomas Lloyd, Whitehall: PIAA 3A 16th Javelin

Andrew Brinker, Stroudsburg: 17th PIAA 3A Pole Vault

Ron Blake, East Stroudsburg South: PIAA 3A shot put 20th

Anthony Liguori, Stroudsburg: District 11 3A shot put and discus finalist

GIRLS

Kelly Leszcynski, Nazareth: PIAA 3A Javelin Champion; 22nd disc

Brylee Tereska, Liberty: Javelin PIAA 3A 3rd

Annika Flanigan, Liberty: PIAA 3A pole vault 7th

Emily Moyer, Northern Lehigh: 10th PIAA 2A Pole Vault

Katelynn Shoemaker, Palisades: 11th PIAA 2A Javelin; 15th disc

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Julia Pinter, Bangor: PIAA 3A 13th javelin

Laura Clarke, Jim Thorpe: PIAA 3A disc 14th; shot put 17th

Izabella Bochicchio, Panther Valley: PIAA 2A shot put 15th

Katrin Cavanaugh, Jim Thorpe: pole vault PIAA 3A 19th

Carly Minchoff, Marian Catholic: PIAA 2A javelin 21st

Ana Recker, Palmerton: District 11 2A Pole Vault Champion

Tamia Bruce, Liberty: District 11 3A shot put finalist


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