Girls Co-Track Athletes Of The Year: Katie Moncavage And Camryn Pyle

Girls Co-Track Athletes Of The Year: Katie Moncavage And Camryn Pyle

Written by: Alex McGinley. Photo courtesy Matthew O'Haren
Published on June 29, 2023

Usually, repeating a state title would easily make you a front runner for The Daily Item Track and Field Female Track Athlete of the year.

However, what Southern Columbia's Katie Moncavage and Midd-West's Camryn Pyle were able to do during their respective junior campaigns was equally impressive. Moncavage won her second consecutive state title in the 800 while Pyle earned Midd-West's first-ever gold medal in the 300-meter hurdles at the state meet in Shippensburg.

Since both of them brought home gold medals at the Class 2A level, Moncavage and Pyle are both The Daily Item Track and Field Female Co-Track Athletes of the Year.

"It's definitely an honor to be named the MVP because there's so many other good track athletes around here," Moncavage said.

"Last year with everything happening with false starting and falling at states, I didn't get the choice to reach the podium or get honorable mention or second team, first team, any of that," Pyle said. "This is such a great honor. I'm so thrilled to be able to have this."

Overall, Moncavage collected three state medals to round out her junior season. Before she won her second consecutive gold medal in the 800, Moncavage claimed a seventh-place finish in the 1,600 on Day 1 at Shippensburg.

Moncavage was a part of the Tigers' 4x400 relay team that earned seventh at the state meet. The Tigers' quarter also included Loren Gehret, Peyton Wisloski and Sophie Shadle.

"It was really nice especially because I focused on the 800 a lot more last year, so this year focusing on the mile more, it was to come out with a state medal," Moncavage said. "Especially with another first-place medal in the 800, it was really nice because that was a big goal for me this year."

Moncavage is also a two-time state medalist in cross country and the first Valley athlete to ink a name, image & likeness (NIL) deal with the Danville-based custom apparel company Triple Play.

Southern Columbia coach Tom Donlan believes that having a two-time state champion like Moncavage is beneficial to the team.

"Leading by example is one of the strongest components you can have and that’s going out and just doing you best all the time," Donlan said. "If you didn't do your best, then it's pretty much just coming back and making sure you do your best the next time. She's a good example to all the younger athletes, even though she's a junior. She's one of our senior athletes coming into next year and was this year as well with what she was able to accomplish in her freshman and sophomore years."

As for Pyle, she left Shippensburg with a pair of state medals. After finishing in seventh in the 100-meter hurdles, Pyle etched her name into Midd-West's history book after clocking in a time of 44.80 seconds in the 300 to claim the gold medal.

The accomplishment felt even more relieving for Pyle considering she fell during last year's 300-meter finals.

"To get the chance to compete for my school and just compete with all these girls and work our butts off to get to the places that we wanted to," Pyle said. "The fact that all my hard work paid off and I got to reach the top is so great."

Midd-West coach Jason Gemberling hopes that Pyle's performance at states can inspire others and that the school's new track facility can help create more state medalists like Pyle.

Midd-West just completed its second season with its own track. On the boys side, the Mustangs' quartet of Anden Aitkins, Wyatt Nelson, Connor Stoltzfus and Ben Hummel pocketed an eighth-place medal in the 4x800 at this year's state meet.

"Not having a track for so many years and finally getting one last year, that has helped,” Gemberling said. "(Pyle's) freshman year, we didn't have a track, last year we had one. This year, it's starting to pay dividends between Camryn winning the gold and taking seventh in the highs, my boys 4x800 taking eighth and then the boys 4x4 also qualifying and having (Mlies Aurand) throwing down there. We finally have a facility that the kids can utilize and take everything they've got and put into it."