Preview of the 2008 PIAA Track & Field State Championships + incredible new leader lists...

 

THE LEADER LISTS

New for May, 2008: A master Leader List page that will give you rankings statewide, by AA and by AAA and by class... PLUS the same rankings by district. Click here to check it out.

 

THE PREVIEWS

AA GIRLS | AAA GIRLS | AA BOYS | AAA BOYS| AAA TEAM |

 

AA GIRLS

 

By Don Rich

Sprints/Hurdles

This is really shaping up as a head-to-head battle in the 100 Meter Dash, 200 Meter Dash and the short relay between Swenson sophomore Shanae Bailey and Quaker Valley senior Christa Rogers. But don't think for a second they're the only favorites in those races. Bailey comes into the meet as the defending champ in the 100 with a PA #1 season best of 11.81. Rogers is ranked 4th in the state. Newcomer Cierra White of Engineering & Science could make some noise in both the 100 and 200. Last year's 4th place finisher in the 100, Erin Guty of Trinity, did not advance to states in that event. In the 200, Bailey - the defending champ - is PA#7 and Rogers PA#8. But in addition to White, they'll have to face Schuylkill Valley senior Devan Coon. Coon backed out of the 100 at her district meet because of the cold weather. Rogers gets a respite of sorts from Bailey in the 100 Meter Hurdles, where she was 2nd in 2007. Last year's 4th place finisher, Taylor Funk of Mt. Pleasant, is back and her season best is just .15 from Roger's. Coon comes into the 400 Meter Dash as the defending champ and claims the 10th best time in the state to date. Last year's runner-up, Nicole Powell of Bayard-Rustin, is now competing in AAA. Coon's toughest challenge should come from Robeson junior Katurrah Hayman. Swenson should get points as well in the 300 Meter Hurdles from junior Anthonia Ballard. Ballard, the defending champ, has run 44.01 this season, more than a second better than Tesa McGibben of Montoursville, who was 10th in 2007.


Middle Distance/Distance

Central Cambria sophomore Kelsey Seymour had the fastest AA 800 Meter Run of the season until Lewisburg sophomore Kalyn Fisher bettered it by a quarter-of-a-second at her district meet this past week (2:14.30 - 2:14.55). The two are now ranked 6th and 7th in the state, and should provide a great race. A wild card in the race will be Boiling Springs senior Kara Millhouse, who is forgoing the 1600 and 3200 to concentrate on the two longer relays and the 800. She has split 2:16 in the 4x800, and if she is there with 200 to go, the race is on. The 1600 Meter Run is wide open. Returning runner-up Kacey Gibson of Neshannock will be in the mix all the way. Challenging her will be last year's 3rd and 4th place finishers, St. Pius X senior Stephanie Fulmer and Tulpehocken sophomore Heather Weiss. Eastern Lebanon's Kayleigh Perry, also a sophomore, has the best AA time to date, a PA#7 5:00.93. The 3200 Meter Run is not as open as the four-lapper. Defending champion Carly Seymour of Central Cambria has the state's best 3200 this season at 10:38.55. Leading the chase pack will be two rapidly improving junior runners, Lauren Zarger of Harbor Creek, who was 2nd last year and has a 10:55.27 PA#6 this year; and Lewisburg junior Sophia Ziemian, who has a PA#8 10:56.24.


Relays

The Swenson - Quaker Valley battle continues with the 4x100 Meter Relay. Swenson is the defending champ, and Quaker Valley the returning runner-up. It's Bailey vs. Rogers. Swenson's 47.73 this season is PA#2, while Quaker Valley is #7. Robeson will be challenging again, after finishing 3rd in 2007. And Milton Hershey and Engineering & Science should never be counted out. Engineering & Science is the defending champ in the 4x400 Meter Relay. But Robeson - which finished 2nd last year - has put up a better time this year, a 3:55.99 PA#8, less than a second better than E&S. Swenson, which has a top 10 PA time, is not running in this event. The 4x800 Meter Relay promises to be incredible this year. It's defending champ Saint Basil's final year in AA, and they want to go out on a winning note. They'll have fierce competition from Central Cambria, who has a PA#7 time of 9:21.44. All members of the Red Devil's relay were on the state championship cross country team, and three of them live in the same house. Kelsey Seymour is developing into a strong 800 runner, and older sister Carly can be counted on for doing whatever it takes to secure the win. Without the open 1600 and 3200, Boiling Springs will have a reasonably well-rested Kara Millhouse.


Jumps


It's a young, but experienced group in the High Jump. Northern Cambria sophomore Janae Dunchack is the defending state champ, and has cleared a PA#4 5-6.25 this year. Two other sophomores are over at 5-4, Meyers' Ashlee Ward, and Wellsboro's Regan Rogers. The defending champ and runner-up return in the Pole Vault. Bethlehem Catholic junior Kerry McDermott and the other four top seeds are among the top 11 in the state, and each has cleared a season-best of 11-6. Titusville senior Jacquelyn Kerr is the defending runner-up. Also in the mix will be Freeport senior Marrissa Malcolm, Wilson Area (11) sophomore Allison Vanek, and Mount Pleasant senior Abbey Way. Montoursville junior Tesa McKibben is the returning runner-up in the Long Jump. She is currently ranked #2 in PA with a leap of 18-09.50. Palmerton senior Casey Ord, Bedford junior Brandi Harris, and Northern Lehigh junior Rebecca Delong have also bettered 18-1 this season. In the Triple Jump, defending champ Fallon Heddings has a PA#13 37-9 in the books this season. But Quaker Valley sophomore Tabitha Bemis has jumped a PA#7 38-04.50. At least six others should challenge if those two provide the opening.


Throws

It could/should take well over 40' to win the Shot Put this year. The top seed and returning runner-up, Kristy Woods of Grove City, is currently ranked 2nd in PA with a throw of 44-05. Challenging her will be Saltsburg senior Nellie Henigin, who has a PA#9 throw of 41-1 to her credit, and Lakeland junior April Doyle, who was 3rd in 2007, and has a season-best of 40-7. Woods is the defending champion in the Discus. Her 137-10 is PA#5. Two other girls have gone over 130', and include United senior Kate Kendrick at 132-03 (PA#8), and East Juniata senior Sarah Brotzman, at 131-05. The Javelin pits the top ranked throwers in PA this season. Lakeview sophomore Fawn Miller was 8th in 2007, but her 152-10 earlier this season makes her tops in PA so far. Tamaqua senior Casey Wagner, who was 4th last year, is coming off a 2nd place finish with a PA#2 throw of 146-5 at the Penn Relays. She came within two inches of matching that mark with a district effort of 146-03.

 

 

 

AAA GIRLS

By Don Rich

Sprints/Hurdles

Woodland Hills senior Cambrya Jones had a rough state meet in 2007 - with a false start in the 100 Meter Dash and an off race in the 200 Meter Dash that ended in the semi-finals. This season, she has looked like a runner on a mission. She is currently ranked PA#2 in the 100 with an 11.92, and is PA#1 in the 200 with her 24.53. There will be tough competition for her in both races. In the 100, look for Chambersburg junior Anyssa Barbour, who was 2nd in 2007 and has a PA#5 12.12 this year; and fellow top 10 100 meter sprinters Cara Hughes of Central Bucks East and Rhian Jones of Haverford Township. Cambrya Jones will have the added competition of Council Rock South senior Ije Iheoma in the 200 Meter Dash. Iheoma was 2nd in 2007 and has a PA#3 best of 24.73. Barbour was 4th last year. Other top challengers should include Penn Hills senior Taelor Fowler and Abington Heights sophomore Jordon Hoyt. In the 400 Meter Dash, Iheoma is the clear favorite. Her 55.03 is PA#2 behind Chanelle Price's 54.2h. But she beat Price head-to-head in the 400 at the indoor championships, and Iheoma is not only a stronger runner than last year, but more confident as well. Price is not in the 400. In the 100 Meter Hurdles and 300 Meter Hurdles, it really is a race for other spots on the podium beside the top one. Senior sensation Ryann Krais is going all individual events this year for the first time, partly in preparation for a summer chasing records in the multis. She is the defending champion in the 100 Meter Hurdles, and has a huge PR this year of 13.50. Only two other challengers - junior Alysha Cook of Harrisburg, and senior Alix Williams of Strath Haven, are even within a second. And that's by .99. In the 300 Meter Hurdles, the gap widens even more, as Krais' season best of 41.60 is over a second-and-a-half better than both Williams and Cook. Williams was 3rd last year. Cook is new to the event, but has proven she belongs at the front of any race involving barriers. Krais will be chasing her all-time PA state best of 41.46.


Middle Distance/Distance

Chanelle Price. Easton. Sub-2:03 twice times since last summer. Two-time defending champion in the 800 Meter Run. As when Karen Shump throws and Krais or Neely Spence run, do not be surprised to see a record fall. The meet record is 2:05.47, and is held by the famed Kim Gallagher of Upper Dublin... the athlete Price has been chasing for two years. Another record to watch for in this race is the 2:04.50 NFHS one owned by Joetta Clark. Both Gallagher and Clark set their marks in 1980. And if the stars are aligned (but some forecasts don't call for complete alignment until sometime in late June), then Gallagher's U.S. prep record of 2:00.07 could be challenged. Bottom line is... don't miss this race. The 1600 Meter Run could also provide some special memories, as Shippensburg senior Neely Spence will be going for the meet record – also held by Gallagher. Spence ran a solo 4:44.38 at the Mid-Penn Conference Meet, and has her eyes on the 4:41.08 meet record set by Gallagher in 1981. Within striking distance may be the 1985 4:39.40 NFHS record as well. The all-time state best was a 4:35.34 by – you guessed it – Kim Gallagher. In the 3200 Meter Run, the field is wide open. But a breakthrough season by Meghan Lutz of Nazareth Academy that saw her run a 6th place 9:50.62 in the Penn Relays 3000, gives her an edge. Her PA#3 10:46.18 is behind only AA defending champ Carly Semour, and Spence. Boyertown's Elizabeth Simpson has run a PA#7 10:55.61, and is a runner who never backs away from a challenge. Also at the front should be New Oxford junior Jordan Jenkins, who has run a PA#9 10:57.14.


Relays

Penn Hills lost their 2007 4x100 Meter Relay to a DQ. They come into the meet with the top time in the state at 47.38. They'll have tough company in the returning 3rd place team from Upper Darby; plus Conestoga with a PA#3 48.45, Central Bucks East with a PA#5 48.77, and North Penn. CB East won the indoor title. In the 4x400 Meter Relay, defending champs Harrisburg are back, but 2007 3rd place finishers Methacton is not in the race this year. Three of the top four teams in the state will make this a great race to watch. Chester has run a blazing 3:51.95 - tops in the state. Norwin, who was 5th last year, has a PA#2 3:52.92 in the books. And West Chester Henderson has gone 3:54.67. Both Central Bucks East and Haverford Township should be in the mix as well. Gwynedd-Mercy is the former AA school that always was as talented as any school in the state in the 4x800 Meter Relay. Their 9:09.61 at the Penn Relays remains the best this season in PA. They'll be pushed all the way by Council Rock North, which went 9:10.28 at Penn; Unionville and Downingtown West, who ran 9:16.51 and 9:18.16, respectively at the District 1 champs; and Conestoga and Greater Labrobe, who are also under 9:20.


Jumps

If you miss Ryann Krais in any of the track events, you can catch her in two of the jumps - the High Jump, where she leads the state with a leap of 5-8; and the Long Jump, where her PA#3 18-01.50 shows she is ready for a three-peat in the event. Northeast junior Jessica Alston has cleared 5-06.50, and Selinsgrove junior Danica Deckard is over at 5-6. In addition to Krais, five other girls are over 18' in the Long Jump, including Central Dauphin East junior Marissa McDonald (8th in 2007); Shikellamy senior Lauren Redington, Highlands senior Cassandra Walker; Blackhawk junior Janelle Campbell, and Dover junior Sasha Hornock. The Triple Jump will be an incredible battle. Kelly Monteleone of Penn Hills; 2007 3rd place finisher Bethany Lender of Altoona; and Carlisle sophomore Ashley Corum are the only girls over 39' this season, But there are a few within striking distance, including 2007 5th place finisher Kristin Brandt of Central Mountain, Norristown's Courtney Bell, West Allegheny's Keri Dantley, and Central Bucks East sophomore Ali Gillen. In the Pole Vault, defending champ Abby Schaffer of Easton will be chasing the state all-time best of 13-6 held by former teammate Lindsay Regan. She has a season-best of 13-00.75. Five challengers are over 12', with Council Rock South junior Tory Worthen with a 12-7 and Whitehall sophomore Brooke Hamscher at 12-6.


Throws

Penncrest senior Karen Shump is chasing some history of her own, including sweeping four-straight AAA Shot Put titles. After going 52-4 indoor and winning a national title, she'll also be chasing the outdoor state best held by East Juniata's Heather Colyer at 50-11. Hempfield senior Kim Kanala was 2nd in 2007, and senior Kaleena Gray of Coatesville was 4th. Gray has the state's 2nd best throw this season at 43-10.50, and Alanna Owens, Bayard Rustin, is PA#4 at 43-00.75. Shump is also the favorite in the Discus with a state leading 150-7. She was a runner-up in 2007. Gray is ranked 2nd in PA at 144-10; Penn Manor senior Alyssa Girvin is PA#3 at 140-07; and Hempfield senior Kim Kanala, the defending champion, is PA#4 at 140-06. Newcomers should rule the Javelin. Elizabeth Forward sophomore Tori Paterra is PA#3 at 141-03,and Indian Valley sophomore Laura Loht has a PA#4 throw of 140-01. Kiski Area senior Lauren Butler was 6th in 2007.

 

 

AA BOYS

By Aaron Rich

The Relays:

4x800: Lansdale Catholic comes into the race with the fastest time, 8:01.20, and will be one of the favorites to win. Christopher Dock Mennonite is also in the running with a fast seed time. Trinity hasn't run quite that fast this year, but as the 2007 runner-up, they can't be counted out when the race begins. North East has dipped under 8:10 this year and could be a factor to make the top-3.
4x400: Trinity is the defending champ in this event and always runs well at states, but their time of 3:25.97 is well behind 2007 runner-up Engineering & Science's PA #2 time of 3:18.66. Milton Hershey, Wyomissing, and Mountoursville round out the teams fighting for a top-3 finish.
4x100: Defending champ Aliquippa is back, and looks to be in top form to challenge for a 2nd title. Bishop McDevitt (3) is the strongest competition, followed by Bethlehem Catholic and Engineering & Science, but in this fast-paced relay anything can happen.



The Sprints:

100: Herman Kirkland, Imhotep Charter, comes into the race with the fastest time of the year in AA, a 10.81, and has been looking very strong in late season racing. Tevrin Brandon, Bethlehem Catholic, is on his heels with a time of 10.94. Chris Kimbrough, Center, and Idris Kasumu, Springfield Township (Montco), could also challenge for a top-3 spot.
200: Chris Houston, Bishop McDevitt, has run 22.08 this year and could win a state title with that time. His closest competitor is Herman Kirkland, Imhotep Charter, who has run 22.12, and will be in the hunt for the win. Breon Phillips, GAR Memorial, Terrelle Irwin, Monessen, Kyle Hooker, Mountoursville, and Chad Dixon, Warrior Run, will all be challenging for a top-3 placing.
400: Anthony Davidson, Wilson Area (11), leads the charge in the 400 with a best time of 48.51. He will have tough competition from Austin Cseh, Palmerton, who has a best time of 48.55 this year. Jordan Donaldson, Tussey Mountain, and David Smith, Trinity, should challenge for a spot in the top-3.
110H: Keenan Michael, Montoursville, has been tearing up the track since indoor, and has run a PA #1 time of 14:10 in this event, making him tough to beat. 2007 runner-up Nick Spino, Jeannette, has experience running well at states, and could challenge for the win. Richard Smith, Danville, Dave Reed, Shamokin, and Kowan Scott, Wilson, should all challenge for a top-3 placing.
300H: Keenan Michael is again at the top, and with a time of 38.60, he will be a strong favorite to win. Nick Spino, and Darian Garman, Wyomising, should be his main challengers for the title. William Altman, Sharon, and AJ Dohanic, Girard, could challenge for a top-3 spot.



The Distance Events:

800: Elliot Rhodes, Engineering & Science, has a PR of 1:52.43, and if he can run that time again he will be tough to beat over 800 meters. Alex Zubey, Tamaqua, has run 1:55.06, and could challenge Rhodes for the win. Shane Seymour, Trinity, and Sam Havko, Fairview, could also be up front.
1600: Terence Lee, Engineering & Science, has a 1 mile PR of 4:15.73, making him the runner to watch in this race. Everyone under 4:20 is 6 seconds up on the field, and that includes Jim Spisak, Bishop McCort, Sam Havko, Fairview, and Alex Zubey, Tamaqua. The race could come down to these 4 at the end, making for a very exciting finish.
3200: Jim Spisak and Joe Beveridge, Bishop McDevitt, look poised to break 9:20 and finish first and second in this event. Matthew Brooker, Penns Valley, is the closest competitor, 10 seconds back, but in a late season 3200 anyone can drop a lot of time and mix things up.



The Jumps:

High Jump: Andrew Batula, Annville Cleona, was the runner-up in 2007, and has a PR of 6-11 this year, making him very tough to beat if he hits that. Zach Dohm, Eastern York, is the defending champion, but will have to have a huge PR to compete with Andrew. Owen Wignot, Holy Redeemer, was 3rd last year, and comes in this year with a chance to return to the top-3.
Long Jump: Herman Kirkland has the PA #1 jump of 23-07.25 and he is the defending champ, so expect Herman to be the one to watch in this competition. Chris Burns, Wilmington, was runner-up in 2007 and has a leap of 23-01, and will be Herman's toughest competition.
Triple Jump: Adam Eckhart, Wilson, has the best jump in the field, 46-07, and is a strong favorite to win the title. Dan Ciabattoni, Holy Name, and Weston Schaa, Mercer Area, are last years 2nd and 3rd place finishers, and could come up with big jumps to challenge Adam.
Pole Vault: DJ Horton, Kane Area, was last years champion and holds the PA #1 vault of 16-00, making him the favorite to win, and leaves you wondering how high he can go if the weather cooperates. Kyle Miller, Catasauqua, was 2nd last year, and Tim Layng, Canton Area, was 3rd, and both have a strong chance of returning to the top-3.



The Throws:

Shot Put: Massimo Caloiero, Schuylkill Valley, has thrown 54-11.25 this year and holds a 1.5 foot advantage going into the state meet. Paul Yohman, Wilmington, and Greg Reiber, Grove City, have both thrown over 53-05 and are within range to challenge for the win.
Discus: Collin Ray, Middletown, has a PR of 162-03 and Justin Virbitsky, Lakeland, has a PR of 161-01, putting these two head and shoulders above the competition challenging for the win. Rusty Cowher, Mohawk Area, and Jared Brandon, Riverside, should challenge for a top-3 placing.
Javelin: The top-3 from last year are all present in champ, Eric Skedel, United, runner-up Ted Heitzman, South Columbia, and 3rd place Justin Angermeier, Mercer Area. Newcomer Ryan Bell, Wilmington, currently tops them all with an elite throw of 200-06 under his belt. Bell has also thrown 220-07 in dual meet competition and if he returns to that form the NFHS record is only 9 feet away.

 

AAA BOYS

By Aaron Rich

The Relays:

4x800: The premier relay event of the state championship meet could arguably be the longest relay event there. North Penn has run a time of 7:44.39 this year and looks poised to significantly improve on that time at the state meet. The national (NFHS) record is held by Wissahickon High School, with a time of 7:36.24, set back in 1982. North Penn has a long way to go, but this team thrives on challenges that seem impossible. Central Bucks South is the closest challenger and could crack 7:50 by trying to keep pace with North Penn. Cedar Crest is also an exciting addition, with a 1:52.61 anchor leg. Norristown, Upper Dublin, Central Bucks West, and Baldwin are all capable of hitting that 7:50 mark as well, which should make the end of this race as exciting as any 4x400 finish.
4x400: Four teams have gone under 3:20 this season, with two others just over, giving this race the potential to put a thrilling finish on the meet. North Penn leads the pack with a time of 3:18.47. Harrisburg (Defending champ), Norristown, and Simon Gratz are within a second of that time, with Gratz holding a unique advantage with Khaliff Featherstone on the anchor leg. Cedar Crest and Central Bucks South are also within striking distance with solid performances. Look for the anchor leg of this classic race to be a very exciting showdown.
4x100: This relay is probably the most difficult to predict, given the fast pace and frenzied hand-offs. That being said, Glen Mills leads the way with a time of 42.24. Altoona Area, McDowell, and Harrisburg are all fractions of a second behind, meaning that solid hand-offs are crucial. Cathedral Prep, State College, and Cumberland Valley, could all challenge if one of the top teams has a misstep.



The Sprints:

100: Neshaminy standout Kevin Steinberg currently leads the 100 meter pack with a time of 10.64. Kevin Wilbank, Ridley, and Alex Kenney, State College, are right on his heels and should challenge every step of the way. Juan Steward, Cumberland Valley, and Matt Bellay, Montour, could also challenge for a top-3 finish.
200: Kevin Wilbank, Ridley, and Juan Steward, Cumberland Valley, lead the standings and have both run consistently well in this event all year. Steward was the 2007 runner-up. Alex Kenney, State College, and Kevin Steinberg, Neshaminy, are also running well enough to challenge for the win. Aaron Nadolsky, Altoona, and Kyle Fisher, Cocalico, are also in the running for a top-3 finish.
400: Given the right weather conditions, magic could fill the air as the 400 dash unfolds. Gratz senior Khaliff Featherstone (Runner-up in 2007) is poised for a special performance in his final state meet. He will have plenty of competition pushing him around the track with Anthony Batch, Penncrest, and Lamont Fowler, Conrad Weiser, both close enough to challenge for the win. Chris Morrales, Abington, and Steve Roberts, Quakertown, will also be in the hunt for a top-3 finish.
110H: Michael Brown, Lower Dauphin, and Leon Bullock, Harrisburg, are the top-ranked hurdlers in this event and have been running well this year. Stu Fram, Council Rock North, Tim Malloy, Neshaminy, and Jerome Duncan, Sun Valley, have all run well late-season, and should be in the hunt for the championship. Matt Courter, Peters Township, and Steve Topper, Hatboro-Horsham, round out the top-3 challengers.
300H: Michael Brown leads the long hurdlers as well, with a time of 37.62. Frank Wainwright, Gratz, and Steve Topper, Hatboro-Horsham, have also posted fast times this year. Justin Bookheimer, North Penn, and Jeff Jackson, Kiski Area, have come on strong late in the year and are poised to compete well in the state meet. Taylor Courtney, Manheim Central, rounds out the competitors capable of a top-3 finish.



The Distance Events:

800: Tom Troxell, Cedar Crest, has established himself as the late-season favorite in the 2-lapper with a time of 1:52.61. Nick Crits, Wissahickon, and Tom Mallon, Central Bucks South, are within striking distance and could push Troxell to a sub-1:52 time. Joe Capecci, Council Rock North, and Dave Farina, Norwin, are also close enough to challenge for the win. Zack Montijo, North Penn, Chris Pregler, Central Bucks West, Michael Palmisano, Upper Dublin, and Steve Franks (3rd in 2007), North Penn, will all be in the hunt down the stretch. The 800 is always an exciting race to watch, and this year will most likely produce a thrilling last stretch showdown.
1600: Red Lion senior Greg Kareis has posted the fastest time of the season with a time of 4:13.82 at his district meet. The time puts him several seconds ahead of the competition, giving him a mental edge in the race. On his heels will be Conestoga Valley senior Vince McNally (Defending champ), who has a PR of 4:07.55 and has a history of stepping up in big races. Nick Crits (3rd in 2007), Wissahickon, has run consistently well in the 1600 this year and will be up front challenging for the win. Baldwin teammates T.J. Hobart and Dave Adley are also close enough to challenge for the win. Nathan Zondlo, Pittston Area, and Matt Molitor, Greater Latrobe, could challenge for a top-3 finish.
3200: Boyertown senior Mark Dennin has had success at the Penn Relays, and his District meet (9:08.40), and combined with his history of showing up big at championships this sets him up well to win the event at states. A sub-9:00 performance is not out of the question if the weather cooperates. Pushing Dennin along will be West Chester Henderson senior Chris Aldrich, who was 2nd to Dennin in the District 1 champs (9:10.86) and Jimmy Tarsnane, Perkiomen Valley, who has also run sub-9:20 this season. Josh Izewski, Central Bucks East, has proven he can run well in big meets, and will look to challenge for a top-3 finish. Also in the running are Miles Becker, Mt. Lebanon, and Ben Furcht, Lower Merion.


The Jumps:

High Jump:
Tyrell Ellison, Muhlenberg, Ray Quill, Pottstown, and Terrell Rickard (Defending champ), Waynesboro, have all cleared 6-08 this year and this will make for a tight competition for the win. Connor Barrett, Seneca Valley, Anthony Stevenson, Albert Gallatin, Tajidin McGough, Ben Franklin, and Purnell Richardson, Spring Grove, have all cleared 6-07 and have the potential to crack the top-3 with strong performances.
Long Jump: Johnny Jenkins, Glen Mills, and Tyrell Ellison, Muhlenberg, are both over 23-06 and separated by a mere 1/4 inch, making for a very competitive match-up. John Clark, Penncrest, Folarin Ijelu, Wissahickon, Carlton Lavong, Methacton, and Erik Harris (Runner-up in 2007), New Oxford, have all jumped over 23 feet and could challenge for the win with a great jump at states.
Triple Jump: Folarin Ijelu, Wissahickon, has cleared 48 feet and has been jumping well enough to win the competition. Defending champ Hanif Johnson, Harrisburg, is 1 inch under 48 and knows how to win on the state's toughest stage. Dan Sandrowicz, Indiana, is over 47-06 and could challenge for a top-3 finish. Matthew Cannell, Daniel Boone, and Ben Ashby, Baynard Rustin, are over 46 feet and could challenge for a top-3 finish with a solid showing.
Pole Vault: Jared George, Altoona, heads all vaulters with a clearance of 15-08, but he has close competition. Travis Hammaker, Altoona, (15-7) Derek Hynes, Central Bucks South, (15-06) are capable of jumping higher. Mike Steffenino, Norwin, Noah Billig, Northwestern Lehigh, and Tony Shirk, Phoenixville, have all cleared 15-00 and are strong contenders for a top-3 finish.

 

The Throws:

Shot Put: Dan Kwiatkowski, McDowell, is over 64 feet, and as the only thrower over 59 feet, he is the odds-on favorite to win a state title. Rodney Richter, Connellsville, and C.J. Clegg, Hempfield, are the closest competition and should secure top-3 finishes. Wesley Lavong, Methacton, and D.J. Thomas, Coatesville, are over 56-06 and could challenge for a top-3 finish with solid throws.
Discus: Matt Kann, Fox Chapel, is several feet ahead of his nearest competitors with a throw of 179-09, and is the solid favorite. Rodney Richter, Connellsville, is over 173 feet and will likely finish in the top-3. Dan Kwiatkowski, McDowell, is over 170 feet and will also be looking for a top-3 finish.
Javelin: Defending champ Justin Shirk, Central Dauphin, has thrown over 208 feet and is the favorite to win if he continues to throw this well. Zane Zebrasky, Canon McMillan, and Eric Brittingham, Methacton, are over 201-08 and will have to throw very well to challenge Justin for the win.

 

 

AAA TEAM

 

By Bill Coren

AAA GIRLS STATE TEAM RACE--predicted by Coach Bill Coren(Strath
Haven) (I was almost 100% accurate?? about District 1)

METHACTON appears to be a lock for the STATE TITLE!!! No other teams can score enough points to compete---NORWIN, CHESTER, PENN HILLS, and COUNCIL ROCK SOUTH will be fighting for the runner-up trophy

As for #1--METHACTON's seeds are 100H(1) 300H(1) LJ(4) HJ(tie7) HJ(tie14) TJ(11) JAV(19)---Krais will most likely win the 100H, the 300H, and the LJ, and even though she did not jump well at Coatesville (no one does!!) she will get no worse than 3rd at STATES (likely 1st) and Dempsey will most likely medal in the HJ as well---LIKELY TOTAL 42

NORWIN's seeds are 400(2) 400(9) 800(4) 3200(3) 3200(16) POLE(tie9) POLE(tie11) 4x400(1)

CHESTER's seeds are 100(8) 200(14) 800(2) 300H(12) 4x400(2)

PENN HILLS's seeds are 200(4) 400(5) TJ(15) 4x100(1) 4x400(6)

COUNCIL ROCK SOUTH's seeds are 200(2) 400(1) POLE(3)

Prediction---
METHACTON 42
CHESTER 28
NORWIN 27
COUNCIL ROCK SOUTH and PENN HILLS 24



AAA BOYS STATE TEAM RACE---3 teams should battle for the 2008 STATE title!!

NORTH PENN, MCDOWELL, and ALTOONA

NORTH PENN's seeds are 400(8) 800(6) 800(8) 300H(3) HJ(tie8) 4x100(21) 4x400(1) 4x800(1)

McDOWELL's seeds are 400(9) LJ(10) TJ(17) SHOT(1) DISC(3) 4x100(2) 4x400(16)

ALTOONA's seeds are 200(2) 110H(8) 300H(10) LJ(15) POLE(1) POLE(2) DISC(10) JAV(6) 4x100(1) 4x400(7)

It is likely that it will be NORTH PENN vs. ALTOONA, but McDOWELL is able to take it somewhat easy in their Districts, and can run faster than their seed times.

Prediction-----
NORTH PENN 42
ALTOONA 41
McDOWELL 31

 

 

 

 

 

 

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