NOTE: Coming this week. Distance & Relay race progress pix
West Mifflin overcame two rough handoffs in the 4x100, Conestoga took the wide-open girls AAA 4x400, while Elk County Catholic took two seconds to Gwynedd-Mercy; and Lewisburg boys posted the US#2, Haverford girls the US#5 4x800's.
NOTE: We'd love to have splits for these races)
In AAA boys, West Mifflin staked claim to the best in PA with their 42.32, despite some minor trouble with handoffs. Penn Hills was the favorite going in, and was never challenged down the stretch as they ran 47.81. Despite a fantastic closing leg by Jasmine Rogers, who brought her Quaker Valley team up to second, Lewisburg held on for a 49.61 win in AA girls. The Jannea Bridgeford anchored Upper Darby Royals were 2nd in 48.42. Elmer L. Meyers had the 4th fastest time of the meet, taking the AA boys race in 42.75.
Central Dauphin East ran an incredible race, taking control and never letting up with splits of 49.5, 49.7, 50.4 and 48.7 in the boys AAA, timed in 3:18.28. Without Krista Simkins, Wissahickon was not able to defend their title. That left the field open for a team to step up, and that's exactly what Conestoga did, running 3:55.66. General McLane was 2nd in 3:57.03, and Henderson was 3rd .15 back. Chris Spooner got the stick with the lead, but he was facing his 7th race of the weekend, and 4th of the day, plus a Milton Hershey team that was determined to take the day's final race. They did in 3:21.95, splitting 51.8, 50.7, 50.3, and 48.9. Spooner was caught at the line and they were edged by Greenville 3:23.01 to 3:23.14. Gwynedd-Mercy put an exclamation point on their AA team championships with a solid 3:56.98 win. Elk County Catholic was 2nd to the Monarchs for the 2nd time in the day (4x800), going 3:58.05.
Lewisburg set a new AA boys record in the 3200 relay with a time of 7:44.44, eclipsing the old record by 7 seconds. The record was 7:51.74, set back in 1981 by Greenville. Lewisburg was in complete control of the race from the gun and had the victory in hand before the fast anchor leg by Chris Spooner, who ran a 1:51.8 to close out the win. The time is #2 in the US. Lewisburg's other splits were 1:57.1, 1:58.3, 1:56.4. In the AAA girls race, Haverford Township won with a time of 9:09.06, the 5th best in the US. The Fords were in 8th place during the second leg of Julia Somers (IN PHOTO), who held them close enough to the lead that when Fiana York got the baton she was able to close on the leaders during her first lap, pass everyone with 400 to go and have a 40 meter lead with 300 to go. She literally sling-shotted off the first turn of the last lap after tearing down the straight in lane three wide of the group. York handed off to Adriana Boyle with a 50 meter lead, and Adriana was able to hold off the charge from Allentown Central Catholic's Frances Koons. Haverford's splits were: Alicia York, 2:19.4, Julia Somers, 2:22.3, Fiana York, 2:11.2, and Adriana Boyle, 2:15.2. Koons anchored in 2:09.8 for Allentown Central Catholic, which went 9:10.76, another school record for the six-year old program. If you wanted a medal in AAA boys, you had to break 7:57. Central Dauphin held off a late charge by Cumberland Valley and North Penn to win in 7:47.28. Central Dauphin controlled the race but Cumberland Valley and North Penn shadowed them on every leg until they pulled away during the third and fourth legs. CD, which won the state AAA title, held a 20 meter lead until the last 100 meters when the gap closed and all 3 teams finished within a second of each other. For AA girls, Gwynedd Mercy was able to outdistance an incredible effort by Elk County Catholic to win with a time of 9:15.30. Elk County Catholic led most of the race before Gwynedd Mercy took the lead on the last lap and held on for the win. Gwynedd Mercy anchor Kate Vernon made up a 30 meter gap with a split of 2:14.7. The other Monarch splits were 2:19.6, 2:23.9 and 2:16.9. Pictured below: Kahki Mealey after handoff to Vernon.