All of the top sprinters from the state will compete in their respective events this weekend.
2015 PTFCA Indoor Athlete of the Year Brooklynn Broadwater of Springside Chestnut Hill will compete in the 400 and 200 meter dashes. The state champion in both events has run the fastest 400 meters (54.73) in PA since Kenya Woodall of Coatesville in 2012 (54.95). Broadwater ranks US#4 this season, giving her a great opportunity to earn her first All American certificate. This will be her first time running in the championship sections.
Broadwater will also run the 200 meter dash. She enters as the reigning Emerging Elite champion in the event. Broadwater is coming off a state gold medal performance out of the unseeded heat. Her 24.52 is US#13. She will be joined by US#11 Taylor Chapman of Pennridge, who hasn't reached her season best 24.49 since January 10. Chanel Brissett of Cheltenham is the PA#1 and US#8 200 meter runner on time (24.46). This trio of 200 meter sprinters may have to exceed their best to have an opportunity to qualify for Sunday's 2 heat final.
Chapman and Brissett will renew their rivalry in the 60 meter dash. Brissett got the best of Chapman for the state title on March 1, but both rank in the national top ten and should fancy their chances of reaching the semifinals at worst.
The 60 meter hurdles have two strong candidates to not only make All American but to win the whole thing. Ciara Leonard of Cheltenham and Sierra Brabham-Lawrence of Harrisburg will resume their rivalry from the state meet. The duo are two of the top three hurdlers in the country, separated by .01 seconds. They are also the two fastest hurdlers in PA history. In their last meeting, Brabham-Lawrence clipped the last hurdle to miss out on a successful state title defense. What will happen in the rematch? Perhaps it could be the first PA 1-2 finish in a national championship event?
The 800 meter run will have a lot of PA representation on Sunday. State champion Gabrielle Wilkinson of Friends Central will look to rekindle the magic she created as an 8th grader at this meet, when she won the middle school mile. This year, she enters in top form after running indoor personal bests in each of her last three appearances, soaring to US#3 in the process with a 2:09.56. The girl she beat for that state title, Sarah Walker of Germantown Friends, will also run the 800. Walker spent the 2nd half of January as the US#1 800 meter runner. The two were just .006 seconds apart at states. Can they recreate that magic once again on the national stage?
Mikayla Schneider of Notre Dame will also take a shot at the 800 after what's been an incredible season. She is US#8 at 2:11.72 and has run PRs in each of her last two appearances. Grace Trucilla of Villa Maria Academy and Shannon Quinn of Trinity (3) will look to rebound from tough state meet performances. Both are ranked in the top 20 overall in the country.
Olivia Sargent of Pennsbury and Marissa Sheva of Pennridge will run the mile after their match up at states where Sheva emerged victorious. In Sargent's last trip to New York, she finished 2nd in the mile at the Millrose Games with her indoor best 4:51.02. She will hope that Sunday's race will bring a similar result. She is ranked US#4. Meanwhile, Sheva's last trip to New York she ran 4:50.73 way back in December, which is still US#3 for the distance. After coming off a state title, can she carry that momentum into the national finals?
In the 2 mile, US#1 and state champion at 3000 meters Madeleine Davison of North Allegheny will content for All American honors. Davison has set two personal bests this season, both in dominant fashion, and the national final will be her ultimate test. Can she continue improving and place in the top 6?
In the relays, the top PA teams in the 4x2 and 4x4 will toe the line. Cheltenham will look to become two time All Americans after finishing 3rd last year in a state record 1:39.00. They have come close to that time this year, missing the state record by half a second at the Kevin Dare meet in January. At US#4 this year, a return should look likely. Harrisburg, Penncrest, and Overbrook will also run the 4x2. Penncrest had a strong state meet, finishing 3rd.
In the 4x4, Springside Chestnut Hill will look to dip under 3:50 at the very least. The state champions sit at US#9 and will look to join the seven schools that have broken 3:50 in the country this season. Broadwater will anchor the team.
Unionville will run both the 4x8 and distance medley relays this weekend, looking to medal in two relays for the 2nd year running. After a tough performance at the state meet, Unionville will look to rebound. The members of the team have done well at this meet in previous years, and will have plenty of experience to get back into the All American places.
Joining Unionville in the distance medley relay will be Friends Central and Germantown Friends. This should see another head to head match up between Gabrielle Wilkinson and Sarah Walker. The last two times they've squared off, they have stolen the show. Will they be able to do it again? Friends Central enter the meet at US#9, while GFS enters at US#17.
In the 4x8, Harriton and Villa Maria Academy will join Unionville. Harriton is coming off a big state meet performance and will look to continue that momentum. Villa Maria Academy have had 4x8 success in previous outdoor seasons, and will look to take that success to nationals.
In the field events, the former national champion Cyre Virgo of Fleetwood will look to win her 2nd high jump championship. The senior has never finished worse than 2nd in her two previous appearances. Shannon Taub of Council Rock South jumped 5-6 at states to finish 2nd for her season best. Moira O'Malley of Souderton will look to clear 5-6 for the first time since December 30.
State champion Emily Stauffer of Cocalico will now look to add an All American Certificate to her latest state championship. Stauffer still sits at US#7 on the season, but hasn't reached 47-10 in two months. Courtney McCartney of Selinsgrove is still at US#9 from the same meet as Stauffer, but had a tough meet at states, and redemption for herself will be on her mind. The same can be said for Nina Gambacorta of Garnet Valley and Maura Kimmel of Moniteau.
Pole vault state champion Tesia Kemski of Bishop McDevitt will look to finally improve on her two 12 foot performance she's had this season. Erin Winters of Lebanon has also cleared 12 feet, but she did not clear a height at the state meet. Kaitlyn Toman of Salisbury has had a good 2nd half of the season and will look to continue that streak with a seasonal best of her own.
Veronika Karpenko of State College will carry the PA flag in the triple jump, while Jenny Martin of Methacton and Shannon Taub of Council Rock South will compete in the pentathlon. Cardinal O'Hara and Germantown Friends will run the sprint medley relay.