State College's Alex Milligan powered his team to the AAA 4x800 win and then came back to win the 1600 (Photo by Abby Huber)
What an incredible weekend in Shippensburg at the PIAA T&F Championships! The boys' of PA put together great performances across the board, throwing down some state record and US#1s. Here's a rundown of some of the biggest and best of the weekend that was.
- Team Champions: Schuylkill Valley (AA Boys), State College Area (AAA Boys)
- The AAA boys race was decided by one point (State College scored 54 points to Downingtown West's 53). The champs had a tremendous day all around. The 4x800 won in a US#1 of 7:37.25. The anchor from that team, Alex Milligan, came back to win the 1600 in a huge PR of 4:10.17. Griffin Thompson won the AAA pole vault with a clearance of 16-3, and just missing an attempt at 16-7, which would have been the state record. Thompson's best headed into the season was 15-0. Tristan Daman placed fourth in the 100 in a team of 10.91 (though he ran 10.80 in the semis). Nick Feffer and Anthony Degleris, also part of the 4x800, took fourth and eighth respectively in the open 800. Kellin Valentine placed sixth in the long jump and seventh in the triple jump. The 4x400 closed out the meet with a second place finish to Downingtown West in the 4x400.
Schuylkill Valley's Joey Mundell successfully defended his state title in the AA shot put (Photo by Ethan Rissell)
- Schuylkill Valley managed to edge out Camp Hill for the team title behind the strength of three individual state champions. SV scored 39 points for the win, beating Camp Hill by three points. On Friday, Brendan Sparr started things off, winning the long jump with a best jump of 23-9.5. That tied Delaware Valley Charter's Jahmair Craig, but Sparr won with a better next best jump. Joey Mundell won the AA shot put with a best toss of 60-3.5 to defend his state title. He was second in the discus with a throw of 174-8. On Saturday afternoon, junior Joe Jardine won the pole vault with a PR of 14-0.
- Knoch's Jordan Geist broke the state meet record as well as the state record with a massive first throw in the AAA boys' shot put on Friday. Geist wasted no time, throwing 74-3.5, breaking Ryan Whiting 2005 meet record of 70-00. Geist had previously broken the all-time state record earlier in the season and his throw on Friday betters that. He came back to win the discus on Saturday.
- Beaver Falls' Domenic Perretta became the first athlete in state history to win both the 800 and 1600 three straight years at the state meet. The Penn State recruit ran 4:17 to win the 1600 and then came back to run a US#9 of 1:50.10 in the 800. That caps off a fabulous career for Perretta.
McLemore outleans Laird in the AAA 200 final (Photo by Ethan Rissell)
- Downingtown West's Joshua McLemore capped off his breakthrough senior season with three gold medals. McLemore, who won the 200 and 400 meters at indoor states, repeated that brilliant double claiming titles in both events. In the 400, McLemore PR'd in the open by over a second, winning in 46.82. In the 200, McLemore edged out Coatesville's Terrance Laird by the closest of margins for the win. Both ran 21.41 for first and second. Then McLemore anchored the winning AAA 4x400 to the win in 3:15.
- Notre Dame-Green Pond's Greg Lauray finished off one of the more improbable runs in state history. Lauray won the high jump in a tight compeititon, clearing 6-10. Lauray only started high jumping a few months ago when some of his basketball teammates convinced him to go out for the track team. Now he's a state champion in AAA.
- Gettysburg's Ravaughn Dillard won the AAA triple jump for the second consecutive year. In a great battle that included the three best AAA jumps of the season, Dillard had the best of the bunch on his last jump---a 47-8 to beat out Pittsburg Central Catholic's Bricen Garner. In AA, New Brighton's Anthony Milliner also pulled out a big 48-5 for the win.
- Lake Lehman's Dominic Hockenbury won his third straight AA 3200m title. The senior was shooting for the meet record, but fell short in the heat. He clocked a 9:13 for the victory.
- Meadville's Journey Brown blasted a HUGE PA#1 of 10.62 in the semis of the AAA 100 dash and then finished it off with a win in the finals, running 10.73. In AA, make it three in a row for Bloomsburg's Jahvel Hemphill. The junior won his third straight AA 100m dash final at the state meet, pulling away from the field to win in 10.74.
Nazareth Area's Julian Liaci anchors his team to the AAA boys' 4x100 win (Photo by Phil Grove)
- Nazareth Area had a big day. Jahan Dotson won the long jump, becoming the first and only PA jumper to go over 24 feet with a 24-4.5 for the win in the AAA boys' long jump. Then Dotson supplied the second leg on the winning AAA 4x100. The Blue Eagles ran 41.64 in the prelims and then won it in the finals with a 41.86.
- Evan Blaire knocked off the defending champ Mundell in the AA boys' discus. Blaire, who has been PA#1 for most of the season threw 184-4.
- In the hotly contested javelin in AA and AAA, we had a big upset and a favorite win. In AA, it was Laurel's Jake Wilson, winning with a best throw of 195. Then in AAA, Stroudsburg's Michael Marsack out-threw North Allegheny's Andrew Manz for the win. Marsack's best was 211-11, just off his state-leading throw.
Sophomore Ayden Owens takes the state title in the 300 hurdles (Photo by Don Rich)
- Birthday boy Ayden Owens of North Allegheny won't be forgetting Saturday for a long time. The sophomore was a runaway winner in the 300 hurdles on his birthday no less! Owens clocked a big PR of 37.48 to win by nearly a second. In AA, E.L. Meyers' Raheem Twyman, who just missed a state title last year, won on his final try as a senior. Twyman won a close one with Freeport's Dylan Hochbein, clocking a 38.34, tying his school record that's held by former NFL player Qadry Ismail.
Joseph Espinal PR'd by over three seconds to win the AAA 800 (Photo by Ethan Rissell)
- One of the day's surprise winners was Joseph Espinal from Wilson (11). He PR'd in the 800 prelims and did it again in a big way in the finals. Espinal dropped a 1:51.09 to beat Carlisle's Matt Wisner and Downingtown West's Jaxson Hoey in a very close race in the AAA final.
- North Pocono's Matt Kravitz also pulled off a nice upset in the 3200, beating a talented field and out-kicking Peters Township's Nick Wolk for the win in 9:09.