PIAA District 9 Championships
Who To Watch For: Brookville Area 4x100-meter relay
Why?: It's an historically fast year for the 4x100 meter relay in Pennsylvania. The all-time state record will be challenged over the coming weeks. 10 PA squads have already run under 42.5 in the event. But perhaps the most impressive team on that list is Brookville Area, a AA squad. Brookville clocked a 42.18 to win the Butler Invitational, against a Class AAA-heavy field. The squad, consisting of Cabe Park, Jack Krug, Ian Thrush, and Bryan Dworek, isn't a relay that will back down and the team's talents will be on display on its home track on Friday in the 4x1 and a variety of other events.
What to expect: Brookville is currently the overall PA No. 4, but the top AA team in the state. As far as D9-AA is concerned, Brookville likely won't be challenged for the title, as they are seeded nearly 3 seconds ahead of the second-ranked relay. At the state meet, expect Philadelphia's Motivation (42.24 season best) to give Brookville a run for its money in what could be a VERY fast AA final. Keep an eye on this team.
Others to watch: Owen Bartlebaugh (AAA - Distance); Ian Callen (AA - Javelin); Brody Coleman (AA - Jumps); Samuel Hetrick (AA - High Jump); Ben Hoffman (AA - Distance); Hunter Jones (AA - Sprints); Kyle Norling (AA - Pole Vault); Dillon Olson (AA - Hurdles); James Parenti (AA - Throws); Adam Park (AAA - Throws)
Who To Watch For: Taylor Newton (Elk County Catholic)
Why?: Newton is the No. 2 ranked high jumper in the state in Class AA. Fourth a year ago at the state meet, Newton has cleared 5-5 this season, a height she cleared twice in invites -- once at Lock Haven and again at Baldwin. Newton currently trails only Baver Area's Emma Pavalek (5-6.25 season best).
What to expect: The junior cleared her still-personal best of 5-6 at the District 9 Championships last year, so she'll look for a repeat of that this season. The consistency has been there this year for Newton, who has gone over 5-5 twice and 5-4 three times this spring. That should bode well for her as we head into the postseason where being "on" on the right day is everything. Expect her to repeat her D9-AA title and compete for a state title at Ship.
Others to watch for: Morgan Allman (AAA - Jumps); Amanda Ford (AA - Distance); Samantha Hayes (AAA - Sprints); Summer Herring (AAA - Hurdles); Regan Johnson (AAA - Sprints); Sara Knox (AA - Throws); Laken Lewis (AA - Pole Vault); Sara McKean (AA - Sprints/Jumps); Skylar Sherry (AA - Javelin)