Boys' Track Recap - PTFCA Indoor State Championships
Sprints & Hurdles
In one of the day's most wide open events, the veteran Shawn Brown of Central Dauphin East came out on top in the final of the boys 60 meter dash. In the semifinals, Harrisburg's Donte Kent ran a PA No. 1 time of 6.82. Brown ran a PR of 6.85 to qualify second. Then in the final, Kent false started and was disqualified. Brown then dropped another 6.85 to take home the win. The state title follows up his state win from last spring in the 100 meters.
Saint Joseph's Prep's Salim Epps controlled the race and ran to the win in the 400 meters. Epps, who won the AAA 400 meters at outdoor states last spring, got to the rail first and maintained the lead, holding off his challengers en route to the win in a time of 48.08 (PA No. 1/US No. 8). Girard College's Donovan Sanders was second in 48.36 in what was a great matchup between the two quarter mile stars.
But Sanders would get his state title later in the day. The fast section of the 200 meters would feature two who had already won state titles earlier in the day -- Brown and Epps -- both meeting in the middle with a state title on the line. Sanders was hungry for the win, too, though. In a very close race, Sanders edged out Epps and Brown, running a PA No. 1 and US No. 9 time of 21.51 for the victory. Epps took second in 21.59, while Brown also ran 21.59 for third.
In the hurdles, sophomore Kevin Thomas of the Haverford School rose to the occasion. After making it through the prelims and semis, Thomas left no doubt and dropped a major PR of 7.83 to win the final, a PA No. 1 and US No. 4 clocking. Downingtown West's Ethan Robinson took second in 8.09 (he went 8.04 in the semis).
The mile turned tactical, with a slow early pace in the second of two sections. In the second half of the race, Juniata's Garrett Baublitz and Mount Lebanon's Patrick Anderson broke free of the pack and it was a two-man race for the title. In the end, Baublitz, who has some terrific 800 speed, claimed the win in 4:19.56. That time narrowly edged out the 4:20.04 that Friends' Central's Diego Spielman-Rodriguez put down in the first of two sections, which was 6 seconds faster than Spielman-Rodriguez's season best coming in. Anderson, who was second in his heat, took third overall in 4:20.47.
In the 3K, Penns Valley's Colton Sands claimed the win in an impressive 8:31.96. In the closing laps, Sands out-dueled Anderson, who took second in 8:34.82. Sands closed hard to pick up the win, completing the non-calendar year triple crown of winning an outdoor 3,200m title on the track, the Class A XC state title in the fall, and now an indoor state victory on Sunday.
In the 800 meters, it was a matchup between two premiere half milers in Tyler Shue of Ephrata and Kendall Branan of Indiana Area. Shue, the defending state champion indoors and outdoors, seized the lead and opened up a big gap heading into the final lap. But Branan, who has some terrific 400 meter speed, caught Shue on the backstretch and brought it home for the win in 1:52.14, running his last 200 meters in 26.44. He turned it into a runway winning by two second over second place Holden Emery of Central Bucks East. Shue wound up third. Branan's time is a new PA No. 2 and US No. 3.
State College Area opened up the meet on the boys side by taking back the indoor state title in the 4x800 meter relay. The Little Lions took the lead on the second leg and held on from there, clocking the state's first sub-8 time of the season with a 7:52.50 for the win, a US No. 4.
In the distance medley relay, the top seeds from Hatboro Horsham claimed the win. The Hatters opened up an early lead and it was smooth sailing from there with anchor leg Devon Comber clocking a 4:21.83 to bring it home for HH in a total time of 10:20.73, a US No. 7.
Top seed Upper Darby captured the title in the 4x200 meter relay. The Royals got out to the early lead, and hung on for the victory, clocking a 1:29.08 (PA No. 1) for the win. Norristown made it close, taking second in 1:29.38 in what turned into an exciting battle between the state's top two ranked 4x2s.
Saint Joseph's Prep closed out the meet with some dramatics. Second in the team standings, SJP needed points from the 4x400 meter relay to take home its second indoor team title in three years. They delivered, leading from start to finish to take the relay win and the team title. Prep clocked a 3:22.50 for the 4x4 title.