The top girls shot putters of Pennsylvania took centerstage on Sunday afternoon in a Championship Shot Put that lived up to the hype. When the dust settled, it was a 1-2-3 finish for PA shot putters in a terrific competition to cap off what has been a great indoor season for PA throwers.
It was Ashlyn Giles (Schuylkill Valley) who emerged on top in the end to win the national title. Giles entered the weekend at US#1 in the shot after a big breakthrough put of 49-7 earlier this winter. Giles put down a best of 49-0.75 to take the win on Sunday and win her first national crown.
Iheoma set the tone early with a 47-4.25 to grab the early lead. Then in the finals, Giles took the lead with a 48-0.75. Callahan answered right after Giles' attempt with a 47-6.25 to move ahead of Iheoma and into second behind Giles. Then in the final round, Giles bettered her best with a 49-0.75 to close out the competition. Iheoma had one last chance and put down her 48-10, just short of Giles' leading mark, but enough to move her into second.
Giles, Iheoma, and Callahan entered the meet at US#1, US#2, and US#3, respectively, and that's how the competition played out. There's still an outdoor season to come and it will be exciting to watch these girls battle it out once again.
It was a strong day for PA's boys throwers, too.
In the Championship Weight Throw, Collin Burkhart (Nazareth Area) placed fourth with a toss of 69-5.5. It wasn't quite a PR, but a strong performance nonetheless for the senior, who will be one to watch in the javelin throw this spring.
In the Championship Shot Put, Daniel Norris (Hempfield Area) threw down a good PR of 58-0.5 to place sixth overall in the competition. Norris' mark puts him at PA#4 on the season. Dylan Lambrecht (Northern Lebanon) was seventh with a best of 59-0.25, just a quarter inch behind Norris.
Conteh, Brown drop big races in 400 final
In a final that included three Pennsylvania girls, the Championship 400 meters didn't disappoint. Margaret Conteh (Athletic Development Group) won the second of two final sections, only it wasn't enough to claim the overall win. Conteh went 54.72 for a new PR, but Aaliyah Pyatt from Virginia went 54.69 in the first section, a time that would hold up for the national title.
Micah Trusty (Friends' Central) was sixth overall in 55.02 and Sanaa Hebron (Neshaminy) was eighth in 55.27. All three PA finalists posted season bests in the final. Watch the second section of the 400 above.
In the boys' Championship 400 meters, Guinness Brown (Butler) impressed once again, taking third overall in a time of 48.22 for yet another PR to cap off what has been a terrific junior indoor season. Check out more on Brown's race here.
Martin runs to third in the mile
Gary Martin added another national podium finish to his resume, taking third in the Championship mile. Martin raced on Saturday in the 2 mile, where he placed second. But he still had some in the tank on Sunday for the mile. Martin, an Archbishop Wood junior, went 4:11.72.
Martin took the early lead and the lead exchanged hands a number of times before a dramatic last lap with Ethan Strand of Alabama ultimately holding on for the win in 4:10.31. For Martin, it caps off an indoor season that saw him rise into one of PA's great distance stars. His 4:11.72 puts him at PA No. 9 all time in the indoor mile.
Mike Formica (Knoch) ran well to take seventh in 4:16.11, a PA#2 only trailing Martin's time.
In the girls' Championship mile, Olivia Haas (Blue Mountain) was the top PA finisher, running 4:58.66 for 19th overall to improve on her own PA#1. Mia Cochran (Moon Area), who ran the 2 mile on Saturday, was 23rd overall in 5:00.49.
PRs in the 60m dash final
A pair of PA's top short sprinters dropped big PRs in the final of the Championship 60 meter dash.
Avery Lewis (Friends' Central), fresh off a record-setting performance in the long jump on Saturday, placed fourth in the 60m final. Lewis dropped a new PR of 7.43 to close out a huge first national high school meet. That time betters her own PA#1 on the season and moves her up to PA No. 4 all-time in the 60, tying her with Breehana Jacobs of Laurel Highlands from 2006.
D'Angelo Stocker (Malvern Prep) also closed out a very strong weekend. Stocker went 6.87 for sixth in the 60m final. That was his third sub-7 time of the weekend between the prelims and semis. It's also a PR and PA#1 for Stocker, a junior, who has really proved himself in the sprints this winter.
Taylor finishes well in the hurdles
It's been a big last few weeks in the hurdles for Allen Taylor, a senior at Williamsport Area. Taylor finished it out with a fifth place finish in the final of the Championship 60m hurdles on Sunday with a time of 7.93
Taylor went 7.90 in the semifinals of the event, a tad faster than his finals time, which bettered his own PA#1. That's a PR for Taylor, who moves up to PA No. 12 all-time in the 60m hurdles.
Albright takes fifth in 800
On the heels of a third place finish in the 1K on Friday night, Eric Albright (Garnet Valley) returned on Sunday for the Championship 800 meters. The senior placed fifth overall in the field, running a new PR of 1:54.41. The race went out at a blistering pace, and Albright smartly sat back in the field working his way up throughout the race to take fourth in his heat and fifth overall.
It was Albright's first 800 of the season after running a pair of 1Ks. That time moves him up to PA#1 on the season by over a second and a half.
Imes jumps to fourth in triple, Price-Whitehead seventh
Sabrina Imes (Shipley School) placed fourth in the girls Championship triple jump. Imes, a junior, leapt 38-4.25 on her final attempt to move into fourth. She had three other marks over 37 feet in a strong series. That jump also gives her the state's top indoor triple jump performance for this indoor season.
Jaden Price-Whitehead (Upper Dublin) took seventh in the triple jump. He leapt a best of 45-7, which came on his third attempt. It was the senior's second podium finish after taking fifth in the long jump on Saturday.
Timberg eighth, Vacca ninth in the pole vault
Chloe Timberg (Central Bucks West), who broke the PA indoor state record in the girls pole vault last week, placed eighth in the Championship pole vault, clearing 12-7.5. Veronica Vacca, an eighth grader from Lafayette Hill, also cleared 12-7.5 for a new PR. Vacca placed ninth overall in the Championship field.