A look back on 2022: One of PA's most memorable years

From record marks to competing on the world stage, 2022 was one of the most historical years for Pennsylvania athletes. Join us as we reflect on ten of the most memorable moments from the 2022 indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and cross country seasons!

 Avery Lewis's 60 Meter Dash time Surpassing PA Legends:

Avery Lewis (Friends' Central) wasted no time making headlines last season. One of the most exciting moments of the indoor season was Lewis's performance at the PTFCA Indoor State Championships. Lewis won the 60 meter dash finals in 7.30 tying LSU star, Thelma Davies, PA state record.

Lewis ultimately went on the break that record a few weeks later when she won the Championships Girls 60 Meter Dash Finals in 7.27 at New Balance Nationals Indoor 2022.

Lewis will be back in 2023 as she forges ahead as a junior.

Ava Alexander Springing Herself to a Triple Jump National Title:

Ava Alexander (West Chester Rustin) dominated the triple jump last indoor season. Alexander covered marks greater than 40 feet on three occasions during the 2022 season, with the most impressive being her 41'-3" personal best. That effort ended up winning Alexander a Nike Indoor Nationals Triple Jump title.

Alexander notably won the triple jump competition at the PTFCA State Championship, covering 40'-11". She also took second in the triple jump at Adidas Track Nationals, covering 40'-0.25".

Look forward to more impressive marks from Alexander in 2023 as she enters her senior year.


Gary Martin's Historical Sub-4-Minute Mile:

Gary Martin (Archbishop Wood, University of Virginia) became a nationally known name when he became the 14th American high schooler to run under the 4-minute mark in the mile. Martin ran 3:57.98 in an astonishing solo effort at the Philadelphia Catholic League Outdoor Championship. His efforts earned him PA No.1 and US No.3 all-time status over the one-mile distance.

 Martin is arguably the greatest PA high school distance runner of all time, and his various accomplishments in 2022 solidify any argument in his favor.

Keep an eye on Martin in 2023 as the true freshman is already making an impact at the University of Virginia.  

Justin Rogers Shattering the State Pole Vault Record:

When reflecting on record-breaking performances from 2022, Justin Rogers (HersheyUniversity of Virginia) and his pole vault efforts are impossible to miss. Rogers literally raised the standard for PA vaulters at the 2022 PIAA State Championship when he cleared 17'-3". He put on a show as every spectator in the stadium was on the edge of their seat.

Rogers completed the 2022 outdoor season as a state champion and undefeated in the PIAA. More can be said about the superstar vaulter, but we will reflect on another one of his accomplishments shortly.

Mia Cochran and Her Triple Crown +1:

One of the most interesting moments of 2022 was when Mia Cochran (Moon Area, University of Arkansas) won four state titles while only competing in three events at the PIAA Championship.

Cochran accomplished this unique feat by winning the 800-meter run, the 1600 meter-run, and 3200-meter run, earning 10 team points in each race. As the sole Moon Area athlete at the PIAA State Championship, Cochran singlehandedly won the team title after scoring 30 points.

Watch out for Cochran in 2023, as she is already making a name for herself at the University of Arkansas.


Drew Mruk and Miles Higgins Epic Javelin Showdown at New Balance Nationals:

Finishing first and second became a familiar accomplishment for Drew Mruk (Wyoming Area) and Miles Higgins (Ligonier Valley). The two javelin throwers initially faced off at the PIAA 2A State Championship where Mruk won with a mark of 211'-9" and Higgins took second with a mark of 200'-11".

However, the most exciting showdown between the two was at New Balance Nationals. The two PA studs dominated the field with Mruk throwing 215-0.1" to become the national champion and Higgins throwing 213-04" to become the national runner-up.

Higgins will be making his collegiate debut in 2023 at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Expect to see Mruk playing title defense in 2023 as he enters his senior season. 

 Justin Rogers Finishing Top 10 at U20 Worlds:

We reflect on another Justin Rogers moment when he traveled to Colombia to represent the United States at the U20 World Championship. Rogers cleared 16'-10.75" to tie for ninth with Marec Metzger of Germany. It was beyond exciting to see one of PA's best on the world stage.

Rogers will be competing in 2023 at the University of Virginia.

Brian DiCola Breaking Paul Short Record:

Coming off a strong junior season, Brian DiCola (Hatboro Horsham) did not hesitate to make headlines during the 2022 cross country season. DiCola ran a record-breaking time of 14:43.20 at the 48th Lehigh Paul Short Run. DiCola beat Gary Martin's previous course record of 14:49.00 by over five seconds.

DiCola ran with the pack through the first mile and a half, then broke away with Rory Lieberman (Danville Area). DiCola put on a show with an exhilarating finish in which he dropped Lieberman during the final 100 meters of the race.

Time will tell what DiCola will accomplish in 2023 as we transition into track season. 

North Allegheny Girls Winning Their 5th Straight XC Team Title:

The North Allegheny squad made history as the first team to win five straight cross country team titles. With four runners in the top 25 (Wren Kucler, 4th, Eva Kynaston 9th, Erin McGoey 23rd, and Grace Rowley 24th) and Robin Kucler finishing 29th, the team scored an impressive 60 points for the win. 

Watch out for the black and gold North Allegheny uniforms in 2023 as coach John Neff looks to keep the dynasty going. 

Drew Griffith Winning Regional Title:

Drew Griffith (Butler) didn't disappoint when it came to wrapping up 2022 for PA athletes. Griffith won the Champs Northeast Regional Meet (formerly known as Footlocker) on the historical Van Cortland Park course in New York City. It was a close battle against Sam Burgess from Massachusetts who finished less than a second behind Griffith. 

Griffith notably went on to finish 8th at the Champs National Cross Country Championship a few weeks after the regional qualifier. Griffith represented PA in a truly dominant fashion up to the end of 2022.

Griffith is a distance runner's name to remember going into 2023.

From shattering records to dominating the national/international fields, 2022 was a historical year for Pennsylvania athletics. Stay tuned for all the action as the 2023 seasons will soon be underway!