3 Quick Hitters: Thoughts on the Day

We each have our way of decompressing.

Brian DiCola (Hatboro Horsham) is probably doing a 20-minute jog to his favorite Spotify playlist. At least, that's how he celebrated his Cross Country State Championship, so I'd imagine he is doing the same thing right now. 

Well, for me, writing about today's events is the way to cleanse my brain. So... these are my thoughts. Quick takes, null of stat-lines, or full recaps (which I'll save for you later). Instead, I'll share my mostly unfiltered opinions. Maybe this is silly to write under the haze of my dizzying exhaustion, or perhaps it will be a refreshing perspective.

Complete recaps of the day's action will come throughout the week.

Avery Lewis is Outrageous

I said I wouldn't get into full recaps here, but it has to be said. Avery Lewis (Friends' Central) ruled the day. Scoring 30 points by her lonesome - she propelled Friends' Central to a second-place finish (scoring more points as an individual than all but one team).

Watch Lewis' electrifying 60m State Record.

She broke her own 60m State Record twice today and ended with a US No. 3. She also won the 200m and Long Jump. I won't go into more detail now. 

Real recognized real. Talitha Diggs, of Saucon Valley, set the American Record in the 400m on Saturday, running 50.15. Diggs won the 400m World Championship in July - and had this to say about Lewis' run - "PA DON'T PLAY." 

She left those words on our Instagram post of Lewis' 7.22 60m performance. If you're turning the head of a World Champ, then you're probably doing something right. On to Nationals.

Close Finishes Ruled the Day

Not to exaggerate, but every-other race seemed like it was decided by hundredths of a second. Did anyone else feel that way? 

McCaskey Nips State College at the Line - Photo By Crista Confair

McCaskey versus State College in the Girls' 4x800m, Episcopal versus Penncrest in the boys' 4x800m, DeLisi versus Cieslak in the girls' 800, Roden versus Woolery in the boys' 800, Chester versus West Chester Rustin in the Girls' 4x200m, and Central Bucks West versus Abington in the Boys' 4x200m.

The boys' long Jump was decided by two inches, while three-quarters of an inch decided the girl's triple Jump. Through attempts, Logan Gossard (Richland) defeated Andrew Layton (Waynesburg Central) in the Pole Vault.

There was something in the air of State College today - and it made for some special finishes today. This kept the crowd lively, and it's roars were often deafening. There was an electric feel inside the Penn State Multi-Sport Indoor Facility - and I think the athletes felt it too.

It is easy to be electrified by teammates - but the roar of a crowd as you round a final bend, can move you. It can send chills down your spine and force your legs to move quicker despite the grasp that lactic acid may have on you. And that grit - can simultaneously ignite the crowd further. Its a cyclical process really.

The crowd fires you up. You fire the crowd up. The crowd fires the next race up.

The Meet of Champs Format is the Best Format

I will always be a fan of Meet of Champs formats. I want to see the best of the best race each other any chance I get. Today was entertaining. We saw tremendous races all day, outstanding performances in the throws and jumps, athletes out-diving each other at the line, and upsets galore. 

If the indoor season were split into divisions, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to see Pajak, Lieberman, DiCola, and Whitaker duel in the 3K. And while I won't jump from race to race, the same can be said for a few different events.

There is something to be said about the purity of the best athletes in the state racing each other. While I certainly understand the purpose of divisions, especially in the context of team competition, I also think it would be interesting to see a Meet of Champions format implemented in Cross Country and Outdoor Track and Field... even if those Championships are only scored on an individual basis. 

And yes - I agree that Track and Field is a team sport - that should be the most important aspect of competition - but an exhibition championship would be exhilarating.