The anticipation is building and we're excited to bring you a series of previews ahead of the PIAA Outdoor Track and Field. Over the next couple of days, we will provide event-by-event previews of the action to come.

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AA Boys High Jump

The reigning outdoor state champ is back to defend his title. Hayden Smith (Union-Allegheny Clarion Valley) won the state title in 2022 as a sophomore.

Since then, he has only gotten better. Smith is undefeated in the High Jump this year. He scored a breakthrough victory at the Brookeville Invitational, clearing 6-9 and recently jumped 6-8.25 to win the District 9 Championship.

Noah Gunderson (Annville-Cleona) could surprise Smith. Gunderson has jumped a limited schedule this season but has improved with each effort. He cleared 6-7 to win the District 3 Championship last week - and finished fifth at the PIAA Championship in 2022.

Michael Kadziela (Nativity BVM) is the third seed and District 11 Champion. He had a slow start to the season but regained his mojo in late May. He won the Schuylkill League Championship with a jump of 6-6 and then cleared 6-5 at the District 11 meet.

District 1 Champion Marco Demeo (New Hope Solebury) may also threaten for a Top-3. He jumped 6-6 at the SOL American Conference Championship.

AA Boys Pole Vault

Four Vaulters headline a talented and deep group of athletes; Logan Gossard (Richland), Andrew Layton (Waynesburg Central), Taylor LaBarre (Pen Argyl), and Solomon Glavach (Wilmington).

Gossard is the reigning PIAA Outdoor State Champion and PTFCA Indoor State Champion. He cleared 15-6 indoors. This week, he vaulted 15-0 to win the District 6 Championship, an outdoor personal best. He held off Layton at last year's PIAA State Championship and at this year's Indoor State Championship.

Layton is eying up redemption. His consistency has been his strong suit, and he is coming off of a District 7 Championship.

But Taylor LaBarre and Solomon Glavach have cleared higher than Gossard and Layton this year.

LaBarre is a jumps aficionado and ranks amongst the state's best in the Triple Jump, Long Jump, and Pole Vault. He won the District 11 Championships in all three events. He has cleared 15-4 this year and has jumped in the 15s several times. He will enter as a favorite. 

Glavach finished fifth at last year's state championship but is poised for improvement this year. His season best of 15-2 won him the Pine Richland Invitational. He also finished ninth at the Penn Relays and won the District 10 Championship.

AA Boys Triple Jump

This is CJ Simbiri's (Delaware County Christian) first year competing in the triple jump. He is the 2A state leader. Those sentences shouldn't belong together, but they do. Simbiri jumped 46-8.5 to win the Bicentennial Athletic League Championship and 46-6.5 to win the District 1 Championship. His seed is nearly two feet better than the next competitor, and in the state rankings, he has cleared just under a foot further than the net jumper.

We mentioned Taylor LaBarre in our Pole Vault preview. He won three different district championships in jump events and is one of the front runners in the Triple, alongside the Pole Vault. He has jumped 45-5 and enters as the No. 5 seed.

Also, keep an eye on Nasir Heard (Bloomsburg), Miles Brooks (Penns Valley), Wyatt Johnson (Elk Lake), Derek Bergin (Calvary Christian), and Ricky Zampogna (Kane Area).

AA Boys Long Jump

The battle in the 2A Boys Long Jump is tight. Rodrigo Davis (Archbishop Carroll) and Levi Prementine (Slippery Rock) share the 2A State lead with their respective jumps of 22-10.25.

Both won their District titles - and Prementine put together 2A's best jump of the week - that state-leading 22-10.25. A similar jump could put him in the catbird's seat. 

He'll have to hold off the likes of Brandon Konieczki (Harbor Creek), Taylor LaBarre, and Noah Dolbin (Nativity BVM), who round out the Top-5 seeds. They have each jumped further than 22-5 this year.

Aiden Ortz (Redbank Valley) and Matthew Essey (Hopewell) could steal the show with solid marks.