Chambersburg’s Championship Hopes Take a Hit, JJ Kelly Out

Above: JJ Kelly scored 26 Individual points at the 2023 PIAA Championship (3A)

- - -

Chambersburg won the PIAA 3A Boys State Championship last outdoor season, but a repeat may be difficult this year.

Their star returner, JJ Kelly, will not compete in the PIAA postseason. 

Last year, Kelly scored 26 individual points for Chambersburg at the PIAA Championships. He won the Triple and High Jump while finishing third in the Long Jump. Chambersburg won the 2023 championship by scoring 48 points. State College was second with 34.

Chambersburg Boys Head Track and Field Coach Jim Boyer confirmed to PA MileSplit that following the regular season, JJ Kelly decided to focus on basketball as initially reported by the Chambersburg Public Opinion.

"Following our dual meet track and field season, JJ has made the decision to focus on AAU basketball this May, which has a conflicting schedule with the District 3 and PIAA State Championship weekends," said Boyer.

"He, alongside a few other members of the Chambersburg Boys and Girls Track and Field Team have made the decision to commit to their club teams in a variety of respective sports, rather than compete in the championship season with their school track and field team."

JJ Kelly won the Triple Jump Title at last year's state meet: Photo by Dan Rainville | USA Today

- - -

Chambersburg concluded the regular season 6-2 in the Mid Penn Conference Commonwealth Division. Kelly has season bests of 47-7.5 in the triple jump and 6-8 in the High Jump. Those marks sit at No. 2 and No. 1 (Tie) in 3A, respectively.

"This decision by a number of athletes will make our team's chance of defending our AAA state title from last season more challenging," added Boyer. "However, our entire coaching staff, with the full support of our athletic department, are excited to see what the remaining members of our Boys and Girls Track and Field Teams will be able to accomplish in the postseason. We look forward to some of our hardest-working and most committed student-athletes stepping up to gain points for their team at the Championships this May."

Kelly, who is also a basketball and football standout, told the Chambersburg Public Opinion that making the decision wasn't difficult, given his personal endeavors.

"I'm gonna take my abilities in my other sports and run with it," Kelly told the Public Opinion. "It wasn't as difficult a decision as you'd imagine. I wanted to focus on something where I know I have the opportunity at the next level."

Last year, Kelly was named the PA MileSplit Field Athlete of the Year. This year, Chambersburg will attempt a repeat without him on the runway. That road starts at the PIAA District 3 Championship on May 17th and 18th.