None of the four class meets has more locks in it than the AAA Boys... especially the 100, 200, 1600 and the Shot and Discus.
The 4x800 is not one of them. While Conestoga Valley ran an incredible 7:45.26 in their District 3 meet, logic says it wasn\'t entirely necessary. Will that effort, mentally and physically -- along with the challenge of experienced teams who are looking to vastly improve this weekend -- cost them when they try to close the deal. Easton and North Penn looked great at their district meets. And the North Penn group has been aiming for these two days since the start of indoor.
In the 4x400, teams had better take care of the stick in the prelims, or there won\'t be a finals. But expect four teams to throw it all against the wall, including West Mifflin, Cumberland Valley, Simon Gratz and North Penn. Gratz simply has more tools with which to build this title. The 4x100 will see two of the same four teams in a spirited final. CD East, West Mifflin and Simon Gratz are the class of this field. Pick \'em.
The locks begin in the 100 and 200. If Knowledge Timmons is defending anything, it doesn\'t show. He ignored the hype of last year and simply went out and won. He\'ll do the same this year. Convincingly. Yes, his 10.47 was wind-aided. And so was his 21.18. But look at those numbers again. It wasn\'t a hurricane behind him, just a breeze. Lock these two. Fighting for 2nd will be Central Dauphin\'s Jordan Mitchell, West Mifflin\'s Montel Williamson and Plymouth-Whitemarsh junior De\'Rel Scott. That\'s in the 100. In the single-curve sprint, Gratz\'s Rashine Turner, West Mifflin\'s Brandon Turner, and Mitchell are 2-3-4.
You had to see the look in his eyes when he won both races in convincing fashion at District 1. Carrington Queen is a Chichester man on a mission. He has run 14 and 38 low. And 2nd place just isn\'t on his agenda. Mark it down... Queen is King of the Hurdles.
That same look possessed Reggie Carter of Bensalem in last week\'s District 1 meet. He is seeded 2nd to Cumberland Valley\'s David Stonfer. And there are Javan Carter of Susquehanna Township and Khaliff Featherstone of Gratz to consider. But the gut says Carter.
More locks in the distance races. The 800 title will be successfully defended by Connellsville\'s Ken King. Andy Miller of Cedar Crest ran a great race in nearly beating Craig Miller at the District 3 meet, but he\'ll need another second to catch King at the end. This is a race for the experienced.
In the 1600 we\'re going out on a limb. Craig Miller, the ultra-talented Manheim Township junior, can simply run whatever he needs to run in Pennsylvania. Watch him watching his competition, and you know. Last year he went eight seconds negative on his 800 splits. He has some goals to go for... and this is where it really gets scary... Manheim Township scratched from the 4x800. Miller ran the 3200 at Districts, breaking the meet record of Steve Spence - but scratched the event for states. And there is no 4x400. Which means HE WILL BE RESTED. The meet mark is 4:03.22 run by current Upper Dublin girls\' coach Paul Vandegrift in 1987. That is also the best-ever in PA. And in the 3200, a healthy Sam Luff of Emmaus will challenge the 1983 state meet mark of Upper Perkiomen\'s Mike Connelly - an 8:58.90. Remember, he may actually be chasing a new record if Jeff Weiss and Jacob Walker have their say in AA. The state-best mark is 8:53.5c by Lewisburg Chris Spooner.
Naffee Harris of Lancaster McCaskey is over 23 feet in the Long Jump. Hershey\'s Zach Myers is close, as is Wilson\'s Shawn Smith. The Triple Jump could bring the house down if you\'re sitting on the visitor\'s side of the stadium. Defending champ Darnell Johnson of Gettysburg has gone 46-06 this season. But McCaskey\'s Ceasar Westbrook, Parkland\'s John Carelli and Coatesville\'s Clarence Smith have all gone over 47 feet, while Nate Gilbert of Emmaus has cleared over 48 feet.
If Miller is a lock in the 1600, what does that make Ryan Whiting of Central Dauphin in theShot Put and Discus? Right... my thoughts exactly.
Over 70. Over 205.
The PIAA record of 66-05.50 set in 1972 by Baldwin\'s Ron Simkiew is probably gone. The state best by Simkiew of 70-01.7 could be gone as well. He\'ll break his own meet record of 193-02, and could have a good look at the state best of 207-04, set in 1991 by Fort LeBoeuf\'s Brian Milne.
I may miss some races to watch these.
In the Javelin, Josh Hostetler of Selinsgrove has thrown 205-11. Jersey Shore\'s Sam Eck was 3rd last year. He could improve two spots.
The High Jump will be a battle. At the center will be Gettysburg\'s Derrick Sistrunk, Parkland\'s Tyrone Faverly, Truman\'s Bayshawn Johnson - all of whom have cleared 6-08, and John Carelli of Parkland, a challenger at 6-06.
Lock up the Pole Vault as well. Baldwin\'s Ron Walter set a WPIAL record at 16-03. That\'s two inches above the PIAA-best 16-01 by Laban Marsh of McDowell, set in 1997, but half a foot below the state best. Go Ron!