Five PIAA records graced a cold, damp and gray day, all in the Field. Justin Clickett, the Union City senior, threw a 62+ throw, and just five minutes later, blasted past the last marker for a PIAA AA record of 64-05.75. Just ten minutes before Clickett's record toss, Williamsport's Ruby Radocajuncorked a 156-08 PIAA AAA record in the AAA Javelin. And earlier in the day, the boys' AA saw a new mark with Osayi Osunde, a Central Columbiia sophomore, throwing 195-07. John Wormuth of Lakeland was 2nd with a 192-03. And two records were recorded in the 200 Preliminaries, one by Andre Broussard, Elmer L. Meyers (AA 200), and Krista Simpkins, Wissahickon (AAA 200).Broussard ran 21.80, and Simpkins ran 23.77. (No one would run faster the rest of the meet, and both beat the existing records.)
Meanwhile back at the Triple Jump pit, Norristown senior Michael Whitehead, spurred on by the competitive challenge of Hickory's Dante Marshall, and empowered by a evening of prayer, "jumped the best of his life" as he exceeded 49' in the Trials three times, the last a 49-08 effort.
It was all prelims on the track. Top seeds in the 4x800's took care of business as Gwynedd Mercy(AA 9:29.61), and Haverford cruised to a 9:20.90. For the guys, North Penn looked comfortable with their 7:52.04. In the sprints, Kandance Ferguson (Milton Hershey), and Jannea Bridgeford(Upper Darby), looked strong in AA and AAA 100 action. Ferguson also topped the 200 field in 25.38. In AAA, super soph Krista Simpkins did anything but relax as she went 23.77 to pull away from a talented field. In the other heat, Elyse Goode, Ambridge, went 25.07, while Tiffany Abney, Merion Mercy, still nagged by a tweaked hamstring, was 3rd in 25.16.
In other finals action, Steve Ekema-Agbaw, Bloomsburg, won the AA Triple Jump (45-05.00); while William Penn (Harrisburg) Sophomore Knowledge Timmons went 10.82. Abney was the class of her specialty, the 300 Hurdles, in 43.51. Bradford's Shawn Colligan was the top performer in 37.85.Abney returned in the 400 to easily outdistance her competition in 55.56. Oxford senior DrewEckman went 48.21 to qualify ahead of the field.
In the 800, Warwick senior Ganne Way ran 2:13.89. The fastest time of the boys prelims came from Eastern York senior Tom Devine in 1:56.48, but Mark Korich, Springfield Montco, was totally in control of his 1:57.69 win, conserving energy for the 1600 final on Saturday.
Lewisburg senior Ashleigh Wetzel kept control of her race with a 5:04.92. But it was Freedom sophomore Lauretta Dezubay who posted the best time of the day, a 4:58.84. For the boys, Forest Hills' Jacob Strayer and Korich won their heat in the 4:24 range; while District 1 champ RyanShaver of Coatesville, Henderson junior Greg Williams, Manheim Township freshman Craig Miller, and Quakertown senior Adam Breisch all went under 4:20.
In the relays Upper Darby delivered a strong message with their 47.51 heat win, while North Penn is the class of AAA with a 42.55. In the 4x400's, Gwynedd Mercy, Wissahickon, Lakeland andNorth Penn were each the best of AAA and AA girls, and AAA boys.
In first-day field finals, Leandra Golden, Hanover, won the AA Pole Vault (11-00.00), Valley hurdler Mycah Clemons, was AA Long Jump champion (18-00.00), Dana Ventrone, Chartiers Valley, went 18-03.00; Steve Ekema-Agbaw, a Bloomsburg senior, threw 45-05.00 for the AA boys title; Ann Marie Thompson, Villa Maria, was AA Shot Put champ (41-03.25); Franklin's Andrew Cohen won the AA Discus (170-09); Wilmington's throwing legacy remained intact with the win of CassieBuckwalter, taking the AA Discus with her 132-08 effort. The state's top high jumper, Erin Davis of Western Wayne cleared 5-07; Lindsay Bihler of Montoursville, cleared 5-06 to win the AAA girls HJ; and Andrew Cecchetti of Kane Area, cleared 14-06 to take the boys AA Pole Vault.
The rain held off much of Friday. Then it poured overnight. But at 8:59 AM Saturday morning, the rain suddenly stopped. No wind. Cool. A great day for almost everyone (sprinters would have liked it a bit warmer). And the athletes did not disappoint.
It started fast and got better, with three more PIAA Records for the day, after three went down Friday.Gwynedd Mercy set the tone with a PIAA AA record (and fastest of the day) in the 4x800, going 9:07.82. It was just a few seconds off their Penn Relays time, but in this race they were alone. ThomasJordan, Cedar Crest, set a AAA Javelin Record with a huge 224-02 throw (now he is US#1). Jordan said he used the brief tie for US#1 as motivation. BradZimmerman, Warwick, 2nd in 209-02. And another Javelin record bit the mud as Bald Eagle Area's Angela Hoover threw 154-05 for the PIAA AA Record. That means all four Javelin compeitions produced new PIAA records.
Team titles went to two repeat champions, Merion Mercy in AAA with 44 points (Wissahickon 34,Upper Darby 32); Milton Hershey in AA with 70 (Gwynedd Mercy 49, Wyomissing 41); plus two new champions, Pennsbury in AAA with 31 points to go with their 2003 PTFCA Indoor Championships (Central Dauphin 29, defending champ North Penn28); and Bethlehem Catholic 38 points in AA (Wyomissing 33, Springfield Montco 28).
Krista Simpkins, Wissahickon, slowed a bit after two tough days (23.77 Trials for AAA record) to win the 200 in 23.97. Tiffany Abney was 2nd in 24.93 trying to nurse a hamstring injury with the 4x400 her only remaining race. Abney had previously won the 400 in 55.50, and the 300 Hurdles in 42.64. In the days' last event, she anchored her Merion Mercy 4x400 to a win in 3:49.59. Abneyfinished her PIAA high school career with ten individual state titles and three relay golds, which was recognized as a state record. Kandance Ferguson, Milton Hershey, took home two individual golds, the 100 in 12.50 and the 200 in 25.35.
North Hills junior Andrew Johnson held off the late charge of William Penn (York) sophomore Knowledge Timmons, 10.67 - 10.69. It was Timmons' first lost of the season. Timmons did take the 200 in 21.84. Drew Eckman, Oxford, took care of business in the one-lapper, winning in the day's best 400 of 47.69. He was never challenged. Brad Mueller, Mars Area, won the AA 200 in 21.85. He also took the 100 in 10.70.
In the 800, three AAA girls came down the straightaway nearly heel-to-toe, with GanneWay, Warwick, winning the hot race in 2:10.31. Hatboro-Horsham sophomore Catilin Klaas, after anchoring her 4x800 to a come-from-behind 9:10.52 with a 2:10 split, came back to get 2nd in the open 800 in 2:10.69, while Merion Mercy sophomroe Kimarra McDonald, got 3rd in 2:10.86. In AA, Gwynedd Mercy sophomore Kate Vernon went 2:13.67 to hold off fellow soph Faye Korich, Springfield Montco (2:14.19), while Gwynedd senior Meghan Bishop was 3rd in 2:14.90.
In the boys' 4x800, Cumberland Valley used the perfect race (7:48.11) with a smart anchor leg by Brian Fuller to beat favorites Mount Lebanon (7:48.55) and North Penn (7:48.77). Lewisburg's Chris Spooner closed strong to help his team win the 4x800 in 7:55.20. He had plenty of motivation, as Springfield Montco's Mark Korich closed to 2nd from 5th, in 7:58.17. Spooner also won the 3200, going 9:13.93. He tried for the triple, but finished 4th in 4:22.23.
Hatboro-Horsham kept it close the first three legs, and then handed off to Caitlin Klaas, the tough sophomore, who proceeded to make up 30 meters and more while posting a three second PR, splitting 2:10+ for a time of 9:10.52. Favored Haverford Township ran within a second of their season best of 9:13.90, but had to settle for second in 9:14.48. Haverford loses only one, and has a rising junior to fill the need.
Lewisburg senior Ashleigh Wetzel ran alone to the day's fastest 1600, a 4:55.12 in AAA. In AA, four girls went under 5:00, led by Lauretta Dezubay, a sophomore from Freedom, in 4:56.08, and ElizabethDrazdowski, a frosh from Crestwood, was 2nd in 4:58.56. In AA boys, Mark Korich, had to produce his own 4:14.74 for Springfield Montco. In AAA, frosh Craig Miller, Manheim Township, ran the fastest freshman 1600 in PA and US all-time, getting 3rd in 4:14.26. Quakertown senior Adam Breisch, ran wide on the final turn, and used a strong kick to hold off Coatesvile's RyanShaver, 4;13.28 - 4:13.32. Breisch also added a 6th in the 800 in 1:55.17. Korich then doubled back to take the 800 in 1:54.96.
The expected start-to-finish fast pace in the AAA 3200 fizzled early as the first lap churned in at 72 seconds. But Ian Fitzgerald (above, right) used the saved energy to launch a drive from 600 meters to outkick Bishop Shanahan senior Eric Fleming, 9:13.81-9:16.06. Lampeter-Strasburg senior EmilyKruger used a push with 800 to go that broke up a small group, winning in 10:39.36. She had to hold off junior Frances Koons, who was less than two seconds back in 10:40.88. Top seed Angie Saterstad, Hershey, was 3rd in 10:43.70. St. Basil sophomore Lynn Morelli held off a charging Debbie Huss, Wyomissing 10:45.08 - 10:45.62 in the AA 3200.
AA Girls team champs Milton Hershey won the 4x100 in 49.02 and the 4x400 in 3:57.50. And Union City Shot Put record setter Justin Clickett came back to get a second gold, this one in the Discus with his 164-03 effort. Tyree Suber, Glen Mills, the Indoor Shot Put champ, threw 61-04.50 for the AAA championship.
Additonal state champions included, in AA: Mycah Clemons, Valley, 100 Hurdles in 14.75; ChristaSawko, 300 Hurdles, 44.60; Maggie Borden, Delone Catholic, 57.13 400; Giancarlo Maragni, Greensburg, 14.85 110 Hurdles; Calab Hood, Ligonior, 38.78 300 Hurdles; Eric Baker, Montoursville, 48.55 400; Elmer L Meyers, 4x100 in 42.41; Bethlehem Catholic, 3:19.26 4x400; Gerald Mickie, Milton Hershey, 21-10.00 Long Jump; Ashley Mondie, Milton Hershey, 37-01.25 Triple Jump; Kim Rorabaugh, Purchase Line, won the AAA Shot Put (41-00.50); ChristinaRoadman, Connellsville, 126-00 Discus; Ryan Fritz, Octorara, 6-07.00 High Jump.
Additonal state champions included, in AAA: Emily Lepley, Lewistown, 14.57 100 Hurdles; JanneaBridgeford, Upper Darby, 11.99 100; Bridgeford ancors 4x100 to 46.82; Tom Dance, Cathedral Prep, 14.41 110 Hurdles; Central Dauphin, 42.23, 4x100; Strath Haven junior PhilAtkinson, 37.66 300 Hurdles; Matt Warco, Peters Township, 1:53.34 800; North Penn, 3:19.18 for 4x400; Chris Nardi, West Allegheny, 6-07.00 High Jump; Courtney Regan, Easton, 12-00.00 Pole Vault; Brooke Wolfe, Pennridge, 37-07.75 Triple Jump; Andrew Rademacher, Hickory, 15-00.00 Pole Vault; Mike Bauer, Pottsgrove, 22-11.50 Long Jump.
Boys AAA team champs, Pennsbury. They took the Indoor title, too.
(sorry,I was at the indoor pole vault when most of the team trophies were handed out)
AAA runner-up was Central Dauphin.
In AA, it was Bethlehem Catholic.