For most of the season, the 60 meter dash has not had a front runner on top of the state list. After Saturday night, however, two have separated themselves from the pack. At the TSTCA Championships, 2012 5th place finisher Jonathan Dorogy of Seneca Valley ran the fastest FAT time at 60 meters in the state with his winning time of 6.91. Later in the evening, 2012 silver medalist Niager Mathis of Swenson finished 2nd in the 55 meter dash at the Millrose Games with a time of 6.44. His best at 60 meters is 7.02 from way back in December. With 11 runners within one tenth of a second of each other from 6.98 to 7.07, the event is still wide open. Watch for Texas to State College transfer Ebriham Britton to have a say as well.
Unlike the 60, the 200 meter dash does have a favorite on top of the state list and that is Malik Jones of Roman Catholic. Last year, Jones did not even compete at the indoor state championships. But since making his debut last spring at Monsignor Bonner, the junior has left his mark on the state. This winter he is the state leader in the 200 and the 400, with his 22.10 at the PCL Championships being run on a flat track. Renard Howell of Neshaminy has the best banked track time this season (22.27 on 1/19) while Dorogy's 22.28 capped off his big performance over the weekend. Jae'Len Means of Gateway fell short to Dorogy at TSTCA but ran the same time. Mathis is the only returning medalist in the event (5th in 2012).
Jones has led the state in the 400 meter dash since the first weekend in January, running 48.68 to finish 3rd at the Hispanic Games, and has been the only PA sprinter under 49 seconds in 2012-13. In the chase pack, Nick Stenderowicz (PA#3 49.35 on 1/19) has had his best season as a 400 meter runner indoors. Qhyle Elijah of Bensalem ran 49.39 trying to chase down Jones, but he comes into the meet as the only returning medalist. Robin Hall of Penn Hills was the TSTCA Champion in 49.61, joining Sherman West of Hempfield (49.77) and TFCAofGP Meet of Champions winner Dave Stellato of Wissahickon in the sub 50 second group.
Last season, Strath Haven's Wellington Zaza entered the state meet in a 4 way tussle with three seniors to try and snag a state title in the 60 meter hurdles. Although he came up short (4th), they have all moved onto their college careers and Zaza has not let the opportunity to be the best hurdler in the state slip away. The Garnet Valley senior has been in the US top ten since he debuted in the event back in December and at the TFCAofGP Meet of Champions, he set a lifetime best and US#4 time of 7.91 to better the meet record set by his former teammate Chris Williams. Todd Townsend of Newmann Goretti has been the closest to the state leader, running a lifetime best 8.03 to finish 2nd to Zaza. Expect him to challenge Zaza all the way to the final race. Nick Conway of Port Allegheny (8.21 on 1/12), and Jeremiah Agrio of Archbishop Ryan (8.21 on 2/16) are making their first appearance at states while Tyler Horton of Bethlehem Catholic (8.29 on 12/29) is looking to improve on his 2012 performance.
For the first time since 2008, the 800 meter run may be the most wide open race on the boys side at the state finals. PA does not have a sub 1:55 performer in an open race this season. The state leader, Brad Rivera of Bensalem, has come the closest, but his 1:55.13 on January 4 was only his 2nd race at the distance this season. Rivera also holds the unfortunate honor of being the first place out of the medals last season (9th). Andrew Stone of Lasalle (4th in 2012) and Dan Alexander of Lower Moreland (6th in 2012) did make the medal stand a year ago, with Stone running his season best of 1:58.79 on February 10. Joey Logue of Pennridge had the PA#1 spot in December and won the event at the Christmas City Relays and the Kevin Dare Invitational. Alec Kunzweiler of Cumberland Valley is someone to watch in this race along with sophomore John Lewis of Cheltenham. Both have run under 1:58 this season.
The mile has three returners to the event, two of which came close to winning the event themselves last season. 2012 AAA outdoor 1600 meter champion Tom Coyle of Lasalle finished within a second of the gold medal and is entering the meet running his best time of the season (4:20.57 on 2/10). Jack Huemmler of Strath Haven (3rd in 2012) has been the state leader for nearly a month, running 4:16.22 to finish 2nd and qualify for the Millrose Games. The race also features runners such as Connor Harriman of Pennsbury (PA#2 4:19.06 and Millrose qualifier) and Tony Russell of West Chester Henderson (PA#9 4:24.53) who were finishing in the middle of the pack in this race a year ago and have now turned into favorites to win the whole thing. Kevin James of Cardinal O'Hara (PA#5 4:22.80) is one of the brightest young stars in the sport this season and will not be afraid to mix it up with the seniors and other state champions.
Arguably the deepest event in PA during the indoor season has been the 3000 meter run. The state represents 16 of the national top 50 this season and 22 PA distance runners have broken the 9 minute mark. Tony Russell of West Chester Henderson has sat at US#3 since the 19th of January (8:38.01) and has broken away from a very congested 3000 meter field. Jon Colwell of Mifflin County had his breakthrough race of the season at the Kevin Dare Invite with a PA#2 8:45.99. The brother combination of Ethan and Colin Martin of Fox Chapel will look to use teamwork to break down the contenders, as they have several 1-2 finishes in mile and 3000 meter races this season. Foot Locker Finalists Brendan Shearn of North Schuylkill (4th in 2012) and Max Norris of Harriton are also in this big race. NXN representatives Russell and Dan Savage of Cardinal O'Hara (8th in 2012) also join the field. Can a sub 8:30 be in the cards. It's only been done twice in state history; and that was in the same race.
Both the 4x200 and 4x400 meter relays relays feature three teams in the national top twenty this season. The 4x200 meter relay has been led by the trio of Norristown, Pennridge and Cheltenham. All three teams have had the top spot in the state at one point this season, with Norristown the latest to hold that honor. Norristown recently led wire to wire to win the Millrose Games 4x200 meter relay in a US#4 time of 1:29.51, one of six teams in the country to break 1:30 this season. Pennridge is the US#10 squad with a time of 1:30.27 in the chase pack behind Norristown over the weekend. They were closing at the end. Cheltenham has also broken 1:31 this season, running 1:30.62 at the New Balance Games in January. Norristown has the most momentum coming in, while Pennridge will need big relay points for their chase of the team title.
Pennridge does lead the state in the 4x400 meter relay with two 3:20 performances this season. Their best time of 3:20.42 is US#3 on the season. Defending champions Penn Wood has consistently been in the low 3:20s this season, carrying a season best of 3:22.82 from early January, good for US#8. Bensalem is PA#3 on the season (3:24.5 on 1/19). In the recent past, the team championship has come down to the final relay. Pennridge and Bensalem may be in the mix for the team title when we get to the end of the meet.
Reigning US#1 4x800 meter relay team Lasalle has opted to run the distance medley relay while state leading and US#6 distance medley relay team West Chester Henderson has opted to run the 4x800 meter relay. Both will be favorites to win their respective relays despite leading the state in the other event. Henderson's competition in the 4x800 meter relay will include Pennsbury, the only other team to break 8 minutes in the event this season. Henderson has run 8:00.3 this season at the NJ Varsity Classic and have state championship runners and 4x8 medals from last spring. Cardinal O'Hara has the most depth in the relay. Their season best is 8:04.17, but they have run two teams in the same race that have both broken 8:10. Upper Darby sits at PA#5 after a big performance at the TFCAofGP Meet of Champions.
In the distance medley relay, Lasalle may have the best lead off and anchor legs in the field. Andrew Stone and Tom Coyle make up one of the best 1-2 punches in the state who are very tough to beat. Only one of the state top five is joining them in the event and that is Cumberland Valley, who will have Alec Kunzweiler featured on the team. Downingtown West and Council Rock North have broken 10:40 this season while Bonner-Prendie and Strath Haven have come close to that mark.
One of the trickiest events at the state championships is the long jump. It has been the event in which entering as the favorite has been more of a curse than a blessing. Only once in the past five years has the PA#1 long jumper come away with the title. Isaiah Brooks of Woodland Hills earned this year's distinction with his TSTCA win of 23-2.25. Before that, Chris Spadaro of Council Rock South and Wellington Zaza of Garnet Valley shared that mark (23-0.75). Zaza and Eric Purnell of Malvern Prep (PA#4 22-10 on 2/16) were in the field last season and missed the finals after being in the top five all season. Cody Minnig of Neshaminy (PA#6 22-9) is the only returning medalist in the field (6th).
Favorites have a better chance at gold in the triple jump. 2012 silver medalist Zaza has been the state leader in the triple jump since his debut in December and his mark of 48-10 still sits at US#5 on the season. Winning this event outdoors may be big for his confidence and so will the fact that he holds a 2-6.75 lead over the field. De'Lorian Day of Hempfield (7) won the TSTCA meet with a mark of 46-3.25 to soar to the PA#2 spot ahead of Jared Alston of North Penn (46-3) and Jamie Szymczak of McDowell (46-1.25). Spadaro of Council Rock South (PA#5 45-10.50) is the other returning medalist in the event (7th).
The high jump has had many PA guys soaring through the ceiling this season. The top two PA high jumpers are also tied for the 2nd best clearance in the country this season. 2012 5th place finisher Ibn Short of Milton Hershey and Malik Moffett of Cathedral Prep have cleared 6-9 this season, with Moffett accomplishing the feat Saturday at the TSTCA Championships. 2012 silver medalist Charles Wilson-Adams of Tyrone Area has cleared 6-7 this season and won a high jump gold medal outdoors. Elizae McDonald of Coatesville was stuck at 6-4 for a long part of the season until he broke through three weeks ago at Lawrenceville with a clearance of 6-7. Darnae Clemons of Indiana Area is the other returning medalist from 2012 (7th).
The pole vault this indoor season has been all about Tim Moses of Palmyra. Before anyone really started thinking about the indoor track season, Moses cleared 16 feet at Lebanon Valley and he has not slowed down since. The senior has broken the 16 foot plateau on five different occasions, topping out at 16-2 on January 5th. Is the state record 16-8 in the cards? A mid-season switch to a bigger pole may increase his chances. Moses was only 6th a year ago and is the only medalist back in the field. Zeb Yoder of Chambersburg holds the 2nd best mark in the state at 14-9 while Vincent Esposito of North Penn (14-3.25), Nick Anderson of Kane Area (14-3) and Dillan Moynihan of Hempfield (3) (14-3) have gone over 14 feet even this year.
The top of the shot put list has changed more than any other event this season. Three of the top five performances this season come from 2012 medalists. 8th place medalist Luke Lewis of Hickory took over the state lead at the TSTCA Championships (59-8) and will be looking to follow in the footsteps of 2012 champion and former teammate Matt Bell. 5th place finisher Max Adams of Hempfield (7) finished 2nd behind Lewis on Saturday (58-4.50) while 6th place finisher John Yohman of Wilmington threw 56-9 two weeks ago to move up to PA#5. Despite their experience, Jason Coon and Evan Arnott of Schuylkill Valley have not done a lot of losing this season. The Schuylkill Valley duo have finished 1-2 in all but one meet this season and they sit at PA#2 and PA#4 on the season. Coon has thrown 58-10.25 while Arnott has thrown 57-11.25.
55 Meter Dash
60 Meter Dash
200 Meter Dash
400 Meter Dash
800 Meter Run
One Mile Run
3000 Meter Run
55 Meter Hurdles
60 Meter Hurdles
4x200 Meter Relay
4x400 Meter Relay
4x800 Meter Relay
Distance Medley Relay