SHIPPENSBURG - They proved to be quite a dynamic duo for Daniel Boone's boys track team this weekend during the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.
Senior Xavier Smith brought home a second-place silver medal in the Class AAA 100-meter dash as well as a third-place bronze medal in the 200. Fellow senior Kenny Worthington chalked up a fifth-place medal in the high jump for the Blazers.
Smith ran a 10.67 in the 100 finals Saturday to finish behind only East Stroudsburg South senior Demetrius Lanier, who was clocked at 10.64. In the 200, Smith was timed at 21.85 to take third place behind Cheltenham junior Christian Brissett and Lanier, who each ran 21.52.
Methacton sophomore Nick Shaffer gave the Pioneer Athletic Conference a sixth-place medal in the 200 dash at 22.05. Worthington cleared 6-6 in the high jump to place fifth in an event that was won by Coatesville senior Tra-c Davis at 6-10.
Smith talked about the final two races of his scholastic career that will continue on the track at Penn State University starting next year.
About the 100? He came into the competition with a seeding time of 10.78 in the 100.
"I'm happy with second,' said Smith. "I wanted to get gold, but second is fine. It was real close at the end with the first three. I dove at the finish line, but he squeaked me out. I am very happy for Kenny (Worthington). He came out of nowhere to win districts. That was our goal coming out here — to represent Daniel Boone well.'
About the 200? He entered the two-day event with a seed time of 21.90 in the 200.
"It could have been better,' said Smith. "But I got third. I am happy with my result. One and two were out there. But 3-4-5 were all within two one-hundredths of a second of each other. It definitely was a close race. I am definitely proud of this. I will look back on this. I am taking a state bronze and a state silver home.'
Worthington was also proud of what he accomplished. He cleared 6-6 on his third and final try at that height.
"I am pretty happy with it,' said Worthington, who entered the field at 6-4 and cleared that height on his first attempt. "Just to be here is a blessing. I got my PR one more time. That is three weeks in a row I got my PR. I am just glad to be part of this. This is a great experience.'
Worthington spoke about Smith and himself being a Daniel Boone tag team ticket to states.
"We are here to represent Daniel Boone,' said Worthington. "That is our school and we try to do it well.'
On the girls' side, Boyertown senior Alexandra Heuer placed fourth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles while Methacton sophomore Caroline Duffy placed sixth. Heuer's time was 44.70 while Duffy checked in at 44.82. Hempfield (District 7) junior Maddie Holmberg took the first-place gold medal with a 42.73 clocking.
"I am excited,' said Heuer. "I am very happy. It was a little windy on the first hurdle. But I am happy with my time. It was pretty decent. I am pleased because this race is so close with every girl here. I wanted to keep up the pace I can. I knew they weren't going to be easy races. Everyone here ran under 45 (seconds). The three of us from District 1 have become extremely close. We push each other and cheer for each other at other events. We are out to represent District 1 as best we can.'
"I am so, so happy,' said Duffy. "Coming into this, I am only a sophomore. It was only the 11th time I have been running it. I am so lucky. I couldn't ask for any better. I felt really good at the preliminaries. It was so close of a race. I didn't even know if I made it to the finals. I competed against all these veteran runners. i am the newcomer. Alex has been doing it for three years and the Pennsbury girl (Uchechi Onuoha) is a junior. It's cool coming and doing something new. This just goes to show how hard work does pay off. It couldn't have gone any better, honestly.'
District 1 and PAC-10 champion Jill Weston, an Owen J. Roberts senior, did not qualify for the finals. She ran a 46.24 time for third place in her heat during Friday's trials, the third of four heats. The top finisher in each heat plus the for next-best times advanced to the finals. Daniel Boone senior Alexandra Santora was fifth in her heat at 46.58 and also did not qualify for the finals.
In the boys' javelin, Spring-Ford junior Brandon Leacraft finished fourth (195-5) while his Rams teammate, senior Brandon Palaia, came in fifth at 195-4. Palaia placed second here a year ago, but he was hampered by an injury this time around. He was seeded at 187-6.
"My best throw was on my third throw in prelims,' said Leacraft, who was seeded at 184-0.
The Rams were well aware of the javelin competition throughout the state.
"It was like they were throwing bombs for the marks they were putting up,' said Leacraft.
Cocalico senior Jhet Janis won the javelin with a throw of 203-11 while Baldwin senior Luke Smorey scored 203-0 for second place. North Pocono senior Matt Nawrocki came in third at 196-4.
"I would have liked to do a little better,' said Palaia. "But I have a groin injury. I got my best throw on my third throw in preliminaries. I felt a little iffy, but we were definitely pretty confident other that.'
Boyertown sophomore Elijah Shalaway placed 22nd with a throw of 166-9.
In the 800-meter run, Perkiomen Valley senior Dave Garton took eighth place with a time of 1:54.71. Boyertown senior Eli Mercado was 11th at 1:55.33.
"I have been here three times, and this is my first medal,' said Garton, who plans to continue running cross country and track at St. Joseph's University. "I got a medal, and that is exactly what I wanted. It (time) was good enough. I just ran my race. As a sophomore, I would have been fourth or fifth with that time. But this year I am just happy to be on the podium with such great competition. My prelim did not go the way I planned. I got a little lucky to get here. I took advantage of a lot of hard work for four years. It is a great way to finish my career.'
In the girls' 3,200, Methacton senior Kara Steinke ran an 11:17.86 in the finals to finish in 16th place.
Spring-Ford's boys 4x400 relay earned eighth-place medals in the final event of the meet. The Rams were timed at 3:39.23 with a team of Josh Tupper, Joe Bush, Jared Shoemaker and David O'Such.
In the boys' 400, Phoenixville's Mackensey Thomas ran a 49.75 in the Friday prelims to place second in his heat but did not advance to the finals. Spring-Ford's O'Such was fourth in his heat at 49.96 but also did not advance to the finals.
Methacton's Pat Hopkins ran a 4:22.29 in the boys' 1,600 during the trials and did not reach the finals.
Boyertown's boys 4x800 relay just missed a medal after finishing ninth with a time of 7:51.77. The team consisted of Dylan Eddinger, Christopher Miller, Brad Strouse and Mercado.