SHIPPENSBURG -- There was nothing left to give, and yet for one last jump Jared Allison tried to muster something anyway.
Already, the Dallastown senior had set a new personal record during the boys' Class AAA pole vault Saturday at the PIAA Track and Field Championships.
By the time Allison lined up for his third and final attempt at 16 feet, 6 inches -- a height he had never previously attempted in competition
Allison landed feet-first in the vaulting pit, a smile already on his face. He waved to his family and friends in the stands at Seth Grove Stadium.
There would be no gold medal on this day -- that would go to Strath Haven's Chris Williams, who set a PIAA record by vaulting 16 feet, 6 inches. But Allison accomplished everything else he had set out to Saturday, and then some. He left Shippensburg with second place, the reward for his vault of 16 feet, 3 inches.
Not only was that a personal best by nearly seven inches, it also tied the previous state record.
All on Allison's 18th birthday, no less.
"I set out to break the state record," Allison said, referring to the goal he set as a sophomore. "I had it for a little bit."
The back-and-forth showdown between Allison, Williams and Altoona's Ryan Steinbugl, who barely missed in his three tries at 16-3, served as a grand finale of sorts for the annual state championships. The rest of the meet had been over for nearly two hours by the time the pole vault finally finished. Only a hundred or so spectators were left in the stands.
Those that did stay were given a treat, as the competitors took turns pushing the bar higher and higher.
"I kept thinking, 'What do you have to do to win this thing?'" said Matt Concannon, Allison's vaulting coach. "It was amazing."
Allison's previous best height had been 15-8 1/4, which he charted during indoor nationals this past winter. He cleared 16 feet on his second try Saturday, bouncing up from the mat and raising his arms toward the crowd.
A few minutes later, he hit his second attempt at 16-3, grazing the bar on his way over. That put him into the lead -- and tied the state record.
"I didn't even think I was going to get it," Allison said. "When I came down and it stayed up, I was like 'Holy crap.' I didn't expect it at all."
Allison was so close to adding another state title to the indoor crown he won in February.
But Williams, who also grabbed gold in the 110 hurdles and the 400 relay Saturday, wasn't about to relent. Down to his final attempt at 16-3, the senior soared over.
Williams followed that up by hitting his first attempt at 16-6 -- a new outright state mark.
"When it's all or nothing, first or second place, it's all mental," Williams said.
By the time it was his turn at 16-6, Allison had almost nothing left.
Still, the Virginia Tech recruit had no intentions of dwelling on second place. After his final jump, Allison shook hands with officials who came over to congratulate him. He laughed with Williams as they waited to receive their medals.
Then it was time to move on to more pressing matters. Dallastown's prom was starting in a few hours, and Allison was running late.
"I couldn't care less about getting second place," Allison said. "Chris is awesome.
"Just PR'ing and stuff, I think it feels so much better."
Moynihan vaults to medal: Allison wasn't the only YAIAA athlete to medal in the Class AAA pole vault. Kennard-Dale junior Dylan Moynihan placed eighth in the event with a vault of 14-6. That was better than the 14-3 mark Moynihan posted at the District 3 championships, but less than his target of 15 feet.
Still the good showing should give Moynihan something to build on heading into next season.
"I want to come back next year and challenge the state record these guys put up," Moynihan said.
Stone takes seventh: Jay Stone knew he'd be facing a tall task in the Class AAA 300 hurdles final. Not only was the Central York sophomore met with some daunting competition, he also had to line up in the outermost lane -- Lane 8 -- a position he'd never run from.
"Coming around the corner, I was so tired," Stone said. "But I didn't want to get last."
He did accomplish that much. Stone took seventh place in 38.68 seconds to cap off a breakthrough season. He won a District 3 title in the 300 hurdles last week.
Stone nearly added a second state medal on Saturday, too. He missed qualifying for the 110 hurdles finals by nine hundredths of a second.
Other notable boys' finishes: The Littlestown 3,200 relay team finished ninth in the Class AA race with a time of 8:10.97. ... Fairfield's Troy Hewitt placed 11th in the AA discus, throwing 142-06. ... Biglerville's Brady Wilt came in 20th in the AA 3,200 meters in 10:13.37. ... Bermudian Springs' Ryan Markle tied for 12th in the AA high jump (6 feet).