TRACK & FIELD: Waynesboro's Lilly Harnish wins high jump at District 3 Championships
SHIPPENSBURG >> There was something about 5-5 that Lilly Harnish struggled with.
Heading into the District 3 Track & Field Championships as the third seed in the girls Class AAA high jump, the Waynesboro senior needed all three attempts to clear the height. But once she did, it was all uphill from there.
"I don't know; I was really scared at 5-5 because I wasn't clearing it, even though I know I can clear it," Harnish said.
On her first attempt at 5-6, she sailed over the bar, and after watching a few misses by her competitors, Harnish claimed the gold medal.
"You know it feels when you're really excited, and you don't feel like you're in your body?" Harnish said. "It's kinda like that. I don't know how else to describe it — I'm super excited and really hyped."
Harnish wasn't the only one to impress on Friday, the first day of districts held at Shippensburg University.
Chambersburg sent three to the podium and had all three advance to the PIAA Championships, and Greencastle-Antrim's Liam Okal advanced to the finals in both the 100 and 200 dashes, despite holding just the 13th seed in both events.
"It's super exciting, obviously," Okal said. "I worked really hard all year, and I've been waiting the whole season to get here. It's really nice to be able to come out and show up like I did."
Okal squeezed into the 100 finals by placing eighth in the semifinals with a time of 11.40. He ended the day with a personal best in the 200, clocking in at 22.70, good enough for sixth in the field. He is guaranteed a medal in both events.
"The conditions weren't great today, but there's a ton of competition here, which is what really gave me the push," Okal said. "In the 200, when I came around the turn and into the straightway, I saw that none of the inside lanes were really passed me. That gave me the confidence to keep running strong, hold my form and finish well."
The Trojans had a thrilling race in the girls 3,200. Abby Yourkavitch captured a fourth-place medal with a time of 10:59.48, and Kaylee Mowery had a surprise finish, capturing a spot on the podium in sixth place. Although only five automatically advance to states, Mowery's time of 11:01.59, which was more than a 20-second personal best, was better than the state-qualifying standard.
"Both of us have been training so hard this week," Mowery said. "We're both freshman and really wanted this. Doing it together was probably the best part."
Yourkavitch said, "It's nice having a teammate to support you and everything. You have someone to warm up with and cool down with, and somebody to be really proud of."
Yourkavitch had a lot of pressure heading into the day. Although she was seeded just seventh, she had run the qualifying standard at least once this season.
"Being nervous and feeling the expectations weigh down on you, so it does nothing but stress you out and make you run slower," Yourkavitch said. "I felt it at first, but once I got into the tent and we started running down, I just thought, 'I'm gonna go down and race and whatever happens happens.'"
Mowery wasn't in the same situation. Her best time of the year was 11:23.74 — 10 seconds slower than the standard. And although she was gunning for fifth place, she was happy to advance.
"When I first ran the 3,200 and did well, my goal was to hang on to the Carlisle girls and beat them at the end," Mowery said. "That was my strategy today. At the last lap, I was coming in fifth. My coach always tells me my kick is really good, and it is, so I was hoping that would get me into states this year."
The girls will be joined at states by Kelton Chastulik, who claimed fourth in the discus. Although he was disappointed with his hurl of 149-4, like Mowery, he at least lives to compete another day.
"Of course I'm happy I made states, but I think my throw could've been a lot better," Chastulik said. "I have to stay focused, and I have another week of hard work. I have a lot of good friends on the team that help keep me going, and there's some really good competition in this area. It's really my coaches, though. I have great coaches. I can't put this on myself; I have to give it to them."
Franklin County also had a pair of locals who took trips to the podium. Greencastle-Antrim's Erica Helm cleared 5-2 in the high jump to take seventh, and Waynesboro's Christopher Payne tied for seventh in the pole vault by clearing 13-0.
District 3 Championships at Shippensburg University
BOYS CLASS AAA
3,200 — 1.Zach Brehm (Carlisle) 9:42.40; Discus — 1.David Lucas (Warwick) 175-7, 4.Kelton Chastulik (Chambersburg) 152-6, 17.Campbell Parker (Greencastle-Antrim) 122-3 ; Triple jump — 1.Deshawn Millington (Car) 48-1.25; Pole vault — 1.Keith Steele (Northern York) 14-9, 7t.Christopher Payne (Waynesboro) 13-0, 15.Zach Greenawalt (Shippensburg) 12-6.
BOYS CLASS AA
3,200 —1.Cooper Leslie (Camp Hill) 9:39; Shot put — 1.Joey Mundell (Schuylkill Valley) 57-4; Triple jump — 1.Maachi Clark (Harrisburg Christian) 42-8.25; Javelin — 1.Adam Fox (Annville-Cleona) 173-7.
GIRLS CLASS AAA
3,200 — 1.Mady Clahane (Cumberland Valley) 10:41.53, 4.Abby Yourkavitch (Chbg) 10:59.48, 6.Kaylee Mowery (Chbg) 11:01.59; Shot put — 1.Emily Stauffer (Cocalico) 43-7, 10.Jenay Faulkner (G-A) 35-10.75; Long jump — 1.Cyre Virgo (Fleetwood) 18-3.5, 17.Kristina Donato (Way) 14-4.75; High jump — 1.Lilly Harnish (Way) 5-6, 7.Erica Helm (G-A) 5-2; Javelin — 1.Jocelen Ruth (Kutztown) 135-6.
GIRLS CLASS AA
3,200 — 1.Jordan Haberstroh (Columbia) 11:42.44; Discus — 1.Bree Smith (Littlestown) 109-5; Long jump — 1.Abby Martin (Boiling Springs) 18-6.75; High jump — 1.Diamond Bragg (CH) 5-0; Pole vault — 1.Megan Silva (Trinity) 11-4.