TRACK & FIELD: Female Athlete of the Week: Waynesboro's Lilly Harnish rebounds from lengthy injury
Lilly Harnish's path to success this season is a story all in itself.
After spraining her ankle at the very end of the basketball season, the Waynesboro senior missed nearly the entire track & field season recovering from the injury.
But while her journey this season is far from ordinary, her performances since her return have been anything but.
Harnish went to the Mid Penn Championships this weekend at Chambersburg and put on a show. She captured gold in the high jump with a clearance of 5-6, and she also finished eighth in the triple jump with a leap of 35-8.5. She is this week's Public Opinion Female Athlete of the Week.
Harnish first competed in a dual meet against Greencastle on April 21 and didn't have much time to qualify for districts.
"I usually don't get nervous, but I was really nervous going into that," Harnish said. "I knew I had a couple more tries to qualify for districts, but I went out right away and cleared 5-4 to qualify. That was a big relief."
Maiden coach Michael Garraway said, "She's worked very hard to come back, and she came out strong. Last Monday, she set a PR and broke the school record in the triple jump by over a foot with a 37-9.5."
Harnish now turns her focus to districts, where she will go for her best jump in the high jump – her PR is 5-7.75 – and try to compete for a spot at states.
She said, "I really want 5-8, that would be a solid performance for me. Anything better than that would be excellent."
Garraway said, "The top seed cleared 5-10, so I don't think the title is out of the question. If she goes up there and pops a great jump, she has a chance to compete for that top spot."
Harnish has also chosen a path for her future in track & field. She will attend Robert Morris in the fall and will compete on the track team in the high jump, triple jump and long jump.
"I wanted to go to a place with a great actuary program," Harnish said. "There were really only two choices – Robert Morris and Penn State – and I visited Robert Morris and just fell in love with it. I didn't need to see much else. I signed my letter of intent and was ready to go."
Lilly Harnish, Waynesboro
Sport: Track & field
Events: High jump and triple jump
Parents: Doug and Danette Harnish
Other interests: She likes to play the saxophone.
Surprising fact: She broke her ankle two years ago.
Three people she'd like to have dinner with: Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr., Shaun White
Statistics: After working throughout the spring to come back from a sprained ankle, Harnish put it all together at the Mid Penn Championships ... On Saturday, she took gold in the high jump by clearing 5-6 and also got eighth in the triple jump with a leap of 35-8.5 ... Harnish also began by breaking a pair of stadium records at Greencastle-Antrim's Route 16 Invitational.