The big event for this upcoming weekend in local high school sports isn't a track meet, but a softball tournament.
The Big Spring Bulldog Invitational will be held Saturday at several locations around Newville, and three of the eight teams are local - Chambersburg, Shippensburg and Greencastle-Antrim. The tournament annually provides a good test and gives teams a chance to boost their district power rankings.
The first round of games starts at 8:45 a.m., with the following pairings: Big Spring (8-3) vs. Spring Grove (5-6) at Big Spring H.S., Chambersburg (10-1) vs. Muhlenberg (7-6) at Mt. Rock Field, Shippensburg (6-4) vs. South Western (4-6) at Oak Flat Field and Greencastle (5-3) vs. New Oxford (2-8) at West Pennsboro Park.
The semifinal for the top bracket is at 1:30 at the high school, and for the bottom bracket at 1:30 at Mt. Rock. The final is 3:45 at the high school. All teams will play three games.
The Trojans are currently the No. 1 team in Class AAAA in District 3, Ship is 17th and Muhlenberg 19. In Class AAA, G-A is sixth, Big Spring is seventh, and Spring Grove is 16th.
Interestingly, the three Mid Penn Colonial Division teams in the tournament (Shippensburg, Greencastle and Big Spring) are all tied for second place at 3-2 in the division.
RECORDS ARE FALLING: McKenzie Gelvin has got it going on this spring on the track.
The McConnellsburg junior, a Forbes Road student who runs in the schools' co-op program, has been lighting it up. Two weekends ago at the Tim Cook Invitational, she won the 400 in a meet record 58.07 that also broke the school record of Kim Spriggs set 32 years ago.
Saturday at the SU Invitational, Gelvin won the Class AA 400, then captured the 800 in 2:18.17, which broke her own school record and was 2 seconds faster than the AAA winner.
Monday, in a tri-meet against Southern Fulton and Fannett-Metal, Gelvin switched things up and ran the 1,600 for the first time. All she did was turn in a time of 5:16.4, which bettered the old school record of 5:37.9 set 21 years ago by Julie Steele, by over 21 seconds.
ANOTHER RECORD: Area girls pole vaulters have found a secret formula this season. On Tuesday, James Buchanan's Hailey Alger hit 10-0 in a meet against Boiling Springs to win the event and break the Rockets' school record.
She becomes the third county girl to set a school record this spring in the event, after Waynesboro's Rachel Johnson (10-6) and Shippensburg's Natalie Nye (9-6), and both of them have smashed their school record multiple times this season.
LONG LAYOFF: The Cumberland Valley Christian girls soccer team last played a game on April 18, and they don't play again until May 2, a span of 14 weeks.
Hopefully, the Blazers are staying in shape during the break, because when they start back up, they will play five games in the course of the next nine days.
LONG RIDE FOR NOT MUCH: The Chambersburg track & field teams traveled to Harrisburg for a Mid Penn Commonwealth meet with the Cougars on Tuesday. Sort of.
Some of Harrisburg's best athletes did not compete, and the Cougars failed to score even a point in 26 of the 36 events. The scores were 136-14 (girls) and 129-21 (boys), although the Trojans did not know the scores until they received a score sheet via email before lunch on Wednesday.
As Trojan boys coach Bob Walker said, "It was almost like we traveled up there and held an intrasquad meet. The Harrisburg kids are always polite and respectful; there's just not enough of them."
In the boys 1,600 race, Harrisburg had no entries and Chambersburg had more than 10. On the third of four laps, lightning was detected, so a 30-minute break was ordered and the race was never concluded. The pole vault event was never held because the equipment was not up to standards.
And, it seems that at Harrisburg home meets, opposing coaches routinely end up being the official at certain events. For example, Walker was in charge of the high jump Tuesday.