Watch the best track events from the Tim Cook Invitational with interviews from athletes. Video by Lindsey Smith
It might've looked bad for Abby Yourkavitch when she started her day at the Tim Cook Invitational on Saturday.
In her first track & field event, the Chambersburg sophomore grabbed the baton nearly five seconds behind the leading Lewisburg Green Dragons in the 4x800 relay.
But Yourkavitch kicked into high gear, and surpassed Lewisburg's anchor around the final turn to lead the Trojans to victory. Chambersburg's girls team, which also included Cadie Kiser, Kaylee Mowery and Cassie Essis, finished in 9:48.58, claiming one of seven gold medals captured by Franklin County's athletes.
"My team did amazing," Kiser said. "I knew she could (catch up) because she's the toughest girl ever. We all just worked hard, and it was amazing."
Despite earning a personal record in the winning race, Yourkavitch's day just got better and better.
She absolutely dominated the 1,600. Although she was seeded second, Yourkavitch won by more than 12 seconds. She clocked in at 5:06.37, which was not only her PR, it was also a meet record.
"It was really emotional; I was super excited," Yourkavitch said. "I was hoping to PR because it's a great day, but I knew I had PR'd in my leg in the 4x8, too, so I knew I was going to feel it. But my friend showed up, so having her there was a complete surprise. When I finished, I saw all the support there, and it was really exciting to have everyone there."
Yourkavitch wasn't the only one to take down a Tim Cook meet record.
In addition to Campbell Parker's record-setting throw in the shot put - and he also won the discus for Greencastle-Antrim - McConnellsburg's McKenzie Gelvin made quite a statement.
Gelvin's goal heading into Saturday was to break the Spartan school record set back in the 1980s by Kim Spriggs. She did that and more.
In the 400, Gelvin had an exceptionally strong finish to capture a victory in a 58.07, which is now the meet and her school's record.
"I was super nervous going in because I knew this was probably going to be one of the best chances to run my best time," Gelvin said. "My goal was to break Kim Spriggs' record, and I knew this was going to be the best opportunity because there was a lot of good competition here and good runners. It was tough, but it was worth it."
Another member of the Trojans' winning 4x800 also got her individual moment in the sun. Mowery lived up to her top seed in the 3,200, clocking in at 11:45.10 for the gold medal.
"Usually I rely on (coach Chris) Monheim, and when he was over there (near the end), he was telling me to surge," Mowery said. "So I took that advice. I knew I had only 200 to go, so I just went as hard as I could."
The glory for Chambersburg continued in the field, where Evan Vink won the pole vault by clearing 13-0. His victory actually came down to attempts on 12-6, though. Both he and runner-up Josh Russo, of Altoona, cleared 13-0 on their third attempt. But it took Vink just one chance to clear 12-6, giving him the victory.
Greencastle-Antrim also got a fine day from sprinter Liam Okal, who finished third in the 100 (11.24), second in the 200 (22.51) and was a member of the third-place 4x100 relay team (44.61).
Other area medal winners were Waynesboro's Kira Monson (high jump, third) and Mercersburg Academy's Gabriel Allgayer (3,200, third).