Chambersburg shines at SU Invite
Chambersburg distance aces Abby Yourkavitch and Kaylee Mowery are running better now than they ever have, so you'll have to forgive the sophomore duo for taking a small peek ahead to the cross country season.
But after the way the runners performed at Saturday's 90th Jack Roddick Shippensburg University High School Invitational, held at Seth Grove Stadium, Yourkavitch had good reason to project her cross country team as a district and state contender in the fall.
Both girls came away from the elite competition with silver medals. Yourkavitch took second in the 3,200 with a personal-best time of 10:52.42, while Mowery hit a PR of her own in the 1,600 with a time of 5:09.58.
The Trojans also got a fine performance from Kelton Chastulik, who took second in the shot put and fourth in the discus.
On the girls side, Cadie Kiser also had an encouraging performance, running the 3,200 in 11:38.40 for 12th place, so the Trojans' distance group has plenty to be excited about.
"We've improved so much from where we were," Yourkavitch said. "We want to be on top of the district and state during cross country season."
For now, Yourkavitch and company will have to keep the focus on what is turning out to be a very successful track season. She led her longtime friend and rival, Cumberland Valley's Mady Clahane, for nearly a mile and a half before the Eagles' star used her closing speed to seal the deal over the last 800.
"When she went for it, I tried to keep up but my kick is nothing compared to hers," said Yourkavitch, who also placed seventh in the 800 with a 2:23.54. "I don't know if I'll ever pull out a win over her, but being close is more than I could have asked last year."
As for Mowery, she found herself boxed in early, but fought through the crowd to move from the sixth position to the second-place spot.
"I haven't been on my 'A' game for the past few meets and have been letting people beat me who probably shouldn't be beating me," Mowery said. "My friend Marie (Rulapaugh) from CV helped move me from the second group to the first. Then I just ran as hard as I could for the last lap and held on from there."
The Lady Trojans weren't the only ones to achieve personal bests. Chastulik had a pair of monster throws in both events, but couldn't quite reach the top spot.
"I mean, I'm happy because I didn't even make the finals here (in the shot put) last year," Chastulik said. "But there's still so much to work on. I don't want to say it's just the beginning, but it is just the beginning. Coach (Roger) Coleman is always drilling me, and I have to follow him to get better."
Chastulik started the day with a hurl of 160-02 in the discus, good enough for fourth, and in the shot put, he hit 55-11.75, less than "a Subway footlong" from Chambersburg's school record.
"I love competition," Chastulik said. "I'll stand here and hope people hit a big one, so I can hit another one. I always believe competition is really good for me. Props to (the winners). I can only control myself, so if someone else hit a big one, I just gotta go out and do it again."