Four locals bring home gold at Mid Penns
For nearly two full seasons, Chambersburg's Abby Yourkavitch has been on the tail of her friend and competitor, Cumberland Valley's Mady Clahane.
But on Saturday at the Mid Penn Conference Championships, the door was finally open for the Trojan sophomore. Yourkavitch and Clahane didn't compete in the same event Saturday, which meant both of them got to walk home with gold.
"It feels so good because it's something I can bring back to Chambersburg," Yourkavitch said. "It's also nice to be able to share it with (Mady) - she'll have a Mid Penn championship, and so do I. We've become such great competitors and great friends over the years, so it means a lot."
Yourkavitch wasn't the only gold medalist in the area Saturday, either. A pair of usual suspects lived up to expectations, as Chambersburg's Kelton Chastulik won the shot put and Greencastle-Antrim's Campbell Parker dominated the discus.
But there was one unexpected victory, and that went to Waynesboro's Austin Kassman.
Seeded eighth in the javelin, Kassman well exceeded expectations. On his second throw of finals, Kassman fired the javelin 176-0, which was a personal best by 15 feet and gave him the victory by a foot.
"I kind of changed it up after my first throws to get into finals," Kassman said. "I kept throwing it off, so it was curving. But I threw a bit differently and was able to straighten it out. I really planted and threw my body forward to get that throw."
Not only did the throw guarantee Kassman a medal, it also guaranteed him an extra week of throwing.
"I'm excited to get to districts," Kassman said. "I was on the edge of making it and not making it, so obviously now I'm going. I'm excited to throw at Shippensburg. It feels great to win. All I wanted was a medal today, so I'll take first."
Meanwhile, in the other two throwing events, Chastulik and Parker once again battled it out for first place, and they both got the better of each other.
In the shot put, Chastulik had throws of 50-plus on all six attempts and came out as the winner with a toss of 56-9. Parker captured second (52-7.75), and fellow Trojan Myles Braxton was third with a mark of 50-1.5.
"I think the one thing I was really happy about today was I went over 50-0 every time," Chastulik said. "I just have to keep throwing (before districts); that's the only way you get better in the throws. Keep drilling, and keep working."
Braxton said, "I like working with Kelton; it's always good to have a teammate that will keep pushing you. I was kind of nervous today with the crowd, but after talking with coach (Roger) Coleman, I just went after it and had good results. I've taken it a lot more seriously this year than I had before."
Parker turned the tables on Chambersburg in discus, though. He dominated the event, winning with a hurl of 177-8 - more than 25 feet farther than runner-up Chastulik (149-6).
"It was weird, because it looked like everyone else's throws but mine were just dying out," Parker said. "The (winning throw) felt good. It felt like I still had more in the tank. Last year, I threw like poop. I threw farther freshman year than I did last year, so coming back and getting close to a PR feels really good."
Some other local standouts include James Buchanan's Clayton Bendell, who placed second in the high jump (6-2); Greencastle's Jenay Faulkner, who was second in the shot put (38-6); and Chambersburg's Reagan Winebrenner, who captured third in the shot put (35-8) and fourth in the discus (110-2).
The Lady Trojans' 4x800 team of Cadie Kiser, Kaylee Mowery, Cassie Essie and Yourkavitch also placed third in the 4x800 with a time of 9:45.42.