It's time to chase the ultimate medals in Pennsylvania for track & field athletes, the ones handed out by the PIAA.
The PIAA Championships take place Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University's Grove Stadium starting at 9 a.m. each day. Friday features all qualifying on the track and 14 finals in the field, while all the track finals are Saturday, plus another 14 field events.
Combined, Franklin and Fulton counties will send 15 athletes competing in 17 events.
At least this week, any dampness will be supplied by sweat - temperatures are expected to be in the mid- to upper-80s each day - rather than the dreary and cold final day for districts last Saturday.
Four locals have earned seeds in the top 5.
In Class AAA girls, Chambersburg's Abby Yourkavitch is seeded No. 2 in the 3200, and McConnellsburg's McKenzie Gelvin is No. 2 in the girls AA 400.
The AAA girls shot put lists Jenay Faulkner of Greencastle-Antrim at No. 3 (42-3.25) and Josh Booth of McConnellsburg is No. 5 in the boys AA 300 hurdles (40.02).
One person Yourkavitch will not see in the 3,200 is rival Mady Clahane of Cumberland Valley, who opted to run only the 1,600. The top seed is Aislinn Devlin of Downingtown West in 10:28.38, while Yourkavitch's seed time is 10:34.40. One person she will see is teammate Kaylee Mowery, who is the 15th seed (11:04.61).
Trojan girls coach Chris Monheim said, "Last year they both had a chance to experience states, and this year the goal is to go after state medals. I'm proud we have two girls in, and they're both sophomores. Abby will employ her normal strategy of going out hard and hanging on, but the early pace may be affected some by the weather. I think she is one of the few girls that has a realistic shot at the title."
Gelvin's seed time is 57.04, while the top seed, Hunter Robinson of Freeport has a 56.54. Gelvin also holds the No. 9 seed in the 800, with her time of 2:20.26 - the top seed has a 2:14.34 clocking.
Faulkner has really been making some strides lately in her throws, and she beat her previous best by more than three feet last week. Her 42-3.25 effort is not that far off the 45-10.25 heave of the favorite, Emily Stauffer of Cocalico.
She is one of four qualifiers for the Blue Devils, who are also sending Liam Okal (9th AAA boys 200), Lauren Hirneisen (29th AAA girls 1600) and Campbell Parker, who is ninth in the shot put (53-3) and 14th in the discus (161-0). However, Parker's best in the discus (178) would give him the third seed.
G-A coach Devin McCauley said, "I feel like all of our athletes have an opportunity to medal, and three of the four are underclassmen, so they'll get experience. The kids are confident and it'll be arguably the best weather we've seen all year."
McConnellsburg's Booth did not win a District 5 title, but he did hit the standard to qualify for states. He is seeded fifth and Everett's Tanner Sipes is third.
Spartan coach Josh Strait said, "Sipes and Josh ran a great race last week, and there are a bunch of hurdlers close in time with them. We figure Josh will have to run a sub-40 to get a medal. He is excited and ready."
Teammate Connor Johnson did not qualify for states in the shot put, but when Bedford's Seth Foor withdrew, Johnson took his place. And he earned an 11 seed with his best of 47-9.25.
"Our throws coach (Todd Grissinger) thinks Connor has a great throw in him, and he's playing with house money," Strait said.
In AAA boys throws, Chambersburg will be represented by Kelton Chastulik (9th, discus) and Myles Braxton (14th, shot put).
Trojan coach Bob Walker said, "If Myles can improve again this week, he could make the finals and sneak into medal position ... but it'll take a career best. Kelton has eyes on making the final, earning a medal and breaking Mike Clark's school record of 166-1."
Also competing at states in AA are Southern Fulton's Chase Varner (23rd, 800), Celina Merchant (25th, 300 hurdles) and Sarah Wright (21st, javelin) and Fannett-Metal's Lizzie Peppernick (20th, discus).
CARDINALS' BIG WIN: Forbes Road's 6-1 victory over rival McConnellsburg on Wednesday was its first district baseball playoff win since the Cardinals won the District 5 Class A title in 2004. Since that year, Forbes Road had been ousted in the first round three times.
MDCC ALL-STARS: The Mason-Dixon Christian Conference announced its girls soccer all-star team recently and Shalom Christian senior Lexy Poe was named the Player of the Year. She finished with 31 goals and 13 assists.
Other first-team selections for the Flames were defender Lauren Stains (so.), midfielder Lydia Harris (sr.) and forward Brooke Emge (so.). Senior defender Brooke Kuhn and junior midfielder Bethany Blank made the second team.
For Cumberland Valley Christian, goalkeeper Maddie Keck (sr.) was a first-team choice, and Sophie Bland (so., defender) and freshman Emily Bard (fr., mid/for) were on the second team.
RECORD HOLDERS: Glancing through the District 3 Track & Field program last week revealed that several former area athletes - all females - still hold district records.
They include Chambersburg's Marshay Ryan in the AAA girls long jump (19-3.75) and triple jump (40-9.75), both set in 2013, Neely Spence of Shippensburg in the AAA 1600 (4:50.23, in 2008), Ship's Leanne Kling in the AA 300 hurdles (44.50, in 1989), and Chambersburg's Lorraine Hill in the javelin (140-6, in 2006).
All the marks except Hill's survived the weekend. She was surpassed by Madi Smith of New Oxford, who posted a throw of 141-0.
The only boys record is held by the former Scotland School team in the AA 4x400 relay, 3:20.90 in 1990.