Chastulik, Parks place in top 5 at indoor states
It was a solid day for a pair of Franklin County competitors, who turned in top five finishes at Saturday's PTFCA Indoor State Championships at Penn State.
Chambersburg's Kelton Chastulik had the top performance of the day, placing third in the boys shot put, while Greencastle-Antrim freshman Taryn Parks was fourth in the girls mile run.
Although Chastulik didn't have his best mark of the season, he still managed to hurl a 57-6 for third place. But what Chastulik really wants is a 60-plus throw.
"There's no doubt I can do it," Chastulik said. "The past two weeks, I've hit 60 or 62 in warmups, so it's there; it's just about doing it in a meet. I have to say I'm happy about third place because (the guys ahead) are Nos. 1 and 3 in the country, so it's not too bad to be behind those guys."
Chastulik, who will perform at the New Balance Indoor Championship at The Armory in New York City in two weeks, has already had a fantastic indoor season. He broke Chambersburg's school record three times and is ready to show what he can do outdoors.
"Well, this has been stuck in my head: getting ninth place at District 3 (last year) after being seeded second and choking," Chastulik said. "It's been in my head all year now. I told coach (Roger) Coleman that I wanted to keep getting consistent and getting better. With the combination of a lot of training and with the experience I've gained throwing against people like I did today, I think I'm ready."
Consistency was key on Saturday, as Chastulik threw more than 57 feet three times.
As for Parks, who performed in her first indoor state meet, she also checked a big goal off the list. Parks wanted to run a sub-5:00 mile indoors by the end of the season, and on Saturday, she clocked in at 4:55.66 for fourth place.
"I'm really happy with it," Parks said. "It was very different because I'm not really used to running indoors. The track is 200 meters, so it's eight laps instead of four for a mile, and it's very cramped sometimes during the race."
It was especially cramped at the finish line. The Nos. 2 through 5 finishers were all within half a second of each other.
Like Chastulik, Parks also qualified for the New Balance Indoor Championship, but she's undecided if she'll compete. Either way, as a freshman, Parks has gained some valuable experience that should bode well for the future.
"I think it's just helping to build my confidence," Parks said. "My coaches also wanted me to build up my endurance for outdoor, and I think I've definitely done that."
Chambersburg's Abby Yourkavitch placed sixth in the 3,200 with a time of 10:18.75, while Kaylee Mowery placed 19th in the mile in 5:25.33. Reagan Winebrenner placed 12th for the Trojans in the girls shot put with a heave of 38-01.25.
McConnellsburg's McKenzie Gelvin placed 11th in the girls 400 (57.71) and 18th in the 800 (2:20.76), and Mercersburg's Mikale Williams placed 15th in the boys long jump with a leap of 19-07.50.
Greencastle's Campbell Parker placed ninth in the boys shot put, throwing 54-00.5.