Athletes from Franklin-Fulton compete at the 91st annual Jack Roddick Invitational at Shippensburg University on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Noelle Haro-Gomez, GameTimePA.com
It was not a beautiful day for the 91st annual Jack Roddick Invitational at Shippensburg University.
Intermittent rain and temperatures in the 50s were not exactly ideal conditions for a track & field event. But that didn't stop several area boys athletes from finding success at Grove Stadium.
One winner was McConnellsburg's Josh Booth, who didn't run a perfect race, but it was enough to outdistance his rivals in the Class 2A 300 hurdles.
"I got caught up in the race and didn't have my steps right, so I messed up on one of the hurdles," Booth said.
But he ran a time of 40.45 to beat the field. Teammate Zac DeShong was fourth in 42.43.
Booth said, "I wasn't sure if I had a good chance to win, because we didn't know seed times. But when they gave us our lane assignments, I got No. 3, so I figured I had a shot."
The Spartan senior, who also placed third in the 110 hurdles in 16.06, said he wasn't that bothered by the conditions, but it did affect his time.
"Under these conditions, it wasn't terrible ... but it could have been better," he said.
Booth added a second gold late in the day when he and his Spartan teammates surprised even themselves with a first-place showing in the 4x400 relay. Chance Hawbaker, Philip Strait, Zac DeShong and Booth brought it home in 3:36.79 to win by less than a second over Camp Hill.
"We honestly were hoping we'd be up there, but we didn't expect to win," Hawbaker said.
Strait, who had waited all day to run in the last event, said, "We didn't even think we'd be in the first section (heat). Now this might change our goals."
The other area athlete who went home with a gold medal was Mikale Williams of Mercersburg Academy, who won the 2A triple jump with a leap of 43-5.25.
Chambersburg's Nate Reed, who competed in the javelin and long jump, said the weather just made things more difficult.
"The rain bothered me a lot," he said. "My shoes got heavy and the sand (from the pit) sticks in your spikes."
Reed placed seventh in the 3A long jump with an effort of 20-8.5 to match his career best. He threw the javelin 135-7 to place 18th.
"I think if it hadn't rained, I might have been able to hit my best in the long jump," he said.
Reed normally competes in those two events, plus the 100 and triple jump in dual meets.
"I just try to help my team get points by being versatile," he said. "I could probably get better if I concentrated on one or two because I can't work on the technique as much in practice. It can be a pain running from event to event, but if I can keep doing OK, then it's good."
Franklin County did well in the throws, as expected. In the 3A shot put, Chambersburg's Kelton Chastulik took second at 53-3.5, telling a reporter that he was having trouble with slipping in the ring. Teammate Myles Braxton was fifth (48-11) and Greencastle-Antrim's Campbell Parker was sxith (48-9.75).
In the 3A discus, Parker was the runner-up with a distance of 174-9, and Chastulik was fourth (159-9).
There were three other 3A top-five finishes: Chambersburg's Trayton Barnette in the 300 hurdles (5th, 15.22), G-A's Tony Fugate in the 400 (5th, 51.95) and Waynesboro's Christopher Maichle in the 200 steeplechase (4th, 6:52.22).
In 2A, McConnellsburg's Chance Hawbaker tied for fifth in the high jump at 5-8.