District 3 Class AAA track and field: Painful end to Junaid's West York run
SHIPPENSBURG >> About 30 minutes before his race, Abdul Junaid remained cautious.
He's been that way for the last three weeks.
The West York sprinter and YAIAA champion in the 100-meter dash massaged the back of his leg while pacing around the infield Friday before his preliminary run at the District 3 track and field championships at Shippensburg University. He hasn't been at full strength since a hamstring injury suffered in the Bulldogs' last dual meet of the season.
Last week, Junaid powered through for a league title. He even set a school record in 10.8 seconds despite aggravating his injury late in the sprint.
"He would have had a better time than 10.8," coach Julia Haynes said.
The effort still sent him into Friday's 100-meter trials as the top seed in Class AAA. With intentions to walk on to the Duquesne track team next year, Junaid's high school career ended on his opening run. He stormed out of the blocks, grimaced and slowed a third of the way through.
"As soon as I got out of the blocks, it felt like someone was stabbing me in the leg," Junaid said.
For a moment, Junaid tried to block out the pain and finished in 12.83. His legs were heavily taped Friday, as they were for his two races since the injury at York Suburban. Those final two sprints wound up being his best and most painful.
Junaid reflected back to April when he ran on this track for the Shippensburg Invitational, winning the 100 and placing second in the 200. A late-developing runner hoping to qualify for his first state meet, Junaid entered as the eighth seed in the 200. Friday, he withdrew from that, just as he did last week after his league victory in the 100.
"It really, really sucks because I know I could have won," said Junaid, who retreated to the stands at Seth Grove Stadium and watched the ensuing races.
Just across the track, senior teammate Andrew Moyer neared his own school record in the pole vault.
Moyer cleared 13 feet before exiting to prepare for his 110 hurdle semifinal. Haynes summoned him to return to finish the vault. There, his vaulting career came to a close.
A few minutes later, his time in the 110 hurdles nearly ended.
Moyer finished fourth in his semifinal heat. Afterward, he waited alone behind an infield tent, unsure if his run qualified for Saturday's final. The top eight advanced, and Moyer's name was one of the last to be called.
"It was tough to hold it out," Moyer said. "Fortunately I squeezed it."
Along with Dover senior Shane Orchard, who secured the last spot, Moyer and Dallastown's Owen Ritter advanced to the 110 hurdles final at 10 a.m. Saturday.
COLONIAL'S DAY >> New Oxford sophomore Madi Smith tried track and field for the first time this spring. She hoped it would help strengthen her for softball, which she now plays exclusively for a travel team.
Smith didn't know she would like the javelin so much. Her surprise began with winning her first time out this spring, and that surprise continued Friday.
She qualified for next week's PIAA championships and improved her previous best throw by nearly 12 feet.
"That was my goal: to beat my PR," Smith said. "I did it almost on every throw."
Her second throw, which traveled 129 feet, 3 inches, was the best. Seeded 17th coming in, Smith finished fifth. At states, she'll look to add to the javelin school record she already owns.
She will be the only New Oxford athlete competing next week at Shippensburg. Aaron Gebhart placed ninth in the boys' 3,200, which ended his Colonials career after a run of 9:37.33.
SPEAKING OF RECORDS >> Kennard-Dale junior Maddie Ferner kept up her record pace in the girls' 3,200, which she is running for the first season.
Ferner finished third in 10:56.43, improving the personal mark she set last week while winning the event at the YAIAA championships. Ferner concentrated solely on her new distance run last week to improve for Friday.
"I was very nervous coming into it," Ferner said, "but I was also pumped up because I put in more work than I ever have."
Ferner cut 12 seconds off her PR a week ago. Friday, she trimmed time by another 12.
Next week, Ferner will still be chasing Cumberland Valley junior Mady Clahane, who finished ahead of the pack in 10:41.82 — a full 26 seconds ahead of anyone else in the eight-lap race.
"She is phenomenal," Ferner said. "You can tell she's put in a lot of hard work. I aspire to be like her."
Ferner will resume competition Saturday in the 1,600.
CROWDED FIELD >> All eight finalists in the boys' triple jump qualified for the state championship meet. Carlisle sophomore Deshawn Millington won with a jump that exceeded 48 feet. His teammate and defending district champ Isa Paschall placed second.
Afterward, three YAIAA competitors advanced to next week: Gettysburg's Ravaughn Dillard and Kobe Wansel, plus Susquehannock senior Tyler Buckley.
Of the three, only Dillard jumped without a headband and finished fourth. Buckley was fifth and Wansel, in his third year competing at Shippensburg, finished seventh.
Wansel will await the weather forecast before bringing back his headband.
"Depends if it's sunny out," he said.
TIME TO JUMP >> A returning state qualifier, York County Tech high jumper Kirstyn Evans' day ended at the medal stand with an eighth-place finish in her signature event.
The top five qualified for next week's PIAA meet.
Evans leapt 5 feet, just 2 inches below her season best from two weeks ago at Central York's White Rose Invitational. A junior, she still has a chance to come back next spring.
OUT OF THE BLOCKS >> No YAIAA athletes won gold during Friday's Class AAA events. South Western junior Lynne Mooradian qualified for the girls' 100 and 200. She is the only YAIAA female athlete to advance from Friday's Class AAA preliminary races.
On the boys' side, Spring Grove's Shay Feulmer qualified on the boys' side in the 100 and 200 joining the area's trio of 110 hurdlers to advance.
Also in the hurdles, Dallastown sophomore Taylor Forrester missed qualification in the girls' 100 hurdles by a fraction of a second. She placed ninth after her semifinal run, where the top eight advanced.
In the girls' 200, Red Lion senior Angelica Gonzalez placed 12th to end her high school career that ascended as a freshman on the same track.
Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.