District 3 track and field: Central York's Wilson, Baublitz score some of YAIAA's many bronze medals
SHIPPENSBURG >> Although it was shut out from gold medals during Day 2 of the District 3 Class AAA track and field championships, the YAIAA still had its share of solid performances on Saturday, and even a couple of surprising ones.
Perhaps no one was more surprised at her race than Erin Wilson of Central York. The junior was seeded 11th in the 800-meter run when the day started, putting her in the slow heat, but she blazed a time of 2:16.49 to win her heat.
Afterward, she gazed down at the bronze medal around her neck.
"As long as I get a personal record for myself I am happy. A personal record and states is unbelievable," Wilson said. "I didn't know I had a lot left in my tank."
She was especially pleased after placing 10th in the 1,600.
"I wasn't having a good day because of the mile, I had to push myself," Wilson said. "I am really happy. I just tried the best I could."
And Wilson wasn't the only Panther to overachieve at Shippensburg University on Saturday. Teammate Alexis Baublitz also scored a bronze when she went 11 feet, 6 inches in the pole vault.
Baublitz couldn't help but smile coming off the medal stand. A junior in her first year of doing the pole vault, she simply hoped to earn a medal and possibly qualify for next week's PIAA championships.
She did that and more, breaking her own school mark and earning the coveted trip to states.
"My ultimate goal was to make states and even get a medal," Baublitz said. "I am really excited I did. I am really focusing and working really hard at practice."
Baublitz said the competition helped her. "It made me kind of nervous, but it made me feel really good when I know I medaled."
"FRUSTRATED" MOORADIAN STILL QUALIFIES >> South Western junior standout Lynne Mooradian remembered her performance from a year ago at this meet.
"It's kind of frustrating. I've been trying to control my emotions," she said. "I have never been this disappointed after districts."
Disapointment aside, her season will continue in at least two events: the 300 hurdles and the 100 dash.
In her newest event, the 300 hurdles, Mooradian placed third despite hitting three hurdles with her leg. Her time of 44.53 was a personal best.
Mooradian placed fifth in both the 100 (12.41) and 200 (26.06) dashes. Although she didn't earn an automatic PIAA berth in the 200, she has an idea of how to medal in the other events.
"Other than rest and recovery, I need to find the mental place I was at counties," she said.
GATCHELL GETS BRONZE >> It was warm Saturday, especially for a distance runner. Plus, the pack ran slower than expected. But Red Lion senior Ethan Gatchell will have one more chance to break the elusive school record in the 800 run after his third-place time of 1:56.12.
"Third is good, it's what I was seeded," he said. "The time was not close to what I was looking for. The first 200 (meters) was on pace, but we lost speed and had to recover."
Certainly the heat played a part on the distance runners' performances, but Gatchell said he's looking forward to next week with the hopes of breaking the Lions' record of 1:54.7, set by Matt Dennish in 2004.
BEARCATS BOUND FOR STATES >> Four William Penn boys were all smiles knowing they are heading to next week's state championships in the 400 relay.
Deshaun Horton, Edgar Centeno, Danny Acevedo and Larell Anderson ran a 43.18, earning a fifth-place medal and automatic berth to the PIAA meet.
"We were sure we could make states. We just wanted to get a better seeding and get our time down," Horton said. "It was close to our best. It wasn't our best. We could do better."
"We know we can do better," Centeno agreed. "We've just got to come to practice harder and be mentally more tough. We know we can lower our times and compete with these tough teams."
Acevedo said he knew what he had to do when he took the baton for the third leg.
"I just tried my best to catch them. I could have run better, but I am proud we made it to states," he said.
A short while later, Anderson reached the medal stand again after his 39.79 in the 300 hurdles was good for fifth place and trip to states.
"Every event I am in is important. But I don't want to drag my team down," he said. "Just as I would give it all in the 300 hurdles, I have to give it all in the relay."
RITTER AND MOYER SAGA CONTINUES >> Friends, foes, rivals — whatever you want to call them, YAIAA standout hurdlers Owen Ritter of Dallastown and West York's Andrew Moyer are always there for each other.
Ritter qualified for states after placing fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.22), although he wasn't immediately sure that had happened. "To be honest, when I crossed the finish line I thought I came in sixth. I was happy I ended up fourth," he said.
Moyer placed seventh in the 110 with a 15.41, and Dover's Shane Orchard was eighth in 15.78.
Later in the day, Moyer took sixth in the 300 hurdles by winning the middle heat race with his time of 39.95. For the second time that day, Ritter was in the lane right next to him.
"I was running just to run. I know this will be the last meet until I get to college," Moyer said. "I didn't run a PR, but it's hot, my back is acting up all over again. I was just happy to walk away with a medal. States is the goal, but just running and finishing the race. I was dead."
Ritter finished 11th in that race. Moyer said the Wildcat senior helped him at the end of the 110 race.
"I leaned hard, Owen came and scooped me up so I didn't eat any track," Moyer said. "We definitely became friends over the years. Even though he wanted to punch me in the face (at the YAIAA championships) last weekend, it's like a brotherly bond. Because everyone wants to punch their brother every once in awhile."
For his part, Ritter has adjusted to running with and against Moyer.
"In the past, it's kind of hurt me when we raced because it was in my head I had to beat Andrew," he said. "As I matured as a track athlete, I've realized I have to run my own race, and that's what I did today."
OTHER YAIAA MEDALS >> Kennard-Dale's Maddie Ferner placed eighth in the 1,600 run. ... The Dallastown team of Taylor Forrester, Emma Kange, Haven Evans and Amari Johnson finished fifth in the 1,600 relay and will continue on to states. ... The Wildcats boys' 1,600 relay of Ritter, Kalen Patterson, Taylor Lentz and Justin Tracy just missed the state cut, but did place sixth overall. ... Spring Grove's Shay Feulmer scored two medals, taking a seventh in the 100 and eighth in the 200. .... Thaddeus Cwiklinski made York County Tech proud with his seventh-place finish in the 400. ... York Suburban's Phillip Marshall and Tanner Fuhrman of South Western took fifth and sixth, respectively, in the long jump. Marshall's leap was good for an automatic state berth. ... Gettysburg got javelin medals from Wade Laudeman (sixth) and Dalton Lyons (seventh). ... Northeastern's Taemar Willis earned eighth in the high jump.
DAY 1 COVERAGE
York/Adams Class AAA: Painful ending for West York sprinter Abdul Junaid
York/Adams Class AA: Littlestown's Bre smith wins discus as YAIAA's only Day 1 gold medalist