SHIPPENSBURG >> The cloud held up just enough for Ravaughn Dillard.

A week ago at the District 3 championships, the Gettysburg triple jumper fretted over any and all rain. He doesn't like it.

Imagine his fright when a dark cloud camped over Shippensburg University's Seth Grove Stadium on Friday afternoon. Dillard smiled about it later, after he won a PIAA Class AAA triple jump championship with a school-record tying effort of 47 feet, 11 inches.

"The sun started shining as soon as I thought about it, too," Dillard said after his final jump.

As is customary for many jumpers, Dillard began to clap, engaging the crowd from the stands beyond the adjacent track to join him.

"I like to do the clap on the last one," the sophomore said. "The last one gets me all out."

Dillard needed the boost. He owned the day's second-best jump before taking off one last time. Cheers soon followed as the 47-11 jump won him gold and the top spot on the podium that goes with it.

District 3 took the top three spots. Carlisle sophomore Deshawn Millington, last week's district champ, finished second with a top performance of 47-7 1/2. Millington's teammate and last year's district title winner, Isa Paschall, was third at 46-6 3/4.

The field included two other YAIAA competitors: Susquehannock senior Tyler Buckley, who finished ninth at 44-6, and Gettysburg senior Kobe Wansel, whose 42-7 placed him 22nd.

This was Wansel's third-straight trip to the state championships for the triple jump. His younger teammate is 2-of-2 so far.

Dillard also tied second-cousin Darnell Johnson, a 2005 Gettysburg grad, for the school record that Johnson set while reaching PIAA gold in 2004. Dillard hoped for one last quarter-inch on the his last measurement, but he still has two more years to surpass it.

Confident that he will and also positive that he will return next year to Shippensburg, Dillard admitted he's unsure of his potential. He was listed as a not-so-generous 6-foot-3 last winter for the basketball team. That sport also is his preference, but he said Friday that could be changing.

Dillard has grown about 3 inches in the last year, and never ran track until trying out as a freshman.

"I never thought I'd be this good," he said, "but I'm really proud I am and thankful."

SEEDING IS OVERRATED >> A swirl of emotions hit the javelin throwing area at the beginning of competition.

New Oxford sophomore Madi Smith fouled off her first two throws. Connellsville sophomore Madison Wiltrout set a new PIAA record 182-8 on her first attempt.

No one could top that, but Smith came the closest.

Her 135-2 effort, which came in the finals, finished second to Wiltrout. However, Smith barely got there with only one more attempt to advance.

"I knew I just had to get my throw in and at a decent distance because I knew there was a whole other flight of girls," said Smith, who threw 126 on her third preliminary throw. "I waited out 30 throws, just hoping I make it in the finals."

Smith entered this season throwing the javelin for the first time in her life. She recalled never fouling a throw until Friday.

Meanwhile, her struggles came as Wiltrout — who set a national record in the javelin a few weeks ago — drew more spectators. She noticed the photographers.

"When I was running down the runway, I could hear all of the clicks," Wiltrout said. "I was like, 'Whoa, there's a lot of clicks going on.'"

Afterward, Wiltrout and Smith took a picture together. They could see each other for another two years.

Wiltrout collected her gold with her right elbow wrapped, somewhat disappointed she couldn't add to her total.

"I never really cried at a track meet," she said. "I definitely wanted to throw in my three in the finals.

"I wasn't expecting the 182 to be my final number. That's when I think I kind of got upset."

Smith couldn't be happier.

For the second straight week, she jumped a large chunk of the field to reach the medal stand. Last week at the district meet, Smith entered with the 17th-best throw and left in fifth place.

Her No. 2 finish Friday came as a 13 seed.

"Seeding doesn't really mean anything anyway," Smith said. "It's whatever happens at the end of the day."

WHEN IT RAINS, IT STORMS >> Sunny, then dark. Steady wind with a sudden gust.

Those conditions were typical Friday, but the worst of it struck just as William Penn senior Larell Anderson shot out of the blocks for his 300-meter hurdle run.

"It threw me off," he said. "As a result I ran pretty bad today."

Anderson finished fifth in his heat. His 400 relay team also placed fifth in its heat earlier in the day, ending the Bearcats' season a day earlier than anticipated by Anderson.

He danced for two plays last weekend during the district championships. This week, he followed with a choir concert Thursday.

3 X 1 >> South Western junior Lynne Mooradian had a different opinion on the weather.

"When it got windy and cool, I was so happy," she said.

Mooradian qualified for Saturday's races in all three events she entered Friday — the 100 and 200, plus the 300 hurdles.

A year ago, she competed in four events at the state meet.

"One event doesn't seem like that big of a difference," she said, "but it really is. Warming up for it and actually running it, you get tired."

The 300 hurdles is a new event this year for her, but Friday's run was one of her sloppiest performances. Mooradian hit each hurdle, one after the other, on her jaunt around the track.

That didn't stop her.

"I improved by a second and hit every single hurdle on the way," she said, pointing toward each hurdle with a sense of pride.

Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.


Friday's complete results from the PIAA track and field championships

Lancaster: Warwick's David Lucas grabs state silver

York-Adams Class AAA: Gettysburg's Ravaughn Dillard triple jumps to state title

York-Adams Class AA: Delone Catholic's Grace Riedel picks up another pole vault medal

Read or Share this story: