PIAA track and field: Biglerville's Danny Stoner vaults to silver medal
SHIPPENSBURG>> A bothersome hamstring might have been a blessing in disguise for Danny Stoner.
The Biglerville senior, who set the school pole vault record earlier this season, didn't practice vaulting the last two weeks to rest his tight hamstring. He scratched from his other events at last week's district meet as he vaulted to his second straight district title. On Saturday, he vaulted 14 feet, six inches to earn second place in Class AA for his second straight PIAA state championships medal.
"He was a little beat up because he's a four-event guy," said Matt Concannon, Stoner's pole vaulting coach at the VaultWorX training facility in Camp Hill. "For three weeks, he's probably been doing his best technical jumps, it was just a matter of being fresh for this meet. And he was, which I think is a big reason that he did as well as he did."
Stoner was one of two vaulters to clear 14-6 and ended up tied for first place when nobody cleared 15 feet. Central Columbia's Mitch Liddick won first place since he had just one failed attempt, less than Stoner's three misses, before moving up to 15 feet.
Stoner missed his first attempts at 13-6, 14 and 14-6 but recovered to complete all three heights on his second attempts and continue advancing.
"Last year, I was a third-attempt vaulter," he said. "I would miss everything on my first two and just get it on the third attempt. I'm kind of used to missing a lot; this year was something different because I was really consistent. I wasn't too worried, I was trusting my coach and trusting myself."
At 15 feet — which would have been a personal record for Stoner and would have clinched him a state title — he clipped the bar with his leg on his way down on both of his first two attempts. He barely got off the ground on the third attempt.
"My run felt stronger, and just the way I vaulted in general felt good, too," he said. "I was pleased with it."
Now, Stoner prepares for the USA Track and Field Junior Outdoor Championships, which will be held June 25-28. His high school career is over, punctuated by a silver medal that ranks as his second-proudest accomplishment, behind setting the Biglerville record of 14-7 as he won the YAIAA title two weeks ago in Dallastown.
"That was an amazing night, it felt really good," he said of setting the record. "But this (medal) is next. I came so close to 15."
SHELTON FINISHES YEAR WITH PR >> Christian School of York sophomore Nicole Shelton finished her first track season with a personal record on the biggest stage.
She completed the 3,200-meter run in 11 minutes, 38.54 seconds to earn 13th place out 25 runners. The time was more than 13 seconds faster than her time last week at the District 3 meet.
"It's a lot crazier than districts was; there's so many more people and everyone's faster," she said of her first experience at the state championships. "Everyone makes a huge deal about it. We don't do a whole lot of big meets with our school, so this is just a whole new level of awesomeness."
DORSEY PICKS UP TWO DAYS OF STATE EXPERIENCE>> After qualifying for states in the 100 dash with his performance at last week's district meet, Delone Catholic junior Tavian Dorsey said he was excited to get to experience the state meet for the first time and learn from it.
He ended up getting to experience the first and second days of the meets after qualifying for the 100 semifinals in Friday's time trials.
"It's a whole 'nother level from districts to states, it's a whole 'nother breed," he said. "Everything basically has to be perfect or you're gonna get killed."
Dorsey hopes to return to the state championships next season in the 100, as well as in the 200 and 400 relay.
In his final race of this season, he placed last in his semifinal heat after running the race in 11.5 seconds.
"That was probably one of my worst runs, one of my worst times. I think it's just nerves," he said. "I was just worried about getting into a good place, I wasn't worried about my start or anything like that. I'm just glad I made it this far to the state semis and got to experience it all."