Arctic Blast: South Western's Mooradian steals show
It might be time to rename the Arctic Blast Invitational the South Western Invitational or the Mooradian Showcase.
That might be an exaggeration, but Lynne Mooradian and the Mustangs put on a show Saturday afternoon at Northern High School in Dillsburg. South Western won five of the first 12 events of the day in a field that included athletes from about 20 schools.
Mooradian, a West Point commit who came into Saturday already owning four individual records at the Arctic Blast, added another while cruising to wins in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.50 seconds and the 300 hurdles in 44.43. Mooradian's second consecutive dominating performance at this event is just more evidence that she's one of the best YAIAA runners in recent memory, South Western head coach Bruce Lee said.
"She's got a lot of records here for sure," Lee said with a laugh. "I think she's the best female track athlete in 31 years coaching if you look at all the events she does at the state level and all the different events she has medals in. In my 31 years, I haven't seen a female with her range at the level she competes. ... If you think about it, she has won 13 of the 18 events in dual meets. It's just, wow."
Mustangs head coach Bruce Lee called Mooradian the best girls track athlete he's seen in 31 years of coaching. Brandon Stoneburg
South Western's Josh Zeroth broke the school's record in discus with a throw of 150 feet, 10 inches and won the boys' shot put. Delunche Shaw won the 100 despite being seeded sixth, and freshman Kayla Brooks won the high jump.
"Dee (Delunche Shaw) kind of gets overlooked sometimes," Lee said. "It's nice for him to step out of the shadow because he's quick and I'm not surprised he's doing well."
Grim's Big Day
Bermudian Springs junior Trevor Grim was all smiles after winning the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.71, edging Hanover's Deandre Kerr, who finished .11 seconds behind.
The 15.71 finish marked Grim's fastest FAT (fully automatic timing) ever, eclipsing his previous high by . 4 seconds.
"I was just trying to do my best, and I just wanted to match my seeding and pick up the most points for my team," Grim said. "In the last few seconds I'm just trying to finish the race without hitting any hurdles. I think the end of the race is one my biggest strengths just because I have more stamina than the average sprinter. But I'm still dying at the end. I just need to finish and leave nothing in the tank."
Grim also picked up a second-place finish in the 300 hurdles.
"I would have loved to have won both events, but I'm not going to complain about getting a first and second," he said. "It was nice to get a warm day with wind not being a factor."
Central's teaching moment
You may not have found Central York's Chase Evans and Diondre Bell anywhere near the top of the boys' triple jump results, but that doesn't mean it wasn't an important moment for the freshman-sophomore duo.
Neither had participated in the triple jump at the varsity level before Saturday, and Evans had never done the triple jump before. But what better time to test your skills than on the big stage?
Panthers jump coach Tarmont Evans decided to use the first varsity invitational as a teaching moment for the young athletes.
"Diondre (Bell) has so much heart because he's only 5-foot-2 and this is a big man's event," Evans said. "I keep joking with him that when he grows he'll be great at it. But I chose to put them into the bigger events because that's how they're going to get better. They'll get better competing against other people, and they also get to see the techniques they need to learn ... I'm proud of them, they did really good."
Elsewhere for Central, Haven Evans won the girls' 100-meter dash and Brandon Falkenstein won the boys' 300-meter hurdles.
Devon Hodgen, Saranda Gerlach, Tessa Ruppert and Noah Langenfeld competing in the triple and long jumps. Brandon Stoneburg
South Western's Michael Johnson had a message for anyone standing near the 100 meter dash: "Just watch."
Johnson was predicting a big performance from his teammate Delunche Shaw, and the sophomore didn't disappoint in his first Arctic Blast, pulling away from the field and winning by .47 seconds.
"That was the best run I've done so far," Shaw said. "I just kept pushing and telling myself to not let off. ... Having those guys on the sideline helped me. I wasn't feeling so good, but it helped me push through."
Shaw's teammates correctly predicted Shaw would have a big performance Saturday. Brandon Stoneburg
Eastern York's Maddie McLain, who consistently torched the YAIAA field during cross country season, won the 1,600 meters Saturday in a time of 5:18.16. Overall, it was a strong showing for the Golden Knights, who are undefeated in YAIAA action this season. In addition to McLain, Arielle Stigelman (100), Brady Gladfelter (pole vault), Maura DeReamer (discus), and the boys' 3,200-meter relay team all finished top three in their events.