York Tech’s Ronald Henderson, competes in the AAA triple jump, during the PIAA Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University Friday May
York Tech's Ronald Henderson, competes in the AAA triple jump, during the PIAA Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University Friday May 24, 2013. FOR THE YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS-CHRIS KNIGHT (CHRIS KNIGHT)
SHIPPENSBURG -- The day was cold and windy, so Amanda Myers acted quickly.

The sophomore javelin thrower from Red Lion set a personal record on her first attempt Friday at the PIAA Track and Field Championships.

With wind gusts keeping a chill in the air and many athletes from their best times and measurements, Myers reached 129 feet and 2 inches just past noon outside of Seth Grove Stadium at Shippensburg University.

Myers' heave ultimately carried her to the medal stand with an eighth-place finish, no easy task considering she entered as the 23rd seed. That came after barely qualifying for states with last week's throw of 122-0 at the District 3 meet.

"I knew I could do better," Myers said of last week, "and I improved, which was exciting."

Hanover’s Morgan Herrick, competes in the AA high jump, during the PIAA Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University Friday May 24, 2013.
Hanover's Morgan Herrick, competes in the AA high jump, during the PIAA Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University Friday May 24, 2013. FOR THE YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS-CHRIS KNIGHT (CHRIS KNIGHT)

Her PR throw Friday beat her personal best by 2 inches, which she set as a freshman during a dual meet at Spring Grove. Her best this season was around 125 feet.

"She just wasn't able to beat it this year," coach Jason Smith said.

That is, until facing weather conditions comparable to the first meet of the season instead of the last.

While temperatures in the low 50s didn't affect Myers' performance, they hindered York County Tech senior Ronald Henderson.

Facing a field that included defending triple jump champion Wellington Zaza -- also the top seed in both boys' hurdle events -- Henderson placed fifth. His best attempt of 46-0 Friday at states came after a school-record 47-0 3/4 to win District 3.

"Last week I was trying to hide from the sun. Now I'm under blankets and stuff," said Henderson, who completed his first full season in the triple jump.

Henderson's PR from a week ago would have been good enough for third Friday. Zaza won the triple jump with a 49-10 1/4 leap. Second place measured at 47-2 1/4.

Throughout the Class AAA event, participants would strip off their warmup jackets and pants to compete before immediately adding back a few layers.

Henderson had only a brown blanket beyond his warmups for protection.

Along with Myers and Hanover sophomore high jumper Morgan Herrick (eighth), they were the only YAIAA athletes to reach the center of the stadium and step on the podium.

"At times, the wind was a little tougher," Myers said. "Luckily my first throw, which was my good throw, I got the wind calmed down and got I it out there to get my place. The wind was definitely a factor."

Playing catch-up: Red Lion sophomore Ethan Gatchell made up quite a bit of distance when he took the baton for the second leg of the boys' Class AAA 3,200-meter relay. The Lions were near the back of the pack when Gatchell took his turn during the preliminary. Soon he handed off to Nate Pardoe, who then gave way to Caleb Gatchell.

By the time Caleb closed in on the finish line with a pack of two others -- and Ethan cheering on behind the long-jump pit in between -- the Lions had completed their rally, securing a spot in Saturday's final. They finished in 8 minutes, 3.75 seconds, good for second behind Cumberland Valley in the preliminary heat and sixth overall.

"There's a bunch of great athletes, but they just took it slow," said Ethan Gatchell, who was taken aback by the race's opening pace. "Nobody wanted to go fast. I knew we needed to finish top four to get a guaranteed spot, and I just wanted to put our team in position for that."

Despite his feelings on the "slow" race, Gatchell added: "I don't care what our time is. I want to go for the school record tomorrow."

To do so, they will have to beat last week's mark of 7:55.93 in districts. Red Lion won the YAIAA championship with senior Nick McCabe running in place of Caleb Gatchell. Josh Pardoe, who led off Friday's race, said McCabe will run in his place Saturday.

What a rush: Gettysburg senior Arianna Camel had work quickly in the Class AAA high jump, where she just missed earning a medal with a tie for eighth. Camel jumped 5 feet, 2 inches in an event that Fleetwood sophomore Cyre Virgo set a PIAA record of 5-11 1/4. Virgo was 5 3/4 inches better than the second-place finisher.

Camel, meanwhile, had to quickly hustle from the high jump to the 100-meter hurdles, which was called on the public address system while she jumped Friday morning.

"Sometimes you just feel rushed in that position," said Camel, who got to the hurdles just in time to advance to Saturday's semifinals. Her fourth-place time of 15.51 in her heat ranked her 15th overall among 16 advancing times.

More looking ahead: Central York junior Jay Stone will race again Saturday in the 110 hurdles but not the 300 event, where he was seeded second. Stone finished third in a tight 300-meter preliminary by just two-tenths of a second. The winning time advanced, but not Stone's 40.20. He ran the 110 in 14.82, good for second in his heat and 10th overall.

While Stone is established on the track, South Western freshman Lynne Mooradian is still making a name for herself.

Mooradian ran the Class AAA girls' 100 dash in 12.11. She finished second in her heat and third overall to make Day 2.

Mooradian's bid in the 200 came to an end with a fifth-place finish in her heat. In that same race, Susquehannock junior Alesha Herman raced to second in 25:44. She advanced with the third-fastest time among the four heats.

Still in the hunt: Fairfield's Sarah Hunt finished 10th in the Class AA long jump at 16-6. She placed one spot better than her seed entering Friday, but she still has Saturday's triple jump. Hunt will enter as the sixth seed for that.

Bermudian Springs junior Rachel Crane will race another day in the 800 Class AA run. Crane finished third in her heat and eighth overall with a time of 2:21.31.

Bowing out: A week after winning the District 3 title, the South Western girls' 400 relay team won't get a chance to compete Saturday for a PIAA title in Class AAA. The Mustangs ran a 50.37, third in their heat and 11th overall. A heat earlier in the same event, William Penn's girls clocked in at 50.90. They were fifth in their heat. ... Dallastown sophomore TT Purnell ran a 46.59 in her Class AAA 300 hurdles. She finished third in her heat and 11th overall. ... Bermudian Springs' Elana Keller finished fifth in her heat of the Class AA 100. She ran a 16.38 ... Brady Wilt of Biglerville and Xavier Sauvageau of Littlestown each finished in the top 10 of their heats during the boys' 1,600 preliminaries, but both saw their seasons end with those races. Wilt, a sophomore in Class AA, was ninth. Sauvageau, a senior in Class AAA, was 10th. ... York County Tech senior Cody Lehr raced past Ronald Henderson and his onlookers in the stands near the triple-jump pit near the front of the pack for the Class AAA 400 but finished sixth.

@mgoul; 771-2045.


PIAA PERFORMANCE LISTS
Boys: Class AAA | Class AA
Girls: Class AAA | Class AA

Related coverage

  • Results, stories, photos and videos from the District 3 track and field championships.

  • Stories and videos from the Lancaster-Lebanon meet.

  • Stories and videos from the Lancaster-Lebanon meet.

  • Results from the Mid-Penn and District 5 meets.

  • Day 2 coverage of the PIAA track and field championships.