SHIPPENSBURG >> The rainy forecast entering Friday's District 3 Track and Field Championships caused concern for Red Lion senior Amanda Myers.
A noon start was pushed back two hours at Shippensburg University. That meant Myers had to wait a little longer to throw the javelin.
"It was different, coming in with the rain," she said. "It's a challenge."
Myers acknowledged the clearer skies by Friday's 2 p.m. start helped ease her day, as she placed second in the girls' Class AAA event. Her best throw of 129 feet, 7 inches was short of Steph Sievers' winning 131-10 for Daniel Boone and ahead of two other YAIAA competitors: York County Tech sophomore D'Shanna Edwards finished seventh and Dallastown freshman Lillian Cook was eighth, both just missing next week's state meet back at Shippensburg.
Myers, though, will be back.
"I got a lot to fix still with my form, of course," she said. "I'm just going to try hard and work hard this week. That way, hopefully, I can move up next week."
Myers set such a precedent last year after finishing sixth in districts and eighth at states, where she set what was personal record of 129-2.
That came on a cold, windy day in comparison to Friday, which turned out to be calm.
"I think she'll be amped up for states," coach Jason Smith said.
Myers' best javelin throw this season was 143-10.
Stories from the meet
Standards and practices >> Three girls in the Class AAA 100 semifinals met state-qualifying standards with their runs yet failed to qualify for today's final.
Two of them were South Western's Makenzie Wall and Red Lion's Cassidy Barshinger. Both seniors, Wall ran a 12.61 and Barshinger a 12.65 – ahead of the state standard 12.67.
"This crop in District 3, and really York County, the girls are loaded with talent right now," said Barshinger's coach, Jason Smith. "They're going to make waves in the state competition, too, but it's really tough right now if you're a sprinter to move on."
Barshinger knows that competition well from her own team. Angelica Gonzalez returned to the track for the 100 and qualified for today's finals with a time of 12.46 in the semifinals.
It was good for third in her heat and fifth overall.
A week ago, Gonzalez did not know whether she would be able to run at this meet. She aggravated her hamstring after winning YAIAA gold in last week's long jump. The setback forced her to pull out of the 100 and 200 last week at Dallastown. At districts, it kept her from jumping and forced her to pull out of the 200 on Friday, Smith said.
A year ago, it kept her from competing at districts and states following a breakout freshman season.
"It's not something serious where it's going to tear, but it's really painful," Smith said. "We're just trying to make it as bearable as possible."
Gonzalez made use of two adjustments to grind through the 100. She had felt pain running out of the blocks, Smith said, so Gonzalez ran her first preliminary Friday without them. Gonzalez also changed the tape on her leg, as William Penn coach Tony Jones provided an assist with his inventory of wraps.
"All of our York County coaches, we're all teammates when it comes to districts," Smith said. "We're competitors in the county, but when we come here, we root on each other. That's a great showing of support."
Running to Day 2 >> William Penn senior Greg Freeland knows the pain of hamstring injuries. The nagging injury kept him off the track enough last year that he failed to qualify for districts.
Today, he will compete in his first district finals for the 100 and 400 relay.
"It's going to be my first time, but I'm not really looking at it like that," Freeland said. "I was able to get through rounds easy. At times I was comfortable running. I could have run better."
Freeland and his 400 relay teammates received a surprise Thursday when their coach, Tony Jones, got a call that two teams ahead of them were scratched from the event. As for the 100, Freeland advanced to the finals in 11.38. He finished third in his semifinal heat and eighth overall, good for the last spot and just a tenth of a second ahead of West York junior Abdul Junaid.
Freeland edged Junaid a week ago in the 100 at the YAIAA championships. After their district semifinal, they glanced at the Seth Grove Stadium scoreboard showing their times. Junaid looked to Freeland and proclaimed, "Again?!"
One more week >> New Oxford's Aaron Gebart and Dallastown's Patrick Reilly guaranteed themselves one more run next week. The distance running rivals finished second and third in the Class AAA 3,200, and Gebhart bested Reilly in 9:16.15.
The performance qualified both for next week's state meet, and they still have today's 1,600.
Last week, Gebhart finished second to Reilly in both distance events at the YAIAA championships.
"He's been a great competitor the whole four years," said Gebhart, a junior. "My first race, I still remember it my freshman year on my track. I thought I was going to get second to (Dallastown's) Adam Katora, but he came running around and beat me on the finish. I'm going to miss him because we're the biggest rivals ever. We go at it every time we run against each other. We're looking for a good race."
That rivalry was in danger when Gebhart suffered a stress fracture in his shin during the winter. A plate in his shoe to combat the injury led to tendinitis in his foot. It kept him from training much heading into this spring.
"I'm starting to drop time like I wanted," Gebhart said. "I'm really happy. Next week, I finally punch my ticket to states in track."
He also needs to catch Lower Dauphin senior Jeff Groh, who won Friday's 3,200 in 9:13.91.
"The goal is 9:05 next week," Gebhart said with a smile.
One last stand >> Central York senior Erik Ramirez took the medal stand a little disappointed with his eighth-place finish after a top shot-put throw of 47-11.
The effort concluded his high school career.
"I thought it'd be a little more than it is," he said, "but it isn't all bad."
Not when Ramirez is bound for Princeton. He will play football and major in international affairs and public policy.
"It's been a wild ride," the 6-2, 255-pounder said, "looking back from where I was to where I am now."
A little too high >> Littlestown's Lucas Reynolds was the last of three area competitors in the AAA high jump. Along with Northeastern senior Matthew Beck and York Suburban sophomore Phillip Marshall, all three were eliminated before the finals.
Reynolds was the last in contention as he just missed three jumps at 6-2.
Beck, who repeated as the YAIAA high jump champion and had a PR of 6-4, was in his first district appearance. Reynolds also had jumped 6-4 this season after an injury kept him out of last week's league meet.
Harman hangs on >> Even after leaping for a state qualifying distance, Erin Harman was still sweating.
Last year as a junior, she had cruised to PIAA-qualifying third place with a jump seven inches shorter than her 36-11.5 that she cranked out in the Class AAA triple jump on Friday. That jump landed her tied for fifth.
But with eight competitors leaping state qualifying distances, Harman kept an ear out. If she didn't medal at districts, she wouldn't go to the state tournament, as a maximum of eight qualify from each district.
Harman didn't make her peak distance until her final jump. Before that, she sat at 36-7, barely edging out eighth-place medalist Mya Christopher from Hershey, who finished with a 36-6.25.
"I was watching everyone else jump, definitely," she said. "I knew I had to use every jump to the best of my ability. There are freshmen out here jumping just as well as me. It definitely pushes you."
A complete week of rest allowed Harman to move faster on the runway, but also threw off her steps leading up to her first phase.
"On the last jump, I was on the back of the board, so I probably would have had another six inches," she said. "It's encouraging for next week, but that would have been the school record if I'd been dead on."
South Western's volunteer assistant Inayah Roach is the current record holder with a 37-3.