Live from the PIAA Track Championships: Day 1
SHIPPENSBURG -- Greetings all from Seth Grove Stadium on the campus of Shippensburg University, where the state's top track and field athletes have converged for Day 1 of the PIAA Track and Field Championships.
Today is mostly a day of preliminaries, although there will be several medals awarded in field events. There are a bunch of YAIAA athletes who are candidates to medal today, including Dover's Laura Rowlands (high jump), Delone's Janice Erbe (long jump) and Bermudian Springs' Georgia Williams, the defending state pole vault champion.
We'll be bringing you live updates todays from both the preliminary and finals events, so stay tuned.
5:53 -- Still a few prelim events finishing up here, but there are no other YAIAA athletes scheduled to run today. So with that in mind, I'll sign off for now from Shippensburg. We'll be back tomorrow with more live updates from Day 2 of the state track championships. Thanks for reading.
5:31 -- Prelims for the 200 meters are wrapping up now.
In girls' races, Delone's Sierra Moore advanced to tomorrow's AA semifinals with a time of 26.09. Central York's Khaddisha Arnold qualified for the semis with a time of 25.78.
In the boys' events, York Catholic's Deshi Illarza (22.87) moved on to the AA semis, while West York's Corey Harris (22.68) was unable to qualify in AAA.
4:24 -- There won't be any more medals handed out to YAIAA competitors today. The area's last medal hope for today, Littlestown sophomore Alyssa Reichart, finished tied for 11th in the Class AA high jump.
In other prelim news, Delone's Janice Erbe (girls' Class AA 300 hurdles) and York Cahtolic's Stephen Stankiewicz (boys' Class AA 800 meters) both qualified for the finals in their respective events.
3:59 --Two more medalists fresh off the podium.
Bermudian Springs' Rachael Kotula followed up on her outstanding showing at districts by taking sixth place in the Class AA discus with a throw of 119 feet, 4 inches.
Kotula said she was thrilled to make it to the podium, but she wasn't totally pleased with her throw.
"Everytime I come here I get psyched out," Kotula said smiling. "I try not to. Yesterday I came here for practice and I was throwing wonderful. And I can throw well when I'm warming up, but the minute I have to throw I crack under pressure."
The senior earned a fifth place medal in the discus last year at states.
Kotula has a chance to medal in three different events this year -- she'll compete in the shot put and javelin events tomorrow. Kotula is seeded eighth and tenth in those events, respectively.
Meanwhile, Delone's Kevin Brady earned first state medal, taking fifth in the Class AA pole vault with a height of 14-00. Brady won the District 3 title last week by vaulting a personal best 14-01.
On Friday, Brady cleared 14-00 on his third-and-final attempt at the height.
"It was a big relief," Brady said. "I was going into this meet really expecting to jump 14 now that I got it last week."
3.01 -- There have been a few new state record set today.
In the boys' AA javelin, St. Pius X's Thomas Lang recorded a record toss of 213-10. Incredibly, the second-place finisher, Lancaster Catholic's Kyle Smith, also beat the previous state record with a toss of 213-00.
In the girls' AA pole vault, Wilson Area's Allison Vanek bested a 10-year old state record by clearing 12-07.
And in the boys' AAA triple jump, Methacton's Carlton Lavong leaped a record 50 feet, 5 inches.
2:25 -- Little late on this update, but defending AA state pole vault champion Georgia Williams will not defend her title. The Bermudian senior could only clear 9-06 in the finals early, and did not come close to the top 8.
12:47 -- A pair of local athletes who won district championships last week are getting ready for the 12:30 p.m. field events.
Delone's Kevin Brady is a good bet to medal in the boys' AA pole vault, where he is seeded fourth (14-01).
Also, Littlestown's Alyssa Reichart is competing in the girls' AA high jump. She won districts last week with a mark of 5-02.
12:37 -- A few YAIAA athletes just barely missed out on the medal stand.
In the girls' AA long jump, Delone's Janice Erbe finished ninth with a mark of 17-01.25 -- 2.25 inches off the eighth-place finisher. Erbe's teammate, Mariah Robertson, finished tenth in the event (17-00.5).
In the girls' AAA shot put, Dallastown's Margo Britton also placed ninth with a distance of 38-04.5. She actually tied with the eighth-place finisher, Elizabethtown's Sarah Fairbanks, but Fairbanks won the tiebreaker.
One final note: Central York sprinter Khaddisha Arnold has qualifed for tomorrow's girls' AAA 100 meter dash semifinal. She placed fifth in preliminary heat, but advanced with a time of 12.61. Arnold placed seventh in the 100 last year.
11:37 -- Dover's Laura Rowlands takes third-place in the girls' Class AAA high jump, with a final height of 5-06. The mark was a new personal record for Rowlands, who placed fifth in this event last year.
"Once I was over 5-04, I relaxed because I knew I was on the medal stand," Rowlands said. "When I was jumping for 5-06, I felt comfortable."
Rowlands will try to at least match her finish tomorrow in the triple jump -- she's seeded third in that event, too.
Pennridge's Annie Holland won the high jump with a height of 5-09.
11:18 -- In boys' hurdles action, Bermudian's Brett Warner (14.96) won his Class AA 110 meter heat and will advance to tomorrow's semifinal. In Class AAA, William Penn's Braheem Harvey (14.97) placed third in his heat to move on to the semis.
10:54 -- Rowlands just cleared her first attempt at 5 feet, 6 inches. She's getting close to Top 3 territory now. The top seed in this event, Ambridge's India McCoy, had a qualifying height of 5-06.
10:45 -- Updates a little slow coming in here, but in the girls' Class AAA high jump, Dover's Laura Rowlands just cleared 5 feet, 4 inches, which should just about guarantee her a spot on the medal stand. And, of course, she's not done yet.
In the girls' 100 meter hurdles prelims, Delone Catholic seniors Mariah Robertson (15.73) and Janice Erbe (15.60) finished second and third, respectively, in their heats, meaning both will advance to tomorrow's semifinals.
9:09 -- The first preliminary track event of the day -- the 4x800 meter relay -- just got under way. More importantly, there are several YAIAA medal candidates competing in today's first round of field events. Bermudian's Williams is trying to rebound from a disappointing second-place finish at the District 3 meet, while Dover's Rowlands will be in action in the Class AAA high jump. She won gold at districts in this event last week.