McKenzie Gelvin 'above average' for McConnellsburg
It hasn't taken long for the legend of McKenzie Gelvin to spread from McConnellsburg to District 5 to all over the midstate.
And if the freakishly fast junior continues on the path she's on, the rest of the PIAA will know her name as well.
Gelvin, a student at Forbes Road who runs track for McConnellsburg, was a standout on the big stage at Saturday's 90th Shippensburg University High School Invitational. She claimed wins in the 400 (58.37) and 800 (2:18.17) and leapt for a personal-best mark of 16-9.5 in the long jump to give her fourth place.
Gelvin, who smoked Millville's Morgan Bower (59.9) to win the 400, said she doesn't mind carrying the banner for the small-school athletes.
"When you come from such a small area, it's tough to get yourself out there," Gelvin said. "I think my performance helps show that small schools have more than just average people."
Gelvin was just one of two Spartans who helped prove that. McConnellsburg also got a silver medal from Connor Johnson, who took second in the shot put with a throw of 47-4.5.
Just last week, Gelvin achieved her goal of breaking the school record in the 400, and this week, she broke her own school record in the 800.
There's only one thing Gelvin wants now: A spot on that PIAA medal stand.
"These invitationals are a little intimidating, but I like coming because that's what pushes me and makes me better," Gelvin said. "To get that medal at states, I'm going to have to keep working hard and staying mentally tough."
Johnson was the only other medal winner for McConnellsburg, and it was his first throw of the day that got him second place.
"My first throw was definitely by far my best," Johnson said. "I stayed focused, I was determined on the job I had to do, and I did it. I established myself as the person to beat at districts."
Like Gelvin, Johnson said the competition pushed him to do his best, and proving himself as a Spartan certainly didn't hurt either.
"I mean, it shows that we're not the small school that doesn't have anything," Johnson said. "We can be a forced to be reckoned with. I definitely didn't get first today, but at a big meet like that with the caliber of competition there, I was pretty excited."