Yourkavitch places 5th in 3200, earns 1st state medal
Seeded second in the girls Class AAA 3200 race at the PIAA Track & Field Championships, Chambersburg's Abby Yourkavitch had already exceeded expectations from last year, jumping a full 12 spots from a 14 seed between her freshman and sophomore years.
But after a year of pacing herself with Mady Clahane of Cumberland Valley, Yourkavitch entered the 2-mile race against an unfamiliar opponent, Aislinn Devlin of Downingtown West, who earned the top seed with a qualifying time a full six seconds faster than No. 2 Yourkavitch.
Yourkavitch started strong, like most races, but fell to place fifth with a time of 10:48.52, to earn her first state track medal.
"It's hard not (placing higher), but I got my first track state medal and that's comforting. It's been a great year," Yourkavitch said. "I didn't have a great race last year (in the 3200), but finishing 11 spots higher is huge."
Clahane and Yourkavitch have battled the entire year between cross country and track, but when Clahane opted out of the 3200 race at the state championships (she won the 1600), Yourkavitch was forced to change her approach.
"It's a lot harder (without Mady)," Yourkavitch said. "I started to go around (Devlin) and keep her pace but I should have known that everyone runs different, and think I just kind of fell off."
Chambersburg's Kaylee Mowery also competed in the 3200; she completed the race in 11:25.58.
Greencastle-Antrim's Liam Okal competed in the boys AAA 200 semifinal, placing sixth in his heat with a time of 22.18. He was bumped out of a spot in the finals by just 0.2 seconds. Campbell Parker, also of Greencastle competed in the AAA discus, but also did not make the finals. His best throw of 154-06 was seven feet short of his qualifying mark of 161-0 and more than 21 short of his season best throw.
Chambersburg Kelton Chastulik also competed in the AAA discus, with his finest throw of the day making it just past the 150 mark, 13 feet short of his qualifying throw of 163-1.