Reporters vs. athletes in F-F All-Star Challenge
This spring encompassed a lot of top performances from Franklin and Fulton track & field athletes: Five top-five finishes at states, 32 district medals between Districts 3 and 5, with a multitude of school, meet and district records thrown in — not to mention a local appearance at the New Balance Outdoor National Championships.
So what happens when you pit the area’s top track & field athletes against two sports reporters?
Well, we all remember how well the game of two-on-two basketball went for Lizi Arbogast and Lindsey Smith.
But, like any great competitor, they’re back in the saddle again, and this time they’re taking it to the track for the GameTimePA Franklin-Fulton All-Star Challenge. To view the full video, visit GameTimePA.com.
Meet the athletes
ABBY YOURKAVITCH, Chambersburg, so., distance: Yourkavitch quickly emerged as one of the area’s top distance runners as a freshman. But with an extra year of high school competition under her spikes, Yourkavitch stepped onto the PIAA podium for the first time with a fifth-place finish in the 3,200. She also broke the school record in the 3,200 this season and held the area’s best time in the mile.
MCKENZIE GELVIN, McConnellsburg, jr., sprints: Gelvin was the talk of Fulton County this season after exploding onto the scene as the one to beat in the girls 400 and 800 races. But she also made a splash in the long jump, earning the area’s best title in her first year competing in the event. Gelvin holds two top-five state finishes, and a pair of District 5 gold medals, in which she won in record-breaking fashion. She broke two District 5 meet records.
CAMPBELL PARKER, Greencastle-Antrim, jr., throws: Parker made it known at the beginning of the year that his passion is in the discus, but he made it clear throughout the season that he can compete, and compete well, in the shot put as well. Parker placed third in the discus and fifth in the shot put at the District 3 Championships, earning a spot in the PIAA meet. He also competed in the New Balance Outdoor National Championships, and set a school record in the discus this season.
KAYLEE MOWERY, Chambersburg, so., distance: Mowery is Yourkavitch’s partner in both cross country and track & field distance running. She placed fifth in the 3,200 at the District 3 track & field meet to qualify her for a spot in states, in which she completed the race in 11:25.58. Mowery was also a part of the area’s top girls 4x800 relay team.
LIAM OKAL, Greencastle-Antrim, sr., sprints: Okal holds an impressive collection of medals in the 100 and 200 sprints, claiming silver medals in each event at the Mid Penn Conference Championships. He also placed second in the 200 at the District 3 Championships after crossing the finish line just nine-tenths of a second behind the winner. Okal also broke two schools records this season - the 200 and the 400, which he ran just once.
KELTON CHASTULIK, Chambersburg, jr., throws: Like Parker, Chastulik found his top event and ran with it this season. As the area’s top thrower in the shot put, Chastulik worked his way through the season gaining medal after medal in the shot, but his most esteemed performance of the year came in the discus, when he placed second at the District 3 Championships to qualify him for a place in the PIAA meet. He also placed eighth in the shot put for a District 3 podium finish.
CELINA MERCHANT, Southern Fulton, sr., hurdles: By the end of the season, Merchant was declared Southern Fulton’s most decorated athlete in school history, and for good reason. Merchant claimed gold in the 300 hurdles at the District 5 meet for the second-straight year, and took home her eighth district gold medal between three sports. She holds the area’s best title in the 300 hurdles.
Although not every athlete was included in the All-Star Challenge, there were several other successes from around the area.
ISIUWA OGHAGBON, Mercersburg Academy: Oghagbon brought home a pair of golds (shot put, discus) from the PAISAA championships, and took third in the javelin.
JENAY FAULKNER, Greencastle-Antrim: Faulkner made it all the way to fourth place in the Class AAA shot put at the PIAA Championships.
FINLEY STEWART, Mercersburg Academy: Stewart won the 100 at the PAISAA championships, and broke the school record in the 400 for third place.
MYLES BRAXTON, Chambersburg: Braxton hit a personal record of 52-1 in the shot put at districts, earning a sixth-place medal and a place in states.
JOSH BOOTH, McConnellsburg: After taking second at districts, Booth placed fifth in the state in the Class AA 300 hurdles.
GABRIEL ALLGAYER, Mercersburg: Allgayer was second in the 3,200 at the PAISAA meet, and broke a school record in the event this year.
CHASE VARNER, Southern Fulton: Varner advanced to states in the 800 after winning gold in the District 5 meet; he broke the school record at states.
LAUREN HIRNEISEN, Greencastle-Antrim: Hirneisen placed eighth in the 1,600 at the District 3 Championships, and finished in a state-qualifying time.
CONNOR JOHNSON, McConnellsburg: Johnson advanced to states after being marked an alternate in the shot put; he was second-best in District 5.
SARAH WRIGHT, Southern Fulton: Wright advanced to states by breaking her own school record in the javelin, winning District 5.
LIZZIE PEPPERNICK, Fannett-Metal: Peppernick won the gold medal in the discus at the District 5 meet, advancing for states.