Crest's Jones strikes gold in L-L triple jump
LANDISVILLE - Ariel Jones has a problem, and no one connected with the Cedar Crest track and field team is going to help her solve it.
Why would they? The fact that Jones can't seem to stop winning gold medals and setting records is a problem the Falcons - and Jones - have no desire to solve.
On the heels of a three-gold medal, three-county records performance at the Lebanon County meet two weeks ago, Jones continued a stellar senior season on Friday, snagging gold in the girls triple jump on the first day of competition at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships at Hempfield High School.
Jones, who captured the L-L long jump and high jump titles last season, added league triple jump champ to her resume with a career-best, school-record leap of 37 feet, 4 inches - one inch better than her county record of 37-3 - on her second jump of the finals.
That winning effort, combined with Hannah Woelfling's runner-up finish in the discus, helped the Falcons into a tie for second place in the team standings heading into Saturday's final day of competition.
Cedar Crest accumulated 18 points, as did Hempfield, while McCaskey leads the way with 31 points.
Yep, Jones just can't seem to stay off the top of the medal stand these days.
"It must be all the hot dogs she's eating," Cedar Crest coach Rob Bare said with a laugh, while expressing mock disapproval with Jones' food choices. "Not the best (weather) conditions to sprint or triple jump but there she goes and breaks her own school record. Winning that is huge, I'm really proud of where she's at."
For her part, Jones was not at all bothered by the gray, chilly conditions, winning by more than a foot over runner-up Stephanie Laudien of Hempfield. She had the best jump of the preliminaries with a 36-6, then nailed the 37-4 on her second jump of the finals to put the gold out of anyone else's reach.
"It's not too cold, and it's not too hot. I was prepared for the weather today," Jones said. "I had been working on my second phase at practice, trying to stay in the air as long as I can. I've been practicing a lot, and I got my rest. It feels good.
"I knew I could do it, I knew I could jump 37 again. But for it to actually happen, just feels good."
Woelfling didn't break any records on Friday, but she did bust through the 120-foot barrier for the first time in over a month with her silver medal heave of 121-8.
"I just wanted to do the best I could today," said Woelfling, who set the school record of 124-11 against McCaskey on April 3. "That's the first time I hit 120 since that day, so it's been a while. I'm just glad I'm back."
Bare was glad, too, and also pleased to see Destinee Holloman (100 dash), DeAsia Holloman (100 high hurdles) and Shayla Bonzelet (200 dash) qualify for Saturday's finals in their respective events and give the Falcons' team title hopes a boost in the process.
"Good start," Bare exclaimed. "I think it's gonna be a good three-way battle. McCaskey's got some big guns, Warwick's got some big guns, and we've got some pretty good kids, too. I'm thrilled with what happened tonight. We had some pleasant surprises, with DeAsia Holloman getting through to the finals, and everybody else took care of business. Good day."
Cedar Crest wasn't the only county school to bring home medals on Friday. Leading the non-Falcon trips to the podium was Lebanon's Juan Maldonado, who finished in a four-way tie for second in the boys high jump after clearing a personal-best 6 feet,2 inches.
Seeded first in Saturday's triple jump, Maldonado's co-runner up finish in the high jump made up for a disappointing 10th place effort in the long jump.
"It was a PR for me, I jumped 6-2 and it was a great day," Maldonado said. "I'm happy I got second place for high jump, I just didn't compete as well as I thought I was going to for long jump."
Also making their way to the medal stand on Friday were Lebanon's Phil Hillesheim (7th, long jump), Elco's Tyler Horst (7th, javelin), Cedar Crest's Jake Barrett (8th, 3200 run), Annville-Cleona's Stanley Miller (8th, long jump), and A-C's Kayla Long (tied for 7th, girls pole vault).
In addition, Annville-Cleona's Reagan Hess posted the top qualifying time in the girls 100 (12.33) before scratching out of the 200 to attend prom, while Miller and Cedar Crest's Blake Thomson qualified for both the 100 and 200 dash finals.