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Mooradian sets school record in 300 hurdles, breaks her own Arctic Blast Invitational record in 100 dash

South Western coach Bruce Lee typically doesn't like to strain his athletes too much at invitationals, preferring to conserve their energy for dual meets during the week. But when it comes to junior Lynne Mooradian, he's just fine letting her do as many events as possible.

Mooradian, a three-time state medalist, competed in the maximum-allowed four events at Saturday's Arctic Blast Invitational at Northern York and walked away with first-place medals in three individual events and a fourth-place ribbon in the 400 relay. She broke her own meet record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.55 seconds, won the 400 run in 1:01.37 and took first in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles, an event she just started running this season. Her time of 45.27 seconds in the 300 hurdles set the Mustangs school record and shattered the previous meet record of 46.55 seconds.

"She's not just one of the best, she is the best," said Spring Grove sophomore Zoe Stauffer, who finished second behind Mooradian in the 300 hurdles. "I was just happy to be able to compete with her."

Mooradian credits joining the swim team this past winter as one of the biggest reasons she's performing at a record-breaking level this early in the season, especially considering how poor weather has kept the Mustangs off the track several times. Lee agrees that swimming benefitted his sprinter greatly, even though she didn't excel at the sport.

"It's good cardiovascular-wise and really builds up your upper body well. I really liked it because we run her so much, and it took some of the stress off the legs and keeps her a little fresher," he said. "Still stay in shape but take the pounding off the legs."

While it's rare for most athletes, running four events is nothing new for Mooradian, who competed in four events at last year's PIAA state championships. She even competed — and won a regional title — in a Junior Olympics heptathlon last summer, which is when she began hurdling. The 300 hurdles replaces the 200 dash in her repertoire.

"I'm kind of used to scoring like 20 points for the team, so when I don't do that it feels like I had a bad day," she said. "I just love to compete. If I could do more than four, I'd probably do it."

She scored 34 points, including the relay, on Saturday as the Mustangs took fourth place behind Northern, York Suburban and Delone Catholic. But Lee cautions that he might keep Mooradian to just two or three events this postseason.

"Last year was the first year at the district meet and the state meet that we went for four events, and that was really only because our 400 relay was so good," he said. "That opportunity only comes around once, and we wanted to run that."

STAUFFER SETS PR, WINS 100 HURDLES >> It might be time to learn how to pronounce Zoe Stauffer's name.

The PA announcer at the Arctic Blast Invitational kept pronouncing the Spring Grove sophomore's name as "Zo" instead of "Zo-E," and he said her name several times as she finished at the front of the pack in three races.

In addition to placing second behind Mooradian in the 300 hurdles, Stauffer won her preliminary heat of the 100 high hurdles, then set a personal-record 16.91 seconds on the way to winning the finals.

"I'm happy, I'm very happy with it," she said. "This year it's my goal to get to districts, and by my senior year I want to get to states."

She said her new personal record may already be good enough to qualify for districts, but approximates that she'll need to get her time to the mid-16s to assure herself that opportunity.

GETTYSBURG BOYS DOMINATE JUMPS, TAKE SECOND >> The Warriors won four boys' events, and three of them came in the jumps. Early in the day, Wade Laudeman and Kobe Wansel tied for the meet record in the long jump with jumps of 21 feet, 9.25 inches, and both continued to rack up points. So did Ravaugh Dillard, who placed third behind his teammates in the long jump and won the triple jump with a leap of 45 feet, also a meet record.

Wansel placed second behind Dillard in the triple jump, Nate Sharrah won the pole vault and Laudeman was the Warrior boys' only non-jumping winner by earning first in the javelin with a throw of 180 feet, four inches.

On the girls' side, Gettysburg took sixth as a team. Their best event came in the 200, which Suzanna Abele won in 27.1 seconds and teammate Genesis Mercedes took second.

HANOVER-ADAMS AREA TEAMS TAKE FOUR RELAYS>> The Delone Catholic girls' relay teams scored major points for the Squirettes on the way to their third-place team finish. The 400 relay, anchored by Brianna Millken, took first place and the 1,600 and 3,200 relays both took second place.

On the boys' side, Brady Thayer anchored South Western's winning 400 relay team. He also placed second in the 300 hurdles and fourth in the 100 hurdles.

The Littlestown boys 3,200 relay won its event by more than two seconds, and the Thunderbolts squandered a lead going into the final lap of the 1,600 relay to finish second. Camp Hill, which won the boys' meet, won that relay.

WILLIS TIES RECORD FOR BOBCATS >> Northeastern freshman Taemar Willis has steadily increased his PR in the high jump early this season and earned a part of an Arctic Blast record 6-4 to win that event.

Willis became the second Northeastern athlete within a year reach the mark, which is now shared by four high jumpers. Graduated YAIAA champion Matt Beck high jumped 6-4 last year at Northern.

"We've got a pretty good run of high jumpers here," Northeastern coach Jeff Mesich said. "I can't complain. They make me look like I know what I'm doing."

On the girls' side, Kirstin Josey is recovering from an injury but finished all of her jumps. She isn't alone as teammates Ben Linne and Hannah Schell also are recouping from injuries. Schell, a junior, finished third in the 100 hurdles and led the girls' effort with freshman Brittany Arentz, who added a third-place finish in the long jump.

Linne, who missed a few boys' races with a knee injury to start the season, won Saturday's 3,200 in 10:06.

"The first two meets we were basically running him as workouts," Mesich said. "Today we kind of let him loose."