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Cwiklinski breaks York County Tech record at White Rose Invitational

Thad Cwiklinski needed a shower. Fast.

Upon his completion of the boys' 400-meter run Saturday at Central York's White Rose Invitational, Cwiklinski no longer had racing on his mind.

"I don't want to show up like this. She might be a little upset," said Cwiklinski, sweaty while the sun beamed down on him from a row of stands.

"She" is the reason Cwiklinski wasn't sticking around for the 800, which he kind of wanted to run. It was only 20 minutes later, but York Catholic's prom gave little time to spare.

The senior runs for York County Tech as part of the schools' co-op. He darted out of Central York High School only knowing he finished second in the 400.

He didn't know his official time: 49.6 seconds.

"My coach said it might have gone sub-50," Cwiklinski said before leaving. "So I'm hoping to possibly get York Tech's record, at least."

He did.

Cwiklinski might just be finding out, but his time eclipsed a 2-year-old program mark of 49.96 owned by Cody Lehr. The lone run by the tall mid-distance runner Saturday accentuated a positive day for Tech athletes.

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The Spartans' 400 relay team took one of two girls' races for the event and Kirstyn Evans placed second in the high jump.

A state qualifier last year, Evans finished behind Central Dauphin East's Justyn Roberts. Roberts cleared 5 feet, 4 inches for the Panthers, one of a half-dozen District 3 programs participating from outside York County. Milton Hershey garnered the most overall points among boys' and girls' teams combined, while Northern Lebanon scored the most boys' points. Milton Hershey topped the girls' meet.

For Tech coach Bradley Snell, team results didn't matter.

"Overall, it was a good day," he said. "Very proud of them."

While Snell's 400 relay team of Jessica Brett, D'Shanna Edwards, Genesis Garret and Judy Barton won their heat in 53.7, the time was seventh overall when compared to the second heat. However, do any of those teams have a field-event thrower running the second leg?

Edwards proclaimed to Snell last year that she could run the 100.

When Snell put her to the test in a run-off during practice, she finished third behind two current relay teammates. A junior in her second season of track and field, Edwards is taking to surprising some.

"They say they've never seen a thrower sprint before," she said.

Edwards also threw to a second-place finish Saturday in the shot put. It took a White Rose record heave of 43-9 1/2 by Courtney McCartney of Selinsgrove. McCartney broke the old record by 4 feet.

It also took a record run by Milton Hershey's Ahmir Manning to beat Cwiklinski in the 400. Manning's 49.11 and Cwiklinski's 49.6 bettered the 17-year-old White Rose standard. Not knowing his feat, Cwiklinski kidded the White Rose has been a "curse" for him.

He barely missed last year's meet after taking the SAT. Cwiklinski's father drove him to Central while he changed in the car. Fifteen minutes away, his coach called to tell him he was too late.

He would not take that chance this year with his date.

ROSY RECORD >> Central York junior Alexis Baublitz didn't think she would reach 11 feet in the girls' pole vault.

She did last week to set the Panthers' record. When she cleared 11-0 again Saturday, Baublitz set a new White Rose Invitational record by a half foot.

Her parents, Brent and Amy Baublitz watched from behind a nearby fence that oversees the vaulting area. Once Alexis finished her record vault, mom and dad walked into the infield. They weren't necessarily congratulating her. They volunteered to set the bar for the boys' pole vault.

The parents also were careful not to volunteer for the girls' event.

"We were afraid we'd make her nervous," Brent Baublitz said.

NO MORE PODIUM >> Winners were not presented medals on a podium Saturday, a move Central coach Chris Detwiler called a time saver.

"Typically, we were getting bottlenecked at the end, waiting for kids to gather," he said. "We saw some other invitationals where they just bag the medals for each school and give it to the coach."

So Central adopted the policy.

QUICK TURNAROUND >> Dallastown and Red Lion competed despite participating Friday night at the Nike Henderson Invitational in West Chester.

Dallastown returned around 1 a.m. Saturday morning. Its bus left for Central York around 7 a.m., but athletes were allowed to drive if they attended both events. The appeal of West Chester is the competition. Most of the state's top runners were in attendance. The boys' 100 had 10 heats.

"I think in the boys' 2-mile, the top eight times in the state were ran," Red Lion girls' coach Jason Smith said. "That's top-level competition for most events."

Athletes from Dallastown and Red Lion either ran exclusively Friday or split their events between the two days. Wildcats sophomore Taylor Forrester, who ran girls' hurdles and triple jumped Friday, came back Saturday to win the 100 hurdles.

Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.

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