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District 3 Class AAA track and field: Painful end to Junaid's West York run

SHIPPENSBURG >> About 30 minutes before his race, Abdul Junaid remained cautious.

He's been that way for the last three weeks.

The West York sprinter and YAIAA champion in the 100-meter dash massaged the back of his leg while pacing around the infield Friday before his preliminary run at the District 3 track and field championships at Shippensburg University. He hasn't been at full strength since a hamstring injury suffered in the Bulldogs' last dual meet of the season.

Last week, Junaid powered through for a league title. He even set a school record in 10.8 seconds despite aggravating his injury late in the sprint.

"He would have had a better time than 10.8," coach Julia Haynes said.

The effort still sent him into Friday's 100-meter trials as the top seed in Class AAA. With intentions to walk on to the Duquesne track team next year, Junaid's high school career ended on his opening run. He stormed out of the blocks, grimaced and slowed a third of the way through.

"As soon as I got out of the blocks, it felt like someone was stabbing me in the leg," Junaid said.

For a moment, Junaid tried to block out the pain and finished in 12.83. His legs were heavily taped Friday, as they were for his two races since the injury at York Suburban. Those final two sprints wound up being his best and most painful.

Junaid reflected back to April when he ran on this track for the Shippensburg Invitational, winning the 100 and placing second in the 200. A late-developing runner hoping to qualify for his first state meet, Junaid entered as the eighth seed in the 200. Friday, he withdrew from that, just as he did last week after his league victory in the 100.

"It really, really sucks because I know I could have won," said Junaid, who retreated to the stands at Seth Grove Stadium and watched the ensuing races.

Friday's complete results from the District 3 track and field championships

Just across the track, senior teammate Andrew Moyer neared his own school record in the pole vault.

Moyer cleared 13 feet before exiting to prepare for his 110 hurdle semifinal. Haynes summoned him to return to finish the vault. There, his vaulting career came to a close.

A few minutes later, his time in the 110 hurdles nearly ended.

Moyer finished fourth in his semifinal heat. Afterward, he waited alone behind an infield tent, unsure if his run qualified for Saturday's final. The top eight advanced, and Moyer's name was one of the last to be called.

"It was tough to hold it out," Moyer said. "Fortunately I squeezed it."

Along with Dover senior Shane Orchard, who secured the last spot, Moyer and Dallastown's Owen Ritter advanced to the 110 hurdles final at 10 a.m. Saturday.