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Bermudian Springs building for next spring

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The timing will be almost perfect for the Bermudian Springs boys' track team.

Right as a new cycle of PIAA classifications starts next school year, some of the Eagles top talent will head into their junior and senior years. The new cycle sends the Bermudian Springs boys' team down from Class AAA to Class AA, meaning slower times and shorter distances can earn Eagles athletes spots in districts and states.

Enrollment at Bermudian Springs, as well as at rival Littlestown, lingers so close to the dividing line that, in the current cycle, both schools' girls' teams compete in Class AA but both boys' teams compete in Class AAA. Starting next fall, the athletes in both genders will have the same opportunity to make postseason runs.

“I’m glad it came around for guys like Trevor Grim, Chad Long and Devon Hodgen," Bermudian Springs coach Chris King said, referring to some of his key contributors this season. "They’ll have a chance now.”

The Eagles are 3-2 in dual meets so far this season, with the two losses coming by a grand total of eight points. Grim and Hodgen, both juniors, and Long and Darren Beall, both sophomores, have accounted for many points in those meets.

Grim is one of the YAIAA leaders in the 110 and 300 hurdles, finishing in 15.8 seconds to win the 110 at the Arctic Blast Invitational and a time of 41.08 to win the 300 at the Adams County Invitational. Hodgen has the second-best winning triple jump distance in the YAIAA behind the defending Class AAA state champion, Ravaughn Dillard, with a leap of 41 feet. He also has the third-best winning long jump distance in the league at 20-11.

Long won the Adams County Invitational 800 run title with a time of 2 minutes, 5.04 seconds, while Beall's best winning pole vault height of 11 feet, 6 inches is tied for third in the league.

As impressive as those times and distances are locally, none of them meet the District 3 Class AAA qualifying standards. But Grim and Hodgen would surpass the District 3 Class AA qualifying standards in both of their events, and Long and Beall would be close.

“If we were AA my freshman year, I would’ve gone to states and placed in the 300 hurdles based on my times,” Grim said. “But I didn't even go to districts. That doesn’t make me happy.”

While it might be frustrating at times, new opportunity awaits all of the Eagles underclassmen next year. It's something that King talks to his athletes about to keep them motivated.

“They know a lot of these times and distances are tough to get to, but it gives them something to shoot for and try to reach," King said. They know if they can get close to that, they’ll be right there next year.”