YAIAA boys' track: West York thrower breaks own record
The league's best track and field athletes gathered at Dallastown Friday for the YAIAA Track and Field Championships. Jim Seip, GameTimePA
West York thrower Luke Hoffman has certainly come a long way from the 130-pound freshman.
Now a 200-pound senior, Hoffman not only defended his 2016 discus title at Friday’s YAIAA championship, but he also broke the meet record he set last spring.
“I definitely feel like I can pull the disc more than I could freshman year,” he said.
Hoffman’s record-setting toss went 183 feet, 5 inches, nearly 20 feet farther than his 2016 effort.
Surprisingly, breaking his own record wasn’t a goal.
“You just want to go for a PR. Anything counts, if it’s an inch PR, it’s an inch PR,” Hoffman said. “You want to live up to that every meet, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. You keep working at it and don’t get frustrated.”
Although he didn’t reach his PR, a Bulldogs’ record of 193-5, Hoffman had little trouble with less-than-stellar conditions on a cold, sometimes rainy night at Dallastown.
“It wasn’t really that bad today. You just try to keep your hands warm. You don’t want them sticking,” he said. “Today was pretty humid, so you just chalk up.”
Compact hurdler makes up for last season
While he’s not the tallest of athletes, especially for a hurdler, Red Lion’s Dominic Eyler nonetheless can soar. And he certainly soared Friday, winning the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.75.
“Technique is everything. If you are not getting over the hurdles, it is slowing you way down,” he said. “If you are hitting them all, the times aren’t going to be there.”
Of course, on Friday, Eyler had extra incentive to do well. One year ago, he disqualified at the YAIAA championships, and he made sure not to repeat that as a senior.
“This year I wanted to focus on not pushing any hurdles down. I wanted to make sure I cleared and I just wanted to redeem myself for last year,” he said. “I was trying to stay relaxed and not psych myself out.”
Eyler finished only .04 ahead of Bermudian Springs Trevor Grim.
Tumbling to victory
York County Tech junior Evan Schlosser knew he was going to fall down at the end of the 3,200 run on Friday.
“I was tripping from 50 meters in,” he laughed. “I was sprinting so hard I kind of fell over. I was just trying to hit the line before I fell over. Once I hit the line, I was like, ‘Oh, oh, I am going down.’”
Battling with Dallastown’s Bryce Gable, Schlosser had no idea what happened after he tumbled right at the finish line, causing scrapes on both arms and shoulders.
“That was my first question when the trainer came over. He was like, ‘Are you OK?’ and I asked, 'Did I win?' Again, he asked, ‘Are you OK?’ and I asked, 'Did I win?'” said Schlosser. “He said, 'Yes' and I was like, 'I am fine.'”
Schlosser’s winning time of 9:57.74 was .08 ahead of Gable in an incredibly close race.
“That was kind of crazy,” Schlosser said. “I could hear him breathe, I could hear his feet. I was just trying to hang on for as long as possible and was thinking, stay on your feet. Stay on your feet. I was happy to PR. I am very blessed to be here.”
Quite a first season
When he thinks about it, Dallastown’s Joseph Munoz is surprised. After all, the senior just started throwing the javelin this year.
On Friday night, Munoz won the YAIAA championship with his throw of 156-3, less than a foot farther than South Western’s Nathan VanCampen.
“I didn’t think I would do as well as I did. I didn’t think I was going to get anywhere,” Munoz said. “I thought I was going to throw 110, probably max 120, but I pushed through, did the best I could and kept practicing every single day.”
Constantly working on his technique and footwork was the key to Munoz becoming a champion.
“I had a great coach and team behind me that pushed me through it,” he said. “We tried to work on technique and pushing each other every day.”
Making the most of final YAIAA meet
While most runners are quick to say that as long as they set a personal record, where they finish isn’t as important.
However, as a senior, Eastern York 800-meter runner Nathan Lopez was quick to refute that statement.
“There was a lot of sentimental value in (winning) it,” he said. “I started running the 800 last year. I ran here and took fourth place, so I wanted to improve and seeing how I was the top seed I wanted to finish on a strong note.”
Lopez did just that, running a 1:56.74 to win gold, by more than three seconds in front of Dallastown’s Patrick Jacobson.
“I think I managed to keep my own pace pretty well and the race played out the way I wanted it to for sure,” Lopez added.