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Athletes compete for Adams County track pride

Competition brought out the best in many athletes on Friday night in Gettysburg, as six of the seven schools in the county took part in the first Adams County Invitational.

Every team but Biglerville attended, and a handful of top athletes rested in preparation for Saturday's Shippensburg Invitational. But those who did compete felt excited by the opportunity to prove they're the best in the county.

The event especially excited athletes from New Oxford and Gettysburg, who are the only Adams County teams in YAIAA Division I and II, respectively, and typically have to drive 30 minutes or more to face division opponents in York County.

“There’s a lot of pride," New Oxford's Ayanna Johnson said of competing against the rest of the county. "You look at all the schools that are around you and you want to be the best in the county. It’s very nice to go around schools in Adams instead of going all the way to all the York schools.”

Johnson won the 100 and 200 dashes and was one of five athletes to win two individual medals, joining Gettysburg's Hannah Baddick, Delone Catholic's Tavian Dorsey and Kate Mowrey, and Bermudian Springs' Gabby Emeigh in that category. Gettysburg's Ravaughn Dillard was the only athlete to win three individual events.

Gettysburg won the boys team title, while Delone Catholic won the girls team title.

“It’s pretty cool, it’s a different atmosphere," Dillard said of the meet. "It’s like a home invitational, I feel like we have an advantage because it’s on our home field.”

Dillard adds high jump to repertoire

Last spring, Ravaughn Dillard tied the school record on his way to a state triple jump championship. Earlier this season he tied the school long jump record. Now, he's finding success in another jumping event.

The Gettysburg junior won the high jump, along with the triple jump and long jump, on Friday, getting the last laugh after his competitors joked with him about his technique. They said Dillard, a forward for the Warriors basketball team and the tallest member of the track team, looks like he's going up for a layup when he jumps.

“He usually just sits over the bar and looks like he’s drinking water up there," said New Oxford's Ben Rivera, who placed second in the high jump and won the 110 hurdles. "He could get to 6-6 at least because he’s got height. If he can get that form down, he’s gonna be perfect.”

Dillard won the event with a leap of six feet.

“It’s alright, I don’t have a lot of form, I just kind of jump,” Dillard said with a smirk. “If you’re shorter, you have to jump a lot higher. I’m not even jumping my own height yet, so I don’t have to jump that high.”

Gettysburg won five other gold medals: Dan Filler in the 1,600 run, Olivia Faloon in the pole vault, Hannah Baddick in the triple jump and long jump, and the boys' team in the 3,200 relay.

Dorsey wins two, including a close one

Tavian Dorsey won the 200 dash without any doubt, but his victory in the 100 dash came with some uncertainty.

The Delone Catholic senior took an early lead, but Gettysburg's Edny Celius continued to narrow the gap in the final few seconds and looked like he might have taken the lead as the two crossed the finish line.

“It came down to the lean," Dorsey said. "I just got a little bit more of a lean than he did. At about the 50 meter mark, I saw him creeping up. I thought, ‘He’s gonna pass me or I’ve got to get him with the lean,’ and I got him with the lean.”

VIDEO: Dorsey edges Celius in 100 dash finals
Watch in slow motion as Delone Catholic's Tavian Dorsey beats Gettysburg's Edny Celius at the finish line during Fridays's Adams County Invitational.
Zach Miller -

Dorsey ran an 11.21, winning the race by .06 seconds. He ran a 22.94 in the 200 dash.

“This is probably the best I’ve ran, both 100 and 200, in my life," he said. "I push them, they push me, it works both ways.”

Delone Catholic won nine other medals: Will Greene in the 3,200, Brianna Milliken in the 100 hurdles, Leanne Sneeringer in the 800, Kate Mowrey in the 1,600 and 3,200, Tiffany Small in the 300 hurdles, Julianna Malesky in the high jump and the girls teams in the 1,600 and 3,200 relays.

Emeigh sets two PRs on way to gold

Gabby Emeigh knew she won the discus throw as soon as it left her hand.

After medaling at districts in the event last year and narrowly missing out on a trip to states, the Bermudian Springs senior entered the meet seeded third behind defending District 3 Class AA champion Bre Smith of Littlestown, and defending PIAA Class AAA javelin runner-up Madi Smith of New Oxford. Emeigh's winning throw went for a personal-best 112-10.

“I’ve been working on a lot of footwork and keeping my arms back," she said. "As soon as it left my hand on that one, I made eye contact with my coach and knew I held that one back.”

She also set a personal best in the shot put, winning the event with a throw of 33-8.5.

In the javelin, Emeigh took second behind Madi Smith, who threw a 112-4 to win by less than three feet.

Bermudian Springs won three other gold medals: Aine Yacapsin in the 400 run, Trevor Grim in the 300 hurdles and Chad Long in the 800 run.