Rare air: Dillard jumps to record heights
Ravaughn Dillard won a state triple jump title last season, but he accomplished two feats for the first time on Friday.
The Gettysburg junior won his first District 3 AAA title early in the afternoon at Shippensburg, and his winning jump of 47 feet, 11 3/4 inches set a Warriors school record. Dillard had been tied with his cousin, 2005 graduate Darnell Johnson, for the record after jumping 47-11 at states last season.
“Everybody’s all worried about me now," Dillard said of coming back to districts for the first time since winning a state title. "I definitely flew under the radar last year; I cruised under it.”
Dillard trailed Milton Hershey's Treyvon Wheelings by an inch after the preliminary round, but saved his best jumps for the finals.
“I wasn’t that worried," he said of his position before finals. "I build up on all my jump and I knew we had finals and I could do it in finals.”
He will compete for district medals in the long jump, where he's seeded sixth, and the' high jump, where he's seeded second, on Saturday.
Baddick makes states in girls' triple jump: Dillard's teammate, first-year triple jumper Hannah Baddick, will be joining him at the PIAA Championships next weekend.
Baddick earned a seventh-place medal, but her winning jump of 36-9 was good enough to earn her a spot at states. All eight medalists qualified.
“I didn’t even expect it," she said. "People all talk about Ravaughn Dillard because he’s the last person to qualify for states in however many years, so I think of states as being so amazing. But it’s really cool that I’ll get to come and compete too.”
Grim makes Bermudian Springs history: Trevor Grim stared up at the Seth Grove Stadium football field, quickly calculating whether or not his time in the 110-meter hurdles was good enough to make tomorrow's finals.
When the Bermudian Springs junior realized his time of 15.23 seconds would in fact be good enough, he sprinted off the field wildly pumping his fist. The result means that he will become the Eagles' first district medalist since the boys team moved up to Class AAA a few years ago. They go back down to Class AA next season.
“I had no idea (if my time would be good enough)," he said of watching the times come up from the second semifinal heat. "Coming in, I knew if I ran my PR twice I’d probably be able to slip into finals. I ran three tenths off and two tenths off my PR and I made it.”
A top-six finish in Saturday's finals will earn him a spot in the state meet. How does he plan to prepare?
“Sleep and pray,” he said.
Dallastown's Justin Atwood also qualified for the 110 hurdles finals.
Eastern's Kerr medals in shot put: Ashley Kerr wasn't expected to win a YAIAA shot put title last week, and she wasn't expected to earn a District 3 medal this week.
But the Eastern York junior hit her stride at the right time of the season, setting a personal record with a throw of 37 feet, six inches last week to win the title last week. She came close to that record on Friday, throwing a 37-4.5 to earn a seventh-place medal. She entered the meet as the No. 9 seed.
“I learned there’s a lot of tough competition and there’s always gonna be someone better than you, but you’ve always got to push harder and not get down on yourself no matter what happens,” Kerr said of her first experience at districts. “Next year, I’ll hopefully come back even better.”
She said she plans to attend a camp this summer to start preparing early for her senior year.
Three from YAIAA make 100 dash finals: South Western junior Drew Hartlaub lived up to his billing as the top seed in the boys 100 dash, qualifying for the finals by running an 11.07 in semifinals. He will be joined in the finals by York County Tech senior Bry'quan Sweeney, seeded 18th, who ran an 11.12 in semifinals.
“It’s a real big goal," Sweeney said of qualifying for finals and assuring himself a district medal. "Last year, I made it to the semifinals and didn’t make it further along. This shows improvement.”
New Oxford's Ayanna Johnson qualified for finals in the girls 100 dash by running a 12.43 in semifinals.
In the girls 100 hurdles, South Western's Lynne Mooradian qualified for the finals with a time of 14.92, the second best time of any competitor in semifinals.