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Mooradian, Smith earn District 3 titles

SHIPPENSBURG - After she won the 300-meter hurdles title at the District 3 Class AAA track and field championships, spectators passing Lynne Mooradian commended her on providing the most exciting race Saturday.

Neck-and-neck the whole way down the home stretch, the South Western senior completed the race in 43.44 seconds to edge Susquehanna Township's Yasmin Brooks by .04 seconds. But Mooradian didn't care how much entertainment she brought to the crowd that sat through hours of rain and cold, she could just think of the burn in her muscles from an exhausting race.

“I know she’s competitive, but I could feel from the cold that I didn’t come out as hard as I usually do," Mooradian said. "The last 90 meters, I was kind of level with her. I was thinking, ‘It hurts so bad.’ It wasn’t really coherent thoughts, it was just a mix of emotions.”

The district title goes down as the third of Mooradian's career. She won the 100 her freshman year and anchored a winning 400-meter relay her sophomore year.

She will also advance to next week's state championships in the 100 hurdles, where she placed second behind Brooks with a time of 14.45.

“I knew Yasmin was gonna have it; she’s such a competitive hurdler, she’s so fast," Mooradian said of that event. "I just wanted to be pushed and to PR and I did that, I dropped by a tenth, so I’m really happy.”

Mooradian also ran the anchor leg of the Mustangs' 1,600 relay, which placed second and qualified for states. Mooradian said she will choose which events to run next week.

Smith sets district record

For the second week in a row, New Oxford junior Madi Smith headed home with a first-place medal around her neck and a major record in tow after competing in the javelin. She also left with a sixth-place medal in the discus throw.

Smith set the YAIAA championship javelin record with a throw of 147 feet in near-perfect conditions last week. She set the District 3 record with a throw of 141 feet in cold and rainy conditions.

"The record doesn’t really matter to me, I’m happy to be here," Smith said. "With these conditions, I just wanted to make it to the finals and see what I can do. I’m ecstatic.”

The title earns her a trip back to the PIAA championships, where she placed second last season.

“I just have to come in thinking I’m seeded last and that I have to work my way to the top,” she said.

Also heading to states will be Dallastown's Lillian Cook, who placed third with a throw of 123-1. It will be her first state appearance.

“I’m really happy to be there," Cook said. "I’m hoping to PR. I need to rest a little bit, make sure my muscles are rested.”