Skip to main content

Gettysburg's Dillard wins state triple jump title

Show Caption

SHIPPENSBURG - Gettysburg junior Ravaughn Dillard will soon be the proud owner of a ball python snake.

He held up his end of a bargain with his mom by winning the PIAA Class AAA triple jump title for the second year in a row on Friday morning. Now she owes him a pet.

Trailing by an inch going into his final jump, Dillard made sure he'd get his new snake by setting a new school record with a winning leap of 48 feet, seven inches.

He had broken his own school record — 47-11 3/4 set at last weekend's District 3 championships — with a 48-2 on his second leap, then again with a 48-3 on his third leap to take a commanding lead into finals. But when Central Catholic's Bricen Garner posted a 48-4 in his final jump, the title rested on the outcome of Dillard's last jump of the day.

“I thought I had it, but he pulled that big jump,” Dillard said. “It got my adrenaline pumping, knowing I’ve got to win and I’ve got to jump farther than I did.”

So Dillard started a slow clap to get his "adrenaline pumping" and make his "heart race a little bit," and confidently took off for the final time. When he landed, his heart pounded as officials measured his distance.

“I like when it gets exciting, it makes everything more interesting," Dillard said. "The will to win is just great. I don’t like to lose.”

His new school record and second state title earned him a snake, and will likely lead to even more college scholarship offers than he already has flooding his mailbox.

And Dillard still has another year left. Is it too early to start thinking about a three-peat?

"I already started thinking about that two weeks ago," he said with a smirk.