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YAIAA girls' track: New Oxford's Smith repeats as javelin champ

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New Oxford’s Madi Smith had not picked up a javelin in two weeks when she arrived at the YAIAA track and field championships Friday at Dallastown.

She showed the signs of an athlete fighting through injuries.

Her right leg was wrapped in an ace bandage. She also wore a back brace wrapped around her torso.

It didn’t matter.

The defending league champion and league record-holder won the event, throwing 134 feet, 1 inch. Red Lion's Brianna Wanbaugh placed second with a throw of 126-7.

“I have pulled my groin twice this year,” said Smith, who is headed to Penn State next year where she will throw the javelin. “It has healed up now, but just for a precaution with it being cold today I wrapped it just in case.

“And I’ve always had back issues throughout high school from volleyball. … I just started wearing (the brace) so it didn’t give me issues later in the season.”

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Smith opted to take time off after pulling her groin for a second time during a dual meet late in the season. She took her time warming up, but the layoff might have been a blessing.

“It was a nice break after a super busy schedule,” Smith said. “My arm felt nice and fresh the first time I threw, which was nice.”

Hoping to reach 150 feet before the end of her career, she has posted a season-high throw of 145 feet this year.

Record breakers

Dallastown’s 3,200-meter relay team knew they had a chance to set a school record even before they stepped on their home track.

The squad had posted a time one second off the mark at an invitational last weekend, and they wanted to keep the momentum going.

That added pressure for leadoff runner Carly Gable.

“I was very nervous,” she said laughing. “The last race we ran I had the slowest split.”

Fighting through a tight pack that included South Western and Spring Grove, Dallastown took the lead with Ashley Robinson running the second leg.

Robinson grabbed the lead, lost it and regained the lead before handing off the baton.

“We were thinking we had a chance at (the record) here,” Lydia Fimmano said.

Standing in the infield, awaiting her anchor leg, Dallastown’s Sarah Groetz noted: “I had a good feeling because I was watching the splits. It was a good feeling.”

Dallastown won in a school record 9 minutes, 46.84 seconds, beating the old mark of 9:50.34 set in 2003. South Western and Spring Grove rounded out the top three.

Freshman out-kicks McLain

Red Lion freshman Kiersten Lloyd was caught off guard in the 1,600-meter run.

“I thought we’d go a little bit slower, because of the rain,” Lloyd said. “Then we ended up kicking it out, and it was like, 'OK, this is how it’s going to go.'”

Lloyd ran a step behind Maddie McLain for most of the race. Lloyd made her winning move with about 300 meters to go and held off the Eastern York star.

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“I thought that was pretty good because I’ve never gone neck-and-neck with her before,” Lloyd said. “In cross country, she’s always way ahead.”

Lloyd won in 5:14.87 with McLain finishing in 5:16.80. It marked Lloyd’s second-fastest time this season, clocking under the 5:10 she ran earlier in the year.

Lloyd also won the 800 meters. McLain won the 3,200.

“People keep saying, ‘Whoa, you’re a freshman,’” Lloyd said. “It’s just a grade.”

Eye on bigger goal

Nathalie Elliott joked that she knows all about vaulting in the rain, so it was no problem for her when it began to spit rain at the league championships.

“This year, it’s common, so I prepared for it,” said Elliott, who is headed to High Point University next season. “It’s normal for me at this point.”

Elliott vaulted 11-6 to remain undefeated on the season. Needing to post a height of 12-4 to qualify for championship nationals this year, she wants to reach that height next week in the District 3 championships.

“Hopefully I will get it sometimes next week, because it’s supposed to be beautiful,” she said. “Then I can just go to states and have fun.”

Kling keeps rolling

Red Lion junior Madisen Kling set the school record in the discus in her first meet this season by throwing 144-10, erasing a mark that has stood since 1989.

“I’ve been trying to beat it, but I haven’t yet,” Kling said.

She won the league meet in 137-5, but she’s hoping to peak in the coming weeks.

“Districts is gradually getting up there, maybe in the 140s. States will hopefully be breaking 144. And then I have nationals this summer.”