Every year, District 3 posts qualifying guidelines in which surpassing their standards makes it more likely that athletes will advance to next week’s D3 championships at Shippensburg University. In all but a few cases, every 2A athlete who qualifies for the conference meet also makes districts. This review will focus on local 3A performers that might need a boost tonight to advance to Shippensburg.
Noah Sanders — Gettysburg
Sanders has a top time of 11.34 in the dash. While it fits the guideline, the worst sprint accepted in 3A last season was an 11.23. Finding a top speed could help if he plans to make it a date with this particular race. The same is true for the 200 (23.15), but he’s looking pretty safe to make Shippensburg in the 400 (50.00).
Connor Becker/Josh Little
The Colonials’ top sprinters are short of the District 3 Class 2A qualifying time of 22.74 seconds, but last year’s final qualifier entered with a 23.05. Little’s top time, 23 seconds flat, and that of Becker, 23.14, sit on either side of last year’s mark. Becker looks safer in the 400, where his time of 50.9 seconds is slightly slower than the guide, but faster than last year’s lowest qualifier
For the last two seasons, Strausbaugh has made the 400 his race, but it hasn’t sent him an invitation to Shippensburg in return. With an entry time of 52 seconds, he’ll need to get closer to his teammate, Becker.
The Mustang sophomore who moved from Pittsburgh mid-year has done the heavy lifting in 300 hurdles in the YAIAA-1. With four smaller-division competitors pushing him, he’ll have a chance to drive down that 41.74 time closer to the guideline, 40.39, or at least to last year’s baseline qualifier, 41.50.
A state qualifier in cross country, Hirneisen has a 3200 time (10:00.60) that would have made districts last year, when the last qualifier came in at 10:02.01. He will still want to get closer to the guideline, 9:43.0. He’s a bubble watch with more work to do in the 1,600, should he go for that as well.
The New Oxford junior has already been to districts and likely will make it again this year with a 21-6.5 long jump. Technically, the guideline is 21-7. The same is true in the triple jump, where his mark is 43-0.25 and the guideline is 43-11. He’s an athlete capable of making states, so a bit of improvement to get him in a more competitive grouping couldn’t hurt either.
Last year Gettysburg was represented by Charles Warren in the high jump. This year, it could be Quadir Copeland — that is if he can pick up at least an inch on his best performance. He enters tonight with a 6-0 personal best. Last year’s last qualifier was in at 6-1. The guideline is 6-4.
Jack McBride/Jake Zinkland
The Mustangs’ pair of pole vaulters have done a nice job keeping South Western above board in one of the most athletic events on the track. Both have hit a 12-6, good enough to qualify last year. The standard is set at 13 feet, however, and they’ll get an opportunity to learn from Biglerville’s Carter Tartara (13-7) and Kolt Byers (13-9) tonight.
Lora Bertram — Gettysburg
The Warriors’ top hurdler and sprinter has bubble watch written all over her. She may not be able to attend the district meet anyway, with a soccer commitment planned for the same weekend. She could make the decision a lot tougher on herself if she’s able to reduce her 100 time, where her 12.84 would have advanced last year, but 12.79 is the current guideline.
The 300 hurdles poses more of a challenge, where her 49.06 is about half a second off of the last qualifying time from last year, a 48.67
Kelty Oaster — Gettysburg
Her achievements have already been documented in another story in today’s paper, so there’s no need to go over it further. She’s the top seed in the 400 and 800. While she’s likely qualified in both, a drop in either couldn’t hurt.
Simpson has been a wildcard for the Mustangs, capable of competing in up to seven or eight events. She’s got a strong shot at making the big brouhaha if she can slim down that hurdles time. Entering the meet as the No. 3 seed, her 16.22 puts her squarely between the guideline (16.07) and last year’s lowest qualifier (16.40). The same is true of her 10-foot pole vault, where the guideline is 10-6 and the baseline last year was 9-7.
South Western 4x100
Knowing Bruce Lee and his group, they’ll be chomping at the bit to go after the 4x100 relay. It’s not just that cross-town rival Delone Catholic is the top seed by a quarter of a second; it’s also because the grouping that could include Kayla Brooks, Taylor Geiman, Zaiyah Marshall, Kayla Leppo, Maddie Lehker and Simpson are sitting on a top time of 50.41 seconds. Last year’s final district qualifier made it in at 50.45. The guideline is at 49.97.
Speaking of Lehker, the South Western freshman has done a nice job of following in the footsteps of Brooks all season. Her 5-1 jump is likely just a shade off of district qualification, but a 5-2, or even a 5-3 where Brooks currently sits, should get her in.
Alyssa Steipler/Megan Wolf
The Mustang girls are in a weird spot right now. Both Steipler (35-7.75) and Wolf (35-2.5) are over the qualifying guideline in the shot put, but only Steipler would have made districts last season, where the baseline was a 35-6. Time to muscle up, ladies. Steipler could also make gains in the discus where her top throw of 110-7 would have qualified, but is just shy of the guideline, 111-1.
The javelin may be one of the hardest events to predict this year. The standard qualifying guideline is 124 feet, four inches this season, but the lowest qualifier last year came in right at 111-02. That’s a massive gap. New Oxford’s Lilly Anderson (116-4) and Autumn Malinowski (110-6), and South Western’s Wolf (112-0) and Taylor Geiman (110-4) all could make the jump with a little improvement and a little luck from outside the district.
Adam Michael can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at @GoodOldTwoNames