ROOM TO SPARE

ROOM TO SPARE — Kolt Byers of Bermudian Springs clears the bar on a high jump attempt during the Class 2A event at the District 3 Track & Field Championships on Friday at Shippensburg University. Byers won with a height of 6-4.

If one wants to be a district high jump champ, it helps to be friends with the school’s shop coach.

With a diversified event schedule this year, Bermudian Springs’ Kolt Byers has struggled to maintain his form in the event that was once his bread and butter. That wouldn’t fly for Eagles girls’ coach Jason Weigle, who wanted to see Byers defend his District 3 Class 2A title.

Weigle, whose full-time job is teaching technology education, constructed a training ramp for the junior that they utilized in practice before the District 3 Track and Field Championships. It helps train athletes to prepare for the upper limits of their jump, which forces them to hold their form longer. It also encourages proper footwork, pushing off the heel first with the lead foot.

The tool paid off for Byers, who nailed his 6-foot, 4-inch leap to beat out Tulpehocken’s Tyler Hulse at Shippensburg University on Friday.

“The higher you go, the more you have to be patient,” Byers said. “That was my problem all year. I was rushing my jumps. I brought it to him one time a couple of months ago and he’s been real busy. This last week he spent a lot of time on it and I thank him for that.”

Byers got off on the right foot in an action-packed weekend in which he is in the running to qualify for states in all four of his events. He returns at 9 a.m. today as the top seed in the triple jump and will be the No. 2 seed in the pole vault at noon. The Eagles’ 4x400 relay team is also a No. 2 seed.

The top two finishers in every event advance to the PIAA Championships next weekend.

“I’ve done a lot of events in one day, but not at this high a level of competition,” he said. “I’m a little concerned, I know if I recover right and eat right, I’ll be fine.”

Byers’ biggest objective this weekend is to break the school record in the triple jump. He enters with a 44-3.25 and needs only five inches to break Dan Lott’s 1987 record (44-8).

SECOND IN THE SPEAR

Derek Tosten hoped to follow in Ben Hurda’s footsteps since he first started throwing the javelin. The path has taken him all the way to the state championship meet.

Biglerville’s top javelin thrower hit a new personal best on Friday, launching his spear 171 feet, 5 inches, topping his previous best by more than three feet.

“It meant a lot to me. I was a lot more relaxed. It finally came together,” Tosten said. “I was scared all week, but I knew if I did my best I’d go to states.”

Hurda won district gold in 2016, his senior year, with a toss of 180-1. He also holds the school record at 186 feet even, a toss Tosten would still like to beat. In order to get gold this year, Tosten would’ve needed to throw nearly that far after Wyomissing sophomore Evan Neidrowski defended his district title with a 184-6 toss.

Regardless of how next week goes, Tosten’s path forward as an athlete will also mirror Hurda’s. He hopes to attend and throw for Shippensburg University next season.

“It’s always been my go-to school,” he said. “If I can throw the javelin here, it would be amazing. I came to a camp here last year. I love their program and it feels like home.”

MUST BE THE SHOES

For the last few weeks, Ryan Lauver has been throwing so hard he was coming out of his shoes.

The kicks, which used to belong to Bermudian’s Jason Weigle, meant so much to him that he’d duct-taped them together last week during the YAIAA Championships.

“I’ve got fat feet and they were busting out of the sides,” Lauver said. “Short stubby dudes, it’s hard to find wide, throwing shoes.”

Weigle surprised Lauver with some new footwear this week and the Eagles’ senior made it worth the purchase, tossing the discus 150 feet, 2 inches for third place in Class 2A competition. The throw not only broke his old personal best by 10 feet, it also surpassed the state qualifying standard.

Lauver was most satisfied that he beat his brother, 2016 graduate Dustyn Lauver, who finished with a 147-foot throw.

“The shoes did the job,” Lauver said with a laugh. “I pictured myself throwing the perfect throw, went through the motions, hit the spots correctly and ripped it through.

“I was ecstatic. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to cry, scream my head off or I was just supposed to remain calm.”

Delone Catholic’s Isaac Almoney took second in the event with a 155-6 toss. He was one of the few throwers to pad his distance in the finals, but couldn’t quite catch up Wyomissing’s Neidrowski (163-1).

“The goal today was to get a chance to go back to states,” Almoney said. “It would have been nice to have won, but everyone was hitting PRs left and right. The atmosphere was great and everyone was all amped up. It was a lot of fun.”

THE WORLD OF DANTE

As a freshman, Littlestown’s Dante Elliot told head coach Cory Bittle that he’d make the district meet in his opening campaign. As a sophomore, he said he was ready to advance to states.

For a second year in a row, Elliot proved he’s no liar.

“I made it happen both years,” he said.

The Bolts’ long jumper took second in the Class 2A championships with a 20-6.5 leap, only an inch-and-a-half from his personal best. Millersburg’s Matt Stout won the event with a 20-9 performance.

“It means a lot to go to states, but I know there’s a lot more than what I’m jumping,” he said. “When I start thinking about hitting the board, I stutter my landings and drag my feet.”

Elliot has been suffering through his jumps since an injury to his heel at the Adams County Invitational at the start of April. Heel cup inserts in his shoes seemed to help alleviate the pain Friday.

“I’m going for the school record next week,” he said. “My last jump today was a two inch, three inch scratch. It would have been there.”

PROGRESS,

BUT NO MEDAL

New Oxford’s Abdul Janneh has plenty to be proud of after pushing his triple jump to 44 feet, 11 inches, more than a 16-inch improvement on his personal best. He couldn’t help but feel frustrated by what he left behind, though.

Janneh’s jump in the preliminaries pushed him from the No. 14 seed to the finals, but a ninth-place finish left him just off the medal stand. He acknowledged he’s also only three inches off of Ron Stitely’s New Oxford triple jump record of 45-2, set in 1982.

“It’s tough,” he said. “It’s 3A, one of hardest districts in PA. I knew it was going to be a competition with all the jumpers, but this is the most confidence I’ve had in my triple jump all season. I knew I was right there, but I fouled on my jumps in finals. It wasn’t by much, but it happens.”

Janneh will be back in the long jump today. He said his confidence has soared in that event all season and he’s expecting better results. Seeing him in action on the runway before he jumps is worth the price of admission.

The warm-up begins with him exploding out of a fencer’s defensive position, and springing up on his tiptoes. Then he drops into a sprinter’s stance and rocks to and fro, back and forth. Next, he leans back, feet still in rhythm, with the back of his hand to his face and his fingers dancing in the air. Finally he’s sprinting toward the sandpit.

It’s a Ray Lewis entrance on the runway.

“It kind of just happens,” he said. “I was watching all the Olympic jumpers and they do something different. I wanted to do something to get me going. It’s weird. Everyone makes fun of me, but I like it. The last part, where I’m rocking back and forth is my favorite part. I say something to myself when I’m doing it, ‘Let’s get this record. Let’s get this record.’”

Adam Michael can be reached at amichael@gburgtimes.com. Follow on Twitter at @GoodOldTwoNames

District 3 Track & Field

Championships

Shippensburg University

Top 8 finishers in each final medal

BOYS

Class 3A

Pole vault: 1. Julian (Penn Manor) 15-7, 2. Ginder (Northern) 15-0, 3. Hyatt (Hershey) 14-6, 4. Blatt (Hamburg) 14-0, 5. Zehr (Lampeter-Strasburg) 14-0, 6. Pauley (Conrad Weiser) 13-6, 7. Kongssund (Kutztown) 13-6, 8. Robinson (Manheim Twp.) 13-6

Triple jump: 1. Lomax (Harrisburg) 48-8.25, 2. Rivers (Manheim Central) 47-8.5, 3. Kamara (Milton Hershey) 46-10.25, 4. Cross (Milton Hershey) 46-5, 5. Jeffries (Carlisle) 46-2, 6. Cardina (Conestoga Valley) 45-11, 7. Allen (Susquenanna Twp.) 45-10.75, 8. Suero (Shippensburg) 45-2.75; 9. Abdul Janneh (New Oxford) 44-11

Shot put: 1. George (Berks Catholic) 57-6, 2. Kline (Fleetwood) 56-8, 3. Harmon (Chambersburg) 55-5, 4. Miller (Wilson) 54-2.25, 5. Gingrich (Cocalico) 52-6.5, 6. Frederick (Lampeter-Strasburg) 52-2.5, 7. Miller (Palmyra) 51-10, 8. Gustafson (Shippensburg) 48-11

3200: 1. Padgett (Carlisle) 9:25.96, 2. Knepper (Mechanicsburg) 9:27.59, 3. Miller (Manheim Twp.) 9:30.52; 4. Ermold (Governor Mifflin) 9:33.42, 5. Fackler (Palmyra) 9:36.85, 6. Foster (Ephrata) 9:40.62, 7. Martin (Warwick) 9:44.38, 8. Klingenberg (Cumberland Valley) 9:53.87

100 semifinals (Top 3 each heat plus 2 next-fastest times qualify for finals)

Heat 1: 1. Brown (CD East) 10.77, 2. Bruno (Mechanicsburg) 10.84, 3. Kent (Harrisburg) 11.01, 4. Baker (CD East) 11.16q

Heat 2: 1. Day (Harrisburg) 10.65, 2. Worrell (Chambersburg) 10.66, 3. Rodriguez (McCaskey) 10.99, 4. Boback (Carlisle) 11.14q

110 hurdle semifinals (Top 3 each heat plus 2 next-fastest times qualify for finals)

Heat 1: 1. Niang (CD East) 14.28, 2. Jenkins (Susquehanna Twp.) 14.89, 3. Martin (Eastern York) 14.95, 4. Hunt (Red Land) 15.13q, 5. Miller (Cedar Crest) 15.14q

Heat 2: 1. Parris (Milton Hershey) 14.70, 2. Reich (Shippensburg) 14.90, 3. Smith (Red Lion) 15.35

200 semifinals (Top 3 each heat plus 2 next-fastest times qualify for finals)

Heat 1: 1. Bruno (Mechanicsburg) 21.87, 2. Fegley (Warwick) 22.47, 3. Kent (Harrisburg) 22.66

Heat 2: 1. Brown (CD East) 21.55, 2. Mellinger (Lampeter-Strasburg) 21.87, 3. Jessup (Red Lion) 22.06, 4. Brown (CD East) 22.34q, 5. Manning (McCaskey) 22.56q

Class 2A

High jump: 1. Kolt Byers (Bermudian) 6-4, 2. Hulse (Tulpehocken) 6-4, T3. Trumpy (Camp Hill) & Dante Elliot (Littlestown) 5-10, 5. Dan Gazmen (Littlestown) 5-10, 6. Caine (Lancaster Catholic) 5-10, T7. Jordan Weishaar (Littlestown) & Masser (Upper Dauphin) 5-8; T9. Kyle Garman (Hanover) & Garrett Stadler (Fairfield) 5-6

Long jump: 1. Stout (Millersburg) 20-9, 2. Elliot (Littlestown) 20-6.5, 3. Jack (Camp Hill) 20-3.75, 4. Fedorshak (Lancaster Catholic) 19-8.5, 5. Weishaar (Littlestown) 19-8.5, 6. Campbell (Greenwood) 19-5, 7. Almonte (Wyomissing) 19-4, 8. Bastien-Vibrun (Schuylkill Valley) 19-0.5

Discus: 1. Neidrowski (Wyomissing) 163-1, 2. Isaac Almoney (Delone) 155-6, 3. Ryan Lauver (Bermudian) 150-2, 4. Williams (Wyomissing) 146-9, 5. McGuire (Upper Dauphin) 145-5, 6. Mott (Trinity) 134-6, 7. Banzhoff (Trinity) 133-7, 8. Travis Zimmerman (Fairfield) 132-8; 10. Tre Adams (Biglerville) 128-6, 11. Kalen Sharrah (Biglerville) 112-8, 12. Dylan Morey (Littlestown) 107-0, 14. Joe Cooper (Bermudian) 104-11

Javelin: 1. Niedrowski (Wyomissing) 184-6, 2. Derek Tosten (Biglerville) 171-5, 3. Barnhart (Greenwood) 156-9, 4. Travis (Lancaster Mennonite) 155-4, 5. Tobias (Annville-Cleona) 146-2, 6. Heilman (Annville-Cleona) 146-2, 7. McGuire (Susquenita) 142-1, 8. Puleo (Harrisburg Christian) 140-3

3200: 1. Horst (Lancaster Mennonite) 9:45.91, 2. Seymour (Schuylkill Valley) 9:54.85, 3. Shirey (Oley Valley) 10:00.76, 4. Mavretic (Millersburg) 10:00.79, 5. Foster (Wyomissing) 10:02.42, 6. Yoder (Lancaster Mennonite) 10:03.64, 7. Kuhn (Wyomissing) 10:05.55, 8. Gurgiolo (Camp Hill) 10:11.22; 14. Gabriel Schubring (Fairfield) 11:14.70

100 semifinals (Top 3 each heat plus 2 next-fastest times qualify for finals)

Heat 1: 1. Lawrence (Lancaster Catholic) 11.46, 2. Gonzalez (Schuylkill Valley) 11.49, 3. Lehman (Millersburg) 11.53, 4. Porter (Trinity) 11.70q, 5. Stump (Susquenita) 11.72q; 6. Ryan Hart (Bermudian) 11.74

Heat 2: 1. Moran (Annville-Cleona) 11.44, 2. Risser (Tulpehocken) 11.54, 3. Thomas Bross (Bermudian) 11.57

110 hurdle semifinals (Top 3 each heat plus 2 next-fastest times qualify for finals)

Heat 1: 1. Payton Rohrbaugh (Bermudian) 15.69, 2. Reitnouer (Schuylkill Valley) 15.91, 3. Jack (Camp Hill) 16.09, 4. Schreffler (Upper Dauphin) 16.47q; 6. G. Stadler (Fairfield) 17.65

Heat 2: 1. Derek Herr (Littlestown) 15.27, 2. Zachary Reck (Hanover) 15.96, 3. Malcolm Gerlach (Hanover) 16.82, 4. Boyer (Annville-Cleona) 16.88q; 8. Dameon Nelson (Bermudian) 18.43

200 semifinals (Top 3 each heat plus 2 next-fastest times qualify for finals)

Heat 1: 1. Bross (Bermudian) 23.29, 2. Lehman (Millersburg) 23.72, 4. AJ Knobloch (Delone) 23.74, 4. Titus (Lancaster Catholic) 23.85q

Heat 2: 1. Risser (Tulpehocken) 23.54, 2. Ahmed (Wyomissing) 24.11, 3. Harter (Annville-Cleona) 24.19, 4. Marcus Pruy (Fairfield) 24.25q

Adam Michael can be reached at amichael@gburgtimes.com or follow him on Twitter:@GoodOleTwoNames

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.