BEST FOOT FORWARD — Bermudian Springs’ Michael Carlson (right) clears as a hurdle on his way to gold in the Class 2A 110-meter hurdles race in the District 3 Track & Field Championships on Saturday at Shippensburg University.

Dante Elliot, the affable senior jumper from Littlestown, had won the long jump, triple jump, and high jump at the YAIAA Track & Field Championships a week ago, and he had a goal of repeating that feat at the District 3 Championships.

Although he finished fourth in the long jump on Friday, he followed that up with a personal best of 6-feet, 6-inch to win the high jump two hours later at Shippensburg University.

It didn’t take Elliot very long to end the suspense on Saturday morning in the triple jump, his specialty. His first jump of 44-9 was enough to claim the victory and send him to states in his second event. He eventually jumped 45-3 ½, winning by almost two feet, and solidifying his position as the best jumper in Class 2A in District 3. Elliot had three jumps over 45 feet.

“I jumped 45-5 in my first meet this year, and hadn’t touched 45 feet since then,” Elliot said. “At the end of the day I really just compete against myself, and I knew that to be prepared for states I had to get over 45 feet.”

Teammate and close friend Jayden Weishaar finished second in the long jump on Friday, earning his own ticket to states. The seniors, who have gone through much together with basketball and track and field, will get to end their high school careers together on the biggest stage this weekend.

“To have three jumps over 45 is definitely a good thing,” he said, “but I think I will have to hit 46 feet next week to have a chance to win. And to see how hard Jayden works, it will be awesome to go with him to states. I knew I had to do what I did because he did what he did.”

Bermudian Springs’ Ricky Pacana found himself in third place behind Hanover’s Kyle Garman with one jump remaining in the triple, with only the top two qualifying for 2A states. With Elliot having a firm grip on first place, Pacana had to come up big. On his final jump, he put it all together and jumped a personal best 43-6 ¾ to place second.

“I knew I had to step up,” Pacana said. “With that last jump, it was all in my landing. My feet landed way ahead of my butt, so I knew it was a good one. I thought I had a pretty good chance at making it to states. Garman was seeded ahead of me, but I had beaten him last week. All I was thinking on the runway on that last jump was, it’s now or never.”

Pacana’s teammate, Mike Carlson, came through with the race of his life in the 110 hurdles. In third place over hurdle seven, Carlson kept his poise and came from behind when the leader stumbled slightly, winning in a personal best time of 15.54.

Carlson, driven to push himself in every competition, leaned well at the finish to win by a tenth of a second.

“I try to just run my best and set a PR in every meet,” Carlson said. “I don’t take any race easy. I just kept pushing myself and thought of all the hard work I had put in. I am already looking forward to what I can do next year.”

In the 3A 110 hurdle race, New Oxford’s Nate Clyde caught the first hurdle with his trail leg and was behind right away. Playing catch-up for the rest of the race, Clyde kept it together well enough to place fourth (15.15) to qualify for states. The top five in 3A competition move on.

“(Friday) I hit a hurdle in the semis, and it threw me off,” Clyde said. “I just kept going and I barely made it into the final. I think I could have done better today, because I hit the first hurdle. I think I was in last place after the first hurdle, because that just about stopped me. But I got my stride back and was able to finish well.”

Ryan Murphy lived up to his vast potential and put a nice cap on his career at Delone Catholic, although he now has one more week of competition. First, Murphy ran a superb race to sneak in for second place in the 100-meter dash. His time of 11.56 was two-hundredths of a second ahead of third place.

“I wasn’t even thinking about states,” Murphy said. “I just knew it could be my last race, and I wanted to give it my all. I’ve been thinking about this all week. I figured I would just give it my best, and see where I place. My coaches told me to just enjoy the moment and be relaxed. I think that helped me a lot.”

Murphy had the top seed in his other race, the 300 hurdles, but not by a big margin. He ran a flawless race over the barriers until the final hurdle. With a four-meter lead, he caught his lead leg on the hurdle, and it took everything he had to stay on his feet. He dove across the finish line for a district gold medal, and a Delone school record of 40.52, a personal best by nearly two seconds. Had he not hit the final hurdle, he would surely have run under 40 seconds.

In the middle of Murphy’s senior jaunt at districts, he delivered the valedictorian speech at Delone’s graduation on Friday night. He kept it all in perspective and was able to stay focused.

“Yesterday was a very hectic day,” Murphy said. “Going into the graduation, I wasn’t even thinking about that. I was more concerned about districts. I just wanted to prove myself.

My coach wanted me to run this, and he thought I could break the school record. He was right. I am a person with a lot of determination. I just wanted to run well, and whatever I got, I got.”

South Western will be well-represented at states in 3A thanks to the efforts of Dustin Edwards and Charles Gaither. Edwards placed fourth in the high jump (6-4) to advance to states there, and before his final jump, he had to run the 300 hurdles. In that race he had a remarkable stretch run to grab fifth, after having been seventh with two hurdles to go. His time of 40.74 was one-tenth of a second from sixth place. Edwards also finished fifth in the 110 hurdles behind New Oxford’s Clyde, and then he ended his meet with a stellar leg on the Mustangs’ 4 x 400 relay that finished fifth in 3:30.52, and included Edwards, DeShawn Gaither, Connor Miller and Chris Lesher. Edwards qualified for states in four events.

Gaither nabbed third place in the discus with a toss of 163-0, just two feet from winning it all. Gaither had thrown 171-7 at the YAIAA meet, and was favored to qualify for states.

Gettysburg’s Noah Sanders, one of the favorites for the 400 meters in 3A, incurred a leg injury while running the 200 at the YAIAA meet. He nursed the injury the last week, but was still not recovered enough to compete.

Fairfield’s Marcus Pruy ran a personal best time of 51.19 in the 400 meters, but just missed qualifying for states. His third-place effort was just one-tenth of a second from qualifying.

One of the most outstanding efforts of the meet was the 4 x 100 meter relay team from Red Lion. The YAIAA champions (LaDanian Strausbaugh, AJ Virata, Jeff Nyamekye, and Randy Fitzer) took the baton around the track in a remarkable time of 41.78. The group will be favored for a state medal next week. Also, Camp Hill’s Brody Myers jumped 15-0 in the pole vault, and made an effort at a district record height, but missed.

Kristian Phennicie of Dallastown won both the 100 meters (10.81) and 200 (21.75) in superb times. Greencastle-Antrim’s Weber Long beat the field by over six seconds in the 1600, winning with a time of 4:14.32.

The PIAA Championships will be held on Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University.

District 3 Track & Field Championships

Saturday — Shippensburg University

Class 3A — Top 5 finishers each event plus state qualifying standard advance to PIAA Championships

Class 2A — Top 2 finishers each event plus state qualifying standard advance to PIAA Championships

Class 3A

Team: 1. Shippensburg 52, 2. Cumberland Valley 45, 3. Palmyra 44, 4. Red Lion 38.5, 5. Penn Manor 34; 8. South Western 30, 33. New Oxford 5

100: 1. Phennicie (Dallastown) 10.81, 2. Fizer (Red Lion) 10.84, 3. Virata (Red Lion) 10.95, 4. Singleton (Governor Mifflin) 10.97, 5. Capitano (Wilson) 11.08

200: 1. Phennicie (Dallastown) 21.75, 2. Virata (Red Lion) 22.02, 3. Zeiders (York Suburban) 22.21, 4. Houser (Shippensburg) 22.41, 5. Townsend (Palmyra) 22.46

400: 1. Jaisingh (Cumberland Valley) 47.77, 2. Williams (Cumberland Valley) 47.93, 3. Zeiders (York Suburban) 48.48, 4. Cammauf (Manheim Twp.) 48.97, 5. Houser (Shippensburg) 49.31; 7. DaShawn Gaithers (South Western) 50.89, 12. Nate Clyde (New Oxford) 51.47

800: 1. Bildheiser (Cedar Crest) 1:56.43, 2. Harnish (Lampeter-Strasburg) 1:57.38, 3. Wolfe (Cedar Crest) 1:57.50, 4. Roden (Central Dauphin) 1:57.57, 5. Smith (Warwick) 1:57.66

1600: 1. Long (Greencastle) 4:14.32, 2. Roden (Central Dauphin) 4:20.25, 3. Thomas (Penn Manor) 4:20.88, 4. Holbrook (Exeter Twp.) 4:23.44, 5. Thrush (Conestoga Valley) 4:24.39

110 Hurdles: 1. Haines (Warwick) 14.60, 2. Topos (Palmyra) 14.69, 3. Warehime (Spring Grove) 14.93, 4. Clyde (New Oxford) 15.15, 5. Dustin Edwards (South Western) 15.26

300 Hurdles: 1. Warehime (Spring Grove) 39.40, 2. Wilk (Manheim Twp.) 39.97, 3. Topos (Palmyra) 40.21, 4. Noss (Cumberland Valley) 40.45, 5. Edwards (South Western) 40.74; 22. Clyde (New Oxford) 44.38

4x100 Relay: 1. Red Lion 41.78, 2. Palmyra 42.90, 3. Chambersburg 42.93, 4. Wilson 43.26, 5. Spring Grove 43.30; 10. South Western 44.18

4x400 Relay: 1. Cumberland Valley 3:20.94, 2. Palmyra 3:21.52, 3. Conestoga Valley 3:27.59, 4. Shippensburg 3:28.20, 5. South Western (Miller, Edwards, D. Gaither, Lesher) 3:30.52

4x800 Relay: 1. Cedar Crest 7:53.56, 2. Twin Valley 7:56.32, 3. Hempfield 7:56.39, 4. Lampeter-Strasburg 7:59.20, 5. Palmyra (8:01.02; 14. Gettysburg (Cole, Day, Douds, Wilson) 8:36.31

High Jump: 1. Arana (Shippensburg) 6-6, 2. Ellis (James Buchanan) 6-5, 3. Edwards (South Western) 6-4, 4. Benner (McCaskey) 6-4, T5. Virata (Red Lion) & White (Muhlenberg) 6-2; 12. Zach Derry (South Western) 5-10

Long Jump: 1. Murr (Penn Manor) 22-4, 2. Hamilton (Northeastern) 22-0.5, 3. Edey (Shippensburg) 22-0, 4. Kirkwood (Greencastle) 21-8, 5. Johnson (McCaskey) 21-6

Discus: 1. Lambrecht (Northern Lebanon) 165-2, 2. Barrett (Northern) 164-11, 3. Charles Gaither (South Western) 163-0, 4. Hoffman (Exeter Twp.) 156-10, 5. Deitzler (Lebanon) 152-7

Javelin: 1. Elgogari (Wilson) 178-10, 2. Stauffer (Central Dauhphin) 177-7, 3. Shulenberger (Big Spring) 173-3, 4. Long (Big Spring) 169-7, 5. Nissley (Donegal) 167-3

Class 2A

Team: 1. Wyomissing 109, 2. Annville-Cleona 61, T3. Greenwood & Schuylkill Valley 52, 5. Lancaster Catholic 48; 8. Littlestown 33, 10. Delone Catholic 29, 12. Bermudian Springs 23, 16. Fairfield 14.5, T18. Biglerville & Hanover 14

100: 1. Larkin (Wyomissing) 11.33, 2. Ryan Murphy (Delone) 11.56, 3. Schlager (Trinity) 11.58, 4. Moran (Annville-Cleona) 11.67, 5. Lehman (Greenwood) 11.71

200: 1. Mitchell (Harrisburg Christian) 22.81, 2. Larkin (Wyomissing) 23.12, 3. Harter (Annville-Cleona) 23.20, 4. Caden Althoff (Biglerville) 23.43, 5. DeYoung (Berks Catholic) 23.44, 7. Marcus Pruy (Fairfield) 24.28

400: 1. DeYoung (Berks Catholic) 50.93, 2. Brungard (Camp Hill) 50.99, 3. Pruy (Fairfield) 51.19, 4. Sterner (Brandywine) 52.15, 5. Gonzalez-Allie (Annville-Cleona) 52.33; 9. Trenton Kopp (Delone) 53.52, 15. Michael Justice (Littlestown) 55.67

800: 1. Seymour (Schuylkill Valley) 1:59.03, 2. Moore (Lancaster Catholic) 2:00.31, 3. Gensure (Schuylkill Valley) 2 01.37, 4. Cassell (Greenwood) 2:02.26, 5. Bednarczyk (Tulpehocken) 2:03.50; 9. Matthew Nawn (Hanover) 2:07.47

1600: 1. Seymour (Schuylkill Valley) 4:21.52, 2. Brett (Kutztown) 4:27.35, 3. Myers (Lancaster Catholic) 4:27.36, 4. Moore (Lancaster Catholic) 4:30.12, 5. Burd (Trinity) 4:37.07; 6. Nawn (Hanover) 4:37.45

110 Hurdles: 1. Michael Carlson (Bermudian) 15.54, 2. Britten (Trinity) 15.63, 3. Carmo (Susquenita) 15.75, 4. Scott (Lancaster Catholic) 16.15, 5. Freed (Oley Valley) 16.72

300 Hurdles: 1. Murphy (Delone Catholic) 40.52, 2. Gartner (Wyomissing) 41.88, 3. Scott (Lancaster Catholic) 42.16, 4. Pulco (Harrisburg Christian) 42.47, 5. Zimmerman (Greenwood) 42.80; 12. Aiden Wright (Biglerville) 45.34, 14. Declan Phelan (Fairfield) 45.78, 15. Carlson (Bermudian) 45.86

4x100 Relay: 1. Wyomissing 43.95, 2. Schuylkill Valley 44.65, 3. Berks Catholic 44.72, 4. Annville-Cleona 44.89, 5. Greenwood 44.97; 9. Bermudian (Harner, Pacana, Litzinger, Kehr) 46.16, 10. Biglerville (Salazar-Ruelas, Mead, Sharrah, Althoff) 46.29

4x400 Relay: 1. Schuylkill Valley 3:32.95, 2. Wyomissing 3:34.16, 3. Annville-Cleona 3:34.64, 4. Susquenita 3:36.90, 5. Lancaster Catholic 3:37.04; 9. Littlestown (Riedel, Eader, Justice, Small) 3:47.10, 10. Delone (Murphy, Staub, DiDio, Kopp) 3:56.64

4x800 Relay: 1. Wyomissing 8:23.54, 2. Oley Valley 8:27.76, 3. Annville-Cleona 8:34.03, 4. Greenwood 8:37.88, 5. Tulpehocken 8:49.72; 7. Fairfield (Turner, Collins, Phelan, Davis) 9:02.85, 8. Bermudian (Cam. Carrolus, Taylor, Wiley, Stuart) 9:10.46

Pole Vault: 1. Myers (Camp Hill) 15-0, 2. Schaeffer (Schuylkill Valley) 13-0, 3. Gehris (Tulpehocken) 12-0, 4. Schmidt (Kutztown) 11-6, 5. Wyatt DiDio (Delone) 11-6; 6. Kobe Althoff (Bermudian) 11-0, 12. Nate Snyder (Fairfield) 10-6, 14. Colwyn Carrolus (Bermudian) 10-0

Triple Jump: 1. Dante Elliot (Littlestown) 45-3.5, 2. Ricky Pacana (Bermudian) 43-6.75, 3. Kyle Garman (Hanover) 42-0, 4. Brown (Berks Catholic) 41-5, 5. Auman (Wyomissing) 40-10.5; 7. Kopp (Delone) 39-10

Shot Put: 1. J. Williams (Wyomissing) 52-3, 2. Mider (Berks Catholic) 47-9.5, 3. R. Williams (Wyomissing) 45-1.5, 4. Kauffman (Greenwood) 44-10.75, 5. Bennett (Greenwood) 42-6.25; 6. Kalen Sharrah (Biglerville) 42-5.5, 9. Jack Regentin (Biglerville) 40-1.75, 11. Jonathan Anders (Fairfield) 37-6.75

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