As the YAIAA Track and Field Championships got going this past Wednesday, Littlestown senior Dante Elliot thought that he may be able to do something special. As one of the top-ranked jumpers in the league in the long jump, triple jump, and high jump, Elliot felt that he had a chance to win all three at the championships. Not only did Elliot follow through with that dream, he matched personal bests in two of the events in taking triple gold.
The format at this year’s championships, held at New Oxford High School on Wednesday and Thursday, was for all of the girls’ field events to be held the first day, and all of the boys’ field events to be held the second day. For athletes entered in all three jumps and athletes entered in all three throws, it made for a very hectic day. Elliot expertly managed the challenge, but not without facing some tense moments.
In the long jump, his first event, Elliot soared a personal best 20-feet-11-inches to defeat three jumpers ranked ahead of him. As it turned out, the chance to focus on that event alone was a luxury he would not enjoy the rest of the day, since the triple jump and high jump were scheduled for the same time.
“I am definitely happy with my long jump, since I was leaving a lot of the board on my takeoff,” Elliot said. “The long jump was good and I could really focus. But the high jump, going back and forth to triple, it was exhausting.”
To preserve his legs, Elliot took one jump in the triple jump preliminaries that was good enough to move him to the finals. That enabled him to concentrate on the high jump, at least until the end of the high jump competition. Elliott and pre-meet favorite A.J. Virata from Red Lion, who had jumped 6-9 earlier this year, found themselves tied for first place once all the other competitors were out.
Moving the bar up to 6-6, both jumpers missed all three attempts, and remained tied. Moving to a tie-breaker, each was afforded one more attempt at 6-6, which both missed again, and Elliot was visibly frustrated. Then the bar dropped to 6-5, Elliot’s personal best. Virata missed his attempt at 6-5, giving Elliot another chance to win.
“I told myself that big time jumpers make big time jumps, and that was the jump to win it,” Elliot said. “I knew before that jump that if I cleared it, I would win.”
And he made it, with inches to spare. It was clearly his best jump of the day, and he had no time to celebrate because he was off to jump in the finals of the triple jump.
Going over to the triple jump, he knew he was in second place after the prelims. Elliot charged down the runway, about 10 minutes after winning the high jump, and leaped 44-0 ¼, to take the lead. The jump held up the rest of the way, and Elliott had his third gold medal in three hours.
“That is the most jumps I have taken in one meet all year,” he said. “But it was good in getting ready for districts and states. I want to do the same thing in districts. I don’t think my long jump is where it could be. I’m looking for some big jumps.”
All year long, Nate Clyde has been one of the top hurdlers in the York-Adams area, but the New Oxford senior could not quite get over the top. On Wednesday, he powered through the 110 meter hurdles in a personal best time of 15.09 seconds, which gave him the middle lane in the final on Thursday. In that final, Clyde jumped out of the blocks and had the lead at the first hurdle. He increased his lead through hurdle number eight, then drove through the finish to win in a speedy 14.94, proving his mettle and claiming YAIAA gold.
Having placed fourth in the 300 hurdles the day before, victory in the 110s was twice as sweet.
“I knew I had a chance to win after the prelims, when I had the fastest time there” Clyde said. “I thought, I can do this. I felt like I was right on the edge of not keeping my balance. It was nice to win at home, since this is my last year, and I can leave it all good. I feel like I could have done way better in the 300s, so it’s better to get first than fourth.”
Clyde, not a prototypical tall, long-legged high hurdler, is so quick between the hurdles and very efficient over them, rarely hitting a barrier. Perhaps his greatest asset is his determination. He ran a race right on the edge of complete control, and managed to leave the rest of the field watching his back.
In the girls’ 800, Gettysburg’s Anne Bair was seeded second to Northeastern’s Trinity Schraudner. Bair ran a hard 150 meters to grab the lead and position on the pole, forcing Schraudner, who chose to run with, instead of behind, Bair, into the second lane. It was masterful tactic that paid off, as Bair would not let her opponent get by her. Satisfied with her position, Bair and Schraudner went through the first 400 meters in around 70 seconds, which was perfect for the hard-finishing Warrior.
“I kind of thought we would go out faster than we did, but I was happy where I was and just tried to have a good second lap,” Bair said. “I definitely tried to hold the inside since she was right on my hip, and I tried on each turn to make sure she was outside of me.”
Midway through the final turn, Bair began her kick, and it was more than Schraudner could handle. Bair, on top of her stride, pulled away from her struggling challenger to win the race in 2:22.87. Schraudner had nothing left, getting passed by York Suburban’s Sarah Stark right at the finish line.
“My dad (Gettysburg coach Jeff Bair) and I spend a lot of time talking tactically and about different strategies you can do.” Bair said. “I felt really good. We also talk about the last 150, so the last 150 I turned it on. I felt smooth the whole race, and I just tried to keep my turnover and arms going all down the stretch. I felt in control the whole race, and when I had the inside in the final turn, I knew I could win.”
The next race, the boys’ 800, was just as exciting, and Gettysburg junior Drew Cole almost pulled a huge upset. Taking the field out in 27 seconds for the first 200, Cole fell in behind York Suburban’s Jacob Wingard and South Western’s Connor Miller. As the leaders went through the opening lap in 60 seconds, any of the three were in position to win.
“I felt like we would go out a little quicker,” Cole said, “but I felt good coming through, and felt I could keep that pace the second lap.”
On the backstretch, Cole hung tough and was able to get right up with the other two. Unfortunately, he did not have quite enough to get by Miller before the final turn, so settled right off his shoulder. Meanwhile, Wingard took advantage and built a three meter lead through the turn. Cole came hard off the turn, charging past Miller, but did not have quite enough left to overtake winner Wingard.
“I was trying to make a move on the top two guys,” Cole said. “I was saving up a little bit going into the last turn, but that one kid had a lot of kick. But it was nice to put my attention in just the 800. It was nice being fresh, and my legs felt good.”
Wingard won in 2:00.75 with Cole right behind in a personal best 2:01.81. Miller was third in 2:02.05.
In the girls’ 1600, Margaret Carroll of Northeastern, who is Villanova-bound in the fall, dominated just as she did in Wednesday’s huge victory in the 3200. Carroll went through the 800 in 2:29, which would have placed in the open 800, on the way to a winning time of 5:01.54, nearly 13 seconds ahead of the field. Gettysburg’s Winter Oaster ran a fine race, but ran out of steam in the final lap, to finish sixth in 5:18.16.
The boys’ sprints were dominated by Red Lion, as AJ Virata took both the 100 (10.91) and the 200 (21.94). The Lions also won the 4 x 100 relay with a superb time of 42.75. Gettysburg senior Noah Sanders had to drop out of the meet after being one of the favorites in the 400. Sanders injured his foot in winning his prelim in the 200 on Wednesday, and had to pull out of the meet. It is expected that he will be ready for districts.
On the girls’ side, Spring Grove freshman Laila Campbell turned heads with national-caliber times. Campbell won the 100 (12.10, after running 11.97 in the prelims), the 200 (24.42), and the 400, which she won by a good 12 meters in 56.66. Red Lion’s girls also won the 4 x 100 (49.99) to complete the short relay sweep for the Lions.
In the meet’s final event, the 4 x 400, which began after 9:00 Thursday night, Gettysburg’s girls (Megan Hurst, Alison Harvey, Anne Bair, and Alivia Colgan) matched their league-leading seed time of 4:07.70, but could not keep up with Susquehannock’s winning effort of 4:03.80. The Warriors’ have no seniors on the relay. In the boys’ 4 x 400, South Western’s team of Connor Miller, DaShawn Gaither, Dustin Edwards, and Chris Lesher, held off York Suburban to take the gold. The Mustangs’ 3:28.19 is the fastest area time this year.
Charles Gaither, from South Western, put together the perfect throw in the discus, tossing the plate 171-7 to win the event by over 26 feet. Gaither also placed second in the shot put (49-9 ¼) just six inches behind first place.
Qualifying athletes will next participate in the District III championships, to be held at Shippensburg University on May 21-22. The district meet is the qualifying meet for the state championships. District qualifiers will be announced on Sunday.
Key: B-Biglerville, BS-Bermudian Springs, DC-Delone Catholic, F-Fairfield, G-Gettysburg, H-Hanover, L-Littlestown, NO-New Oxford, SW-South Western, CY-Central York, D-Dallastown, Do-Dover, EY-Eastern York, KD-Kennard-Dale, N-Northeastern, RL-Red Lion, SG-Spring Grove, S-Susquehannock, WY-West York, WP-William Penn, YC-York Catholic, YS-York Suburban, YT-York Tech.
3200 relay- 1.York Sub 8:17.38, 2.Susq 8:22.63, 3.Gettysburg 8:28.66, 4.C York 8:34.62, 5.New Oxford 8:35.41, 6.South Western 8:43.56, 7.Dallas 8:43.84, 8.York Tech 8:47.25; 110 hurdles- 1.Nate Clyde (NO) 14.94, 2.Alicea (N) 15.32, 3.Dustin Edwards (SW) 15.40, 4.Bernard Bell (SW) 15.42, 5.Warehime (SG) 15.44, 6.Addey (WY) 15.46, 7.Hue (CY) 15.73, 8.Mike Carlson (BS) 15.75; 100- 1.Virata (RL) 10.91, 2.Phennicie (D) 10.97, 3.Strausbaugh (RL) 11.22, 4.Goodman (CY) 11.29, 5.Generett (WY) 11.31, 6.Lindsey (RL) 11.42, 7.Hunt (WP) 11.50, 8.Osmun (SG) 11.53; 1600- 1.O’Brien (S) 4:31.57, 2.Gibney (KD) 4:31.67, 3.Wolf (KD) 4:33.96, 4.Rackley (Do) 4:37.72, 5.Quinan (KD) 4:38.75, 6.Matthew Nawn (H) 4:39.72, 7.Kern (YS) 4:40.37, 8.Lukas Raullerson (NO) 4:41.28; 400 relay- 1.R Lion 42.75, 2.W York 43.45, 3.Spr Grove 43.54, 4.C York 44.28, 5.South Western 44.49, 6.New Oxford 45.08, 7.W Penn 45.98, 8.Biglerville 46.68; 400- 1.Zeiders (YS) 48.72, 2.DaShawn Gaither (SW) 50.70, 3.Marcus Pruy (F) 51.22, 4.Nate Clyde (NO) 51.53, 5.Fowler (KD) 52.24, 6.Rodriguez (YS) 52.26, 7.Staub (S) 52.26, 8.Ethan Mills (SW) 52.58; 800- 1.Wingard (YS) 2:00.75, 2. Drew Cole (Get) 2:01.81, 3.Connor Miller (SW) 2:02.05, 4.Walsh (YS) 2:03.32, 5.Rackley (Do) 2:03.96, 6.Baxter (CY) 2:04.16, 7.O’Brien (S) 2:04.52, 8.Vance Hagarman (NO) 2:04.70; 200- 1.Virata (RL) 21.94, 2.Phennicie (D) 22.05, 3.Wright-Phillips (WY) 22.81, 4.Howard (Do) 22.97, 5.Josh Little (NO) 23.24, 6.Campbell (SG) 23.57; 1600 relay- 1.South Western 3:28.19, 2.York Sub 3:28.33, 3.Spr Grove 3:30.84, 4.W York 3:31.05, 5.Dallastown 3:33.58, 6.Dover 3:35.86, 7.Kennard-Dale 3:37.37, 8.C York 3:38.75; High jump- 1.Dante Elliott (L) 6-5, 2.Virata (RL) 6-4, 3.Carter (S) 6-2, 4.Zach Derry (SW) 6-2, 5.Dustin Edwards (SW) 6-0, 6.Hoecke (YS) 5-10, 7.Ryan Murphy (DC) 5-10, 8.(t) Reece Cramer (NO), James (RL), Zyaire Myers (H) 5-8; Long jump- 1.Dante Elliott (L) 20-11, 2.Hamilton (N) 20-2, 3.McBride (RL) 20-0, 4.Zyaire Myers (H) 19-8 ½, 5.Kyle Garman (H) 19-8 ½, 6.Trenton Kopp (DC) 19-3, 7.Fetrow (Do) 18-11 ½, 8.Anderson (WY) 18-7 ¼; Triple jump- 1.Dante Elliott (L) 44-0 ¼, 2.Hamilton (N) 42-8 ½ 3.Ricky Pacana (BS) 40-9 ¼, 4.Kyle Garman (H) 40-2 ¾, 5.Collin Smith (G) 39-7, 6.Nigel Djameh (SW) 38-9 ½, 7.Currier (EY) 38-9 ½, 8.Fetrow (Do) 38-4 ¾; Pole vault- 1.Renfrew (Do) 12-0, 2.Wyatt Didio (DC) 12-0, 3.Ryan (D) 11-6, 4.Kobe Althoff (BS) 11-6, 5.Nate Snyder (F) 11-6, 6.Kasumba (Do) 11-6, 7.Jaden Knisley (SW) 11-0, 8.Gabe Pecaitis (G) 11-0; Shot put- 1.Hulslander (KD) 50-3, 2.Charles Gaither (SW) 49-9 ¼, 3.Pham (CY) 47-11 ½, 4.Tejada (N) 44-9 ½, 5.Kalen Sharrah (B) 44-5, 6.Snedger (S) 43-2, 7.Snelbaker (Do) 42-8 ¾, 8.Christine (RL) 42-3; Discus- 1.Charles Gaither (SW) 171-7, 2.Hulslander (KD) 144-11, 3.Kalen Sharrah (B) 137-8, 4.Sevison (CY) 136-9, 5.Gordon-Bey (RL) 132-11, 6.Tyler Cook (SW) 127-6, 7.Brittyn Eakins (NO) 121-4, 8.Hunter Williams (G) 119-4; Javelin- 1.McClain (EY) 183-5, 2.DeJesus (WY) 172-2, 3.Christine (RL) 159-3, 4.Hunter Williams (G) 145-2, 5.Firestone (Do) 137-9, 6.Snelbaker (Do) 137-3, 7.Max Gourley (G) 136-3, 8.Jacob Mead (B) 135-8.
3200 relay- 1.Dover 10:07.45, 2.R Lion 10:20.26, 3.NE 10:21.60, 4.Dallastown 10:41.45, 5.Delone Catholic 10:43.91, 6.C York 10:55.66, 7.Gettysburg 10:59.28, 8.New Oxford 11:02.92; 100 hurdles- 1.Kay (YS) 15.25, 2.Marks (S) 15.85, 3.Bittner (S) 16.33, 4.Lillian LaBure (BS) 16.36, 5.Abby Jacoby (DC) 16.79, 6.Kayla Leppo (SW) 16.91, 7.Maya Richwine (NO) 17.01, 8.Isabella Bankert (NO) 17.03; 100- 1.Campbell (SG) 12.10, 2.Mulder (Do) 12.89, 3.Patterson (RL) 12.91, 4.Boardley-Wise (RL) 13.04, 5.Alivia Colgan (G) 13.17, 6.Vanover (RL) 13.18, 7.Simmons (CY) 13.26, 8.Alison Watts (BS) 13.31; 1600- 1.Carroll (N) 5:01.54, 2.Sargen (YS) 5:14.20, 3.Treglia (N) 5:14.65, 4.Pritchett (N) 5:15.20, 5.Tolerico (D) 5:16.93, 6.Winter Oaster (G) 5:18.16, 7.Dauberman (S) 5:22.65, 8.Breshci (RL) 5:23.80; 400 relay- 1.R Lion 49.99, 2.Susquehannock 50.85, 3.C York 51.70, 4.Dover 52.34, 5.Bermudian Springs 52.38, 6.New Oxford 52.95, 7.South Western 53.05, 8.Spr Grove 53.94; 400- 1.Campbell (SG) 56.66, 2.Derkosh (S) 58.44, 3.delPielago (YS) 59.11, 4.Fahringer (S) 59.47, 5.Jessican Bentzel (SW) 1:02.09, 6.Lillian LaBure (BS) 1:02.32, 7.Murray (YS) 1:02.88, 8.Wrena Wentz (NO 1:03.33; 800- 1.Anne Bair (Get) 2:22.87, 2.Stark (YS) 2:24.23, 3.Schraudner (N) 2:24.26, 4.Hoppel (Do) 2:26.92, 5.Crowl (KD) 2:28.44, 6.Skelly (Do) 2:29.06, 7.Granger (D) 2:29.37, 8.Kelly (N) 2:29.45; 200- 1.Campbell (SG) 24.42, 2.Patterson (RL) 26.51, 3.Fahringer (S) 26.52, 4.delPielago (YS) 26.54, 5.Boardley-Wise (RL) 26.93, 6.Mulder (Do) 26.95; 1600 relay- 1.Susquehannock 4:03.80, 2.Gettysburg 4:07.70, 3.York Sub 4:11.41, 4.Northeastern 4:15.04, 5.South Western 4:16.65, 6.Red Lion 4:17.11, 7.Delone Catholic 4:23.94, 8.C York 4:25.35.