The warm weather finally showed up and seemed to make up for lost time by jumping from the 60’s right to the upper 80’s for both days. Higher temps usually help the sprinters avoid injury. This time, not so much. More on that later.
110 Hurdles: 13th place 15.12. Ethan Dolberry-Wescott has been battling a lower leg problem since indoors. He still managed to run a PR of 15.12 at Districts getting him to Ship but, seeded 19th, his first goal would be to make top 16 and into the semi-finals. His 15.16 put him at 15th. First goal met. In the semi-finals (top three in each heat, plus next two fastest times make finals) he looked good but a PR-tying 15.12 was a bit less than needed and he ended up 13th overall. Still, a good solid showing.
100M: 2nd place 10.76. Darien Williams had been putting some good races together lately but seems to hit all race phases in the semi-finals. At districts, he looked unbeatable with an eased-up 10.75 semi only to finish second in 10.88. Here, after an easy 11.02 pre-lim, he closed fast on the eventual winner, Journey Brown, hitting a PR 10.64 to Brown’s 10.63. We felt if he hit all his phases, he could win it all. In the final, his start was a good one, giving no ground, but Brown seemed to open a gap around 50m. Darien closed well but ran out of track missing by 3 one hundreths, 10.76 to Brown’s 10.73. He did, however, manage to beat the District 1 champ Jeremy Jennings of Downingtown East who took third.
4×100: 7th place 42.93. It’s amazing that we’ve been able to run so fast this season with the revolving door that has been this team. After posting a sub-1:30 4×2 indoors with Shamere Dunswell, Darien Williams, Ethan Dolberry-Wescott and Rahsheed Wright, it looked like we had the horses to possibly break the 30 yr. old 4×1 school record and score high at states. Maybe even win. Things began to get complicated when Dunswell (11.18) took the season off for personal reasons and was replaced by Sam Kane (11.34), whom we moved to anchor. (Wright, Williams, Dol-Wes, Kane) After posting a Pa. #1 42.51 in early April, we were in business. That line-up stayed intact until the Monday following Conference Champs. Heading into Districts, Sam had some issues which needed addressing so the next in line was Darnell Watson (11.56). We moved the new guy back to lead-off and moved Wright from lead-off into the anchor spot. (Watson, Williams, Dol-Wes, Wright) Darnell did a great job for being thrown into the fire, the districts (pre-lims and finals) and states (pre-lims) being his first three races. With him at lead-off and Wright at anchor, the squad went 42.12, 42.40 and 42.12. We were seeded first in our pre-lim and it looked looked an easy victory until Rahsheed’s form looked a little funny as he sort of limped to the finish. Oh no. A hamstring tweak meant Antaun Lloyd was the next to get the call for the final. (Watson, Williams, Dol-Wes, Lloyd) He kept his cool, took a clean exchange, got the baton around the track and even managed to break 43 with 42.93. Oh, and worth mentioning are the two guys keeping the whole thing together while the anchor and lead-off have been a turnstile. 2nd and 3rd legs Darien and Ethan have been almost flawless with their exchanges all season.
800M: Andy Harman 1:59.75 23rd, Cam Christopher 1:58.00 19th. For years I’ve been arguing that the heats of the 800 are way too big. 16 or 17 guys makes for lots of opportunities to get yourself out of a race in a hurry. Andy’s come-from-behind tactics which have served him well lately, saw him too far behind on the second back-stretch and when he moved, so did everyone else and he finished in 12th. Cam was more aggressive with his effort, positioning himself safely on the outside of the lead pack. The problem was, the pack was so big, he was forced to run in lane 3 for almost the entire race. Running 812 meters certainly wont help your PR. 10th in his heat.
Shot Put: Yondell Dudley 52-11. 10th place Yondell had to throw his best if he wanted to medal. He also had to ignore the fact that the best thrower in the nation was in the competition. Good news was, Yondell would throw in the first flight, while Geist (74-3.5 state record) was in the second. He led all 13 throwers in his flight, now it was wait and see. He needed somebody to choke. 3 guys did, placing him tenth, but nine go to finals. His indoor PR of 55-3 would have nabbed him 6th.