SHIPPENSBURG -Now that's a fast start.
It wasn't a couple hours into Friday's PIAA Track and Field Championships that Warren County had a state medalist, and a few more kids knocking on the door for Saturday.
Eisenhower senior Alex Yaegle had his best-ever throw of 186 feet, three inches to finish fifth in the Class AA boys javelin. His goal was the school record of 188-8, but, "I'm not disappointed," said Yaegle.
Photo by Rich Rhoades
Right on track
Sheffield’s Kalil Slaughter flies to a school record in his 100-meter dash heat on Friday, qualifying for the semifinals on Saturday morning at the PIAA Class AA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.
Though he didn't rule out trying to throw for the record unofficially in his back yard.
Eisenhower head coach David Bauer said Yaegle uses these old track shoes he found underneath the floorboard of an equipment shed, and he had to borrow a javelin from the Warren track team due to his being "too short."
"The goal was to break the school record, so I don't think he's completely happy with that," said Eisenhower coach David Bauer. "Records are there for a reason, because they are very difficult to achieve. Watching this kid, he has so much raw talent."
The event started off with a state-record throw, by 10 feet, of 221-06 by NE Bradford's Rob Robbins.
"With some kids, things like that would get in his head, but not Alex," said Bauer. "I'm really hoping that he will go on and throw in college. With the right amount of practice and the right person coaching him, he could do very well."
Yaegle uncorked his best throw right after Robbin's state-record throw.
It took Sheffield's Kalil Slaughter and Youngsville's 4 X 400 boys relay team a lot less time on Friday.
Slaughter ran the 100-meter dash preliminaries in the fastest of four heats and easily advances to Saturday's semifinals. In fact, Slaughter tied with the fastest time of the day in a school record 10.90 seconds, and he will be in the opposite Class AA semi from Clairton's Trenton Coles, who also ran 10.90.
Only three broke an 11-second 100, and they were all in Slaughter's heat.
Sheffield boys coach Bryan Gould said Slaughter didn't even mention the school record, because he;s focused on Saturday. He has a busy day. He competes in the long jump at 9 a.m., the 100 semis at 10:30 a.m., the 200 semis at 11:30, the 100 final, if he qualifies, at 12:15 p.m., and the 200 final, if he qualifies, at 2 p.m..
He qualified in the 200 preliminaries on Friday with the second best time in 22.45 seconds, behind Cole's 21.98. The top eight from the field of 16 in the semifinals advance to the finals and automatically earn a state medal.
Sheffield's 4 X 100 team did not advance to the final, but the District 9 championship team of Michael Torres, Dylan Reynolds, Eric Allen and Slaughter did break their own school and county record in 44.2 seconds.
"I'm extremely proud of them," said Gould. "It was the best time they've run all year. They came in seeded 24th out of 25 teams and finished 17th out of 25."
Gould said the group is supporting Slaughter..
A relay that will medal at states is the Youngsville 4 X 400 boys relay of Max Lalwani, Bob McCoy, Nathan Smith and Rocco Gatta.
"We ran our school record, and what I believe will be the county record - 3:24.97," said Youngsville coach Jeff Manelick. "That was good enough to win our heat.
"I was proud of them that they handled the state syndrome, they stayed pretty loose (and) as far as positive and negative splits, a couple were faster and a couple the same or not quite there."
Manelick said that gives the Eagles incentive to beat their fourth-place time from the preliminaries. The top eight teams made the finals and the top eight earn medals on Saturday. The Eagles finished second at the District 10 Class AA meet last week to Sharon, but defeated D-10 champ Sharon on Friday. Sharon did not qualify for the finals.
"It's a confidence booster," he said. "That's who they set their sights on today, and took care of them. I think they are still pretty focused."
Warren's District 10 Class AAA champion 4 X 400 relay team of Luke Wortman, Jordan Willetts, Matt Stapleford and Allen Burnett was seeded 24th out of 25 teams and finished fifth in their heat in 3:29.08.
"We made it here and it's not a consolation prize," said Warren boys coach Steve Norris, who said Warren had two personal-bests out of four, but came short of the goal of bettering 3:26.
Warren sophomore Summer Walter "has had a wonderful year," said girls coach Mark Sweet, but also did not qualify for the finals in the 100 or 300 hurdles. She was fifth in her Class AAA 100 hurdles heat in 15.52. She was seeded in 15.20 seconds.
She was eighth in her heat of the 300 hurdles in 47.10. She was seeded with a time of 45.69.
She still holds the school and county records in each event.
"She was disappointed, but still has (her signature) smile on her face," said Sweet.
To view results, visit www.piaa.org.