BROOKVILLE - You can't do better than 4-for-4.
Sheffield's Kalil Slaughter qualified for the PIAA Track & Field Championships in all four of his events for the second straight year at the District 9 Track & Field Championships Friday at Brookville Area High School.
In doing so, the speedy senior collected District 9 championship numbers six, seven and eight with his victories in the 100, 200 and 4X100 relay. It was the third straight season Slaughter swept the 100 and 200. He finished second in the long jump, but qualified for states with the top two in each event moving on.
Times Observer photo by Allen Seybert
No catching him
Sheffield’s Kalil Slaughter breaks away from the pack during the finals of the boys 100-meter dash during the District 9 Class AA Track & Field Championships Friday at Brookville Area High School. Slaughter won the 100 as well as the 200 for the third consecutive year and was a member of the winning 4X100 relay team for the second straight season.
Teammates Deonte Clay, Dylan Reynolds and Marc Nadal will join Slaughter at next weekend's PIAA Class AA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University after the team collected the school's second straight District 9 championship in the 4X100 relay.
Slaughter opened his afternoon by finishing second in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, four inches. Despite qualifying for the event, Slaughter may choose to scratch at the PIAA meet in order to focus fully on his sprinting duties.
The long jump was the only event in which he competed that Slaughter failed to see the finish line first.
After blowing the field away in his preliminary heat of the 100, Slaughter did so again in the finals, setting a new District 9 championships record with a winning run of 10.88 seconds. Slaughter, second in the state in the 100 year ago, said winning D-9 titles never gets old.
"It's motivating," said Slaughter. "I feel like running well at this meet will help me run well at states. I just feel like it's my time. I'm running very well right now and winning a title next weekend would just be the perfect ending to my Sheffield story."
One thing that has changed for Slaughter over the past two years are his goals as it pertains to the PIAA meet.
"It's state title or bust," said Slaughter. "I'm not really even thinking about placing. I want to win. I feel like I have the ability. I just have to go out there and put it all together when it counts."
Slaughter will also get to compete individually in the 200. He was able to win that event with a run of 21.70 seconds on Friday. That mark was also a new District 9 meet record. The previous record had stood for over 40 years.
Sheffield boys coach Bryan Gould said that Slaughter continues to impress each time out and he accomplished the goals he set for himself today.
"He was certainly ready to go today. There's no doubt about that," said Gould. "He set new D-9 records in the 100 and 200 and wanted to get good enough times to put him into fast heats next week at states. He managed to achieve each of those goals today. He's just impressive. What else can you say?"
In addition to Slaughter, the Wolverines will send three more athletes to Shippensburg after the 4X100 relay team's victory. Clay, Reynolds, Nadal and Slaughter sprinted to the finish line in 44.31 seconds - just three one-hundredths of a second of the District 9 meet record.
Clay and Nadal are newcomers to the group with Slaughter and Reynolds wrapping up their second D-9 title in the event. Reynolds said Friday that winning the D-9 championship feels even better the second time around.
"It's pretty exciting," said Reynolds. "It's definitely sweeter the second time around. We all worked so hard for this and it feels good to be able to get the job done."
Reynolds is already thinking three-peat.
"I hope we can come back and win it again next year," said Reynolds. "It will be difficult without Kalil, but I think we'll be right there in the mix."
Gould was impressed - and may even a little surprised by his 4X100 team's showing.
"We had to make a last second adjustment and they stepped up to the challenge," said Gould. "I still believed they could win, but I also wanted a run in the low 44's in order to get in a good heat next weekend. They did that and actually ran our third fastest time of the season in the event."
Reynolds added two additional placewinning efforts on Friday. He was fifth in the 200-meter dash and also teamed with Nadal, Steve Dendy and Evan Jamison to place fifth in the 4X400 relay.
In the field, Shaquille Cousins had a nice day, finishing sixth in his only event - the shot put.
Despite sending only four athletes to the district meet, the Lady Wolverines returned home with a pair of placewinners.
Ashley Davidson tied for fifth in the high jump by clearing four feet, eight inches. Teammate Jen Isenberg narrowly missed placing in the high jump and was able to place in the javelin, delivering a stout sixth-place showing.
"All four of the girls (including Morgan Leichtenberger and Jade Moore) worked incredibly hard to get here," said Sheffield girls coach Janelle Johnson. "They worked so hard the last couple of months and it all paid off today."
Official results from Friday's meet were not available at press time. They will be published, if available, in Monday's Times Observer.