County athletes set to compete at state track and field meet
Warren County will be well-represented when the PIAA Track and Field Championships get underway today in Shippensburg.
Seven county athletes, Youngsville’s Jake Hogg and Jordan Keyes, Eisenhower’s TerryLee Talasky, Delaney Nizzi and Jonah Samuelson and Warren’s Lydia Latimer and Naomi Hahn will be looking to add a state title to their resumes.
For some, Talasky, Samuelson, Latimer and Hahn, 2018 marks a return trip to Shippensburg.
Talasky, making her fourth appearance at the state meet, took fifth in the 400 in 2017. She won’t be able to better that performance as a lane violation in the District 10 meet disqualified her from that event. She will be competing in the 100 and 200, having narrowly missed running in the finals of the 200 last year. Talasky holds the third fastest qualifying time in the 100 (12.26) just 0.1 behind Breana Gambrell of Athens Area and 0.8 back of South Park’s Maddie Raymond.
Latimer, a three-time D-10 champion and state qualifier in the high jump, finished 14th in the event in 2017. She cleared 5-0 last year, and already bettered that by going 5-1 to win the D-10 title last week in Slippery Rock. She’ll likely need an even better jump to medal at states as more than half of the 29-jumper field has cleared at least 5-3.
Hahn entered the 2017 state meet after a second place finish at Districts. This year, she’ll compete in the 1600 as the D-10 champion. She’s certainly no stranger to state competition, having also competed in the state cross country meet each of the last two seasons.
Samuelson narrowly missed advancing from the preliminaries in both the 110 and 300 hurdles a season ago. He’ll compete in only the 300 hurdles this year and the senior has already knocked more than a second off his preliminary time from 2017 (41.99 to 40.74). He’ll face tough competition in his heat. Calvin Wetzel of Riverside has the heat’s top time at 38.93, while Derek Herr from Littlestown is right behind at 39.87. Samuelson’s heat also features District 9 competitor Dillon Olson of Brookville (40.41).
Nizzi was at the 2017 meet as a spectator, traveling to cheer on her teammates and get an idea of the competition. She was a bit of a surprise entrant this year not because of her performance, but the event she qualified in. She earned a spot in the long jump, though her strongest event is typically the 300 hurdles.
“We are excited for TerryLee and Delaney qualifying for the state meet,” Eisenhower coach Darlene Beach said following the D-10 meet. “They are both such hard workers.”
Hogg was quite possibly the story of the D-10 meet. The freshman not only won a district title his first time out, but he did it by shattering a school record held by 1976 Olympian Mike Shine. Hogg cleared 6-4 at districts and comes into Shippensburg tied with Connor Hess (senior, Canton Area), Kolt Byers (sophomore, Bermudian), Darius Johnson (senior, Valley) and Dantae Ranieri (senior Hopewell) for the top seed.
Despite having to throw in the rain at Slippery Rock, Keyes uncorked the javelin to the tune of 162-1 on his way to a D-10 title. He’ll enter the state meet as the 14th seed. Top seeded Ethan Dabbs from Richland qualified with a throw of 202-5.
The meet begins at 9 a.m., with Keyes in the javelin. The 100 prelims for Talasky begin at 11:30 a.m., with Hahn going in the 1600 at noon. Nizzi takes to the long jump and Hogg approaches the high jump bar at 12:30 p.m. Talasky closes out the county’s day in the 200 prelims at 4 p.m. Girls high jump, along with 100 and 200 semis and finals, take place Saturday.