It all comes down to one meet.
A total of 16 athletes from Warren, Eisenhower, Youngsville, and Sheffield will compete at Shippensburg University this Friday and Saturday, all hoping to bring home a PIAA track & field medal in their respective events.
Sheffield's Kalil Slaughter - now at Penn State Behrend - earned himself a pair of gold medals at last year's state meet and also brought home a sixth-place medal in the 4x100 relay with Kwante Johnson, Deonte Clay and Dylan Reynolds.
Times Observer file photo
Ike 4X400 relay teammates Jake
VanHouten, left, and Ben?Perkins
Reynolds is the only returning member of the group and will head back to the "Ship" in search of another medal, this time in the long jump.
Warren will be well represented in Shippensburg with nine athletes making the trip between the boys' and girls' teams.
The boys' 4x400 relay team of Caleb Hultman, Tanner Rosenberg, Jordan Willetts and Luke Wortman are making a return trip to states after winning the District 10 title for the second straight year. Austin Jerman returns for the Dragons as the District 10 champion in the javelin and Wortman will be in action in the 400-meter dash.
"We would like to see Luke run a 50 in the 400, and we're looking for the school record in the 4X4 with Tanner back and being pushed," said Warren boys coach Steve Norris. "Austin Jerman always seems to come on at the end of the year. Hopefully they have a good time and it's a great experience for them."
The Lady Dragons have a three-time state qualifier in Sabrina Anderson, who won the district title in the 100-meter hurdles and will run as part of the 4x100 relay team with Casey Kulka, Brooke Armanini and Amy Castagnino.
"We're very excited about tomorrow," said girls' coach Mark Sweet. "We had a good practice today. All the girls made their personal goals, and that's what they're going out to achieve."
Eisenhower's Jake VanHouten earned the county's highest seed at sixth in the 300-meter hurdles after breaking the school record in the event just weeks ago. Matt Eernisse will represent the Knights in the 400, and the two will team up with fellow seniors Ben Perkins and Andrew Onoratti in the 11th seeded 4x400 relay.
Rounding out the Warren County athletes are a pair of sophomore javelin throwers in Sheffield's Jen Isenberg and Youngsville's Mitch Wilcox. Isenberg, the Lady Wolverines' record holder in the event, finished fourth at the District 9 meet with a qualifying throw of 127'1".
Wilcox's toss of 167'5" at the District 10 meet was good for second place and a 12th seed at states.
The 2013 PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University will begin at 9 a.m. Friday morning.