August Cook, a sophomore for Army West Point, recently won his second straight Patriot League javelin title.
Cook, a Bedford High School graduate, had a record-breaking toss of 237 feet, 8 inches (72.44 meters), setting both Army West Point and Patriot League outdoor championship records. The previous Army record was 72.05 set by Adam Burke at the 2004 NCAA Championships.
The career-best throw from Cook tied him for ninth in the 2019 NCAA Division I national rankings.
Cook will compete in the NCAA East Qualifier at Northern Florida University in Jacksonville on May 24. The top 12 eastern javelin throwers will join the west’s top 12 at the NCAA National Track and Field Championships, June 5-8 at the University of Texas in Austin.
Cook, who was second in the PIAA Championships in 2016, qualified for the 2018 NCAA championships in Eugene, Oregon, where he finished 22nd.
• Another track and field success story involves the transition made by the 2018 PIAA Class AA girls pole vault champion, Morgan Gossard of Richland.
Gossard, a freshman at Westminster College won the pole vault, registering a vault of 10-6 (3.20 meters) for the first PAC Outdoor championship of her career.
At the PIAA Championships last year, Gossard cleared a height of 12-6, but there is a difference in the weight and type of poles used in college competition and Gossard continues to improve herself.
The former Richland Ram was named Westminster rookie of the year.
• Central Cambria standout Michelle Hildebrand, a junior at St. Francis, won the javelin toss at the Northeast Conference championships with a throw of 138-11.
It was Hildebrand’s first individual title and qualified her for the ECAC Meet.
• Another Central Cambria athlete, runner Bryce Descavish of Dickinson, ran the third leg of the winning 3200 relay at the Centennial Conference Championship.
The former Red Devils runner was also second in the 10,000-meter run and third in the 5,000.
• Robert Morris freshman Zoe Roush, a Forest Hills graduate, was fourth in the long jump in her first Northeast Conference Championship meet.
District championship week: The district championships for track and field are set for this week in 5 and 6, but inclement weather may have a hand in the week’s schedule.
Forecasted weather has already pushed back the District 6 Class AA championships to Wednesday at Altoona’s Mansion Park while District 5 will hold its Class AA championship on Wednesday at Northern Bedford.
Included in the field at the District 6 Class AA meet will be the Laurel Highlands boys and girls champions, Central Cambria, the WestPAC boys’ champions, Portage, and the Heritage Conference boys and girls champs, Ligonier Valley.
The Shade girls, the WestPAC champs, will be at the District 5 meet.
The Class AAA meet in District 6 is set for Thursday, also at Mansion Park.
The PIAA Track and Field Championships are set for May 24-25 at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium.