SHIPPENSBURG – A pair of Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference jumpers finished with bronze medals on Friday in their respective events at the PIAA Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium.
Penn Cambria junior Lyric Janosik was third in the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 9.75 inches while Bishop Carroll senior Caroline Ratchford finished third in the high jump, tying her personal-best of 5-5.
“Since this is my last time here, I just wanted to medal today,” said Ratchford. “I wasn’t expecting to be in the top three. I knew that I had to focus on doing the best that I could, and not worry about what everyone else was doing.”
Ratchford had her own personal cheering section on Friday.
“That was my family,” said an emotional Ratchford. “I know my mom and dad took me to all those track meets and I was just happy that I could finish third and give them that.”
Janosik also finished tied for eighth in the high jump.
“Long jump is definitely my best event and this is my first year coming to states for high jump, so I am happy just to medal,” said Janosik, who cleared 5-2, two inches below her personal best.
The Panthers jumper was top seeded in the long jump coming into the competition.
“I felt pretty good, but I came in here hoping to get the gold,” Janosik said. “Although I didn’t, it was a great experience and I’m just happy to be here. Next year I hope I can come back bigger and better. It was a great competition.”
Richland’s Tierney Beebout was one of three tied for 19th and Shade’s Morgan Maurer one of two tied at 23rd in the high jump while Jenna Pavlosky of Conemaugh Township was 23rd in the long jump.
Sophomore Maizee Fry of United was sixth in discus with a throw of 125-3.
“I’m very excited,” said Fry, who will compete in shot put on Saturday. “I was three feet away from my PR (personal record), but my form was good, so I’m happy. There are so many good throwers, but I wasn’t as nervous as I was last year and I just went out and did my best.”
Lions teammate Delaney Mack was 21st in the discus.
Forest Hills sophomore Haley Croyle surprised herself by earning a podium finish in her first state championship appearance. Croyle was seventh in the javelin toss with a personal-best throw of 123-10.
“It was a great feeling, but I honestly didn’t expect it at all, but it felt really good to be on the podium,” Croyle said.
“This is only my fourth week throwing because my shoulder was injured so this is pretty exciting for me.”
District 5 champion junior Lexi Yanosky of Berlin Brothersvalley was the area’s next highest finisher in javelin, 10th, while Forest Hills sophomore Josi Wehner was 12th and Fry of United finished 17th.
Somerset’s Taylor Fike finished 26th in the Class AAA shot put.
Central Cambria’s Abby Walwro, Faith Wilson, Ella Vrabel and Paige Wess advanced to the 3200 relay finals, finishing second in their heat with a time of 9:53.67.
The Red Devils foursome of Walwro, Olivia Ratchford, McKenna Hayward and Wess qualified for the 1600 relay finals with a time of 4:05.53. Central Cambria’s Wess also advanced to the finals in the 800 in a time of 2:19.20.
The Shade 400 relay quartet of Mary Hostetter, Lorna Speigle, Emily Coddington and Maurer ran a group-best time to qualify as one of eight teams to compete in the finals on Saturday. They finished third in their heat in a time of 49.76.
Hostetter advanced to Saturday’s semifinals in the 100 dash and Panthers teammate Coddington moved into Saturday’s 1600 finals.
Four of the eight finalists in Saturday’s 400 final are from Districts 5 and 6 including area competitors Speigle from Shade (58.50) and Portage freshman Lauren Shaffer (58.20).
Eliminated in the preliminaries was the 3200 relay of Bedford (Leah Davidson, Riley Ruffley, Jessica Dibert, Natalie Lippincott); Penn Cambria’s 400 relay (Emily Harvey, Olivia Papi, Daijah Lilly, Janosik); United’s Laura Susick and Bedford’s Ashley Ferguson did not advance to the 300 hurdles finals; and the 1600 relays of Shade (Grace Leiford, Stephanie Emert, Coddington, Lorna Speigle) and Forest Hills (Lacey Greathouse, Maggie Stains, Remingtyn Smith, Alyssa Caddy).
United’s Susick and Berlin Brothersvalley’s Kara McKenzie failed to advance to Saturday’s semifinals in the 100 hurdles and Portage’s Shaffer didn’t advance to the semis in the 100 dash. Caddy of Forest Hills, Shaffer of Portage and Hostetter of Shade all failed to advance to Saturday’s semifinals in the 200.