SHIPPENSBURG – Forest Hills pole vaulter Robert “Bob” Krug went over the top, literally, on Saturday at the PIAA Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University.
The senior had the best vault of his career to earn a silver medal, clearing 14-feet for the second-place finish, just behind Milton Area junior Brent Long, who took gold with a 14-9.
“I was second in District 6 and only jumped 12-6,” Krug said. “It was a rough week of practice where I wasn’t getting 13-feet and I just had no confidence. Then I came out (Saturday) and just felt something. It’s my last meet, my last sporting event I would ever do for Forest Hills, and I just wanted to try my best and give it my all and I did.”
Krug said as the bar kept going up, so did his belief in himself.
“At 13-0, I was so nervous, but I got it the first time, and my confidence just went up,” said Krug, who also was at the state championships as a sophomore. “Then I got 13-6 and 14-0 the first time. It was just crazy. I was a little surprised. I am still in shock.”
Rangers’ teammate Byron Daubert finished tied with five other jumpers for 14th.
Junior Duane Knisely of Chestnut Ridge followed up his silver medal on Friday in the discus, with a bronze on Saturday in the shot put. His throw was 56-11.
“I am happy, I had a good series of throws that were a little better than my average every time this season,” Knisely said.
“It’s a good experience (to be on the podium). Next year I hope to be a little higher, but I’m pretty happy with how it went this year.”
Nick Fetzer was fourth in the 3200 run and added a seventh place in the 1600, his first medals at the state competition.
“I wanted to finish a little higher in the mile, but that two-mile really took it out of me,” Fetzer said. “Being top eight in the state in two events is an achievement that I am very proud of.”
Fetzer ran the 3200 in 9:31.78 and the 1600 in 4:25.99.
“The 3200 time was a personal best, but I’m more happy for the medal because that’s a greater achievement in my eyes,” Fetzer said.
Due to an injury, Bedford’s Van May was replaced by Ian Sherlock of Northern Bedford in the 3200 and he was 14th.
Nickolas Hyde followed up his gold medal in Friday’s Class AAA shot put competition with a fourth-place finish in the discus.
“I was seeded third but it’s still good to come out of here with a medal,” said Hyde, who had a throw of 164-6.
“For not even coming here the last few years to compete in discus, and getting a medal this year, is just amazing. It hasn’t hit me yet that this is my last high school throw that I will ever make, it’s a great feeling to be here.”
Ligonier Valley’s all-senior lineup in the 400 relay, certainly left a legacy that will be a hard act to follow.
The four runners, Zach Beitel, Elliot Rost, Lucas Rashilla and Aaron Tutino, finished sixth on Saturday with a time of 43.47, yet another school record they have established, eclipsing their own times in past races.
“This feels pretty amazing with all of our hard work paying off,” Beitel said. “We had to buckle down and stay focused on the race.”
Added Rashilla: “This was another PR (personal record) for us and is the fifth time we broke our school record this year.
“We just kept getting better all year. We all had someone pushing us the whole race.”
Tutino agreed that the competition was what spurred the Rams on in the final Saturday.
“It was awesome to get to run against some of these kids,” Tutino said. “It was a little bit different because we weren’t used to having teams run by us. Our handoffs were smooth and it was a good last run.”
Rost, who also finished seventh in the 200 in 22.42, said that they knew this relay was a special group.
“We went into this just figuring that we were going to run our race,” said Rost, who failed to move into the finals in the 100. “I gave it my best shot.
“Overall I wasn’t even expecting to place in the 200. I was in Lane 7 in the semis. I was able to run against good competition and I think that helped push me.”
The other three relay runners were excited for Rost.
“Elliot is going to be the first kid in Ligonier history to get two medals in one meet,” Rashilla said.
Central Cambria’s quartet of Corey Roberts, Eli Wandel, Adam Leichlitner and Nate Kuntz finished just off the podium, in ninth place, in the 3200 relay.
In the triple jump competition, Logan Pfister of Chestnut Ridge was the highest area finisher, 10th, while Roberts of Central Cambria was 13th and Penn Cambria’s Jake Tsikalas finished 19th.
Cejay Walker of Somerset was 10th in the Class AAA 800 in a time of 1:58.74.
“It wasn’t my best time, but it was the time I needed to get 10th,” Walker said. “It feels good and I give God the credit for the way I have been running lately.”