NEB's Williams breaks district record as locals shine at D4 Championships.

By: Chris Manning | Towanda Daily Review | May 20, 2013 | Photo courtesy Chris Manning


2013 PIAA District IV Track and Field ChampionshipsSELINSGROVE - The NTL showed what it could do at the District IV Championships.

Northeast Bradford's Sam Williams set a new district record in the 3200 while the NTL swept the 800 and high jump competitions.

Williams won the 3200 in 9:24.92, three seconds under the district record of 9:27.55.

"It felt awesome," Williams said about earning the title and record. "In the first couple of laps I was a little worried. The times were around 72-73 and I knew I had to pick it up. I used the kid behind me to push me."

South Williamsport's Griffin Molino was right behind, finishing in 9:26.75.

The old record was held by Lewisburg's Chris Spooner.

"He is a great athlete, a great competitor," Williams said of Spooner. "It feels great to be able to beat his shadow."

During the last 50 meters Williams heard the crowd roar as Molino closed.

"It was pretty rough," he said. "The harder thing was I hear the crowd cheering for the guy behind me and I knew I had to go. I wasn't going to lose this. Not my senior year."

This was Williams' third event of the day, something that would take its toll on any runner.

"I was very happy with they way it worked out," he said. "I tried to take it easy in the 4x8 and in the 1600."

Towanda's Aaron Valoroso edged into states with a time of 9:47.40 taking fifth overall, a bitter sweet moment for the senior.

"It's nice to go back," he said. "I wish I could have done better, though. It's not the finish I wanted senior year but it's better than not going."

Valoroso is still battling a nagging injury.

"I will have more time to recover from my injury a couple weeks ago," he said. "I have had a tight glute, it just wouldn't get loose. It's been a constant battle. Injury wise I felt OK today. I just need to get that second gear the second mile."

Northeast Bradford's Levi Upham came up just short, taking fourth in 9:50.52 while Sayre's Nick Sweet was right behind at 9:51.38. The state standard is 9:48.01.

The NTL went 1-through-4 in the 800 led by Northeast Bradford's Curt Jewett in his winning time of 1:57.64.

Wellsboro's Jordan Jackson was second in 1:47.98 while Panther Colton Snyder took third in 1:58.69. All three will be going to states.

"Ouch," was how Jewett described the win in the 800. "I can say right now that last 400 was all heart and I put it out there."

The race went out fast even for a district meet with the first 200 in 25.

"They all went out really fast," Jewett said. "When I caught back up to them I had a 28 for the 200 so I just stayed consisted right there, I just stayed right at that pace all the way around. The last 100 I caught up to Jordan Jackson and it was us all the way. It was pure heart all the way down that last 100 meters."

Jewett has a lot of kind words for Jackson.

"He is an amazing racer," he said. "I love him to death. I can't wait until states."

Jackson was pleased with his race.

"I went with my plan in the 800, run 1:57, 1:58 and I was really happy with that," he said.

Jackson was looking to go out in 28 for the first 200 and 59 for the first lap.

"That was a little fast but I don't think it affected me too much," he said. "There are some great 800 racers in District IV and it just pushed me further. Curt, Colton and even some more kids behind me are really fast."

When he took the lead Jackson didn't know who was challenging him the final 100.

"At first I thought it was Colton," he said. "Because I remember last year he got me on the last stretch. I saw the green spikes and it was Curt and thought it was going to be a great finish."

Snyder was hoping for a better performance than third.

"It was pretty fast but it was what I wanted to hit," he said. "I didn't feel good before the race but I can't blame it on that."

Snyder has one goal going into next weekend.

"I want to win the 800," he said. "It's all I know."

Northeast Bradford's Brandon Devonshire was fourth in 2:00.37, just missing the state standard of 1:59.70.

Sayre's Adam Moore was also in the top 10.

Jewett won the 1600 earlier in the day in 4:18.14 in a race that saw seven runners go under the state standard of 4:31.13.

The 2-time district champion in the mile led the whole way but felt he could have gone faster.

"I'm a little disappointed because I didn't get the time I wanted," Jewett explained. He was shooting for the district record of 4:14.13.

"I went out in the 66 and I couldn't make that back up," he added. "Hopefully I can do a little better at states."

Jewett wanted to go out in 63, 62 for the first lap.

"I got a little tied up behind the Lewisburg kid," he said. "I didn't pass them but I should have. Whatever happens, happens."

As for next week Jewett is going to try to go out in the low 60s and repeat as much as he can.

"Trying to repeat what I was trying to do at Henderson with the 62s and try and go under 4:10," he explained.

Sayre's Nick Sweet was third in 4:25.72.

"It feels really good," Sweet said about earning a state berth.

He paced himself off Jewett.

"It gave me somebody to look forward to," Sweet explained.

Having the lead pack go out in 1:06 was perfect for Sweet.

"I wanted to hit about a 1:06 my first lap so I was about where I wanted," he remarked.

The third lap is usually the toughest in the mile but Sweet fought through to get under 4:30.

"Just try and push through it," Sweet said. "Try and forget about it."

Wellsboro's Bobby Hill took fifth in 4:27.04 while Williams was sixth in 4:28.57.

Hill was hoping to go out faster than the 66 they hit.

"It was too slow," he said. "I was supposed to go out in 1:04 and do 1:05, 1:05 and 1:04 but that didn't happen."

Having a big helped this week and will get him ready for next week.

"I had people there to push me," Hill remarked. "It's really going to help."

"My goal was to kind of run this like I would the state prelims," Williams explained. "Just put myself in a good position and try and get through it with as little effort as possible. I put a move on the one kid to finish safe and seventh."

Athens' Matt Millard took eighth.

In the high jump Towanda's Joel Miller led an NTL 1-2-3 sweep with all jumpers finishing at the state standard of 6-feet, 4-inches.

Canton's Austin Bunner was second and North Penn's Reece Correll took third.

Miller won by virtue of least amount of misses.

"It's really exciting," Miller said about going to states. "And it's really surprising to me."

A few weeks ago Miller hit 6-feet, 4-inches at Canton but a poor performance at the NTL Championships hurt his confidence some.

"I had a really bad NTL and tried to put it behind me," Miller said.

Early on Miller was clearing the bar easily, an omen for his standout day.

"When I know that I'm getting over the lower heights by a lot it's a confidence booster," Miller said.

Once he hit the state standard Miller was content with his day.

"Right when I got that I didn't even care if I got first, second or third, I just wanted to go," he said.

As for next week he has one word for what he's working on: "arching."

For Bunner this is something he's been working on all season.

"I've been training all year for this," he remarked. "I can't believe it."

Correll is also excited as this will be his second trip to states.

"It feels great," Correll said. "I loved it last year. I expect to do better this year."

All season Correll has been up and down but he still felt confident going into Saturday's championships.

"I expected a lot and wanted to do good, to PR at 6-4 and I did," he said.

On Correll's last attempt at 6-feet, 4-inches he just edged over to pull into second.

"I was nervous," Correll said about his state qualifying jump.

On Bunner's last attempt at the same height he needed to clear or go home and he was able to get over as well.

"In my head I was just telling my self I came all this way, I have to get it," Bunner explained. "And I did."

"We're both good competitors and we both were going to get it if we had another try," Correll said about him and Bunner.

Having somebody like Emmett Watson helped Bunner all season.

"He's been right there next to me," Bunner remarked. "We couldn't have done it without each other."

Sayre's Jeremy Kyc was fifth, Watson took sixth with North Penn's Jacob Spring and Dallas Dziuba seventh and eighth.

Towanda's Charlie Kerin won the 400 in 50.09.

"It feels great," Kerin said about winning the 400.

Despite being the third seed Kerin wasn't going to deviate from what got him here.

"Just run my race," he said. "Use the guy the was seeded first to pull me around the track and that's what I did. I'm glad for it."

The last 100 Kerin pulled away from the pack to secure the win.

"It hurt but it felt good at the same time," he remarked.

He was followed by Jackson in 50.86.

"I wasn't expecting that," Jackson said about his race.

His sister also made it to states in the 400.

"I'm really proud," Jackson said about his sister's performance. "She's been working really hard to get in with the 400. It's going to be cool to have a brother and sister at states."

Canton's Eddie Larcom was fifth with North Penn's JJ Walker eighth.

Sayre's Lucas Murphy was second in the pole vault at the state standard of 13-feet, 6-inches.

"It's absolutely amazing," Murphy said about making states. "It's almost breath taking and mind boggling at the same time."

He came close during practice which gave him confidence going into the meet. Last Wednesday he put the bar up to 13-feet, 6-inches and was able to get high enough to clear it.

"I haven't been able to get enough drive," Murphy explained. "I had it cleared by a good foot and I just knocked it off my chest on the way back down. I knew if I could get the drive I did get today I would be able to get it and I did it."

At the NTL Championship meet Murphy won the pole vault on a jump off and used that to get ready for this week.

"That was just a set up for this week," Murphy said. "And this week is a set up for next week."

Towanda's Tony Daniello took seventh while Athens' Sam Vergeson was eighth.

Canton's Will Unruh finished second in the discus at 145-feet, 1-inch edging out Wyalusing's Jeremy Allyn for the final spot. Allyn was third in 144-feet, 1-inch.

"It feels awesome," Unruh said about going to states. "I'm estactic."

He will now have to focus for next week's state meet.

"I am excited but nervous," Unruh admitted. "It will be very different."

Williamson's Kaleb Rice was seventh while Athens' Craig Moore took eighth.

Athens' Ryan Kreykenbohm was second in the shot put at 49-feet, 2 1/2-inches.

"It feels good," he said about going to states. "I wish I would have been first place since I did go underneath my PR but I'll try and get him at states."

Mount Carmel's Eric Joraskie won in 49-feet, 8 1/4-inches, well under Kreykenbohm's seed of 50-feet, 5 1/2-inches.

"I wanted to focus on getting that 50 footer," he said about this week. "Obviously I didn't get that but second place I'm still taking it to states. It feels great."

As for this week he has a good idea about what he's going to be working on.

"More explosive," Kreykenbohm said.

This has been a long time coming for the Wildcat.

"It's been a three year process," Kreykenbohm said. "I'm glad I made it my senior year."

Allyn was fifth while Unruh took seventh.

Wildcat Nick Pane was second in the 110 hurdles at 15.01. He led most of the way until the very end when overall winner Luke Rarig of Southern Columbia won in 15.00.

"It feels good," Pane said about earning a state berth. "I kind of wish I could have finished a little stronger, though. I could have gotten a better time and gotten first place."

Pane clipped the final hurdle and that was enough to allow Rarig to catch up.

"District title, district title, district title kept playing in my head," Pane said about the race. "Right at the end he got an edge on me."

Running on a college track meant the hurdles would be heavier that what Pane would be used to.

"When you hit them it slows you down a little bit," Pane explained. "I've got to work on not hitting as many hurdles and just try and run a cleaner race next time." Troy's Josh Purcell was fourth.

Towanda's 4x100 relay of Kerin, Steven Vogel, Trey Sites and Austin Schoonover was second in 43.89.

"It's great to do it three years in a row," Vogel said.

They plan on working even harder to go lower for states.

"We definitely have some workouts to do," Vogel remarked.

Sites had a prediction for their workouts this week.

"Practice is going to be rough," he said.

Athens missed the state standard of 44.31 with a time of 44.34.

That same Black Knight relay also took second in the 4x400 relay in 3:27.46.

"We really pushed harder to go in two relays," Sites remarked.

It was Kerin's fourth event of the day with all of them coming during the second half of the meet.

"It was tough," he admitted. "But you have got to do what you have got to do. You cannot back down."

Making it in the 4x100 helped take pressure in this relay.

"It made it a little easier," Kerin remarked.

Athens' 4x400 relay hit the state time on the dot at 3:29.60. It was made up of Tyler Birdsall, Brad Sampson, Vergeson and Kevin Stedge.

"Our last two meets we have dropped 10 seconds," Sampson explained.

"We just started running with this group two weeks ago," added Vergason.

Stedge anchored the relay with a strong final lap.

"It was fast," he said. "They pushed me. I just tried to make sure I didn't get passed by anyone else."

Wellsboro just missed the state time of 3:29.60, coming in at 3:30.65.

In the 4x800 relay Northeast Bradford (Devonshire, Snyder, Williams, Jewett) cruised their way to second in 8:08.0.

"It felt pretty good," Snyder remarked.

The goal for the Panthers was to just hit state time and save themselves for their individual events.

"I wanted to go real fast so they didn't have to run as hard. Just trying to qualify for states pretty much," Snyder added.

At the beginning Devonshire was boxed in a little bit but worked his way out of it to hand off in first.

"It feels awesome," Devonshire remarked. "I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make it to states this year but it looks like were going now."

Running the 3200 relay wasn't even in their plans a couple weeks ago.

"I'm so happy we did it," Snyder said. "We weren't going to at first but then we decided to."

Troy came up just short at 8:16.1 with the state standard at 8:15.55.

In the 300 hurdles Purcell came up just short, taking third in 40.84. He missed the state standard by .04 seconds.

Wellsboro's Jack Chambers took seventh.

In the 100 Athens' Jake Coyle was fourth while Wellsboro's Dan Brooks was sixth. Kerin was third in the 200 with Vogel fourth and Birdsall eighth.

Athens' Austin Depew was fifth in the long jump while Canton's Theron Binford took sixth.

Sayre's Joey Galizia was third in the triple jump, missing second by 1 1/4-inches. Depew took fifth, Correll was sixth and Sampson was eighth.

Wellsboro's Nick Marple was fifth in the javelin while Wyalusing's Jonah Shotwell finished eighth.

Northeast took fourth with 57 points for the top local team while Towanda was fifth with 55. Athens sixth at 43, Wellsboro tied for eighth at 31, Sayre tied at 10th with 30, Canton 12th at 28, Troy 16th with 16, North Penn 18th with 14, Wyalusing 19th with 13 and Williamson 22nd with two.

The state meet will be at Shippensburg University next Friday and Saturday.