PIAA track and field championships day one

Solanco's Katie Urbine takes second in the 3A pole vault during day one action from the PIAA track and field championships at Shippensburg University Friday May 27, 2022.

SHIPPENSBURG — While winning last week’s District Three pole vault, Solanco’s Katie Urbine set a new goal.

The junior was determined to clear 13 feet when she returned to Shippensburg University for Friday’s first day of the PIAA track and field championships.

Urbine reached her goal, and her vault of 13 feet equaled the best of the day to earn a silver medal in Class 3A in a tie-breaker.

“It is the best feeling in the world. I have been wanting that bar this whole season and to finally get it with some room was beyond amazing,” she said.

Battling Philly Jumps Club teammate Veronica Vacca of Mount Saint Joseph, Urbine was not disappointed finishing second.

“I jump with them all the time and I want to see them do well, as well as myself,” said Urbine. “I loved watching her succeed and me also doing it was amazing. Seeing two of us over 13 was amazing.”

Elco’s Carissa Bender tied for seventh. The junior vaulted 11 feet, despite being moved indoors because of heavy rain.

From the time the girls 2A high jump ended to after she received her medal, it would have been hard to pry the smile off the face of Lancaster Catholic’s Teresa’s Moore.

Only a freshman, Moore won a silver medal in her first PIAA meet, jumping over the bar at 5-feet, 5 inches.

“It’s absolutely insane to be here right now. I’m so excited,” she said. “I knew the weather wasn’t going to be the best, but it all worked out. I missed a couple jumps, but I did get my PR today so I’m super-excited. It’s a great way to end the year.”

Moore added that a state silver medal was way beyond her expectations when her rookie season started.

“Never in a million years,” she said. “I knew I just wanted to practice and go out and have fun. That’s exactly what I did. It’s absolutely amazing.”

While only one event on the track was a final during Friday’s first day, it was a good one.

Prior to the two-hour weather stoppage, the 3A boys 1,600 run featured three Lancaster-Lebanon League athletes earning medals.

Hempfield’s Aidan Hodge placed fifth (4:13.55), Manheim Township’s Cole Stevens (4:13.94) was sixth and Jacob Smith of Warwick (4:14.51) finished eighth.

Hodge said it was a great opportunity for them to represent the league.

“It was super special, all three of us medal, all three of us in the fast heat,” he said. “I told them before the race, ‘we are L-L representatives. Let’s go work together and chase down some medals.’ It’s really special having everyone here having great success.”

Stevens ran one of the top times ever by a freshman at states.

“Coming around the last 200 I knew I had it all in my legs,” he said. “My arms were tired, but I knew I had a push to take sixth place.”

Smith poured it on over the final stretch to grab the last medal spot.

“Coming into this, I wanted to medal,” he said. “I wanted to PR. I did both of those things.”

Hodge said that chasing Gary Martin of Archbishop Wood, whose winning time of 4:01.56 set a PIAA record, made everyone run faster as all three locals had personal best times.

Annville-Cleona’s Noah Gunderson admitted that he wasn’t as happy as he should have been with his fifth-place medal after his top leap of 6-2 in the 2A high jump. Still, Gunderson knows he left states with hardware and will return next season.

“I felt good today; maybe just moving inside hurt,” he said. “My jumps, I thought I cleared them, but I guess I didn’t.

“I’ll just do better next year. I am just ready for next season, next year, districts, states and every big meet I can possibly go to. My goal is 6-10.”

Several area runners will compete for medals on the track Saturday, in the meet's second and final day of competition.

Ephrata sophomore Jianna Long, who just missed qualifying for Saturday’s 100 dash finals (ninth), came back and reached the finals in the 400, posting the top preliminary time of 55.94.

Teammate Enrico Faccio will compete for a medal in the 3A boys 300 hurdles.

Garden Spot’s Bryna Kelly won the first heat of the 3A girls 100 hurdles prelims and will race in the finals.

Darren Cammauf of Manheim Township also won his heat in the 400 run and his 47.47 is the top time heading to the finals.

Cedar Crest grabbed the last spot to reach the finals in the 3A boys 400 relay. Falcons junior Gabe Lewis of Cedar Crest will also run in the 100 dash finals with the sixth fastest time on Friday.

The McCaskey girls 1,600 relay ended the day by qualifying for the finals.

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