The PIAA track and field meet is a about a week old. A year ago, Red Lion’s Angelica Gonzalez made her imprint on the state, district and league with her performances. This year, another freshman, Lynne Mooradian of South Western, did the same.
Since both will be back next year, here’s what to watch next spring when these athletes return …
1. Gonzalez should be fully recovered from the left hamstring injury that cost her a chance at districts and, subsequently, states. She still managed the post the YAIAA’s top time in the 200-meter dash (24.9 in a dual meet vs. Dallastown) while battling that injury.2. Mooradian seemed to run with ease in many of her events, kind of like Gonzalez. Both are also quality jumpers. The South Western won the YAIAA title in both the 100 and 200 with Gonzalez absent.
3. Have presale tickets gone on sale yet for the Red Lion-South Western meet? Seriously, this meet should be one to watch. Both teams have numerous standout talents returning. South Western’s Erin Harman will be a senior for jumps and pole vaulting, as will Holly Arey in the shot put and discus. Meanwhile, Red Lion will have Amanda Myers as a junior following her eight-place performance in the state javelin toss.
4. Can Jay Stone hurdle past more challenges? He’s already got back-to-back District 3 titles in the Class AAA 110 and 300 hurdle events. A three-peat naturally comes to mind for next year, as will the challenges of the PIAA meet. He has proven himself beyond the district, having also fared well at the Penn Relays. This summer, Stone is set to run in the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational.
5. Speaking of hurdles, next year’s girls’ races between Dallastown’s TT Purnell, South Western’s Steph Shaw and Red Lion’s Cassidy Barshinger should be something to watch. Barshinger ran this past season with a stress fracture in her shin. Purnell, coming off a sophomore season in which she was favored in both 100 and 300 YAIAA hurdles events, gave way to Shaw in the 100 hurdles for a league title.
6. How hard will the Bearcats’ relays bite? Their girls’ 400 relay team had some big wins, including the Herb Schmidt Relays and Dallastown Invitational. Two of their runners from that team, Donella Nelson and Cheyanne Brown, will be back and should be ones to watch in individual sprints. However, all four members of the Bearcats’ boys’ 400 relay team will return. Greg Freeland missed much of the year with a hamstring injury. When he returned for the White Rose Invitational at Central York, the Bearcats ran away with a win.
7. Don’t forget distance. It might seem hard to believe, but Brady Wilt was only a sophomore when he won this year’s YAIAA title in the 1,600. By the way, Dallastown’s Patrick Reilly still has a year left. … Kate Mowrey was just a freshman at Delone Catholic and was the YAIAA’s highest seed at districts in the 3,200.
8. Can Morgan Herrick make another leap? She entered the PIAA tournament last week as the 25th seed and placed eighth to earn a spot on the medal stand. Herrick was just a sophomore at Hanover this past season.