New Castle News

May 25, 2013

PIAA Track and Field Championships: Wilmington’s Yohman captures gold

Joe Sager
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Jon Yohman added another PIAA gold medal to his collection yesterday.

The Wilmington High senior can cap his career with one more today.

Yohman claimed the PIAA Class AA championship in the shot put at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium.

“Jon has had some great practices in the past couple weeks. Coach (Brandon) Phillian has done a great job working with Jon and working on areas we felt he could improve on,” Wilmington coach J. R. McFarland said. “We knew there were throwers right behind him who had good throws at their district meets. We felt if Jon got in the 60s he’d win a state title. That’s exactly what he did.”

Yohman claimed the championship with a throw of 61-8 1/2. That gave him the crown by nearly two feet over Schuylkill Valley’s Jason Coon (59-10). Yohman almost reached his personal best of 62-1.

“Like we often remind the kids, just because you hit a certain distance or reach a certain time, when you come down to the state meet, it doesn’t mean you will hit close to your best or reach your best,” McFarland said. “A lot of track athletes who come down to the state meet and hit way under their best, but Jon is a gamer. He’s never disappointed us. He always comes up with big throws when he needs them. There are a couple of good throwers there. He knew he needed to get it out over 60 and he did just that.”

Yohman hopes to earn another gold medal in today’s discus competition. He is the reigning PIAA champ. He won both events at the District 10 championship meet.

“Jon has had a great practice this past week in the discus, too, and Coach Phillian has done a great job working with him there also,” McFarland said. “We know it’ll probably be a two-man event. Both Jon (and Schuylkill Valley’s Evan Arnott) have thrown in the 180s. It should be between those two and I think Jon feels very confident. He will give it his best shot. Whatever happens, happens. Jon will walk away from his track experience knowing he is the best thrower to ever come out of Wilmington High School.”

Greyhounds senior Tyler Donati captured a bronze medal in the javelin. He placed eighth last year and was seeded fifth this year. He finished third with a throw of 176-5. Montoursville’s Matt Krezmer won gold with a throw of 182-5, while North Clarion’s Mitch Obenrader was second at 179-7.

“They were all throwing into a headwind. Tyler is a great, great competitor. He has improved each year in all three of the throws. He has excelled probably most in javelin,” McFarland said. “To move up from fifth to third is because of a great effort. He is a competitor. He leaves the program winning a nice medal in the javelin.”

Wilmington’s Dwight Scott competed in the 300 hurdles. He finished fourth in his heat in 41.53 and did not advance to today’s finals. The junior placed second (40.49) at the D-10 meet.

“It wasn’t a real nice day to run the hurdles or be on the track. It was very windy and quite chilly. He had a long time to wait because they were a little behind schedule, so you didn’t see any great times by any of the runners because of the winds,” McFarland said. “Dwight Scott came in seeded 11th and he finished in 11th. He just missed making the next round by about a half second. He had a tremendous first year of track and field. He ran the 300 hurdles probably six or eight times at most. I felt he did a tremendous job. For a first-year person not only to do very well, but make it to the state meet is great.”

Mohawk’s Lucas Grim advanced to today’s finals in the 800. He finished fifth in his heat in 1:58.15. The senior captured the WPIAL championship in 1:58.90.

“I told him before the race that my only piece of advice was to let everyone else drive the train because it was really windy,” Mohawk coach Jared Stratton said. “He got off to a good start and led after the first lap, but he had some people pass him. He knew where he was so he just kind of fell back and conserved for (today). I don’t know where the ceiling is with Luke, but we hope to see (today). He ran a really good race.

“One of his big hangups was not getting out early and getting trapped in. He is attacking races now,” he continued. “We’re shooting for a medal. What color that is, we’ll wait and see.”

Grim ran a leg for the Warriors’ 400 relay team, which placed fifth at the WPIAL meet in 44.60. The squad finished fifth in its heat in 45.05. Austin Main, Vince Menichino and Shane McFarland joined Grim on the team.

Laurel’s Ethan Wilson competed in the 800 as well. The senior finished eighth in his heat in 2:02.64 and did not advance. Spartans teammate Joey Johnson competes in today’s high jump. He was fifth at the WPIAL meet at 6-0.

Ellwood City Lincoln’s Keaton Docchio fared well in the 110 hurdle preliminary race. He finished third in his heat in 15.16. The junior ran a leg of the Wolverines’ 400 relay with Kevin Court, Nicholas Ioanilli and Damion Barrett. The squad finished third in its heat in 41.13 and did not advance. In addition, Court ran in the 300 hurdles. He placed fourth in his heat in 41.13 and did not advance.

Shenango’s Ron Davis took part in the 300 hurdles as well. He finished eighth in his heat in 42.61 and did not move on. He ran a leg of the Wildcats’ 1600 relay squad with Jake Cochran, Nick Dombeck and Andy Feil. The squad placed sixth in its heat in 3:36.46 and did not advance.

Union senior Eli Williams competed in the 400. He finished fifth in his heat (53.08) in the preliminary race and did not advance. He was fifth at the WPIAL meet in 51.67.

“The weather was bad and it hurt everybody. This weather is the icing on the cake for this whole season,” Union coach Mitch Horney said. “Eli ran the race that he wanted, but with the way the wind was, it was like running into a wall. He did the best he could. I was happy for him to get a chance to go down there. I am proud of him.”

Neshannock’s Caleb Holes participated in the pole vault, but did not place. He finished fifth at the WPIAL championships in 12-6.

Mike Mazzanti was New Castle’s lone competitor in the PIAA Class AAA championship meet. He competed in the 800, but was 15th in his heat at 2:06.84 and did not advance to the championship. The junior placed fifth at the WPIAL meet in 1:56.62.