NEW CASTLE —
Wilmington High’s Jon Yohman is hoping history repeats itself.
Yohman will be one of 22 individual Lawrence County athletes and four relay teams competing in the PIAA Track and Field Championships today and tomorrow at Seth Grove Stadium on the campus of Shippensburg University.
Unlike his county counterparts, Yohman goes into the event having already experienced the thrill of capturing a state title at the event last year, having won in the discus at a distance of 177-10. He also placed second in the shot put at 58-3 1/2.
After winning a District 10 championship in the discus and shot put last week, with distances of 179-8 1/2 and 59-4 1/2, respectively, Yohman appears well on his way to making a push for a second consecutive state title. He comes into the event as the top seed in Class AA in the shot put and is a favorite to win again in the discus.
Yohman won’t be the only Greyhounds athlete with high hopes going into the competition. He is one of eight Wilmington boys and girls, including one releay team, who will participate in the event.
Tyler Donati, who claimed eighth in the javelin at state last year, returns with another District 10 championship under his belt after a throw of 179-4. That bested his state throw by more than 10 feet from a season ago.
Dwight Scott will participate in the 300 hurdles after a second-place time of 40.49 in the District 10 finals. The time also was good enough for the Lawrence County track and field honor roll as the top time in the county in the event this season.
The top two participants from each event at the District 10 Championships qualified for state, plus any competitors finishing in the top eight who finished with a state-qualifying standard.
For the Lady Greyhounds, optimism runs high for Julie Falvo and Hannah Drake.
Falvo took home District 10 gold in the discus with a distance of 127-4, a county honor roll distance. She also qualified for the shot put with a state-qualifying standard of 37-7 3/4 in third.
Drake also will be participating in two events — the triple jump and the 3200 relay. She claimed a triple jump victory with a mark of 35-11 1/2, a Lawrence Country Track and Field Honor Roll distance, and was part of Wilmington’s second-place effort in the 3200 relay at 9:45.0, also a county honor roll mark. The 3200 team comprises of state qualifiers Drake, Kate Robb, Rikki Brumbaugh and Allison Baldwin.
New Castle’s Mike Mazzanti will be the lone area representative from Class AAA. The Red Hurricane star crossed the finish line in fifth in the 800 with a state-qualifying standard of 1:56.62 at the WPIAL Championships to win a berth at state.
Unlike District 10, in the WPIAL, the top four from AAA and the top five from AA from each championship event qualify for the PIAA meet, plus any of those in the top eight meeting the state-qualifying standard.
Mazzanti figures to be right with the lead pack in Shippensburg, as his state-qualifying standard of 1:56.62 was less than a second better than WPIAL champion Dylin Wilhoite (Penn Hills) and his time of 1:55.88.
Mazzanti holds the county honor roll time of 1:56.33 in the event.
Representing Union will be sprinter Eli Williams. The Scotties only representative at the state meet will attempt to bring the 400 gold back to the city of New Castle. He qualified for the big dance after a fifth-place showing in the WPIAL event with a time of 51.67.
MOHAWK’S GRIM LEADS CLASS AA
Lucas Grim, the only local WPIAL champion this year, will be tough to get by in the 800 event. His time of 1:58.90 in the district final was almost two seconds in front of second-place finisher Roy Hadfield (Quaker Valley), 2:00.10.
Grim will be joined by teammates Austin Main, Vince Menichino and Shane McFarland after the quartet placed fifth at the WPIAL in the 400 relay with a mark of 44.60.
For the girls, Maria Fleck will look to hurdle past the pack in both the 100 and 300 hurdles. She qualified for the state event with a fifth-place time of 15.87 in the 100 hurdles and a third-place finish of 45.88, a country track and field honor roll time, in the 300 hurdles at the district finals.
ELLWOOD CITY EXCELLENCE
Keaton Docchio and Kevin Court highlight a field of four Ellwood City Lincoln runners making it to Shippensburg. Both runners will be joined on the 400 relay squad with Nicholas Ioanilli and Damion Barrett. The team placed second at the WPIAL meet with a time of 44.21.
Docchio also will have his feet moving in the 110 hurdles after nearly taking a district title in the event last week, settling ultimately for a second-place effort at 15.27. He has proven he can beat that mark, having clocked in at 14.2 earlier in the season for inclusion in the county honor roll.
Court fared well in the 300 hurdles with a fourth-place finish at a time of 41.19, making the state competition in his second event in the process.
Eight Shenango athletes will represent the school at the state meet after favorable times in the WPIAL event.
Ron Davis leads the group with two events, in the 300 hurdles and 1600 relay. Davis made it in on the hurdles after a fifth-place final time of 41.20.
The 1600 relay squad of Davis, Jake Cochran, Nick Dombeck and Andy Feil placed fifth overall with a time of 3:32.78 to move on.
For the girls, the sister tandem of Amanda Herb and Sarah Herb figure to be strong in the field events.
Older sister Amanda qualified in the shot put after a second-place distance of 38-11. Younger sister Sarah made her mark by taking third in the discus at a measure of 106-0.
Corie Palmer rounds out the Lady Wildcats participating in the field events after placing third in the pole vault at a height of 9-3.
Nicole Watkins will try her best in the 400 after a fifth-place qualifying run of 1:00.52, a county honor roll time.
Lizzie Manickas shows promise for the Lady Lancers in the 3200 after finishing second in the WPIAL at 11:22.39, a county honor roll time.
Joining her will be Anna Lisa Frengel in the shot put. She claimed third with a distance of 38-6 in the district meet and holds the county honor roll distance of 39-2 1/2 this season.
Sarah Davis will accompany Frengel on the field with participation in the discus. Davis earned her way to state with a fifth-place finish in the event at 103-3.
Caleb Holes also plotted a course to Shippensburg after a fifth-place effort in the pole vault at 12-6.
NOT RESTING ON THEIR LAURELS
Two Laurel athletes will attempt to capture state gold this weekend — Joey Johnson and Ethan Wilson.
Johnson earned his opportunity by finishing fifth in the WPIAL finals in the high jump with a height of 6-0. Johnson and teammate Alex Brooks paced Lawrence County this season with the top overall height in the event at 6-2.
Wilson finished strong in third in the 800 with a time of 2:00.19 to qualify for the PIAA competition.
NEW CASTLE —
Wilmington High’s Jon Yohman is hoping history repeats itself.
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