.eenan Uunv Wo WKIUG 800 Jolg
Emma Keenan overcame a midseason injury, inspired efforts from her competition, and — on Saturday afWeUnoon — a fieUce, unUelenWing wind, to win her third straight 8MM-meter run state WiWle.
The Gwynedd Mercy Academy senior raced to a winning time of 2 minutes, 11.37 VeconGV in WKe ClaVV AAA evenW, finiVKinJ oII KeU KiJK VcKool caUeeU in GoPinant fashion at Shippensburg rniversity.
“I tried not to think about the pressure. When you’re on top, everybody’s gunning for you,” said Keenan, who is headed to Georgetown in WKe Iall. “HavinJ Uun WKiV race so many times, I know iW’V GefiniWely GiIficulW, EuW you Kave Wo PenWally Ee wiWK it and know that everybody’s going to be in pain during WKaW VeconG laS. You’ve MuVW JoW Wo fiJKW IoU iW anG KolG on IoU WKaW VeconG laS.”
Keenan did just that and earned her third consecutive appearance at the top of WKe PeGal VWanG. 0any PoUe WUiSV Wo WKe SoGiuP Ey local coPSeWiWoUV woulG Iollow, caSSeG oII Ey a VenVaWional, JolG-PeGal eIIoUW Ey 1oUWK Penn’s since Esposito in the Sole vaulW.
.eenan exSeUWly aGMuVWeG KeU uVual VWUaWeJy Wo Sull away to yet another victory in WKe KalI Pile.
“:iWK WKe winG, iW’V always nice to have somebody in IUonW oI you anG leW WKeP (take the force of the windF, but I’m used to going out strong, going out hard,” VKe VaiG. “((PPauV’ Hanna BroskyF passed me around WKe 200 Vo , leW KeU Wake WKe wind for that time and then I passed her when I knew I KaG one laS leIW.”
Keenan opened up ground EeWween KeUVelI anG WKe UeVW oI ClaVV AAA, winninJ WKe race by more than three seconds. A strong performance by Souderton Area’s Em- ily DuVellieU waV JooG IoU a VilveU PeGal anG a WiPe oI 2:14.ST.
“, wanWeG Wo celeEUaWe when the race was over but I was so tired, I thought I PiJKW Iall oveU,” .eenan VaiG. “(2n WKe laVW VWUaiJKWaway), iW waV all aGUenaline. ,W waV kinG oI like, ‘WKiV iV Py laVW KiJK VcKool Uace anG WKeUe’V only 100 PeWeUV leIW.’ You MuVW Jive iW eveUyWKinJ you Kave. 0ove youU leJV, Pove youU aUPV anG Eelieve WKe finiVK line iV JeWWinJ cloVeU anG cloVeU.”
.eenan, wKo EaWWleG Eack from a hamstring injury in ASUil, eaUneG a VSoW on WKe 1aWional )eGeUaWion oI HiJK 6cKoolV HonoU 5oll wiWK KeU time of 2:11.PT.
(VSoViWo, PeanwKile, coulGn’W waiW Wo JeW uS in WKe air.
“,W waV a lonJ weekenG. We got here on Thursday and , GiGn’W MuPS unWil 1 o’clock (SaturdayF. I wanted to jump so bad,” he said. “When I got up there, my team just WolG Pe, ‘Uelax, Uelax.’”
7Ke 1oUWK 3enn VenioU waV in VucK conWUol WKaW Ke waV SeUIecW all WKe way WKUouJK 15 IeeW, neveU leWWinJ WKe EaU GUoS. ,W evenWually came down to just Esposito anG 1oUWKeUn LeEanon’V DeUek DiAnJeliV. :Ken neither made 15-S, Esposito’s consistency earned him the victory on fewer misses.
,W waV WKe coPSleWion oI a journey for Esposito, who MuVW PiVVeG a PeGal laVW yeaU wiWK a ninWK-Slace finiVK.
“After that, my coach (Jay JonesF had me take a picture of the podium and I had it on Py SKone all yeaU,” Ke VaiG. “, finally JoW uS WKeUe WoGay.”
As Esposito heads south nexW Iall Wo vaulW aW WKe 8niveUViWy oI 6ouWK CaUolina, anoWKeU 1oUWK 3enn VenioU,
Jacques, will be competing at Temple. She, too, had her moment at states, earning bronze in the triple jump and silver in the 1MM hurdles.
Just like Esposito, a medal narrowly eluded her last year, as she got ninth in the 1MM hurdles.
“That was a rough day,” she said with a smile. “I didn’t have time to get ninth place today.”
Jacques ran an impressive 14.S9. Cheltenham’s Kayla Coley was the only one to go faster (14.PPF.
“She pushes me,” Jacques said. “She helps me, she definitely does.”
Another double medalist was Pennridge’s Joey Logue. He was part of the oams’ silver medal 4x4MM relay team, joining John Kim, Mike Class and Nick Stenderowicz to go P:19.8M in a classic battle with Bensalem (P:19.TPF, and Logue was also a bronze medalist in the 8MM, when the blustery wind was at its peak.
“It was a mix between the ZLQG DQG HvHryRQH fiJKWLQJ for position,” Logue said. “We wanted to take it out hard but with the wind, you feel like you’re going fast and you’re not actually going that fast. And everyone got knocked around a little bit. With 2MM to go, the wind just felt like a wall.”
Logue, who even had to dodge another runner who had fallen to the ground, still emerged with the bronze.
“I’m excited,” the junior said. “7KLV LV Py firVW WLPH ruQQLQJ the open 8 here so I’m excited.”
Wissahickon’s Nkosi Jones earned a pair of state medals, including a 2P-P.25 to get silver in the long jump.
“It feels great actually. I can’t complain with this weekend,” he said. “I was seeded 2Mth in the triple jump, got eighth and medaled, had a good time at the prom (Friday nightF, came back in the morning, didn’t feel as bad as I thought I would, and got second in the long jump.”
The CB West girls nearly pulled off a repeat in the 4x4MM relay but Penn Wood (P:5M.2MF edged them out DW WKH fiQLVK OLQH WR ZLQ Ey half a second. The Bucks’ foursome of Lizanne Furst, Courtney Taylor, Kelsey Horst and Jamila Branch earned silver in P:5M.5S.
“It’s a little disappointing to fall short but Penn Wood is a fantastic team. They ran a fantastic race and they totally deserve this win,” Horst said. “It was really an honor to get to run against them today.”
lver in Class AA, Christopher Dock sophomore Bailey Kratz ran a 25.5S to get sixth in the 2MM.
“I dropped a second and a half from the beginning of the year and that’s a lot of time,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and teammates — they really pushed me all year.”
A local athlete who saw his extra hours of work pay off at Ship was North Penn’s Jared Alston, a silver medalist in the Class AAA triple jump.
“,W IHHOV JRRG IRr LW WR finally pay off,” said Alston, who had a leap of 4T-2.25. “Not being here last year just motivated me more. Doing indoor track, focusing on the little things (was keyF... getting those things down and just getting my foot on the board and ripping it.”
Alston, who beat his previous P.o. of 4T-M.T5, out-jumped Dave Clowney of Stroudsburg (4S-8F for the silver.
“Coming home with a state medal is what I was after,” said Alston, a senior. “Even if I got eighth place, that means my season didn’t go to waste.”
Garnet salley’s Wellington waza, who earned a spot on the NFHS Honor ooll with a leap of 49-1M.25, was the only performer to out-jump Alston. Wissahickon’s Nkosi Jones also medaled, placing eighth with a 45-4.T5.
Also having a good day on the runway were Christopher Dock’s Bailey Kratz, who placed fourth in Class AA long jump with a 1T5, and Methacton’s Aghina Marshall and Pennridge’s Ariana Przybylowski, who placed fourth and seventh in the Class AAA portion.
Marshall’s last jump, good for a mark of 18-4.T5, was her best of the day by over three feet.
“My last jump is always VR PuFK EHWWHr WKDQ Py firVW two,” Marshall said of the fiQDOV. “, DOZDyV MuVW JHW LQ the zone on my last jump. I had good speed, I was on the board and I just stretched as IDr DV , FRuOG. 7KLV LV Py firVW year doing long jump and it feels good (to medal hereF.”
Przybylowski, also a sophomore, had a leap of 1T-11.25 to earn a trip to the medal stand.
“I told my coach, I want to be on that podium,” Przybylowski said. “I don’t care if it’s the (eighth-placeF one that’s just an inch above the grass. A podium’s a podium. I got 25th at districts last year, so to come from that to get seventh in the state is crazy.”
Przybylowski should have also gotten to celebrate a trip WR WKH 4x100 fiQDOV, EuW D controversial call caused the 5DP 4x1 WR EH GLVTuDOLfiHG.
Despite photographic evidence that showed the oams QHvHr OHIW WKHLr ODQH, DQ RIfiFDO Dn’d Pennridge for a lane violation in the prelims. Added to the bizarre nature of the rulLQJ ZDV WKDW WKH RIfiFLDO ZKR made the call was in charge of monitoring lanes one through four. Pennridge was running LQ ODQH fivH.
Despite photo evidence of the exchange, the Dn was not reversed. Photos are uVHG IRr ruOLQJV DW WKH fiQDO line but not on exchanges.
The 4x1 team of Taylor Chapman, Przybylowski, Lindsay Sheehan and Natalia Pinkney ran the second fastest time on Friday.
“They worked so hard,” said oams coach Bill Smith, who tried every possible way to get the call reversed for his team. “We’ve had injuries and they’ve done everything they can to get to this weekend. All the blood, sweat and tears...oight now there are a lot of tears going on.”