SHIPPENSBURG — A year ago, Rashad Jefferies was nowhere near a District 3 podium.
Now, the Carlisle sophomore is not only a District 3 triple jump medalist, he’s a PIAA Class 3A qualifier.
Jefferies posted a PR of 46-2 on his final attempt of the afternoon at the District 3 Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University on Friday, nearly a foot beyond his previous best and almost three feet better than the jump immediately preceding his medal-clinching leap.
“I think it’s ‘cause I really wanted it,” he said after receiving his fifth-place medal. “I’ve been pushing myself to get to here. ‘Cause last year, my freshman year, I was horrible. … But this year came together and worked out for me.”
Jefferies still has Saturday’s long jump along with senior teammate Kurtis Ravenel — Jefferies is seeded fifth (22-2.25) and Ravenel sixth (22-1) — but he can already look forward to his first state championship appearance.
“This is a gift from God, to be honest,” Jefferies said. “I’m really spiritual. My meemaw has prayed for me and everything, helped me through. … It’s really just big.”
Harrisburg’s Jakari Lomax repeated as the triple jump champ with a 48-8.25. Shippensburg’s Kevin Suero broke the school record with his 45-2.75 for eighth and a medal.
When getting the crowd into it pays off. Carlisle's Rashad Jeffries puts down a 46-2 in his triple jump here, nearly a foot more than his beat entering districts. Sophomore with a big number there. pic.twitter.com/uaWQcfEZiI— Jake Adams (@jakeadams520) May 17, 2019
Bubblers share podium
Boiling Springs girls had a solid day, taking home hardware in a few events.
But the girls 2A long jump was perhaps the best event. Junior Brinn Mancuso posted a 15-11.25, tying her PR and tying last year’s fourth-place finish in districts, and senior Sydney Hemler leaped 15-7.75 for sixth.
“I was pretty happy because I got fourth place last year, and I got longer this year,” Mancuso said.
“This was my first year long jumping, so I’m just happy to place,” Hemler said.
Mancuso had a frantic stretch late in the finals, at one point having to bounce between the 100 semis, the long jump and back to the 200 semis. Good news, though: she qualified for the 100 finals with a 13.27 for the seventh spot.
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She also has the 4x100, and the Bubblers three relay squads all entered districts as a Top 5 seed. Hemler still has the triple jump (third seed) Saturday.
Other Bubblers to medal Friday included Kyla Carothers (discus eighth, 97-10) and Ashley Rothfus (javelin eighth, 106-9).
— Jake Adams (@jakeadams520) May 17, 2019
— Jake Adams (@jakeadams520) May 17, 2019
Bruno charging hard
A year ago, Mechanicsburg’s Joseph Bruno hated the 400.
He was good enough to medal at districts, something his coaches knew, but he hated the most grueling sprint on the schedule.
Now? How about adding the 100 and 200 sprints?
“I figured I wanted to hit the 100 and the 200 more instead of the ,” Bruno said after his 200 semifinals, his last race of the day. “Throughout the season I wasn’t having the greatest starts, and I was really struggling with my drive phase. And I started to figure it out now, and now I’m starting to become, I guess, OK in all three.”
Bruno, who said he is getting football interest from Army and Air Force, is a top-of-the-podium threat in all three disciplines Saturday after qualifying handily in the 100 and 200 Friday. The junior cruised through his prelims and semis, running a 21.87 to qualify as in the Top 3 for the 200 finals and adding a 10.84 in the 100 to qualify fourth. He enters the 400 as the second seed (48.38).
His top competition will be CD East’s Shawn Brown, a name he’ll be thinking about as he struggles to sleep before Saturday’s early 9 a.m. start. Bruno will do this district triple, but at states he’s likely going to focus on the 200 and 400, and drop the 100.
SHIPPENSBURG — Talk about a show-stealer.
Other local medalists
Girls 2A: Trinity’s Lauren Seubert, fifth in javelin (111-5).
Girls 3A: Carlisle’s Rileigh Cardin, fourth in pole vault (11-6); Mechanicsburg’s Annika Hummel, fifth in pole vault (11-0).
Boys 2A: Camp Hill’s Connor Trumpy, tied-third in high jump (5-10); Camp Hill’s Noah Jack, third in long jump (20-3.75); Trinity’s Andrew Mott (sixth, 134-6) and John Banzhoff (seventh, 133-7) in discus.
Boys 3A: Northern’s Michael Ginder, silver in pole vault (15-0); Shippensburg’s Nick Gustafson, eighth in shot put (48-11).
Email Jake Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter