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PIAA Track & Field Notebook: Young Cumberland Valley claims 4x400 Class 3A fourth on a day multiple local relays won medals
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PIAA Track & Field

PIAA Track & Field Notebook: Young Cumberland Valley claims 4x400 Class 3A fourth on a day multiple local relays won medals

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SHIPPENSBURG — There wasn’t a whole lot among local competitors at the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University more fun to watch than the Cumberland Valley boys 4x400 relay squad.

Fresh off a District 3 medal a week ago, the crew of Daniel Sheffield, Luke Noss, David Williams and James Jaisingh continued their habit of flying from the back of the pack to mid-podium spot over the last 800 meters thanks to impressive sophomores Williams and Jaisingh, finishing fourth in 3:18.48.

The way they are able to overtake half the field is something to behold.

“I knew I would be running against really good runners today, so my goal was to stay right with them to give our anchors, David and James, the best opportunity to place well for us,” Noss said after Saturday’s last race.

Noss and Sheffield’s jobs are simply to keep the competition in sight and let the second half of the team take things home. Sheffield said things went almost exactly according to plan.

“I think I did a pretty good job,” Williams said. “I don’t know what place we were in, I wasn’t paying attention, I was just running. The goal was just, like Luke said, to set James up.”

The Eagles switched up their lineup, sliding Jaisingh to the anchor leg to buy him extra precious seconds of rest after his fourth-place medal in the 400 (48.64).

It paid off. Jaisingh started in fifth at the exchange and overtook Chambersburg’s Tyeshawn Worrell around 200 to go, then held on by a step as the Eagles put up a two-second PR.

“I started out slower than I usually do,” Jaisingh said. “Once I hit the straightaway, I try to run as fast as I can. And Tyeshawn, from Chambersburg, he really pushed me. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I would’ve run as fast as I did.”

Three of the runners expect to be back next year with Sheffield, a senior, the oldest.

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Local relays excel

Christi Fertich erased a massive deficit in the last leg of Boiling Springs’ girls 2A 4x800 relay, moving from last to eighth and the final podium spot. The Bubblers posted an overall time of 9:52.87 with Fertich flying past roughly five other runners for her first ever state medal.

“At first I was really nervous,” she said. “I was having a lot of doubt [when I saw the deficit we were in]. But then I started to kick at the beginning of the second lap, and I was just able to take them down, especially the last 300. It just felt really, really good to be able to take them.

“We needed every single one of our girls, especially when we were in the back. ‘Cause it’s so easy to want to give up. … They were able to hold together, especially when they started out [against] some really fast girls.”

Camp Hill’s distance relay threw down a 9:39.96 to claim bronze. The Lions hovered between fifth and third almost the entire race, putting up a steady, impressive race.

“My teammates got us in third place, and I just knew I had to keep it,” sophomore Julia Raich said. “They worked so hard, got their PR’s this season. And once you hit the second lap you just have to do it for them.”

“It was kind of just a crazy feeling to know that everything you’ve done during the season just works up to this moment,” Ava Brackett said.

Not to be outdone on a day that Sentinel-area relay teams claimed several podium spots, the Trinity girls 4x100 took home 2A bronze (49.59).

“It’s just weird because you’re talking states,” Anne Spila said. “You don’t realize it, it’s crazy [to win bronze].”

“It feels amazing,” Reily Freed said. “We worked so hard to be here, and I couldn’t be prouder of my team.”

Quotables

  • Mechanicsburg’s Joseph Bruno doubled last year’s medal haul with two in the Class 3A boys sprints. The junior finished fifth in the 100 in 11.02, then followed that up with a 21.97 for seventh in the 200. “It’s cool, but like I said [last week], it doesn’t help that I tried to be a jack of all trades [running the 100, 200 and 400]. … I just know I gotta figure out what I wanna do next year.”
  • Cumberland Valley’s Taylor Jede, who will run distance sprints and hurdles next year at Penn State, capped her career with another state medal: fifth in the Class 3A girls 300 hurdles. The only missing part of her career was one last PR and the school record. “It feels pretty good. I was able to place the last few years as well. I don’t know, I’m pretty happy with it. It was my fastest time this season.”
  • Camp Hill’s Brody Myers claimed his first state medal in the boys 2A pole vault, one week after winning the District 3 title. He vaulted 14-0, tying his PR, to tie for fourth in the state. “It’s great for me. Just to even be here is amazing to me, and just that I got up this high, I’m really happy with just how my season.”

Other local medalist

  • Trinity’s Will Bucher cleared ninth place by just .15 seconds to finish on the boys 2A 800 podium in eighth with 1:57.53, beating his prelims time by more than two seconds.
  • Camp Hill’s Laura Sakol ran an 11:27.42 to finish eighth in the girls 2A 3200.
  • Northern’s Meredith Engle finished fourth in the girls 3A long jump in 18-10.75. That bested her qualifying jump ahead of states by nearly a foot.

Editor's note: The story has been updated to correct Cumberland Valley's roster ages, with Daniel Sheffield a senior. The Sentinel regrets this mistake.

Email Jake Adams at jadams@cumberlink.com or follow him on Twitter @jakeadams520

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