SHIPPENSBURG — The Chambersburg boys track & field team entered the District 3 Championships as the favorite to earn the Class 3A team title.
The Trojans then went out and performed as expected and brought the first-place hardware home.
It was the first time in 54 years, since 1969, that Chambersburg captured a District 3 crown in boys track.
“I’ve been here since ’99, and the closest we got was a second in 2010,” Trojan coach Bob Walker said. “It’s really hard to win. We only have two classes, so there a lot of teams in each one.”
Sophomore J.J. Kelly did his thing on Saturday, winning the high jump at 6-8, placing second in the long jump with a leap of 22-7.25 and helping the 4 x 100 relay to a third-place finish.
But he had plenty of help. Jermere Jones was second in the 110 hurdles and Kason Besecker was the 100 runner-up. Besecker, Blake Mallast and Antonio Harrison II were also on the relay team.
Walker said, “We had a few hiccups, but we picked it up in other places. The big thing is that there were 14 contested events today and we had athletes competing in 10 of them.”
Jones posted a time of 14.51 in the 110 hurdles to break the school record of Terrence Thomas (1994), which was 14.64.
“I just wanted to compete and run against these guys,” Jones said. “But I was thinking about the team, as well. We want first place, and I think we have all the weapons to do it. We’ve been working for this all year.”
Besecker bettered his previous mark of 10.84 by posting a 10.73 in the 100 final.
“Yeah, I was a little surprised,” Besecker said. “I’m a freshman, so maybe some people don’t expect much, but I wanted to prove them wrong.”
The 4 x 100 team was seeded first with a time of 42.01. Saturday, Chambersburg shaved some time off, to 41.96, but finished behind Susquehanna Township (41.79) and Cedar Crest (41.92).
“We still broke our own school record, just with J.J. in there instead of Darion (Baumgartner, who is injured),” Besecker said. “We were ranked first in the state before today, but we’ll be still probably be ranked third for next week.”
One thing to keep in mind about the Trojans. They scored 57 points in the meet and only six of them came from a senior (Sedrick Vessah’s shot put third on Friday).
Walker said, “In the state meet, it takes kids doing fantastic things to win a team title. But we have the stars to do it. The team is excited and looking forward to it.”
The event of the day for local athletes was the 3A girls 1600. Camryn Kiser of Chambersburg and Claire Paci of Greencastle-Antrim were first and second just like they were in Friday’s 3200 race, but on Saturday, Paci ended up scoring the victory.
Paci took the lead early and never gave it up to finish in 4:57.46. Kiser was always within striking distance and she had passed Paci on Friday and also last week in the Mid Penn 1600.
But this time, Paci remained in control the whole way.
Asked what the difference was, Paci said, “I wanted to lead the whole way this time. Usually if Camy passes you, she’s very strong and hard to catch.
“We’re really good friends and we push each other all the time. I think we’re both happy with the times and we should have good seeds for states next week.”
Kiser said, “It was a good race and I’m happy with my time and place. Claire and I have been on this on-and-off thing this whole year and I knew she’d have some confidence today. We battled it out the whole way. If I couldn’t win, I’m glad she did.”
Chambersburg coach Chris Monheim said, “It was another great race by them — they went toe-to-toe the whole race. I think Camy is set up real well for next week (at states), with the 1600 and 3200 on opposite days. She doesn’t have an individual state track medal yet, so that would be a really nice to end her career.”
Also for the Chambersburg girls, who were seventh in the team standings, Natalia Holmes was fourth in the 100 in 12.35, and, in the surprise of the day for the Trojans, the 4 x 400 relay team also placed fourth. The significant thing about that was that they earned that place from the second heat.
Monheim said, “Taking fourth from the second heat just doesn’t happen. I don’t know if I can scream any louder than I did for that one. When I saw their time (4:03.79), I thought they might place, but I didn’t expect fourth. That’s the fastest 4-by-4 time we’ve had in about 15 years.”
The team included Lashea Hang, Yosmary Cabrera Reyes, Katy Weller and Holmes, with Cabrera Reyes and Holmes both running under 60 seconds.
In the boys competition, Seth Stouffer of Greencastle was fifth in the 200 in 22.26 and teammate Tavon Cooper placed seventh in the long jump with a 20-5.5 effort.
For the girls, Shippensburg’s Jillian Sydnor broke the meet record in the 400, putting up a time of 55.06. Unfortunately, Cedar Crest freshman star Kaddel Howard bested her with a time of 54.68.
District 3 Championships
1.Chambersburg 57, 2.Cumberland Valley 45; 3.South Western 42, 4.Susquehanna Twp. 41, 5.Central Dauphin 39, 28.(tie) Shippensburg 9; 32.(tie) Greencastle-Antrim, Waynesboro 8
4 x 800 relay — 1.Cumberland Valley 7:51.44; 10.Chambersburg (Ari Snyder, Kaden Rife, Aiden Alleman, Owen Shrader) 8:15.63
110 hurdles — 1.Bernard Bell (South Western) 14.13; 2.Jermere Jones (Chbg) 14.51 (school record)
100 — 1.Lex Cyrus (Susq. Twp.) 10.45 (meet record); 2.Kason Besecker (Chbg) 10.73
1600 — 1.Aiden Hodge (Hempfield) 4:10.77
4 x 100 relay — 1.Susquehanna Twp. 41.79; 3.Chambersburg (Besecker, J.J. Kelly, Blake Mallast, Antonio Harrison II) 41.96
400 — 1.Nick Keller (Ephrata) 48.90; 12.Austin McCoy (JB) 50.65
300 hurdles — 1.Bell (South Western) 37.69
800 — 1.Timothy Roden (Central Dauphin) 1:54.82; 9.Shrader (Chbg) 1:57.64
200 — 1.Cyrus (Susq. Twp.) 21.64; 5.Seth Stouffer (G-A) 22.26
4 x 400 relay — 1.Cumberland Valley 3:22.78; 13.Chambersburg (Harrison, Daniel Casagrandi, Shrader, Tanner Meyers) 3:30.70
Long jump — 1.Akeem Mustafah (Susq. Twp.) 23-3; 2.Kelly (Chbg) 22-7.25; 7.Tavon Cooper (G-A) 20-5.5; 9.Trae Kater (Ship) 19-9.25
Javelin — 1.Matthew Remash (McCaskey) 184-5
Discus — 1.Matthew Arnold (York Vo-Tech) 168-4; 11.(tie) Isaiah Sleighter (Chbg), Josh Mertz (Chbg) 142-11
High jump — 1.Kelly (Chbg) 6-8
1.McCaskey 58, 2.Spring Grove 52, 3.(tie) Harrisburg, Cumberland Valley 38; 5.Cedar Crest 35, 7.Chambersburg 30, 14.Greencastle-Antrim 18, 26.(tie) Shippensburg 10
4 x 800 relay — 1.McCaskey 9:19.42; 11.Chambersburg (Madi Koons, Kali Hughes, Samantha Faust, Lexi Boyd) 10:04.42
100 hurdles — 1.Ella Bahn (Spring Grove) 14.48
100 — 1.Laila Campbell (Spring Grove) 11.55 (meet record); 4.Natalia Holmes (Chbg) 12.35
1600 — 1.Claire Paci (G-A) 4:57.46; 2.Camryn Kiser (Chbg) 4:58.14
4 x 100 relay — 1.McCaskey, 47.85
400 — 1.Kaddel Howard (Cedar Crest) 54.68 (meet record); 2.Jillian Sydnor (Ship) 55.06
300 hurdles — 1.Bahn (Spring Grove) 44.67; 12.Yosmary Cabrera Reyes (Chbg) 46.78
800 — 1.Ashley Pines (Cumb. Valley) 2:13.46
200 — 1.Campbell (Spring Grove) 23.24
4 x 400 relay — 1.McCaskey 3:48.21; 4.Chambersburg (Lashae Hang, Cabrera Reyes, Katy Weller, Holmes) 4:03.79; 7.Shippensburg (Skylen Renshaw, Erica Buchheister, Ava Frontino, Sydnor) 4:05.68
Discus — 1.Ella Lucas (Warwick) 157-7
High jump — 1.Bahn (Spring Grove) 5-5
Long jump — 1.Ryleigh Marks (Susquehannock) 18-0; 15.Kate Etter (Chbg) 15-9.25; 16.Jahnaya Wimberley (Chbg) 15-7.5
Javelin — 1.Erika Jackson (Harrisburg) 134