State High Track and Field Triumphs at Districts

State High runners line up at the start
State High runners line up at the start
Photo courtesy of Macie Naberezny

On May 14 and 15, the State High Boys and Girls Track and Field Teams traveled to Altoona’s Mansion Park for the PIAA District VI Championship meet. The team competed in nearly 50 events including sprints, relays, long jump, javelin, pole vault, shot put, triple jump, hurdles, and discus. 

Tensions were high at the meet with the prospect of beating the team’s main rival: Altoona. “[The environment] was very competitive, everyone was locked in, trying to win,” sophomore Malia Abdullah said. “Altoona is really our rival.”

Abdullah placed first in the 100-meter and 200-meter and her relay teams placed second in the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. The State High team took home several other medals as well. Devon Jackson placed first in the 3200-meter and second in 1600-meter. Sarah Tate placed second in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles. Chloe Poindexter took home gold in the 800-meter and Sadie Kocher placed third in the 200 and 400-meter.

There were several gold medalists for the jumpers and throwers as well. Lydia Tate in the shot put, Alyssa Lipski in the discus throw, Claire Banker in the javelin, and Josie Younkin in the high jump all placed first. Sanai Abdullah placed second in the long jump. 

The girls also took home second in the 4×100, 400, and 800-meter relays. Freshman Kamille Peachey was one of these triumphant athletes. “It was definitely a great opportunity to run with my teammates, because […] it really came down to that relay,” she said. 

The boy’s team was victorious as well. Jesse Myers took home gold medals in the 100, 200, and 400-meters. David Brown placed first in the 300-meter hurdles and second in the 110-meter hurdles. Isaac and Theo Opperman took home first and second in the 3200-meter, with a difference of 14 seconds. Owen Coughlin came in second in the 1600-meter and Owen Vaira placed second in the 800-meter. 

For throwers, Nathan Haas took home gold in discus and javelin, and came in third in shot put. Adam Bell took number one in the pole vault. 

The boy’s team also placed first in all three relays- the 4×100, 400, and 800-meters. Senior Owen Vaira, anchor of the 4×800, was especially excited over the win. “I got the baton right where we needed it, and everyone had popped off at that race[…] it was definitely stressful but it was awesome getting to beat the other teams,” he said. 

The athletes had worked hard for their wins. “We do a lot of prepared speed workouts and workouts that kind of primed us leading into it [the meet],” Vaira said. The team can be seen practicing almost every day at the South Track. 

Overall, State High competitors were very happy with the outcome of the meet. “I was overjoyed with my wins,” Abdullah said. 

The boys team took home first place, beating the second place team by 80 points. The girls team fell to Altoona with a difference of only 2 points.

In the future seasons, athletes look forward to being able to improve in both current and new events. “I really want to be in the 4×400, and see how far we can take that team, and potentially win States,” Peachey said. 

The PIAA State Championship Meet took place on May 24 and 25 at Shippensburg University and included several State High competitors. 

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