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Yost earns medal at state meet

Faith Yost has had a few ‘wow’ moments this season.

School records? She’s been involved in a few this spring.

An unbeatable performance at the Colonial League meet? Yost went four-for-four in the gold medal department at leagues.

Her first District 11 title? Make it two.

The Northwestern junior has delivered in every scenario and on each stage throughout the season.

But Yost’s biggest moment of the spring may have come Saturday, when she capped a stellar season with a medal in the Class 3A high jump at the PIAA Track and Field Championships.

The junior cleared 5-4 to tie for sixth place.

“It really means a lot to me,” said Yost. “My mindset was just to come out and have fun, but I’m really happy I was able to get a medal.”

Yost made 5-4 on her third attempt, the same as South Fayette’s Grace Howard, who also placed sixth.

“It was nerve-racking. I was a little bit nervous,” said Yost. “The first two ... I think I was pretty close. And when I got over 5-4, my form wasn’t the best and somehow I made it over; I skimmed the bar, but I was so happy.”

Methacton’s Addison Gormley and New Castle’s Maria Owens both cleared 5-4 on their second attempt and tied for fourth.

South Western’s Madeline Lehker cleared 5-4 on her first attempt to place third.

Yost was seeded fourth at 5-5, which she cleared to win the district title a week ago. It’s a mark she also cleared to win the league title, and one that has her tied with her aunt - Kathy Yost - for the school record.

Faith missed her three attempts at 5-6 after clearing 5-4.

“I was just shocked, surprised, happy” Yost said of clearing 5-4. “Kind of just like a, ‘Wow’ moment. I was glad I did that.”

Yost also qualified for states in the 100 hurdles, an event she also won last week at districts. During the season, she set the school record in the event with a time of 15.10, breaking the previous mark of 15.54 - which had been set by Alexis Gawelko in 2015.

As a sophomore, Yost won league titles in both the 100 and 300 hurdles.

The experience of running the 100 hurdle prelims on Friday marked Yost’s first experience at the state meet.

“It was awesome,” said Tigers’ coach Chuck Groller. “A little resiliency coming back from the hurdles. She didn’t have a good block start, and then stumbled a little bit at the last hurdle. The last time that happened was at the Whitehall Invite (on April 23), and then after that she basically was on a mission. And today she was on a mission.

“I think she was a little bit more comfortable on Saturday because she knew what the crowd was going to be like, and I said to her, ‘Just be Faith. Be consistent, and do what you do best, and believe in yourself. Reach for the stars, and don’t leave anything on the table. Take that opportunity, and hopefully it comes through.’ And it did.”

Before clearing 5-4, Yost cleared 4-10, 5-0 and 5-2 with just one attempt.

“Normally I come in around 4-7, but now that I’ve come in at 4-10, I’ll probably start coming in at that more often during the season,” said Yost. “Just because it does save your legs a lot, and I definitely could get 5-6 if I keep working at it.”

The junior has had a phenomenal season, winning Colonial League titles in the 100 and 300 hurdles, high jump and as a member of the 1600 relay.

“Overall, I believe I had a really good season and was able to improve a lot,” said Yost, who noted she will be attending a track and field camp at Penn State University this summer.

“I’m really happy I was able to help my team, and I’m glad I could represent Northwestern at states.”

Yost also competed in the 100-meter hurdles at states, running a 16.88 in the preliminary heat for 22nd place in the event.

The Northwestern team of Samuel Bower, Matthew Santana, Cole Chukoskie and Nathan Vincent placed 25th in the Class 3A 3200 relay with a time of 8:43.87. The group was seeded 24th with a time of 8:19.52 after winning the district title in the event last week.

PRESS PHOTO BY MIKE FEIFEL Northwestern junior Faith Yost, seen here after winning a Colonial League gold medal, picked up a state medal Saturday when she finished sixth in the PIAA Class 2A high jump.
Members of the Northwestern Lehigh 3200 relay team, from left, Cole Chukoskie, Nate Vincent, Matthew Santana and Sam Bower walk away from the finish line area after they ran the relay Saturday in the PIAA State Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University.
Northwestern Lehigh's Cole Chukoskie, left, hands off the baton to Nate Vincent for the final exchange while running the 3200 relay Saturday in the PIAA State Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University.