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Bear headed to states

Alivia Bear decided to try something relatively new and was rewarded with the silver medal in the 3200 meter run at the District XI Class 2A Track and Field Championships on May 16 at Whitehall’s Zephyr Sports Complex.

“Once I finally crossed the finish line, it was like, wow, I’m going to states for the event I was just debating whether I was going to do or not. It was so exciting, I just couldn’t wait to talk to my distance coach (Madison Walker). She was so excited for me,” said Bear, who reached the finish in 12:08.52. “Our athletic director (Tom Moll) is the one who gave me the medal, and that was my first individual medal for track ever, so that felt nice to be up there, and I kind of knew the other girls on the podium, so it was great to see all of us get a medal.”

Joining Bear were Jim Thorpe’s Celia Rodriguez Gonzalez, who placed first in 12:02.62, Notre Dame Green Pond’s Katherine Koons, who placed third in 12:15.46, and Northwestern Lehigh’s Angelina Klein, who came in fourth in 12:15.95.

“I knew what my goal was, that I wanted to get under 12:20, and I wanted to get a medal, so I kind of stuck with two girls. We were in a pack for awhile, and then I was letting them pace me, and then I felt the pace slow during lap five, so coming around the curve I decided to go for it and pass them, and then stick on to the girl in front as long as I could, and it worked out pretty well,” Bear said. “The 3200 is actually my last pick for an event...I think I have a newfound love for it now. I used to think it was just boring, but actually, it was very exciting. It was exciting to see what I was able to do.”

The Catty junior raced in the 3200 only once this year and finished with a time of 12:43, so Bear referred to her district time of 12:08 as shocking.

“I saw the splits and everything, and I knew they were very fast, and I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to hold it, but in my mind I kept thinking, wow, I feel really good. I feel really good. If I die out, then I die out. I normally don’t have too good of a kick, but my kick was faster than my opening lap, so I think that’s what solidified that time,” she said. “I was shocked. I was smiling so big because I didn’t know how far behind the other two were because I felt like they were on my shoulder the whole time, but the whole last lap I was thinking, I’m too close now. I’m too close now.”

Freshman Hailey Jenkins won two district silver medals: one in triple jump with a distance of 35-09.00 and one for the 100 meter dash with a time of 12.22.

“I was actually excited for this race because this is the closest race so far this year,” said Jenkins of the 100.

Jim Thorpe’s Kaila O’Connor placed first with a time of 12.20, and Pine Grove’s Viktorya Luckenbach placed third with a time of 12.24.

“I’m a little disappointed, but I’m still going to states, so I’m proud of that,” Jenkins said. “I feel like I had a good race.”

Jacob Dove, Wyatt Younes, Hamaad Jenkins, and Cedric Bright were district bronze medalists in the 4x1 relay.

“I was looking straight ahead. I wasn’t trying to focus too much on what was next to me or who was behind me,” said Bright, the anchor. “There was this really fast kid who passed me at the last second. We were going for a fast time, so I was trying to go as fast as I can, really.”

Bright got the baton handoff from Jenkins.

“The wind was a little bit against me, but I was pushing through, trying to catch the person in front of me,” Jenkins said. “[Cedric] got his hand right where he needed it, and he tried his best to run.”

The Rough Riders’ relay time was 44.57, out stepped for second place by Palisades with a relay time of 44.49.

Nativity BVM won first place in the 4x1 with a time of 43.79.

Heaven Jenkins, a junior, captured the fourth place medal in long jump with a distance of 16-07.50.

The district meet wasn’t without disappointment, however, for Catty’s 4x1 relay team of Abigail Antipas, Hailey Jenkins, Madelyn Gonzalez, and Heaven Jenkins, who were disqualified after a mishap with the baton.

The high school track and field season will draw to a close this coming weekend at the PIAA Track and Field Championships where Bear and Hailey Jenkins will compete in their respective events on May 26 and 27 at Shippensburg University.