PHS T&F mines gold at D-11 Championships
Andrew Beers came into this year’s track and field season with one primary goal. He wanted to reach the state championship meet.
Not only did he reach that goal, but he also picked up a couple more gold medals as he took first place in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdle events at last week’s District 11 Track and Field Championships, held May 16-17 at Whitehall High School.
“Very excited,” Beers said about qualifying for the state championships. “Ever since last year that’s what I wanted to do. To be able to get there, especially in two events, is really nice.”
Beers’ were two of the 11 gold medals that were earned by Parkland athletes at last week’s district meet and he’s one of 28 Trojans set to compete in the PIAA Class 3A Championships, held annually on the Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend at Shippensburg University.
Beers, who won both hurdle events at the league meet a week earlier, ran the 110 in 14.46 in finals last Wednesday after a career-best 14.38 in preliminaries. He took the 300 in 39.36.
He enters the state meet as the fourth seed in the 110-meter event and the seventh seed in 300, where top seed Bernard Bell (Southwestern) is seeded a second faster (37.69) than the second seed, Luis Colmenares-Bittar of Downingtown East (38.46). Bell is also the top seed in the 110s at 14.13.
“I want to say I would like to medal in both of them,” Beers said. “Everyone wants to say they can win, but going out there as a junior, the expectation to win is just there. It’s just a hope.”
Trey Tremba earned a gold medal by edging teammate Dylan Simon at the line in the 100-meter dash. He finished in 10.84 seconds with Simon at 10.90.
“I worked really hard for this,” said Tremba. “I’ve got to thank Dylan for pushing me. He pushed me all season and I have to give him a lot of credit. That was probably only my second time beating him. He’s the better sprinter, but I just happened to be better today.”
The junior is excited to reach the state championship meet after missing out last season.
“It’s awesome,” Tremba said. “I went freshman year for 4x100, but I missed last year. That left a sour taste in my mouth so I had to make it this year.”
Simon, who won both the 100 and 200 at the East Penn Conference Championships, went on to take first place in the 200 last Wednesday with a time of 21.18.
Trojan distance runner Paul Abeln also earned gold at districts. He ran the 3,200 in 9:39.41 with teammate Ethan Willard (9:41.74) in second place. Both runners will advance to the state meet as the top two finisher in each event, and any athlete that meets a state qualifying standard at districts, earns a trip to the state meet.
Hailey Sammarco took first place in the long jump at districts. She made finals even though she didn’t get off to the start she hoped. Things came together in finals as she hit 18 feet, 1/2 inch on her fifth jump.
“It started off a little shaky,” said Sammarco, a senior who is going to states for the first time since competing there on a relay team as a sophomore. “I was behind the board a lot so I wasn’t getting a lot out of my jumps. I talked to my coach before finals and moved it up a lot.”
After some tough luck at leagues a week earlier, Sammarco was looking forward to her final district meet.
“Last week in EPCs I fouled all three times,” she said. “I was definitely ready for [districts]. I had a really good jump at EPCs, but it was a foul. I kind of knew if I stayed on the line I’d do better.”
Naeema Salau earned a few medals at districts including one individual gold and one silver. The senior took first place in the 100-meter dash in 12.23 and was second in the 200 at 25.45.
Salau was also part of an outstanding performance from Parkland relay teams. The Trojan girls won all three relays at the meet, while Parkland boys teams won one and qualified for states in all three.
Salau’s 4x100 team, which included Kaley Seide, Cierra Valley and Sammarco, finished in 48.97 for first place. The foursome of Lucy Tobia, Gracie Trexler, Lana Hurwitz and Madison Seed won the meet’s first relay event, taking the 4x800 title in 9:39.28. The 4x400 team of Seide, Tobia, Valley and Trexler finished off the sweep in the meet’s final event, running a time of 4:01.25.
Parkland’s boys 4x100 team of Simon, Xander McWhite, Nakhi Bullock and Tremba took first place in 41.96. The Trojan boys 4x400 (Beers, Brady Hoffman, Tyler Rothrock, Josiah Nunez) and 4x800 (Rothrock, Hoffman, Praveen Sureshkumar, Samuel Tomko) relay teams both finished as runner up at the meet.
Hurwitz and Tobia also qualified for states individually. Hurwitz finished second in the 1600-meter run (5:14.53) and third in the 800 (2:23.75), qualifying for states in the 1600. Tobia finished second in the 400-meter run in 58.21 to earn the trip to Ship.
Catherine Crampton will join her teammates at the state meet after taking second place in last week’s triple jump at 36 feet, 5 inches.
Two Trojan throwers earned third-place medals at districts. Julius Reyes finished third in discus at 143-4, while EPC champ Leo Dauberman took third in javelin at 164-11. Rothrock made the medal stand with a fourth-place finish in the 800-meter run as medals were awarded to the top four finishers in each event.
After an undefeated regular season, more than two dozen Trojan athletes will cap their seasons, some of them will end their careers, competing against the best athletes in the state this weekend.