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Beers earns two state medals

Andrew Beers came away from this year’s PIAA Track and Field Championships with two silver medals. One of them he was pleased with. The other left him disappointed that he didn’t come away with the win. Beers took second place in the 110-meter hurdles Saturday morning at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium, site of the annual state championship meet. He returned to the track as the top seed in the 300 hurdles and finished second after clipping the first hurdle and never getting back on track. “It’s just not the last race you want,” Beers said after the event, the final one of his high school career. “I have nationals, but it’s not the same. It’s AAU. You’re running for yourself, not for a team. “It stinks to go out that way, but to be able to say I have three medals from last year and two this year from states, you’ve got to be happy. I got school records. The part that helps is knowing this is not my last championship race.” Beers, who will compete at Monmouth University next year, was the top seed at 37.38 and ran a 37.93 in his preliminary heat, the best time in the field. In finals, he slightly clipped the first hurdle to throw off his steps. In an effort to get back to the front he nearly fell on his sixth hurdle, but was still able to race to second place. “I kind of psyched myself out before I ran,” he said. “I was so worried about getting my step on the first hurdle. Sometimes I should shut off my brain and just run. I can do so much more and I know it.” Palmyra’s Tyler Burgess finished in 37.47 to win the race. Beers crossed the line in 39.17. Beers improved on his finishes in last year’s state hurdle events as he finished fourth in the 300 and sixth in the 110. He was also part of a state medal-winning 4x100 relay team last spring. In this year’s 110-meter event, Beers was seeded fifth at 14.21. He ran a 14.14 in preliminary heats and a 14.05 in the finals for second place. Burgess won the 110 in 13.74. “I had a pretty good race,” Beers said of the 110. “I floated over two [hurdles], but Tyler had the race of his life in the 110s.” Joining Beers as medalists Saturday was the Parkland girls 4x100 relay team, which took seventh place at the meet. The team of Ana Gbur, Dhaniya Miner, Cierra Valley and Kaley Seide came in with a seed time of 48.45 from districts. The foursome ran a 48.23 in preliminary heats Saturday to earn a place in finals, which guarantees the team of earning a medal. “Everyone was pretty excited,” said Valley of the time and finish in prelims. “It was our personal best for the season so we were stoked about that. We were hoping to improve it [in finals]. That didn’t happen but overall we’re still very excited.” The Trojans ran the finals in 48.66. They were trailing the field when Seide took the handoff and did her best to make up ground. “All I was worried about is catching up and doing the best that I could for my team,” she said. Parkland nailed its handoffs, which are a huge factor in the shortest of the three relay events at the meet. “The handoffs were pretty good for all of us,” said Miner. “You have to just get it and go.” Most of the members of the relay were making their first appearance at the state meet. “It was definitely very exciting,” said Gbur. “At first it’s a little nerve-wracking, then you remember you’re supposed to be here.” This year’s performance could just be the beginning as all four runners are expected back for next season. Valley, a junior, is the eldest member of the relay team. Seide and Gbur are sophomores while Miner is a freshman. “No one thought we were going to make it this far,” said Seide. “Our first year together making it this far, seventh place, it’s definitely an accomplishment. Hopefully next year we can do a lot better.” The 4x100 was just one of three Trojan girls relay teams to qualify for states and all three finished in the top 15. The girls 4x800 finished ninth in 9:23.7, coming one place away from earning state medals. The foursome of Lana Hurwitz, Addison Shevlin, Madison Seed, Lucy Tobia was seeded ninth at 9:26.73 in the event. In the girls 4x400 relay, the team of Gracie Trexler, Valley, Tobia and Shevlin was seeded 11th at 3:57.39. In finals the foursome ran a 3:58.75 for 13th place. One state meet event saw two Trojans competing as Seide finished 13th in the 200-meter dash in 25.50, while Valley was 18th at 25.54. The Parkland boys team also had all three of its relay teams qualify for states. The top finisher of the trio was the boys 4x800, which was seeded 23rd at 8:02.06. The foursome of Jacob Barnes, Tyler Rothrock, Paul Abeln and Anthony Cappellini ran a time of 8:01.91 to finish 17th at states. Parkland’s boys 4x400 team ran a 3:25.17 to finish 19th at states. That team included Anthony Cappellini, Nate Janukowicz, Alexander Kelchner and Rothrock. The Trojan boys 4x100 team, which was running without two of its members who suffered injuries over the past month, took 22nd at states. The team of Janukowicz, Josh Pulver, Naquan Thomason and Kelchner ran a time of 3:25.17 in Shippensburg. Several other Trojans competed in individual events at states. Janukowicz ran the individual 200-meter dash and finished 20th in 22.39. Willard finished 22nd in the 3,200 at 9:36.83, where McGuigan placed 27th in 9:46.79. Julius Reyes took 22nd place in discus at 141-2. Tobia was 25th in the 400 with a time of 59.25 and Abeln placed 25th in the 1,600 at 4:19.64.

PRESS PHOTO BY MIKE HAINES Andrew Beers took second place in two hurdle events at last weekend's state championship meet.
PRESS PHOTO BY MIKE HAINES The Parkland girls 4x100 relay team proudly displays state medals won last weekend at Shippensburg University's Seth Grove Stadium. Members of the team are (left to right) Ana Gbur, Cierra Valley, Kaley Seide and Dhaniya Miner.
PRESS PHOTO BY MIKE HAINES Andrew Beers made two trips to the medal stand at last weekend's PIAA Track and Field Championships.