Red Lion's Gregory Potter took up pole vaulting at the urging of friends when he was in ninth grade.
"They said, 'try it, you'll like it.'" Potter said.
He tried it, liked it and he's become very good at it.
The Lions' junior is seeded first in the District 3-AAA pole vault competition, which is scheduled Friday at Shippensburg University. Potter is coming off a terrific performance at the York-Adams Meet, when he vaulted 15 feet to win the event. That was four feet higher than Potter's best vault as a sophomore.
"I have a gymnastics background (he began gymnastics at the age of 3), and pole vaulting relates so much to gymnastics, with flying through the air and everything, so I think that helped me make the switch. I started to feel comfortable with pole vaulting after my freshman year."
Potter dedicates loads of time and energy to the sport, working with two coaches, Emily Young at Red Lion High School and Dan Cannon at the Vaultworx in Camp Hill.
The height he cleared at the York-Adams Meet is his personal best. Potter also vaulted 14-5 1/2 while finishing second this spring in the high school division of the prestigious Penn Relays.
"It was so awesome competing there (in Philadelphia)," he said. "I was surrounded by so many talented athletes. When I was vaulting, Team Jamaica was running against Team USA in the (400) relay. I couldn't hear what anyone was saying (because of the crowd noise)."
Potter will perform in front of a sizable crowd on Friday, too.
"We had an invitational at Shippensburg this year, and I felt comfortable there. I just need to stay calm and focused," he said. "I love flying through the air, and the second I'm over the bar, I feel free."
Potter has a height in mind for Friday as he pursues a medal in his first appearance at districts.
"I'm looking to jump 15-6 or 15-7. I feel I can do it.," he said.
Dallastown relay looks strong: Dallastown's 400-meter relay team's sensational performance last Friday night not only resulted in a league record, but it also earned the quartet the top seed for the District 3-AAA Meet.
The district competition is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University.
Justin Atwood, Justin Tracy, Kalen Patterson and Edgar Centeno broke a 27-year York-Adams League Meet record and established a school mark by putting up a time of 42.43 seconds.
Tracy and Patterson are seniors, Centeno, who transferred to Dallastown from York High, is a junior, and Atwood is a sophomore.
"Edgar was a welcome addition considering that Isaiah Ward, who I would consider our top sprinter, went down with a leg injury at Hempfield (in the second week of April)," Dallastown head coach Mike Schuler said. "Speed, of course, is important in the (400) relay. All of our guys are fast, but they work well together, and that's important, too. The baton has to be exchanged at full speed. If one guy slows down, or one guy doesn't hit his mark, you're probably not going to win."
In addition to the 400 relay, Dallastown athletes will seek to gain medals and team points in 10 other district events.
"I hope we can finish in the top five (in the team race)," Schuler said. "Of course, we want to do well at districts, but we want to get to the next meet (states) too."
The last time a York-Adams Class AAA boys' team captured a district team title was in 1995 when Central achieved the feat. The Panthers won gold medals in four individual events and one relay that year. Schuler was Central's head coach at the time.
"I would compare our team to that team, although I feel that team (Central) had more depth," he said.
No. 1 seeds from York-Adams League: Three York-Adams athletes are listed as top seeds in AAA boys' individual events. They are: Potter; Drew Hartlaub, South Western, 100 (:10.74); and Ravaughn Dillard, Gettysburg, triple jump (47-10). Dillard is the defending state triple jump champion.
The top-seeded athletes from York-Adams schools in the other classes are:
Boys' Class AA: Tavian Dorsey, Delone Catholic, 100 (:11.18), and Ben Hurda, Biglerville, javelin (186-0).
Girls' Class AAA: Lynne Mooradian, South Western, 300 hurdles (:42.96) and Madison Smith, New Oxford, javelin (147-0).
Girls' Class AA: Hannah Logue, Fairfield, 400 (:56.49) and Delone Catholic's 3,200 relay (9:56.49).
Top-five seeds from York-Adams League: Following are the athletes who seeded among the first five in each event:
Boys' Class AAA: 3200 relay, Eastern, fourth (8:05.60); 110 hurdles, Ben Rivera, New Oxford, third (14.84); Justin Atwood, Dallastown, fifth (14.85); 400, Jackson Hornbrook, Littlestown, third (:49.98); 400 relay, York Suburban, fifth (43.31); 1600 relay, Dallastown, third (3:25.70); High jump, Ravaughn Dillard, Gettysburg, third (6-4); Pole vault, Brady Glatfelter, Eastern, fourth (14-0); Discus, Luke Hoffman, West York, (164-09).
Boys' Class AA: 110 hurdles, Deandre Kerr, Hanover, second, (15.11);100, Dayne Showers, Biglerville, third (11.34); 1,600, William Greene, Delone Catholic, fifth (4:35.44); 300 hurdles, Deandre Kerr, Hanover, third (:40.90); Alex Trummer, Delone Catholic, fifth (441.40); 200, Tavian Dorsey, Delone Catholic, fourth (22.79); 3,200, Daniel Wood, Biglerville, second (9:55.39); William Greene, Delone Catholic, third (9:59.19); Triple jump, Fisher Taylor, Biglerville, third (42-10).
Girls' Class AAA: 100 hurdles, Lynne Mooradian, South Western, second (14.53); Pole vault, Lauren Corbitt, York Tech, second (12-00.25); Nathalie Elliott, Spring Grove, third (11-09); Alexis Baublitz, Central, fourth (11-06); Long jump, Ayanna Johnson, New Oxford, third, (18-04.75); Discus, Madisen Kling, Red Lion, fourth (125-05),
Girls' Class AA: 100 hurdles, Moriah Logue, Fairfield, third (16.18); 100, Cierra Phillips, Fairfield, fifth (12.94); 1,600, Kate Mowrey, Delone Catholic, fourth (5:25.57); 400 relay, Fairfield, second (51.02); Littlestown, fifth (51.76); 800, Kate Mowrey, Delone Catholic, fifth (2:27.24); 200, Hannah Logue, Fairfield, third (26.72); 3,200, Baylee Robey, Biglerville, fifth (11:37.53); 1600 relay, Delone Catholic, fourth (4:14.47); Pole vault, Cierra Phillips, Fairfield, second (10-09); Tiffany Small, Delone Catholic, third (10-6); Belzabeth Marquez, Bermudian Springs, fourth (9-6); Long jump, Hannah Logue, Fairfield, fourth (16-10.5); Triple jump, Sydney Dockins, Delone Catholic, second (34-9.5); Shot put, Morgan Jarrell, Fairfield, fourth (34-03); Gabrielle Emeigh, Bermudian Springs, fifth (33-8.5); Discus, Gabrielle Emeigh, Bermudian Springs, second (112-10); Bre Smith, Littlestown, third (109-08); Javellin, Gabrielle Emeigh, Bermudian Springs, fourth (112-05).
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.