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Riyana  Owens' junior track season ended in pain.

The Dallastown High School standout suffered a stress fracture while competing in the 2017 York-Adams League Championship Meet. That forced her to miss the District 3 and PIAA events.

The injury kept Owens off the radar outside of York County heading into 2018.

The Wildcats' sprinter changed that this season.

Last weekend, she won gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the District 3 Class 3-A Championship Meet.

Now, Owens is seeded second in both events in 3-A for this weekend's PIAA State Championship Meet at Shippensburg University. She also swept the two sprint events at this year's York-Adams Meet.

"She really wanted to come back and get those events (at the York-Adams Meet)," Dallastown head coach Neil Gutekunst said. "I don't know how many people going into the district meet saw her winning both races, but she was determined to do that, too."

Gutekunst said Owens' technique is flawless.

"She trains hard and smart. If you say do something at 75 percent, she'll do it at 75 percent," he said."She's never absent (from school) and always at practice."

Owens holds the Dallastown school records in the 100 (11.95 seconds) and 200 (:24.48).

Ayden Robinson of Avonworth, a junior, holds the top seed in the 100, and Hunter Robinson, also of Avonworth, a senior, is the No. 1-seeded sprinter in the 200. Avonworth is in District 7 (suburban Pittsburgh).

"There are outstanding runners in the fields," Gutekunst said. "There will be some great races to watch."

Owens, however, is now on everyone's radar. She will focus on closing out her high school career by climbing high up on the state awards podium.

Other local athletes with top-five seeds: In addition to Owens, four other York-Adams athletes hold top-five seeds for the final meet of the season: Kolt Byers, Bemudian Springs (one of five 2-A high jumpers who  have cleared 6-4); Maddie McLain, Eastern (fourth in the girls' 2-A 3200), Madisen Kling, Red Lion (fourth in girls' 3-A discus) and Derek Herr, Littlestown (fifth in boys' 2-A 110 hurdles).

Kling is the defending state champion in the discus.

Live TV coverage: PCN (Pennsylvania Cable Network) will provide live coverage of PIAA track events on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m.

Various field events will also air throughout the day. Championship coverage will also re-air Saturday at 4 p.m.

Reach Dick VanO'Linda at sports@yorkdispatch.com.

 

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