The best track and field athletes in the York-Adams League will descend on Dallastown High School on Friday.
For the area's top performers, the Y-A Championship Meet will be the first stride in a three-step postseason journey. It will be followed by the District 3 Championships on May 17-18 and the PIAA Championships on May 24-25, both at Shippensburg University's Seth Grove Stadium.
Hopefully, this Friday's weather will finally cooperate and the local standouts will be able to perform their very best in decent conditions. The recent Friday weather history, however, doesn't bode well. It's rained 11 straight Fridays and the current forecast calls for a chance of scattered thunderstorms this coming Friday. Temperatures, however, are promising, with predicted highs in the mid-70s.
If Mother Nature finally cooperates, however, local track and field fans could see quite a show.
Jessup, Thomas in spotlight: Two athletes, in particular, should be in the spotlight on Friday.
Red Lion senior Jerome Jessup and West York junior Tesia Thomas are each seeded No. 1 in three separate individual events.
Jessup will make his bid to become the Y-A League's undisputed fastest man. He's the top seed in the 100 meters (10.74 seconds), 200 meters (:21.85) and 400 meters (48.62).
He's also a member of two Red Lion relay teams (400 and 1,600) that have earned top seeds.
That's quite a single-season resume. Of course, in a one-day event, it's uncertain how many events he will actually compete in come Friday.
Jessup is coming off a standout performance at the prestigious Stanley Morgan Invitational in Carlisle last Saturday, when he won the 200 and 400 and finished fourth in the 100.
At the 2018 Y-A meet, Jessup was fourth in the 100 and second in the 200, but the runners who finished ahead of him in those events have since graduated.
Thomas, meanwhile, has garnered a reputation as the one of the best all-around female athletes in York County history. She's overcome epilepsy to excel in volleyball, swimming and track and field.
It would be a major surprise if Thomas didn't eventually become an NCAA Division I recruit, just like her sister, Trinity, who excelled this season in gymnastics for the University of Florida.
At the Y-A Meet, Tesia Thomas is the top seed in the long jump (18 feet, 5.5 inches), triple jump (38-9) and high jump (5-4). Her seeded distances would indicate she has the potential to break the meet marks in the long jump (18-6.5) and triple jump (37-8.25). She is the defending league champion in each of those events and figures to eventually be a state title threat in both.
Others to watch: Of course, Jessup and Tesia Thomas won't be the only athletes worth watching on Friday. Here'a look at some others to keep an eye on:
►Bermudian Springs senior Payton Rohrbaugh is the top seed in both the 110 and 300 hurdles, but he will likely have to beat the defending champion in each event: Red Lion's Kaden Smith in the 110 hurdles and York High's Dayjure Stewart in the 300.
►New Oxford's Connor Becker is the defending champion in the 400, but seeded No. 3 this year. Other defending champs and their 2019 seeds are: Bermudian's Kolt Byers in the high jump (No. 4 in 2019); Spring Grove's Colson Martin in the long jump (No. 1 in 2019), and Fairfield's Travis Zimmerman in the shot put (No. 1 in 2019).
►The other boys' top seeds are: Tayshawn Golden, New Oxford, 800 run; Caleb Bakalyar, Kennard-Dale, 1,600 run; freshman Cole Adams, York Suburban, 3,200 run; New Oxford, 3,200 relay; Abdul Janneh, New Oxford, triple jump; Kenny Rhyne, Susquehannock, high jump; Byers, pole vault; Isaac Almoney, Delone Catholic, discus; and Derek Tosten, Biglerville, javelin.
►Three female athletes are top seeds in two individual events: Dallastown's Emily Schuler (1,600 and 3,200 runs), Fairfield's Molly Heinbaugh (100 and 200 dashes) and Gettysburg's Kelly Oaster (400 and 800 runs).
►Looking to defend their girls' titles from 2018, along with their 2019 seeds, are: Trinity Schraudner, Northeastern, 800 run (No. 6 in 2019); Sophia Kline, Spring Grove, 300 hurdles (No. 1 in 2019); Kayla Brooks, South Western, high jump (No. 3 in 2019); and Cierra Crane, Central York, pole vault (No. 1 in 2019).
►The other girls' top seeds are: Zoe Logue, Fairfield, 100 hurdles; Delone Catholic, 400 relay; Gettysburg, 1,600 relay; Red Lion, 3,200 relay; Alyssa Steipler, South Western, shot put; freshman Kylyn McIntire, Red Lion, discus; and Maddie Sieg, Delone Catholic, javelin.
Friday's meet is set to start at 4 p.m.
Reach Steve Heiser at email@example.com.