Spring Grove freshman Laila Campbell breaks record, wins three District 3 titles

ROB ROSE
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Another meet, another broken record for Laila Campbell.

After she dominated the York-Adams League Championship meet last week, the Spring Grove High School freshman standout followed that performance with another elite effort at the District 3 Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday.

Spring Grove's Laila Campbell wins the 3-A girls' 200-meter dash event at 24.11 during PIAA District III Track & Field Championships in Seth Grove Stadium at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Saturday, May 22, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Campbell won the 3-A girls’ 100-meter dash in 12 seconds flat. She won the 3-A girls’ 400 dash at :56.43, which is her best time of the season. She finished the meet by breaking the district record in the 200 dash at :24.11. The mark had stood at :24.26 since 2012, when Central Dauphin East's Deme'shia Davis set it.

"It feels great to accomplish what I did today," Campbell said. "I'm proud of what I did and what I've been able to do throughout the (season). It feels amazing to know that I was able to accomplish what few can and it just feels good to do what I did at this meet as a freshman."

Lions shine in relay: The Red Lion boys’ 4x100 relay team struggled this week in practice, but shined during the district event.

The Lions’ squad has the speed to compete with any team, but with three members of the relay new to track this season, their handoff technique has hampered their results at times.

Red Lion's Randy Fizer reacts after his anchor run wins the 3-A boys' 4x100-meter relay event at 41.78 during PIAA District III Track & Field Championships in Seth Grove Stadium at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Saturday, May 22, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

That wasn’t the case on Saturday, though, when the team of A.J. Virata, Randy Fizer, Jeff Nyamekye and LaDainian Strausbaugh won the 3-A event and nearly cut a second off their already school-record time at :41.78.

“This week was a lot of work and almost steps back,” Fizer said. “We were leaving practice unhappy sometimes, but we put a lot of work into these handoffs this week and to come out and perform like this at a district meet, it feels amazing.”

“We came in the top seed and we had to prove why,” Virata added. 

Red Lion Assistant Coach Simmie Strausbaugh, back, congratulates the Red Lion 3-A boys' 4x100 relay team members Jeff Nyamekye, front, and AJ Virata after the team won the event at 41.78 during PIAA District III Track & Field Championships in Seth Grove Stadium at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Saturday, May 22, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The Lions’ girls’ 4x100 relay held their own as well and finished third in the 3-A event. The team of Isabella Vanover, Camree Patterson, Julia Rowe and Dajae Boardley-Wise cut more than a second off their best time with a :48.91 run.

Bermudian Springs’ Lillian LaBuree won the 2-A girls’ 100 hurdles at :16.30. In the 3-A girls’ 100 hurdles, York Suburban’s Olivia Kay finished second, just .02 of a second out of first, at :15.31.

Michael Carlson made it a clean sweep for Bermudian Springs by taking the 2-A boys’ 110 hurdles at :15.54. 

Spring Grove's Warehime shines: In the 3-A boys’ 110 hurdles, Spring Grove’s Jonah Warehime was third at :14.93. Later Saturday, Warehime claimed the title in the 3-A boys’ 300 hurdles with his best time of the season at :39.40

Warehime was disappointed in his performance at the Y-A League meet, where he finished fifth in the 110 hurdles, but won the 300 event. With a district gold medal around his neck, Warehime felt much different.

Spring Grove's Jonah Warehime wins the 3-A boys' 300-meter hurdles event at 39.40 during PIAA District III Track & Field Championships in Seth Grove Stadium at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Saturday, May 22, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“I didn’t even make districts my sophomore year and barely placed at our county championships, so it’s a great feeling,” Warehime said.

Fairfield’s Emma Dennison finished second in the 2-A girls’ 300 hurdles at :48.22.

Dallastown sprinter takes boys' dashes: Dallastown’s Kristian Phennicie won the 3-A boys’ 100 dash at :10.81. Red Lion’s Fizer finished .03 of a second behind him, with Red Lion’s Virata a close third.

Virata narrowly defeated Phennicie in both the 100 dash and 200 dash at the league championships. Starting the day by avenging those losses boosted the Wildcat's confidence.

“It’s a great relief to beat him,” Phennicie said. “Me and him are always neck-and-neck, and I wasn’t sure if I could beat him, but I guess I had a great day today.”

Dallastown's Kristian Phennicie reacts after winning the 3-A boys' 200-meter dash event at 21.75 during PIAA District III Track & Field Championships in Seth Grove Stadium at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Saturday, May 22, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Phennicie bested Virata again when the pair met in the 3-A boys' 200 dash later in the day. Phennicie ran a :21.75 and Virata came in just behind him, with York Suburban's Logan Zeiders in third.

Delone Catholic’s Ryan Murphy finished second in the 2-A boys’ 100 dash at :11.56. Murphy added a title in the 2-A boys’ 300 hurdles at :40.52.

One day after she won the 3-A girls’ 3,200 run title, Northeastern’s Margaret Carroll was third in the 1,600 at 5:00.87 time.

Fellow Bobcat Kaden Hamilton claimed second in the 3-A boys’ long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 4 inches.

Suburban’s Zeiders finished third in the 3-A boys’ 400 dash at :48.48. In the 2-A boys’ 400 dash, Fairfield’s Marcus Pruy took third at :51.19.

Littlestown's Elliot shines: Littlestown’s Dante Elliot continued to add to his long list of awards this season. Elliot took the 2-A boys’ long jump title on Saturday at 45 feet, 3.5 inches, after he won the 2-A boys’ high jump on Friday at 6-6.

Bermudian Springs’ Ricky Pacana and Hanover’s Kyle Garman claimed the second and third spots, respectively, behind Elliot in the long jump.

Elliot’s Littlestown teammate, Jayden Weishaar, finished second in the 2-A boys’ long jump on Friday, while Elliot took fourth.

Also on Friday, Central York’s Kaitlyn Thorne took second the 3-A girls’ pole vault. Fairfield’s Aliyah Hillman was second in the 2-A girls’ pole vault.

Biglerville’s Kalen Sharrah was third in the 2-A boys’ discus throw at 129-3. On the girls’ side for the Canners, Mackenzie White was third in the 2-A javelin throw.

South Western’s Charles Gaither was third in the 3-A boys’ discus at 163. His teammate, Dustin Edwards, was third in the 3-A high jump at 6-4.

South Western’s Madeline Lehrer won the 3-A girls’ high jump at 5-5. Her teammate, Zaiyah Marshall, took the 3-A girls’ high jump on Friday at 38-3.25.

Bermudian Springs’ Alison Watts won the 2-A girls’ triple jump at 36-10.5. 

Team standings: In the 2-A girls' team rankings, Bermudian Springs came in at No. 7, while Spring Grove claimed the top local 3-A girls' team finish at No. 6.

Led by strong performances from Elliot and Murphy, respectively, Littlestown (No.8) and Delone Catholic (No.10) secured spots in the 2-A boys' team top 10. The Red Lion boys' team was the highest-ranked squad at No. 2 in 3-A, while South Western also reached the 3-A team top 10 at No. 8.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.