Spring Grove freshman Laila Campbell is top PIAA Class 3-A girls' seed in 100, 200 dashes

Spring Grove's Laila Campbell, center, wins the 3-A girls' 400-meter dash event at 56.43 during PIAA District III Track & Field Championships in Seth Grove Stadium at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Saturday, May 22, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo
  • Laila Campbell is the top seed in the 3-A 100 and 200 dashes at the PIAA girls' meet.
  • Campbell won the 100, 200 and 400 dashes in the recent York-Adams and District 3 3-A meets.
  • Because of Saturday's condensed schedule, Campbell won't compete in the 400 dash at the state meet.

Laila Campbell will only have two chances to win gold medals at Saturday’s PIAA Class 3-A Track & Field Championships.

The Spring Grove High School freshman is coming off two dominating performances at the York-Adams League and District 3 3-A meets, where she swept to victories in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes.

Because of the condensed schedule on Saturday at the 3-A state meet, however, she will only compete in the 100 and 200 dashes. She will be the top seed in each of those events.

The girls’ 3-A 100 preliminaries are scheduled to start at 9:50 a.m. Saturday, followed by the girls’ 3-A 200 preliminaries starting at 11 a.m. The girls’ 3-A 100 dash finals are at 12:15 p.m., while the girls’ 3-A 400 dash finals (a timed finals event spanning five heats) are slated for 1:20 p.m. Finally, the girls’ 3-A 200 finals are at 2:35 p.m.

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Trying to run in all of those events in the space of less than five hours might risk exhaustion for Campbell.

“Going into states, our was goal is to win the 100 and 200 and PR in both,” said Brian Campbell, Laila’s father and coach. “When we approach big meets, we look at the recovery time and I track the top eight in the state to gauge how hard we need to run through rounds. If we were to run the 400 at states she would probably need to run a 55 low to win, which she can, but that would require an all-out run in the 400, then come right back and run the 200 final.”

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Campbell won the 400 at the district meet in 56.43 seconds, which was her best time of the season. The top seed in the 400 at the state meet in 3-A girls has a time of :55.83.

Brian Campbell went on to say that “the formats (at the state meet), due to COVID, aren’t really conducive to running fast times.”

Brian Campbell said his daughter will continue to run the 100, 200 and 400 events during the national qualifiers and possibly nationals.

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At the state meet, Campbell’s top-seeded time in the 100 is :12.00, while the No. 2 seed has a time of :12.08. In the 200, Campbell’s seeded time is :24.11, while the No. 2 seed has a time of :24.85.

Other top York-Adams seeds: The York-Adams League has No. 1 seeds in three other PIAA events.

Littlestown’s Dante Elliot is the top seed in 2-A boys in both the high jump (6 feet, 6 inches) and the triple jump (45 feet, 3.5 inches).

The Red Lion 3-A boys’ 400 relay is also the No. 1 seed at :41.78. That team consists of Randy Fizer, A.J. Virata, Jeff Nyamekye and LaDainian Strausbaugh. The second-seeded time in the 400 relay has a time of :42.19.

Northeastern’s Margaret Carroll grabbed the No. 2 seed in the 3-A girls’ 3,200 run at 10:50.97, while Bermudian Springs’ Alison Watts is the second seed in the girls’ 2-A triple jump at 36-10.5.

Dallastown’s Kristian Phennicie captured the No. 3 seed in the 3-A boys’ 200 dash at :21.75 and the fifth seed in the 3-A boys’ 100 dash at :10.81. Fizer is the No. 6 seed in the 3-A boys’ 100 dash at :10.84, while Virata is the No. 6 seed in the 3-A boys’ 200 dash at :22.02.

Also grabbing No. 3 seeds were Delone Catholic’s Ryan Murphy in the 2-A boys’ 300 hurdles (:40.52) and South Western’s Zaiyah Marshall in the 3-A girls’ triple jump (38-3.25).

Another South Western girl, Madeline Lehker, is listed as the No. 4 seed in the 3-A high jump, although the top eight girls in the event all have the same seeded height at 5 feet, 5 inches.

In 3-A boys, York Suburban’s Logan Zeiders (400 dash, :48.48) and Spring Grove’s Jonah Warehime (300 hurdles, :39.40) earned No. 4 seeds.

All of the 2-A events are slated for Friday, starting at 9 a.m.

All of the 3-A events are scheduled for Saturday, again starting at 9 a.m.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.