York-Adams League athletes claim four PIAA 3-A state track titles
Red Lion High School senior Randy Fizer said his team's goal was to put the state on notice that York County has some of the top talent on the track.
Along with his teammates and a pair of sprinters from rival schools, they did just that on Saturday when York-Adams League athletes took home four PIAA Class 3-A state titles.
Spring Grove freshman Laila Campbell completed an elite season with a pair of victories in the girls' 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash. Despite the cold and rainy forecast, Campbell came through with her personal record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.93 seconds.
She followed it up with another victory in the 200-meter dash with a :24.27 time. In that race, Campbell avenged her lone loss this season to Neshaminy's Sanaa Hebron, who finished fifth.
"It feels great to do what I've done as a freshman," Campbell said. "I'm proud of myself this year... I'm just thankful for everything and everybody who helped me get here."
Campbell's father and coach, Brian, promised the Spring Grove team a steak dinner after the meet. Laila wasn't the only Rocket to earn her meal on Saturday.
Jonah Warehime finished fourth in the boys' 3-A 300-meter hurdles with a time of :39.40. Warehime also won the District 3 title in the event last week and the Y-A League title.
"It's a great feeling," Warehime said. "I don't think I was ranked in top 100 coming into the season, but, I worked my tail off. I have a great team around me (and) great coaches, so I just worked and believed."
Two guys who Warehime faced on the football field this season added to the area's title total with their relay result.
Red Lion's boys' 4x100 relay team entered as the top seed and didn't let anything, including the rain falling on the track ahead of their run, stop them from winning.
The team of Fizer, A.J. Virata, Jeff Nyamekye and LaDainian Strausbaugh took the title with a :42.28 time.
"We came in with a chip on our shoulder trying to put York County and Red Lion on the map, so to be state champs, it's indescribable," Fizer said.
Virata came about as close as possible to taking a second title, but a local rival claimed it instead.
Dallastown's Kristian Phennicie won the boys' 200-meter dash with a time of :21.62, .02 of a second ahead of Virata. The Red Lion runner had beaten Phennicie in the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash at the league championship meet, but the Wildcat won both at the District 3 event last weekend.
"I mean, it really feels amazing, all the hard work paid off," Phennicie said. "My coach really worked me these past two weeks. It's been good going against A.J. He really pushed me, so it was really good having him as a rival for this year."
Phennicie also finished fifth in the boys' 100-meter dash after he ran a :10.78, with Fizer one spot behind him.
York Suburban's Logan Zeiders followed a third-place finish in the boys' 400-meter dash at districts with the same result at the state event. Zeiders ran a :48.75 to claim a spot on the podium and another medal.
"I'm extremely grateful to be a part of these top-tier runners and go to compete with them," Zeiders said. "It means a lot to me. I'm really blessed."
Zeiders' teammate Olivia Kay finished fourth in the girls' 100-meter hurdles with a :14.99 time.
Northeastern's Margaret Carroll claimed third place in the day's first event, the girls' 3200-meter run, with a time of 10:43.86. She followed that up with a fourth-place finish in the girls' 1600-meter run with a time of 4:59.92.
Gettysburg's Anne Bair finished fourth in the girls' triple jump after she posted a leap of 37 feet, 9 inches.
During Friday's 2-A event, Bermudian Springs' Alison Watts won the girls' triple jump title at 38-4.5.
Reach Rob Rose at email@example.com.