Two York County track-and-field standouts capture major accolades

STEVE HEISER
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Laila Campbell of Spring Grove running the 100 meter event in the PIAA Track and Field Championship in Shippensburg, Pa on Saturday, May 28, 2022.
AJ Virata

Two familiar names to York County track-and-field fans recently garnered some major recognition.

Spring Grove High School sprint sensation Laila Campbell earned all-state honors and Red Lion High School graduate AJ Virata captured a significant college honor as a freshman.

Campbell earned first-team all-state recognition from the Pennsylvania Track & Field Coaches Association.

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Campbell’s selection is no surprise. For a second straight season, she swept the girls’ 100-meter and 200-meter dashes at the PIAA Class 3-A Championships.

The Rocket standout broke the PIAA record in the 100 with a blistering time of 11.55 seconds, besting the previous mark of :11.64 set by Breehana Jacobs of Laurel Highlands back in 2007.

She also came close to a record in the 200, where her time of :23.56 was just .04 off the record set by Dasia Pressley of Pennsbury back in 2015.

Campbell, who will be a junior in the fall, was the only York-Adams standout to win gold at the PIAA meet in Shippensburg.

Virata, meanwhile, finished his first year of collegiate competition with award-winning success.

Virata has been named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Male Freshman Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

Virata excelled for Slippery Rock University this spring.

He scored 26 points at the PSAC Championships after he won the high jump and took second in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. He cleared a season-best height of 2.05 meters (6 feet, 7 inches) in the high jump and ran times of 10.80 seconds in the 100 and 21.61 seconds in the 200.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.