York-Adams athletes set for District 3 track and field championships

Thomas Kendziora
York Dispatch

Just over a week removed from a memorable York-Adams League track and field championship, local athletes are set to chase PIAA District 3 gold this weekend.

The district meet begins Friday and concludes Saturday at Shippensburg University, with boys’ and girls’ champions to be crowned across 18 events in both the 2A and 3A classifications. York-Adams athletes have top qualifying marks in a total of 14 events, so a banner weekend could be in store.

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Action on the track begins at 2 p.m. Friday with trials and semifinals in a slew of sprint events, with the 3,200 meters opening the medal rounds in the last event of the day. Saturday will be filled with event finals from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Two sessions of field events are scheduled for each day (1 and 4 p.m. Friday, followed by 9 a.m. and noon Saturday).

Here’s the rundown of what to watch for this weekend.

Spring Grove's Laila Campbell at the 2023 YAIAA Track and Field Championship in Springettsbury on Wednesday. May 10, 2023.


Class 3A: Spring Grove junior Laila Campbell already has a long list of accomplishments to her name, including district and state titles in the 100 and 200 meters last season. She’s the No. 1 seed in both events this week — her 11.59 qualifying time in the 100 is 0.41 clear of anyone else, while her 23.77 in the 200 leads Cedar Crest freshman Kaddel Howard (24.01).

Teammate Ella Bahn, who won a whopping four individual golds at the York-Adams League meet, is a state qualifier and district medal contender in each event. She’s seeded No. 1 in the 300 hurdles, No. 2 in the 100 hurdles, No. 2 in the high jump and No. 6 in the 800 meters.

The 100-meter hurdle field has four YAIAA stars in the top five seeds. Susquehannock’s Ryleigh Marks has the top qualifying time (14.38 to Bahn’s 14.52), with Dover’s Gemma Galligani seeded third and New Oxford’s Maya Richwine fifth. Galligani is also the No. 3 seed in the 300 hurdles, behind Bahn in first and ahead of Marks (fifth) and Richwine (seventh). Marks is also the county champion and No. 6 seed in the long jump.

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Dallastown’s Kailey Granger is the No. 1 seed in the 3,200 meters, with her seed time of 10:34.77 nearly 12.5 seconds clear of the second qualifier. Teammate Victoria Rodriguez is the No. 4 seed in the 3,200, while Granger is No. 4 and Rodriguez No. 8 ahead of the 1,600.

A slew of other local girls have already qualified for states, including Central York’s Masslyn Soisson (No. 3 triple jump seed), Northeastern’s Nylah Davis (No. 6 high jump) and Eastern York’s Kendall Felix (No. 9 javelin). York Suburban’s Gabby delPielago and South Western’s Jessica Bentzel are seeded seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 400 meters, while Dallastown’s Natalie Cottrell is a state qualifier and the No. 13 seed in the 200. Dallastown’s 4x800 relay team is seeded fourth.

Bermudian Springs' Lilyana Carlson at the 2023 YAIAA Track and Field Championship in Springettsbury on Wednesday. May 10, 2023.

Class 2A: After claiming 2022 district gold in the pole vault and silver in the 100 hurdles, Bermudian Springs’ Lilyana Carlson is the No. 1 seed in both events. Her 15.50 in the hurdles is just .09 seconds ahead of the second seed, while her 12-foot-3 pole vault seed mark should only be challenged by Trinity’s Adeline Woodward (11-8). Carlson is also the No. 4 seed in the 300 hurdles.

Bermudian’s Alison Watts won the district triple jump title last year, but she’s actually the No. 2 seed in that event (36-foot-6.25), with Susquenita’s Samantha Wechsler more than a foot ahead this season. Watts, though, is also the No. 1 seed in the high jump (5-2) in addition to fourth in the long jump, where Wechsler is also seeded first.

Fairfield’s Ava Deming is the top seed in the 400 meters (59.75), although three competitors are within a second of her qualifying time. Deming is also the No. 10 seed in the 200.

Delone Catholic’s Fina Mochi is the No. 3 seed in the high jump and pole vault, while teammate Emma Bunty is seeded third in the 300 hurdles and fifth in the 100 hurdles. Bermudian’s Aliza Staub is the No. 3 qualifier in the 100 hurdles but second behind Carlson on her own team.

Littlestown’s girls are seeded third in the 4x100 relay, with Bermudian Springs fifth. Biglerville’s Haylee Smith is seeded fourth in the javelin, just ahead of Bermudian’s Emma Patton and Delone’s Laura Knobloch in fifth and sixth. Hanover’s Reagan Wildasin is the No. 6 seed in the shot put and No. 7 in the discus.


West York's Perry Addey at the 2023 YAIAA Track and Field Championship in Springettsbury on Wednesday. May 10, 2023.

Class 3A: Two different York County standouts enter as the top seeds in hurdle events. South Western’s Bernard Bell took silver in both distances at districts a year ago, and he’s the man to beat in the 110 hurdles with a mark of 14.29 (well ahead of second-seeded 14.59). But West York’s Perry Addey has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the 300 hurdles; the county champion’s seed time of 37.53 is 1.5 seconds clear of anyone else in the field. Bell will be the third seed for that race.

South Western also has the top qualifier in the javelin — Jackson Hersh, at 185-foot-7 — and the Mustangs’ 4x400 relay team also enters as the No. 1 seed. Bell won YAIAA gold with that group as well as in the long jump, where he’s seeded third.

Susquehannock’s Matthew O’Brien finished second in the 3,200 a year ago and is the top seed this spring with a time of 9:10.79). The district cross country champion is also seeded third in the 1,600 and seventh in the 800; he’s qualified for states in both events.

York Tech’s Matthew Arnold will be favored in the discus, as his seek mark of 173-foot-4 is 10 feet, 3 inches clear of Central York’s Joseph Sevison, who qualified second. Seventh-seeded Aaron Weigle of Bermudian Springs is also a state qualifier, while Central York’s Danny Pham is the fifth seed and a medal contender in the shot put, where he finished fourth last year.

Local sprinters are seeded second, third and fourth in the 200 meters. West York’s Nico Wright-Phillips (21.81), Dallastown’s Kenny Johnson (22.07) and Red Lion’s LaDainian Strausbaugh (22.12) are all just behind Susquehanna Township‘s Lex Cyrus (21.76). Strausbaugh is seeded fifth and Wright-Phillips eighth in the 100, where a whopping 23 of 31 runners in the district field are state qualifiers.

Red Lion's LaDainian Strausbaugh, on left, against William Penn's Jayronn Hunt, on right, at the 2023 YAIAA Track and Field Championship in Springettsbury on Wednesday. May 10, 2023.

Other state qualifiers and medal contenders include Dallastown’s Michael Scott (No. 4 long jump, No. 5 triple jump) and Jakob Rager (No. 7 1,600, No. 10 3,200); South Western’s Austin Martin (No. 6 high jump). 

Class 2A: With 2022 gold medalists Matthew Nawn (Hanover, 3,200) and Michael Carlson (Bermudian Springs, 110 hurdles) graduated and both Bermudian and Littlestown now in Class 3A, this field is light on local medal contenders. The only official state qualifier thus far is Delone Catholic’s Ryder Noel, who’s seeded fourth in the 100 meters with a time of 11.18.

The Squires’ 4x100 relay team could also reach the podium after posting the No. 4 seed time. Delone’s Gage Zimmerman qualified sixth in the 200. Fairfield’s Jacob Ogle and Nik Norberg are the Nos. 3 and 4 seeds, respectively, in the high jump, with Norberg also seeded third in the triple jump. And Biglerville’s Robert Salazar is the No. 5 seed in the 300 hurdles, with his best time just outside the state qualifying threshold.