York-Adams track, tennis stars shoot for state gold in season's final weekend

Thomas Kendziora
York Dispatch

It’s the final weekend of the season for a pair of Pennsylvania spring sports, as Memorial Day weekend brings the PIAA track and field championships at Shippensburg University and the boys’ tennis singles and doubles state tournaments at the Hershey Racquet Club.

Both sports have already had busy postseasons. Local track and field athletes converged at the York-Adams League championships May 10 at Central York, then turned heads at the District 3 meet last weekend at Shippensburg. And the area’s top boys’ tennis players have already taken part in county and district singles and doubles tournaments, on top of the district and state team playoffs.

Plenty of gold medals will be up for grabs at the state track meet, which kicks off at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday with schedules packed through both afternoons. Champions in field events will be crowned on both days, while most track finals are scheduled for Saturday.

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.

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All eyes will be on Spring Grove’s Laila Campbell, who has multiple records within reach as she seeks a third straight sweep of the 100- and 200-meter titles. Campbell, now a junior, set the girls’ 100-meter meet record of 11.55 seconds in 2022 and is seeded first this year after posting the same time at districts. Her 200-meter seed time of 23.24 is 1.3 seconds clear of the field and has the PIAA record of 23.52 in serious jeopardy.

Rockets freshman Ella Bahn followed four gold medals at the York-Adams League meet with three at districts, and she’s a medal contender in those three events at states. Bahn is seeded second in the high jump (5-foot-5, tied for the top height with two others), fourth in the 100 hurdles (14.48) and sixth in the 300 hurdles (44.67). 

South Western’s Bernard Bell is the other local contender for multiple gold medals. The senior is the top seed in the 110 hurdles (14.18) and 300 hurdles (37.69) after capturing District 3 titles in both events. He could get a push in the 300 from West York’s Perry Addey, seeded third at 38.53 with a 37.53 on his ledger this year.

South Western's Bernard Bell against Red Lion during their track and field meet in Red Lion on Thursday, Apr. 20, 2023.

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Susquehannock’s Matthew O’Brien shattered his personal best and the District 3 meet record with a 3,200-meter time of 8:59.52, which has him seeded No. 1 at states by five seconds. York Tech’s Matthew Arnold is seeded second in the 3A boys’ discus with a mark of 168-foot-4, although his season best of 173-4 would be first.

In Class 2A, Bermudian Springs’ Lilyana Carlson has a chance to turn district silver into state gold in the girls’ pole vault. She finished second to Trinity’s Adeline Woodward last weekend on a tiebreaker after both girls cleared 12 feet. Carlson’s top mark for the season is 12-foot-3, while Woodward’s 12-0 was her best of the year. Warrior Run’s Aurora Cieslukowski is seeded third at 11-6, with nobody else above 11 feet.

More medal contenders: South Western’s Austin Martin is seeded fifth in the 3A boys’ high jump (6-4), while Jackson Hersh enters eighth in the javelin (178-10). Northeastern’s Garreth Calder is 11th in the high jump (21-10.5), three inches shy of the top eight seeds. Bermudian Springs’ Aaron Weigle and Central York’s Joseph Sevison could join Arnold on the podium in the discus; they’re seeded eighth and 12th, respectively.

Susquehannock’s Ryleigh Marks is the No. 5 seed in the 3A girls’ 100 hurdles at 14.52 after finishing second to Bahn at both counties and districts. She’s also the 13th qualifier in the long jump (18-0). Dover’s Gemma Galligani could contend for a medal in the 100 hurdles (11th at 14.93), and she’s also the 18th qualifier in the 300 hurdles. Central York’s Emma Chataginer is seeded 11th in the 3A girls’ high jump.

York County athletes competing in the Ray Geesey Invitational at York College in York on Friday, Apr. 28, 2023.

Bermudian Springs’ Alison Watts claimed the District 3 Class 2A girls’ high jump title in a three-way tiebreaker, but that may not be her best chance at a state medal, as she’s seeded 22nd with a 5-foot clear. Watts is also the No. 7 qualifier in the long jump and No. 10 in the triple jump. She finished second in both events at districts.

Fairfield’s Ava Deming is the No. 5 seed in the 2A girls’ 400 meters after grabbing gold with a 59.29 in the district finals. Expect a tight medal chase in this event, as less than a second separates qualifiers from fourth (59.26) to 16th (59.97).

More state qualifiers: Several boys’ sprinters will compete in Class 3A. Red Lion’s LaDainian Strausbaugh is seeded 20th in the 100 meters and 14th in the 200, where he’s joined by West York’s Nico Wright-Phillips (15th) and Dallastown’s Kenny Johnson (23rd). Dallastown has a pair of qualifiers in Jackson Gutekunst (18th, 800m) and Jakob Rager (17th, 1,600m). The Wildcats are also the 14th seed in the 4x100 relay, while West York qualified 25th. South Western’s boys come in at No. 18 in the 4x400.

The 2023 YAIAA Track and Field Championship in Springettsbury on Wednesday. May 10, 2023.

Dallastown’s Kailey Granger is seeded 16th in the 1,600 meters and 15th in the 3,200, while Wildcat teammate Victoria Rodriguez enters 28th and 20th in those respective events. Both girls are also part of a Dallastown 4x800 relay team seeded 13th. And New Oxford’s Maya Richwine is 16th in the 100 hurdles, making it four YAIAA state qualifiers in that event.

There are only three individual qualifiers among 2A boys. Christian School of York’s Luka Schroeter, the district champion in the long jump, is seeded 20th with a mark of 21-foot-3.5. Fairfield’s Jacob Ogle is the 17th seed in the high jump, while Delone Catholic’s Ryder Noel was the 32nd and final qualifier in the 100 meters.

Delone’s Fina Mochi is seeded 24th in the 2A girls’ high jump (5-0) after taking silver to Watts at districts on the tiebreaker. Littlestown’s girls qualified 21st in the 4x100 relay.


Dallastown's Hayden Koons returns the ball to Cumberland Valley's Ross Kluger (not pictured) during singles tennis action at Dallastown Area High School in York Township, Wednesday, April 20, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The boys’ tennis season closes this weekend with PIAA singles and doubles championships at the Hershey Racquet Club. Dallastown, which closed the book on a state quarterfinal run last weekend, will be represented in each tournament, with another local standout competing as well.

Wildcats sophomore Hayden Koons, the District 3 Class 3A runner-up, will open his weekend at noon Friday against District 2 champion Luke Kotcho of Valley View. Red Lion’s Cooper Wheeler finished third at districts and will battle Moon’s Anthony Lounder, the District 7 champ, at the same time. The 3A singles quarterfinals will be contested at 6:30 p.m. Friday, with Saturday featuring the semifinals at 10:30 a.m. and the finals at 3:30 p.m.

Dallastown’s Andrew Chronister and Jacob Horn placed third at last week’s district doubles tournament to earn a spot in the 3A draw. Chronister teamed with Koons to win the York-Adams League doubles title and posted another strong showing with his new partner. The Wildcats will take the court at 2 p.m. Friday against Gateway’s District 7 champion tandem of Adam Memije and Zidaan Hassan. Subsequent rounds will be staged at the same time as 3A singles matches.

No local athletes will compete for Class 2A state titles. Biglerville’s Guillaume Schmitz just missed out by finishing fourth at districts as an individual, while Bermudian Springs’ doubles team of Parker Sanders and Eli Snyder also placed fourth in the district tournament to close a memorable campaign.