SHIPPENSBURG — Altoona senior Brooke Long won the PIAA Class 3A long jump championship a year ago and was devastated when she didn’t qualify for states to defend her title in the event this year during the District 6 championships.
Instead of dwelling on it and ending her high school career on a disappointing jump, Long righted another wrong by earning a fourth-place medal in the PIAA triple jump with a personal-best distance of 38 feet, 11.25 inches, a year after missing out on a medal in that event.
“I was happy to not only get fourth but get a (personal record),” Long said. “I was happy with how I came back in the finals. It’s great to place in triple jump to make up somewhat for last year. I love jumping, so it’s great to have medals in both.”
Long thought she might not get a chance to compete in the finals. When the finalists for the event were named, she got a huge smile and breathed a sigh of relief as the final competitor to make the cut.
“I actually didn’t think I was going to make it, because in prelims I heard a lot of 38s,” said Long, who jumped 37 feet, 10 inches in the preliminary round. “When they said it, it was more of a shock, because I knew I was hanging on by a thread.”
Long’s District 6 rival, Shannon Mullin of State College, won the state championship with a jump of 40-8 on her final attempt, one of the top 25 marks in the country.
In earlier action Friday at Shippensburg’s Seth Grove Stadium, Tyrone junior Reagan Irons won a bronze medal in the 2A high jump by clearing 5-2.
“I was pretty happy,” Irons said. “It wasn’t my PR, but I was happy with it.”
Irons nearly broke a tie for third place with South Park’s Elliot Oliphant by making her final attempt at 5-3, but the bar came down after she had cleared it.
“That was my best attempt at 5-3,” Irons said. “I wasn’t too mad about it, because I’m happy I got third. I came into it thinking positively, but I was not expecting this, getting third and a bronze. It’s crazy. I’m so grateful for the opportunity. God has blessed me.”
Porschia Bennett of Towanda won with a jump of 5-6.
“The high jump is probably her best event,” Tyrone coach Brad Kanuch said. “She’s great at all of her events, but she keeps progressing and getting better by a couple inches every year. The high jump is an event that you don’t go from 5 feet to 5-8 in a year. You gain a couple inches every year, and it’s incremental like that.
“I remember watching her in eighth grade at the middle school championships, and she’s come so far since then. Mentally, she’s such a tough competitor that’s always super focused and that has helped her become a very good jumper.”
Irons was happy to bring a bronze medal back for the Tyrone girls program, which has won back-to-back District 6 Class 2A titles.
“We have great coaches, and the girls are really tight and work really hard,” Irons said. “The girls are very deserving of our success, and it’s nice to see us win districts and have some success here.”
Portage’s Cami Burkett was the final qualifier for the finals in the 2A 200 dash with a time of 26.49, just ahead of ninth-place finisher Mylee Harmon of Redbank Valley, who finished in 26.50.
Burkett’s finish assures her of a medal on Saturday.
“I was nervous, because the girls ahead of me were pretty far ahead,” Burkett said. “They were really fast. I ran as fast as I could and tried my hardest. Honestly, my goal was to make it to finals. Now that I’m there, I’m happy with whatever I get.”
Chestnut Ridge’s Belle Bosch won a bronze medal in the javelin with a throw of 137-8, just behind champion Audrey Friedman of Fort Leboeuf, who threw a distance of 142-9.
“I want to do better next year, and this is a little bit of a bump in the road,” Bosch said. “But it was great to meet some of these girls, make some new friends. I’ll be back. I’m proud of myself, but I want to do better next time.”
n Homer-Center’s Justley Sharp won the 2A PIAA discus state championship with a throw of 138-7. Northern Bedford’s Lizzie Long finished 12th with a throw of 96-8.
n Forest Hills’ Delaney Dumm won a silver medal in the 2A 1600 run in 5:01.6.
n Central Cambria’s Faith Wilson finished 11th and second in her heat behind only Chestnut Ridge’s Ava Whysong (who finished ninth) in the Class 2A 1600 with a personal best time of 5:13.64. Teammate Stella Kuntz finished 21st in 5:36.65.
n Tyrone’s Mackenzie Latchford finished 18th in the 2A 100 dash preliminaries in 13.09 and did not qualify for finals. She also finished 16th in the long jump with a distance of 16-6.5. Her teammate, Irons, was 27th with a 15-3.75. Latchford was also 16th in the 200 dash preliminaries in 26.91 and didn’t qualify for the finals.
n Leah Decker of Central finished 24th in the 2A 100 hurdles preliminaries in 17.56 and did not qualify for the finals.
n Natalie Saltsgiver from Tyrone finished 22nd in the 2A high jump by clearing 4-10.
n Hollidaysburg’s Jenna Wilt tied for 15th in the 3A pole vault by clearing 10-6.
n Tyrone’s 400 relay team of Eva Toth, Latchford, Saltsgiver and Irons finished 14th in 51.29 in the 2A preliminaries and did not qualify for the final. Central’s team was disqualified.
n Altoona’s 400 relay team of Long, Hailey Kravetz, Lauren Kiser and Ashtyn Hileman finished 12th in the 3A preliminaries in 49.46 and did not qualify for the finals.
n Rebecca Lewis of Tyrone finished 23rd in 2A 400 dash preliminaries in 1:02.58 and did not qualify for the finals.
n Kravetz ran a season-best 46.26 in the 3A 300 hurdles and finished in 14th place.
n Sophia Nelson of Bellwood-Antis ran a personal-best time of 50.11 to finish 19th in the 2A 300 hurdles but did not qualify for finals. Elana Decker of Central was 22nd in 51.7.
n Jerzey Vinglish of Penn Cambria finished 12th in the javelin with a throw of 113-2, and Portage’s Isabella Bartoletti was 18th after throwing 104-8.
n Central Cambria’s 1600 relay team of Abigail Sheehan, Abigail Walwro, Abigail George and Faith Wilson finished the 2A preliminary in 4:15.52 for a 17th-place finish and did not qualify for today’s final. The Altoona 1600 relay team of Kiser, Kravetz, Reese Wilber and Hileman finished their 3A race in 4:06.49 but also missed the final with a 19th-place finish.