SHIPPENSBURG – The TIMES NEWS area was represented quite well on day two of the PIAA Track and Field Championships on Saturday, bringing home medals in seven events.
Tamaqua's Christine Streisel and Eric Hertzog, Jim Thorpe's PJ Johnson, Palmerton's Monty Szukics, the Blue Bombers 4x100 relay team, Northern Lehigh's Caleb Johnson and Pleasant Valley's Kelecia Harris all earned hardware.
Streisel came away with the highest medal, as she won the silver in the AA javelin. The defending state champion's best throw measured 149 feet, two inches. Fort Cherry's Jessie Merckle won the gold with a throw of 154 feet, one inch.
While most athletes would be overjoyed with a second-place finish, Streisel wasn't too pleased afterward.
"I am not very happy with myself," admitted Streisel. "Coming out here I knew I had some big throws in me and I knew what I had to do in order to win. I just didn't get the job done. It was a mental thing today. Sometimes I just think too much.
"It doesn't feel good enough. I think Tamaqua had seen too much silver these past two days. I wanted to bring home another gold, but I wasn't able to get it done today."
The junior also placed sixth in the shot put with a throw of 38 feet, seven-and-a-half inches. She recorded the best finish out of five area athletes in the event. Northern Lehigh's Aimee Oertner came in 11th (37-4 34), while Lehighton's Gwen Remaley finished 15th (36-9), Palmerton's Kelsey Hay was 29th (34-7 12) and Sarah Keer of Lehighton finished 34th (33-0).
Hay also finished 10th in the AA javelin with a throw of 125 feet, six inches.
Johnson, Jim Thorpe's lone participant at states, won the bronze in the AA long jump. The senior leaped 21 feet, nine-and-a-half inches on his first jump of preliminaries. Danny Jackson of Trinity won the gold with a jump measuring 23 feet one and a quarter inches. Jeremy Jancso of West Middlesex was second with a jump of 22 feet four and a half inches.
"When I first jumped, my leg was feeling fine," said Johnson. "But I have Osgood Slaughters so it started hurting around my third jump. I just couldn't get over 21 (feet) ch value\=\"226 129 132\"/=
"I'm proud of how I did today. I am happy with third place."
Szukics also had a day to remember. The senior not only medaled in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes by finishing fourth in both and joined teammates Dallas Miata, Travis Wolfe and Alex Vignone to take a fifth in the 4x100 relay. Szukics ran a 11.13 in the 100 final and 22.49 in the 200 final.
The heat, combined with multiple events, may have taken their toll on Szukics. He had to run five sprints totaling roughly 700 meters within two-and-a-half hours of each other. They included the 100 and 200 semi-finals, the 4x100 relay and the 100 and 200 finals.
"Yeah, I was definitely a little out of gas," said Szukics. "Doing everything takes a lot out of you. I expected to run better, but I can't be too down on myself. I am a little disappointed because I felt like I could have done better. I'm a competitor who doesn't like to lose.
"Any medal at states is great though. I am the fourth fastest runner in the 100 and 200 in states. Then in the 4x100 we were the fifth fastest team in the state of Pennsylvania. There are kids that would love to be here right now and I am proud to say that I am one of those kids that got the opportunity to compete here this weekend."
Northern Lehigh's Johnson placed seventh in the AA 400-meter dash with a time of 50.46 seconds. Pleasant Valley's Harris took seventh in the AAA triple jump with a leap of 36 feet, nine-and-a-quarter inches and Tamaqua's Eric Hertzog came in eighth in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.21 seconds.
The following are the results for the TIMES NEWS area athletes at the PIAA State Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University's Seth Grove Stadium.
3200M – Kelsey Patrick, Tamaqua, 12:23.74, 24th overall.
Shot Put – Christine Streisel, Tamaqua, 38-7 12, 6th overall; Aimee Oertner, Northern Lehigh, 37-4 34, 11th overall; Gwen Remaley, Lehighton, 36-9, 15th overall; Kelsey Hay, Palmerton, 34-7 12, 29th overall; Sarah Keer, Lehighton, 33-0, 34th overall.
Javelin – Christine Streisel, Tamaqua, 149-2, 2nd overall; Kelsey Hay, Palmerton, 125-6, 10th overall.
Triple Jump – Lauryn Solt, Palmerton, 32-4, 28th overall.
100M – Kelecia Harris, Pleasant Valley, 12.64, 7th in semi-final heat, 14th overall, did not advance to finals.
3200M – Rachele Cerrone, Northwestern, 12:09.40, 24th overall.
Triple Jump – Kelecia Harris, Pleasant Valley, 36-9 14, 7th overall.
100M – Monty Szukics, Palmerton, 11.05, 3rd in semi-final heat, 4th overall, advanced to finals; 11.13, 4th overall in finals.
200M – Monty Szukics, Palmerton, 22.33, 2nd in semi-final heat, 3rd o