bob ford/times new Lehighton's Jon Strauss won the AAA javelin with a throw of 191-5.
ORWIGSBURG - Lehighton's Jon Strauss wasn't worried about carrying a bullseye on his back.
The Indian junior entered the javelin competition at the District 11 Class AAA Track and Field Championships as the No. 1 seed.
"I never look at it as people are chasing me," said Strauss, when asked if was there any pressure holding the top seed. "I just want to beat myself every single time and beat my PR. As long as I do that, I will be fine."
Strauss may not have beaten his personal record of 196-feet, 7-inches, but a throw of 191-feet, 5-inches was good enough for him to earn the TIMES NEWS area's lone gold medal in the boys' Class AAA.
"I'm just happy that I got back into 190s," said Strauss, who followed a gold at last week's Mountain Valley Conference Championships with another gold at districts. "I'm looking forward to do 200 next week at States. So, let's see what happens. But I'm not satisfied quite yet."
It was redemption for Strauss, who failed to challenge for a medal a year ago.
"Last year I was seeded fourth, but I didn't do well," said Strauss. "I choked. But I wasn't going to let that happen again."
Joining Strauss next weekend at the PIAA Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg will be Northern Lehigh's Caleb Johnson, who was able to stand atop the Class AA medal podium after falling short earlier in the day.
When the time came for the 300 hurdles, Johnson put the thought of missing out on a medal earlier in the high jump to the wayside. He simply wanted to get a medal.
"Seeds don't matter. You have got to run the race," said Johnson, who was seeded second in the event and then beat his own PR by more than a second with a time of 40.93. "I went out there and did what I could and had a good time doing it."
Johnson was able to better his third-place finish at last week's Colonial League meet where he lost to Kowan Scott of Wilson and Dan Falcone of Bangor, who finished first and third in yesterday's AAA meet.
"This medal means a lot to me," Johnson said. "I came out of here last year with a out of here last year with a fifth-place finish. I just wanted to get a medal today. And, hey, what better medal than gold, right?
"This is awesome. I don't know how much momentum I'm going to take [to States], but it's going to be fun. I'm definitely going to enjoy it."
After missing out on a medal at the Colonial League meet a week ago, Northern Lehigh senior Robby Hanzlik refused to let a medal slip out of his grasp in his last chance.
Hanzlik grabbed second-place in the high jump with a leap of 5-feet, 10-inches. Hanzlik received the medal because he hit 5-feet, 10-inches on the first try while the others took their second or third try to do so.
While Hanzlik's first try eventually awarded him silver, Tamaqua's Josh Turner's last throw in the discus was cashed in for a second-place spot.
Turner was second to Bangor's Jeff Gallagher, the defending district champion.
Turner, the Schuylkill League champ, fell just a little more than a foot short of beating Gallagher with a throw of 144-feet, 2-inches.
Marian Catholic's Bobby Kelly finished in third-place in the 300 hurdles with a time of 41.84.
Tamaqua's Zack Lakitsky and Tyler Hope and Palmerton's Monty Szukics all advanced to today's finals in both the 100 meter and 200 meter dash.