Five Center County athletes won gold medals this weekend at the 2022 PIAA Track and Field Championships. State High’s Shannon Mullin won the triple jump with a 40-foot-8 jump, while the team from The State High boys’ 4×800 relay – comprised of Mathew Staniar, Trent Dinant, Nick Sloff and Sean Adams – won gold with a time of 7 minutes, 45.36 seconds.
State High was one of four Center County schools with athletes competing in the championships, which took place Friday and Saturday in Shippensburg.
The Little Lions were the most successful at the event, with both gold medals and five top-five finishes overall.
Mullin’s success – along with a third-place finish in the 4×800 relay team which State High coach Jennifer Evans said “showed a ton of determination” – helped the women’s team finish second with 24 points, tied with Haverford Township and only behind Moon Area with 30 points.
Mullin accounted for 18 of those points and was able to perform at this level because of the work she put in and her mindset, according to coach State High Evans.
“It takes a lot of focus and a lot of good energy and a bit of magic to have your best performance in the state meet,” Evans told the Center Daily Times. “There are so many uncontrollable variables. Shannon is just unwavering in her determination to succeed. I couldn’t be more proud of his performance on Friday and Saturday.
While Mullin led the way for the girls’ team, it was a group effort that helped the boys’ team win a gold medal. Gold for the 4×800 relay team came after a long time between competitions.
In the end, the group’s perseverance and preparation helped them cross the finish line first and, according to State High coach Artie Gilkes, defied some expectations while maintaining a strong tradition in the race.
“We knew they could do it,” Gilkes told CDT. “I know a lot of schools were expecting us to have a tough week or meeting at this event. …To say I was happy with it would be an understatement. I was very, very excited. … I was really proud of them. They put him on the line.
The only other top five for the men’s team came from Ian Dorefice, who finished first in the pole vault with a score of 14-6.
The women’s team added a silver from Mullin in the long jump at 18-9.25 and a bronze from the 4×800 relay team of Marlee Kwasnica, Natalie Koncoski, Grace Morningstar and Chloe Poindexter. They ran the race in 9:28.25.
Bald Eagle had the best finish among the AA entrants with sixth-place finish by long jumper Owen Irvin. Irvin, who also finished 17th in the triple jump. jumped 21-5.25 to finish sixth.
The Eagles also had Abigail Hoover compete in two field events, where she finished 14th (discus, 94-2) and 19th (javelin, 103-7), but going to the States alone had even greater appeal. for Hoover than most.
The bald eagle pitcher saw her sister, Angela Hoover, inducted into the Pennsylvania High School Athletics Hall of Fame. Not to mention, she was coached by her father and Bald Eagle trainer, Ron Hoover.
The experiment was a goal Abigail set for herself earlier this year.
“It was awesome,” Ron told CDT. “We found out in January that Angela was going to be inducted. Abby said, ‘Well, I want to go out there and compete.’ It was a great motivational tool for her. Angela was one of my volunteer coaches this year, and it was great to have her there. I know Abby really appreciated it.
The only entrant from Philipsburg-Osceola was distance runner Chad Muckey, who finished 18th in the 3,200m (9:51.03) and 20th in the 1,600m (4:31.24).
Penns Valley had multiple qualifiers, with Cameron Upcraft finishing 12th in the girls’ high jump at 5-0.
Bald Eagle Girls
Disc – Abigail Hoover – 14th, 94-2
Javelin – Abigail Hoover – 19th, 103-7
Bald eagle boys
Long jump – Owen Irvin — 6th, 21-5.25
Triple jump – Owen Irvin — 17th, 40-3.50
Penns Valley Girls
400 meters – Abigail Stitzer – 20th, 1:01.79, did not qualify for the final
800 Meter Race – Abigail Stitzer – 9th, 2:20.54
High Jump – Cameron Upcraft – 12th, 5-0
The Penns Valley Boys
High Jump – Zach Braucht — NH
Long Jump – Zach Braucht — 22nd, 19-0.5
Boys of Philipsburg-Osceola
1600m Race – Chad Muckey— 20th, 4:31.24
3200m Race – Chad Muckey – 18th, 9:51.03
Relay 4×800 – Marlee Kwasnica, Natalie Koncoski, Grace Morningstar, Chloe Poindexter — 3rd, 9:28.25
100 meters hurdles – Sarah Tate – 17th, 16.27, did not qualify for the final
400 meters – Victoria Walker – 24th, 1:00.92, did not qualify for the final
800 Meter Race – Grace Morningstar – 10th, 2:21.81
Triple Jump – Shannon Mullin – 1st, 40-8, top in state, top 25 in USA, broke school record
Long Jump – Shannon Mullin — 2nd, 18-9.25
The State High School Boys
4×800 Relay – Mathew Staniar, Trent Dinant, Nick Sloff, Sean Adams — 1st, 7:45.36
110 meters hurdles – John Sicree – 25th, 16.64, did not qualify for the final
1600m Race – Nick Scoff – 13th, 4:17.50
4x100m Relay – Ryan Lindenberg, Jonathan Mwangi, Dylan Grunwald, Nolan Markowski — 21st in preliminaries, 44.56, did not qualify for final
300 meters hurdles – Ryan Lindenberg – 10th in preliminaries, 40.09, did not qualify for final
800 Meter Race – Sean Adams – 18th, 1:56.24
4×400 Relay – Ryan Lindenberg Sean Adams John Sicree Mathew Staniar — 10th in preliminaries, 3:22.12, did not qualify for finals
Pole Vault – Ian Dorefice – 5th, 14-6
Disc – Mitchell Maher – 17th, 139-0
Results by team
AAA for girls
State College – tied for second, 24 points
AAA for boys
State College – tied for 14th, 14 points
AA for boys
Bald Eagle – tied for 59th, 3 points
This story was originally published May 28, 2022 9:11 p.m.