SHIPPENSBURG—Wyalusing’s Ashlee Newton accomplished two goals over the weekend at the PIAA Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg.
She competed in the pole vault to complete her first goal. The second was simply getting to know her future school as she plans on attending Shippensburg in the fall and vaulting there to continue her athletic career.
“I’ve jumped down here twice for states and twice for their invite so I feel pretty good about everything,” Newton said. “I’m definitely going to keep practicing and just try to put everything behind me after this. It’s good to have these experiences both good and bad.”
Newton placed tenth in the event with a high vault of 10-0. She missed her seed jump of 11-0. She was disappointed with the outcome, but will use the experiences to get ready for the new challenges in the fall.
“I didn’t jump too much during the week, but once we got down her Thursday, I got a lot of time on the runway,” Newton said. “It felt good going into today, but that didn’t happen. I’m not really sure what happened. It just kind of happened.”
Blessing Laudermilch entered the second day of competition fresher than most athletes as she prepared to take on a difficult field in the triple jump.
“I’m pretty happy with my results,” Laudermilch said. “I hit 35-8, which is what I hit in Districts and I’m pretty happy about that.”
Laudermilch was down to her final jump as she approached the runway one last time during the opening flight of the event. She leaned back and started her approached. It looked good to the leadup, but Laudermilch hit another level as she elevated to match her District 4 length.
“I was glad to at least reach that length,” Laudermilch said. “I wanted to hit 36, but I’m still very happy. I really worked on my second faze and that really helped me today.”
For Laudermilch it was a chance to show exactly what she has worked for all season long. She adjusted to the runway, which was two inches longer than District 4’s, and competed along side each competitor throughout the competition.
“I haven’t used this track a lot and going from the 30 board is something new to me,” Laudermilch said. “It’s not bad, because I know I can make it. Most of my jumps are around 35. I just got to try a new thing.”
Competing with Laudermilch was Wellsboro’s Dahlia Hosey, who finished 13th with a long jump of 35-7.25.
Wyalusing’s 4x800 boys relay team competed in the finals of the event Saturday morning. The Rams went in the same order as they did Friday with Kemuel Laudermilch opening, Kevin Heeman going next, and Logan Newton and Alex Patton to finish the race off.
“We just tried to run this race mentally to prepare,” Newton said.
In an effort to prepare for the 4x800 the group soaked in a nearby creek to simulate an ice bath. It seemed to help a little as the group ran a nearly identical race as they did Friday to qualify.
Both Newton and Patton had to make a late push for Wyalusing which resulted in a 8:39.89 for an 11th overall finish.
“Honestly, we did alright, our time was definitely not where we wanted it to be,” Patton said. “All three of us are juniors and there’s plenty of motivation for us to get back here next year. Kevin got his medal and we’ll just have to come back and do the same thing next year.”
The only one who won’t be back is Heeman, who opened the day by running the 2-mile. It was a quick turnaround to helping the 4x800.
“It’s hard to recover from a big race like that,” Patton said. “Coming into a fast race like this we were kind of expecting that.”
Heeman finished the 3,200 in 9:37.12 to place eighth and earn a trip to the podium.
Morgan Millard competed in the shot put to open the day and earned a 15th overall finished with a long throw of 34-7.