Penn Cambria's Jess Delic will be trying to make her first state medal an extra special one, while Tyrone's Nick Patton is poised to add to an already impressive list of hardware at the PIAA Track and Field Championships.
Delic had the best performance at her district meet last week, and therefore enters the state event as the No. 1 seed in the Class AA girls javelin. Meanwhile, Patton, who took gold and silver in last year's state championships, is back for more, ranked second in the 200-meter dash and third in the 400 dash in Class AA.
Patton is also part of two relays that will medal if their seedings hold up.
The meet will be held Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University's Seth Grove Stadium, and the PIAA released its performance sheets Sunday. Delic is the only top seed from the Mirror coverage area. Patton, Bellwood-Antis' Brian Leap (Class AA triple jump), Chestnut Ridge's Matt Dull (Class AA 300 hurdles) and Northern Bedford's Maria Snyder (Class AA 3,200 run) have garnered second seeds. Leap is seeded in the top eight in three events, Snyder in the top four in two and Dull in the top five in two.
The top eight finishers in each event win medals.
The seedings are based solely upon an athlete or team's performance at their respective district meet. They could have posted better times, distances or heights during the season, or it could have been the best result they recorded.
Altoona's Wade Endress falls into the former category. He is seeded eighth in both the mile and half-mile runs in Class AAA, but he has run times that could push him much further up the medals stand if he can reproduce them this weekend. The top-seeded time in the 1,600 is 4:10.99 belonging to Drew Magaha of Upper Moreland, while Wissahickon's Hong Cho posted the best time in the 800 last week, 1:50.92.
Meanwhile, Endress's teammate, DeRon Lee, is seeded fourth in the triple jump.
Altoona's boys 400-meter relay team will enter seeded just outside the medals at ninth. The Mountain Lions' Evan Falbo is one of four pole vaulters tied for ninth at 14-3.
On the Class AAA girls side, Altoona's Kelly Davis and Makenzie Wilt are seeded seventh in the 100 dash and discus, respectively. Nikki Kerns of Altoona is ninth in the 100 hurdles and 10th in the 300 hurdles.
Patton, a junior, took first in the Class AA boys 200 meters last year after finishing runner-up in the 400. He'll also run at states on a 1,600 relay team seeded fourth and a 400 relay team seeded seventh. Patton's District 6 time is 18-hundredths off the top seed's pace in the 200, while he was four-tenths of a second behind the state leader in the 400.
It looks like Class AA boys is the where the area stands to make its biggest impact on the medal stand. In addition to Patton, 16 competitors and teams head into Shippensburg in the top 10. Leap is responsible for three of those, going in tied for fourth in the high jump and as the anchor on the No. 8 four-by-400 relay along with his second seed in the triple jump.
The jumps are the strongpoint for the AA area boys. In the triple jump, Leap is second, while Chestnut Ridge's Michael Young is fourth, Posey fifth and Cambria Heights' Zack Prohonic 10th. Leap, Posey and Northern Bedford's Zach Pressel are three of 12 boys tied for the fourth seed in the high jump. Prohonic also is 10th in the long jump.
In addition to being second in the 300 hurdles, Dull is fifth in the 110s. Northern Cambria's Tony Rocco is one of eight even for the fourth spot in the pole vault. Robert Huff, also a member of the Tyrone four-by-four, is sixth in the 300 hurdles. In the javelin, Bellwood's Jared Minori is seeded seventh and Central's Derek Nothstein is ninth.
Leap and Dull also were medalists at last year's state meet.
A University of Akron recruit, Delic made it to states in two events in 2010 but failed to medal. Her seeded throw in the javelin is more than 2 feet better than any other qualifier but 5 feet shorter than her best throw of the year.
Snyder, a sophomore making her first appearance at states, is seeded fourth in the mile in addition to her second seed in the 3,200. Her seeded time in the mile is only 3 seconds behind the first seed, but she'll have a lot of ground to make up in the two-mile run, where South Fayette's Nicole Hilton has a sub-11-minute time.
It's shaping up as a good weekend for Central Cambria distance runners in Class AA girls. The Lady Red Devils' 3,200 relay team goes in ranked fourth. The team includes Kendall Seymour, who is seeded fifth in the two-mile run, and Ashley Stump, who, at ninth in the 800 run, is placed one spot ahead of Northern Bedford's Esther Wind.
It could also be a productive AA girls meet for area pole vaulters. Huntingdon's Bethany Ledford is in a tie for fifth seed, while Bedford's Brittany Kidd is part of a six-way tie for eighth.
Complete performance sheets are available at www.piaa.org.