Seth Worthing is something rare: A thinking man's sprinter. That doesn't always sit well with his coaches.
"My coach yells at me constantly for thinking too much. He says that's slowing me down because I'm worrying too much about form and what to do,'' Worthing said. "Today, I couldn't help it.''
Worthing got way behind at the start of his first of four finals on Tuesday at Mansion Park. Instead of letting it go and focusing on the rest of the day, Worthing reached down and showed he's a rare breed in another sense, somehow coming back to win the 100-meter dash.
Mirror photo by Patrick?Waksmunski
Bellwood-Antis’?Seth Worthing won the 100-meter dash as part of his big day.
That propelled him to a perfect day in which he won two individual events, was part of two winning relays, just missed four state-qualifying times and helped Bellwood-Antis win its second straight boys team title at the District 6 Class AA Track and Field Championships.
The Blue Devils' Jeremy Claypoole was one of four other area champions, taking the gold in the triple jump, while Northern Cambria's Derek Bearer won the 400, Central Cambria's Matt Pride prevailed in the 110 hurdles and Tyrone's Charles-Wilson Adams captured the high jump.
It was a bittersweet day, too, though. Tyrone standout Nick Patton's career came to an end one meet short of next weekend's state finals at Shippensburg when he reaggravated a hamstring injury during the 200 trials.
"Excellent. This has to be my favorite athletic achievement yet,'' Worthing, just a junior, said at the end of the meet. "It's another step. Last year I was the ICC MVP. That means nothing compared to this. You've got like 38 teams in here. I love it. It's great.''
The day didn't look that good at the start, with him seeded behind Patton in the 200 and Juniata's Adam Goshorn in the 100. Then Worthing got behind Goshorn out of the blocks but came back to defend his district title in the latter event by posting a time of 11.21 seconds. Goshorn was second at 11.27.
"I was lucky it wasn't a 90. He torched me out of the blocks. I just had to play catch-up,'' Worthing said. "When I saw him take off and be 5 meters in front of me for the first 90, I was scared. I've never been so scared for an actual race. I just focused on 'don't tighten up, stay loose.' Coach reminded me to do that before the race, and that got me there.''
Worthing had the best time in the preliminaries, blazing an 11.12 to set a new school record.
"It feels a little different [from last year]. Last year, I PR'd in the finals. This year, I set the school record in the prelims. It's a little upsetting, but it's neat that I won again, because I didn't want to come in as the defending champion and lose,'' Worthing said. "I'm a little upset that I dropped that much from the prelims, but, as long as I win, it's all good.''
Worthing also was part of the winning B-A 400 relay with his brother, Cameron, Andrew DeGol and Ian O'Shea that smoked the competition and came within three-hundredths of a second of a 10-year-old school record of 43.41. Shortly after, he came back to win the 200 in impressive fashion with a personal-record time of 22.45, almost a full second ahead of anyone else.
The Bellwood four-by-400 team of Zach Sinisi, DeGol, O'Shea and Seth Worthing then broke a one-year-old school mark with a winning time of 3 minutes, 24.80 seconds.
"Last year, we came into this race and hadn't lost all season, and we won the meet but we lost the four-by-four to Tyrone. Coach Lovrich said don't let that happen again. He told us he thought we could get the meet record, and we weren't far from it,'' DeGol said. "I think we can do better at states. I'm proud of our team.''
While Seth Worthing was all smiles, it wasn't that kind of joyous occasion for Patton. The four-time PIAA medalist and 6-AA record holder in the 200 meters succumbed to the hamstring injury that had been bothering him most of the season during the afternoon session.
Patton was running second in his preliminary heat of the 200 when his hamstring gave out. He finished in the middle of the pack at 24.20 and threw his shirt and shoes in frustration on the infield.
"It's hard, especially my last year. I wanted to go out big and improve all my times. It [stinks] just getting hurt so early in the year and tying to come back just for today,'' Patton said, halting to wipe his eyes after getting a hug from his mother. "It's heartbreaking. It just wasn't meant to be this year.''
Patton said he first knew something wasn't right when he was running in the 100 prelims. He entered as the top seed in both events.
"I thought it was going to be tough, but I felt strong running over the weekend. Going to therapy, I was feeling good for a couple of weeks. I just didn't feel like I was back to full strength [on Tuesday],'' Patton said. "It was bothering me before, but not to the extent when I was running.''
After jumping 45 feet, 1.5 inches at the West Central Coaches Meet triple jump and nearly 45 at the Inter-County Conference Championships, Claypoole said he didn't think he was capable of doing much more. Instead he pulled out a 45-8.25 on his third jump of the preliminaries and was consistently in the 45s on Tuesday.
"I don't know where that came from. I just stretched out my phases. I've been working on it. Coach wanted me to peak here and do my best at states, so I guess I got what he wanted,'' Claypoole said.
Claypoole has come as far as any area competitor this season, improving by 3 feet over his best result from his junior season.
"It was just from practice, I guess. Weightlifting for football helped me - I was at weightlifting a lot. I improved my speed going to camps,'' Claypoole said. "Now I'm thinking to get 46 and at least place at states. My goal before was to make it to states. Now it's to place there.''
Bellwood also is sending Sinisi and Kyle Bartlett to states as second-place finishers.
The co-top seed in the 300, Sinisi looked out of it when he struggled with a hurdle coming around the turn. He recovered, though, and caught Richland's Zach Hanley at the tape, but was edged by two-hundredths of second. Sinisi, though, recorded a season-best time of 40.54, which would have been good enough to advance to states even if he hadn't finished in the top two.
Bartlett, seeded second coming into the 3200, ran a 10:10.76 to finish behind only Penns Valley's Kyle Brown. That helped Bellwood amass 115 team points. Richland was second with 66 and Ligonier Valley and Penns Valley were tied for third with 42.
"It's a great feeling,'' B-A coach Nick Lovrich said. "Our guys are so unselfish. We preach team, and they buy into the team effort, and you can see it in our team performance. We have guys do four events just so we can win team championships. Our guys did a great job today all around.''
Patton's injury opened the door for Bearer, the 2011 runner-up, in the 400. Bearer completed the circuit in 51.59, making him a district champion in track as well as basketball, but he said Patton's absence took away some of the glow of his win.
"Unfortunately, Nick Patton couldn't run today. I was really disappointed about that, because I knew he'd push me. But I'm still really excited for states,'' Bearer said.
Bearer was third coming into the last 100 meters but ran down Portage's Dean Bimle to win the race. Bimle's 51.94 was good for second and a trip to states, as well.
"I always end up like that. I was right where I wanted to be coming down the 200 and right where I wanted to finish, too,'' Bearer said. "Of course, I'd always like to be in first [at the 200 mark], but that doesn't always happen. So, I'd like to at least be in the 24[-second] range, and then I have my finish.''
Pride crossed the finish line in 15.48 to win the 110 hurdles, with Philipsburg-Osceola's Cole Curtis finishing second in 15.73 - five-hundredths of a second ahead of Sinisi - to qualify for states as well.
"It's amazing. I worked all season to get to this. This is the thing I trained for. Unbelievable,'' said Pride, a senior. "[Curtis] ran a faster qualifying time than me. I knew he was going to be with me the whole time. He pushed me to the end. It was a great race.''
Winning for Pride was, no pun intended, a matter of Pride. Last year he took a fall in the event.
"You have to have sprinter's speed, but technique takes you farther. You hit a hurdle, you're down,'' Pride said. "Last year, I took a nasty fall here. I didn't finish the race. It was horrible. From then, I knew this was going to be my goal. I had to come back and make a big statement.''
Wilson-Adams won the high jump, as expected, but his 6-4 winning height, while matching the state-qualifying height, was a far cry from the 6-8s and 6-10s he had been jumping. He was reserved after the event.
"I think I was just tired from the other two jumping events I had to do,'' Wilson-Adams, a junior, said. "I wanted to get one good jump in the triple jump and qualify for states, and then just focus on the high jump. But I kept scratching in the triple jump, so I had to keep doing it. I was just tired and couldn't to anything.''
Penn Cambria's James Mardula was the only other high jumper to clear 6-2. Had Wilson-Adams equaled his best jump of the season, he would have tied the meet record.
"I wanted to come out and do better. Last year, I only did 6-2,'' Wilson-Adams said. "This is when I needed to do it the most, and I couldn't do it.''
Several other area competitors and teams advanced to states by virtue of second-place finishes.
Cambria Heights senior Zack Prohonic qualified in two events, finishing second to Claypoole in the triple jump at a season-best 44-0 and coming in second by an inch to Ligonier Valley's Luke Crumrine in the long jump, where he jumped 21-5. Prohonic had been the co-top seed in the latter event with Claypoole, who took third.
Brandon Long erased a 15-meter gap on Purchase Line's Nick Hudak with about 250 meters left in the anchor leg, but Hudak held him off and pulled away down the stretch to give the Red Dragons the win in the 3200 relay. However, Long qualified for states along with Grant Barber, Jake Fedore and Tim Hite by virtue of their second-place finish, and their 8:15.90 time just missed the state qualifying standard.
That United's Stefan Moreau won all three throws wasn't a surprise. However, the second-place showing of Tyrone's Corey Snyder was completely unexpected; Snyder's toss of 174-2 was more than 12 feet better than his previous season-best, allowing him to vault all the way up from the sixth seed coming in.
Northern Cambria sophomore Gus Yahner came in as the top seed in the pole vault, having jumped 14-0 this season, but he apparently felt the nerves at the district meet and settled for a third-place showing at 13-0.
Meet notes: No meet records were set nor did anyone finishing outside the top two meet the PIAA qualifying standard. ... Before the evening session of the meet, the Blair County Chapter of PIAA Track and Field Officials presented outstanding performer awards to Patton, Claypoole, Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic's Sam Dunning, Central's Tyler McGraw and Williamsburg's Chad Wheland. Seth Worthing, Moreau and Brown were the only individual double winners. Brown scratched out of the 3200 at states, where he'll be replaced by teammate Matt Fuller.
KEY, TEAM SCORING: 1, BA-Bellwood-Antis, 115; 2, R-Richland, 66; 3 (tie), LV-Ligonier Valley and PV-Penns Valley, 42; 5 (tie) CC-Central Cambria and U-United, 40; 7 (tie) NC-Northern Cambria, PO-Philipsburg-Osceola and PL-Purchase Line, 36; 10, CH-Cambria Heights, 28; 11, BM-Bishop McCort, 26; 12, JN-Juniata, 25; 13, T-Tyrone, 24; 14, SH-Southern Huntingdon, 18; 15 (tie) FH-Forest Hills and SB-Saltsburg, 14; 17 (tie) PC-Penn Cambria and PT-Portage, 13; 19, WH-Westmont Hilltop, 12; 20, MU-Mount Union, 11; 21, PM-Penns Manor, 10; 22, WL-Williamsburg, 8; 23, HD-Huntingdon, 7; 24, JV-Juniata Valley, 5; 26, HC-Homer-Center, 4; BEA-Bald Eagle Area, ; 27 (tie) BC-Bishop Carroll, CN-Central and WB-West Branch, 3; 30, BG-Bishop Guilfoyle, 2; 31 (tie) BV-Blacklick Valley, MC-Marion Center and SJ-St. Joseph's, 0.
100 dash: 1, S. Worthing, BA, 11.21; 2, Goshorn, JN, 11.27; 3, I. O'Shea, BA, 11.44; 4, Grissinger, JV, 11.54; 5, Reed, BM, 11.67; 6, King, PV, 11.68; 7, Burkey, FH, 11.70; 8, Flick, R, 11.79.
200 dash: 1, S. Worthing, BA, 22.45; 2, Bodley, JN, 23.21; 3, Knupp, LV, 23.26; 4, King, PV, 23.29; 5, Hoak, SB, 23.66; 6, Koval, BM, 23.68; 7, Flick, R, 23.70; 8, S. Bearer, NC, 23.92.
400 dash: 1, D. Bearer, NC, 51.59; 2, Bimle, PT, 51.94; 3, Popovnak, R, 52.14; 4, Koval, BM, 52.71; 5, Hoak, SB, 52.82; 6, Kristofits, WB, 52.93; 7, S. Bearer, NC, 53.03; 8, Wolfe, BA, 53.07.
800 run: 1, Blose, PL, 1:57.39; 2, Decker, PV, 1:57.94; 3, Colvin, R, 2:00.96; 4, Lichvar, U, 2:02.66; 5, Croyle, LV, 2:03.98; 6, Long, CC, 2:05.17; 7, Wheland, WL, 2:05.72; 8, Husar, PT, 2:06.20.
1600 run: 1, R. Brown, PV, 4:30.66; 2, McKeehan, MU, 4:35.51; 3, Dailey, WH, 4:37.52; 4, Zook, T, 4:38.17; 5, K. Bartlett, BA, 4:39.72; 6, Barber, CC, 4:43.38; 7, England, WL, 4:45.43; 8, Miller, BEA, 4:47.56.
3200 run: 1, R. Brown, PV, 10:09.00; 2, K. Bartlett, BA, 10:10.76; 3, Fuller, PV, 10:12.39; 4, Dailey, WH, 10:14.56; 5, England, WL, 10:25.35; 6, Dean, SH, 10:35.02; 7, Marx, R, 10:35.53; 8, Patrick, LV, 10:37.53.
110 hurdles: 1, Pride, CC, 15.48; 2, Curtis, PO, 15.73; 3, Sinisi, BA, 15.78; 4, Holsinger, CC, 15.95; 5, Brown, CH, 16.27; 6, McGraw, CN, 16.28; 7, Madey, BG, 16.45.
300 hurdles: 1, Hanley, R, 40.54; 2, Sinisi, BA, 40.56; 3, I. O'Shea, BA, 41.21; 4, Curtis, PO, 41.45; 5, Pourban, PT, 42.45; 6, Cornell, LV, 42.62; 7, McCracken, HC, 42.62; 8, Gilbert, JN, 43.02.
400 relay: 1, Bellwood-Antis (C. Worthing, S. Worthing, DeGol, O'Shea), 43.41; 2, Richland (Hanley, Rozich, J. Rizzo, Flick), 43.96; 3, Ligonier Valley, 45.15; 4, Forest Hills, 45.46; 5, Juniata, 45.58; 6, Philipsburg-Osceola, 45.75; 7, Northern Cambria, 45.91; 8, Central Cambria, 46.26.
1600 relay: 1, Bellwood-Antis (Sinisi, DeGol, I. O'Shea, S. Worthing), 3:24.80; 2, Ligonier Valley, 3:26.32; 3, Richland, 3:32.25; 4, Philipsburg-Osceola, 3:34.69; 5, Bald Eagle Area, 3:39.43; 6, Central Cambria, 3:39.91; 7, Bishop McCort, 3:40.92; 8, Juniata, 3:41.14.
3200 relay: 1, Purchase Line (Blose, Goodlin, Karadus, Hudak), 8:14.55; 2, Central Cambria (Barber, Fedora, Hite, Long), 8:15.90; 3, Richland, 8:34.42; 4, Southern Huntingdon, 8:38.42; 5, United, 8:40.26; 6, Bellwood-Antis, 8:46.20; 7, Cambria Heights, 8:54.98; 8, Ligonier Valley, 9:03.05.
High jump: 1, Wilson-Adams, T, 6-4; 2, Mardula, PC, 6-2; 3, Lacue, CH, 6-0; 4, T. Olish, NC, 6-0; 5, Civis, R, 6-0; 6, Stolitza, PL, 5-10; 7, DeGol, BA, 5-8; 8, Claypoole, BA, 5-8.
Long jump: 1, Crumrine, LV, 21-6; 2, Prohonic, CH, 21-5; 3, Claypoole, BA, 21-2; 4, DeGol, BA, 20-3; 5, Reed, BM, 19-10.5; 6, Donoughe, FH, 19-9.5; 7, C. Worthing, BA, 19-9; 8, Georgeovich, WH, 19-9.
Triple jump: 1, Claypoole, BA, 45-8.25; 2, Prohonic, CH, 44-0; 3, Bytner, PM, 43-10; 4, Mardula, PC, 43-8.5; 5, McKnight, PO, 43-4.5; 6, Snedden, FH, 41-8; 7, Steffan, BA, 41-7.5; 8, Donoughe, FH, 41-6.75.
Shot put: 1, Moreau, U, 51-7; 2, Rugg, BM, 47-5; 3, Seymour, CC, 47-3.5; 4, Jenkins, BA, 45-8.75; 5, Price, PL, 44-7.75; 6, House, MU, 42-7; 7, Newhouse, HC, 42-7; 8, Pierce, PL, 42-5.25.
Discus: 1, Moreau, U, 151-11; 2, Price, PL, 132-0; 3, Lanich, PO, 129-7; 4, Kojaninovich, PO, 129-4; 5, Brown, PM, 129-4; 6, Powell, JN, 126-4; 7, Thomas, SH, 124-7; 8, Sokira, CC, 123-4.
Javelin: 1, Moreau, U, 184-9; 2, Snyder, T, 174-2; 3, Ludwig, NC, 170-3; 4, Speicher, R, 169-4; 5, Yard, SB, 163-5; 6, Hegemann, BC, 161-10; 7, Zimmerman, SB, 153-9; 8, Dickson, T, 152-5.
Pole vault: 1, Mikulsky, R, 13-6; 2, Cornelious, SH, 13-0; 3, Yahner, NC, 13-0; 4, Hall, HD, 13-0; 5, Nealan, NC, 12-6; 6, Davis, LV, 12-6; 7, Peters, HD, 12-6; 8, Baird, U, 12-6.
n - advanced to state meet by achieving qualifying standard.