Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | School Notes | Contact Us | All Access E-Edition | Home RSS
 
 
 

Lady Lion has lasting memory

May 17, 2013
By Buck Frank (bfrank@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

The District 6 Class AAA Girls Track and Field Meet had never turned out to be a memorable event for Altoona thrower Rebecca Laich.

"For some reason, I would do great all season, but at districts I would psych myself out,'' Laich, a senior, said. "I knew this was my last chance to make the state meet, and I just wanted to make the best of it.''

Whether it was the fact that it was her final district meet of her career or the fact that she was being counted on to help overcome the loss of Altoona triple-threat thrower Katelyn Goodman, Laich made her last district competition one she'll never forget.

Article Photos

Altoona’s Hannah?Mulhern set a school and meet record in the pole vault.

Laich threw the discus a personal-best 100 feet, 9 inches on her first attempt of the day on Thursday at Mansion Park and ended up winning the event with that throw. She also earned a spot in next weekend's PIAA Championships in Shippensburg along with three other area girls - Altoona pole vault record-setter Hannah Mulhern, Altoona triple jumper Abby Wagner and Hollidaysburg high jumper Makayla Williams.

Laich was seeded second in the discus, behind Bellefonte's Alexis Franks, who bettered her season-best but finished third with a 97-10. Hollidaysburg freshman Madelyn Betar, the fourth seed, gave Laich her biggest scare but finished second with a 100-8.

"My mindset coming in was that I was really excited because it was my senior year, and anything in the top five would have been good,'' Laich said. "When I threw that 100-9, I was so excited, I was beaming, and it held strong the whole way through - by one inch. When it finally sunk in that I won, I ran and gave my dad [Kurt] a hug and as soon as I saw my mom [Christine], I gave her a hug and started crying. I've been throwing since seventh grade, and this was huge.''

Laich said she started throwing after heaving a football about 75 feet threw a tire at a carnival at the Keith Athletic Field, and then Altoona assistant track coach Todd Otto told her to join the team.

During her varsity career, she always seemed to be a step out of the limelight, especially last season when Goodman won the shot put and discus as a junior at the district meet. But Goodman's senior season came to a crashing halt nearly two weeks ago when she severely fractured an ankle and underwent subsequent surgery.

"I felt like I needed to step up because we were losing a lot of points [with Goodman out],'' Laich said. "I used [Goodman's] disc in honor of her, and I had her rub it so some of her talent would rub off on it. She was here supporting us and coaching us the whole time.''

Laich will more than likely need to throw even farther at states to earn a medal. Mulhern, on the other hand, would only need to duplicate her Thursday performance to most likely be on the medals stand at Shippensburg.

Mulhern, a junior, continued her assault on the girls pole vault record books, breaking her own school record (12-2, which she set last week) and smashing the district record (11-0) by clearing 12-3.

No other competitor cleared any height higher than 10 feet.

"I definitely wanted to make it to states,'' Mulhern said. "And getting over 12 feet was my second priority. I wanted to do that jump again. I did it in a dual meet last week, but it was more official here. It was awesome to do that.''

Mulhern and Wagner are also members of the Altoona varsity gymnastics team, and that background has helped them in their events. Wagner, a junior, qualified for states for the third straight year by bettering the state qualifying standard of 36-6 in the triple jump with a leap of 37-9.5 on her final attempt. She finished second to Somerset's Jayna Coyle.

"You look at Hannah in the pole vault going upside down, she's fearless,'' Altoona girls coach Steve Rhodes said. "The stunts and the things they do [in gymnastics] make her fearless at the higher heights. Both [Mulhern and Wagner] have great speed, strong legs and strong upper bodies, and gymnastics helps in those areas.''

Mulhern said she'll be working with some longer poles over the next week in preparation for the state meet, where she should be seeded highly. Wagner will try to medal at states for the first time and will also be trying to overcome the disappointment of finishing third in the long jump, where she was top-seeded with a 17-6 but jumped 15-7 on Thursday.

Williams, a junior, will be making her first trip to states as the District 6 high jump champion. She was seeded third in the event but didn't miss on any attempts until the bar was raised to 5-3.

When both she and second-seeded Alexa Weston of Altoona failed to clear 5-3, Williams' clean run gave her the title at 5-1.

"At first I didn't believe it,'' said Williams, who finished fourth at districts last year. "I had to listen to the announcement, and then when I came to get my medal I started to believe it.''

Williams, who said she was nervous all day leading up to the event, might be able to secure a medal at states if she's able to hit on all of her first attempts again - and especially if she clears 5-3. She's made 5-2 in the past.

"Hopefully, I can [set a personal record] at states,'' Williams said. "I had 5-3 today, but I kicked it with my foot. I should have had it.''

Meet notes: State College ran away with the girls team title by winning nine of the 18 events, including all three relays. Altoona was second, and Hollidaysburg was fifth State College's Lauren Bonness (100 dash, 200 dash) and Central Mountain's Shawna Robson (both hurdles) each won two events Blair County Chapter PIAA Track and Field Officials Outstanding Performer Awards were presented to Altoona's Carly Port and Hollidaysburg's Michele Muir.

Key, team standings: 1, SC-State College 250.5; 2, A-Altoona, 142.5; 3, MC--Mifflin County, 75; 4, CM-Central Mountain, 73.5; 5, H-Hollidaysburg, 68; 6, SO-Somerset, 43; 7, B-Bellefonte, 26.5; 8, J-Johnstown, 17

100 dash: 1, Bonness, SC, 12.29; n 2, Toner, CM, 12.47; 3, Valentine, SC, 12.73; 4, Crawford, SC, 12.95; 5, Loht, MC, 13.00; 6, Williams, A, 13.12; 7, Wagner, A, 13.16; 8, Courter, CM, 13.35

200 dash: 1, Bonness, SC, 25.68; 2, Crawford, SC, 26.43; 3, Williams, A, 26.78; 4, Aungst, H, 26.94; 5, Valentine, SC, 27.31; 6, Heckman, CM, and Johnson, J, 28.08; 8, Betts, J, 28.77

400 dash: 1, Becker, MC, 59.07; 2, Crawford, SC, 59.14; 3, Book, SC, 59.44; 4, Williams, A, 1:00.02; 5, Pond, H, 1:00.68; 6, Palfey, A, 1:01.97; 7, Aungst, H, 1:02.13; 8, Johnson, J, 1:02.30

800 run: 1, Cousins, SC, 2:16.65; n 2, Fedkina, SC, 2:17.13; 3, Burka, SC, 2:24.11; 4, Pensyl, A, 2:25.85; 5, Kibe, MC, 2:27.94; 6, Wilkinson, H, 2:29.13; 7, Port, A, 2:32.27; 8, Marteeney, SO, 2:33.64

1600 run: 1, Grubb, SC, 5:12.29; 2, Yoder, SC, 5:19.48; 3, Catalano, SC, 5:24.16; 4, Spicher, MC, 5:30.66; 5, Rohrer, SO, 5:32.53; 6, Port, A, 5:32.53; 7, Pheasant, H, 5:36.76; 8, Hassinger, MC, 5:43.20

3200 run: 1, Almarzooqi, SC, 11:47.69; 2, Scutti, SC, 11:55.52; 3, Jiang, SC, 12:12.24; 4, Hoaglund, B, 12:23.96; 5, Geist, A, 12:37.40; 6, Moyer, CM, 12:44.85; 7, DeBernardis, A, 12:47.57; 8, Sohmer, A, 12:49.49

100 hurdles: 1, Robson, CM, 15.48; 2, Vonada, SC, 16.32; 3, Shawver, MC, 16.85; 4, Muir, H, 17.06; 5, Albright, A, 17.16; 6, Wylie, SC, 17.17; 7, Randolph, SC, 17.21; 8, Palfey, H, 17.44

300 hurdles: 1, Robson, CM, 46.74; 2, Shawver, MC, 47.67; 3, Randolph, SC, 47.72; 4, Vonada, SC, 48.50; 5, Muir, H, 48.89; 6, Wylie, SC, 48.89; 7, Albright, A, 49.34; 8, Leuthold, CM, 49.37

400 relay: 1, State College (Bonness, Watkins, Crawford, Valentine), 49.43; 2, Central Mountain, 50.61; 3, Altoona, 52.11; 4, Somerset, 52.21; 5, Mifflin County, 52.51; 6, Hollidaysburg, 54.22

1600 relay: 1, State College (Book, Crawford, Yoder, Valentine), 3:59.90; 2, Mifflin County, 4:01.23; 3, Central Mountain, 4:04.38; 4, Altoona, 4:06.57; 5, Hollidaysburg, 4:10.95; 6, Somerset, 4:28.82; 7, Bellefonte, 4:32.17; 8, Johnstown, 4:38.84

3200 relay: 1, State College (Grubb, Fedkina, Crawford, Cousins), 9:33.26; 2, Altoona, 10:05.42; 3, Hollidaysburg, 10:09.71; 4, Central Mountain, 10:38.85; 5, Johnstown, 11:06.09; 6, Mifflin County, 11:15.68

High jump: 1, Williams, H, 5-1; 2, Weston, A, 5-1; 3, Verica, SC, 4-11; 4, Walbridge, CM, 4-11; 5, Stolar, J, and White, B, 4-9; 7, Vonada, SC, and Mulhern, A, 4-7

Long jump: 1, Toner, CM, 17-7; n 2, Coyle, SO, 17-6; 3, Wagner, A, 15-7; 4, Karpenko, SC, 15-6; 5, M. Stessney, A, 15-2; 6, Watkins, SC, 15-0; 7, McClemins, SO, 14-9; 8, Gunby, J, 14-9

Triple jump: 1, Coyle, SO, 39-1.5; n 2, Wagner, A, 37-9.5; 3, McKee, SO, 35-4; 4, M. Stessney, A, 35-3; 5, Plotts, CM, 34-10; 6, Robinson, SC, 34-9; 7, Poorman, SC, 33-6; 8, Aurand, MC, 33-2.5

Shot put: 1, Rearick, MC, 38-2; 2, Dibert, A, 33-7.5; 3, Ebel, SC, 31-11.5; 4, Laich, A, 30-9.75; 5, Book, B, 30-3.25; 6, Givler, H, 30-2.75; 7, Marshall, SC, 30-2; 8, Mitchell, SO, 29-0.25

Discus: 1, Laich, A, 100-9; 2, Betar, H, 100-8; 3, Franks, B, 97-10; 4, Marshall, SC, 92-3; 5, Woodring, B, 92-1; 6, Rearick, MC, 91-0; 7, Givler, H, 91-0; 8, Irwin, A, 90-4

Javelin: 1, Lightner, SC, 131-6; 2, Pearce, MC, 106-5; 3, Irwin, SC, 104-11; 4, Givler, H, 98-1; 5, Hileman, A, 95-10; 6, Barron, SO, 94-11; 7, McGregor, A, 90-0; 8, Taylor, SC, 89-7

Pole vault: 1, Mulhern, A, 12-3 (meet record); 2, Fry, SC, 10-0; 3, Nese, SC, 10-0; 4, Luciano, A, 9-6; 5, Baldessaro, A, 9-6; 6, Minemyer, J, 9-0; 7, Rogers, B, 8-6; 8, Galanti, H, 8-0

 
 

EZToUse.com

I am looking for: