Lions’ Lee has strong seed for state meet

From Mirror reports

Altoona Area High School might not be sending the huge throng of competitors to the PIAA Track and Field Championships this weekend that it has in the past, but there’s certainly quality if not quantity.

The PIAA released its performance charts – or seedings – for the meet, which will take place Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium, and five of the eight Altoona athletes or teams are seeded in the top eight needed to medal, including high jumper DeShae Lee, who is tied for the top seed in his event.

The seedings are based on performance at respective district meets and do not consider best times or distances during the season. For instance, high jumpers Charles Wilson-Adams of Tyrone and Shawn Lacue of Cambria Heights are part of a tie for 16th seeded at 6 feet, 2 inches even though both have exceeded 6-6 this year; Wilson-Adams also is the defending Class AA champion in the event.

Lee, a senior, placed third to take the bronze medal in last year’s Class AAA meet in the high jump. Despite a hamstring pull, he posted his season-best height of 6-7 at the District 6 meet. That will have him sharing the No. 1 seed with Cathedral Prep’s Malik Moffett.

Lee, though, isn’t the only Mountain Lion geared for a productive meet. Pole vaulter Kolby Koeck is ranked fourth, and the four-by-800 relay team of Mitch Endress, Dom Stroh, Brad Foust and Terry Futrell is seeded seventh.

On the girls side, junior Hannah Mulhern of Altoona is seeded second in the pole vault by a half-inch to Council Rock South’s Amanda Benninghoff, and her junior teammate, Abby Wagner, is tied for the sixth seed in the triple jump.

If the seedings hold up, it might be a very lean meet for Mirror area competitors in Class AA. Northern Bedford’s Blake Over has the best ranking at fourth in the triple jump, where fellow Black Panther Tayler Pressel is seeded eighth.

In addition, NBC’s Zach Pressel, a two-time state medalist, is fifth in the high jump. However, he, like Wilson-Adams and Lacue, have jumped better than 6-6 this year, which would have put them as the top seed and in line for a possible gold medal in the event.

The boys 100-meter dash could produce multiple area medalists: Bellwood-Antis’ Ian O’Shea and Seth Worthing are seventh and ninth, respectively, while Tussey Mountain’s Darrin Sipes is 10th. Pole vaulters Gus Yahner of Northern Cambria and Alex Hall of Huntingdon are right on the cusp of medal contention in their event, seeded as part of a tie for 10th, too.

There are no area girls ranked higher than eighth; Central Cambria’s 3200 relay and Tyrone high jumper Erika Voyzey hold those spots. Bishop Carroll’s Carrie D’Andrea is 10th in the 300 hurdles.

Neither Northern Bedford’s Maria Snyder nor Central Cambria’s Alyssa Brandis are seeded in the top 12 in the two-mile run, but they finished fourth and sixth, respectively, last year, and Snyder was the silver medalist in the event in 2011. Snyder also has scratched out of the 1600 run to focus on the longer distance.

For complete seedings, please visit