Making the best of it

Lions’ Lawhead recovers, finds a way to states

One could see the disappointment on Mitchell Lawhead’s face, but he owned up to a false start that most likely cost him a gold medal in the 200-meter dash.

“I thought I heard a click (from the starter’s gun) and flinched a bit,” the Altoona Area High School senior said Thursday at Mansion Park during the District 6 Class 3A Track and Field Championships. “I argued (with the starter) a bit, but I guess I went across the line.”

As he thought about it more, he said, “I was gonna win.”

Lawhead didn’t win the 200 dash, an event in which he was top-seeded, a returning state qualifier and held Thursday’s top preliminary time, but he did earn a trip to next weekend’s PIAA Championships in Shippensburg by helping the Altoona 4-by-100 relay blaze its way to a first-place finish.

Winners Thursday automatically qualified for the state meet, along with any other athletes meeting a pre-determined qualifying standard. Two Mountain Lions earned individual gold medals — senior Connor Adams in the 100 dash and senior Mike Folcarelli in the javelin, and senior Isaiah Barnes finished second in the 110 hurdles but beat the state qualifying time.

The only other area boy to qualify for states was Hollidaysburg senior Trent Howe, who won the 400 dash and finished second to Adams in the 100 but ran a qualifying time.

Lawhead said he’s putting the 200 dash behind him and now focusing his attention on the 400 relay, which ran a time of 42.40 seconds to edge out State College, which also qualified for states.

“The way I look at it, we’re going to states in the 4-by-1, and I think we’ll do well,” said Lawhead, who’s headed to Lehigh University for football. “There’s no reason to dwell on (the false start). Thirty years from now, I’m not going to remember it. I’m going to enjoy going to states because I love being there.”

Lawhead runs the final leg of the relay with Adams starting, followed by Barnes and Kurt VonColln. All four are seniors and will be making their third trips to states.

“We take a lot of pride in the 4-by-1,” Lawhead said. “We feel that’s our event, and we want to medal in that at states, maybe make the top three. We want to bring a medal back to Altoona.”

Adams also suffered a little disappointment by not qualifying again in the long jump. He had reached the state qualifying standard last year but came up less than 3 inches short this year.

Later in the meet, though, he ran the 100 dash in 10.99 seconds to edge Howe for the gold medal.

“I knew I was the top seed and had to get out and relax, then I knew I would win,” Adams said. “(Falling short in the long jump) definitely fueled me. I wanted to make states in all three events, and when I fell short in the long, I knew I had to win the 100.”

Folcarelli repeated as the javelin champ in a big way, winning by more than 27 feet over the next best competitor. He has thrown 183-3 this year and finished with a 177-0 on Thursday.

“Last year at states I was disappointed with my performance,” Folcarelli said. “This year, I’m hoping to do something big. If I throw to my potential, I could place high.”

Barnes ran his best-ever time in the 110 hurdles to finish second behind State College’s Lokey Howell, but his time of 15.02 seconds eclipsed the 15.10 standard.

“My goal was to win, and that didn’t happen, but I’m still proud to qualify,” Barnes said. “Lokey (who ran a 14.53) definitely helped push me.”

Howe has never been to the state meet because his career has been ravaged by injuries — hamstrings and back problems. But he qualified in the 100 by running an 11.08, and he came from behind to overtake State College’s Ryan Lindenberg and win the 400 with a time of 51.53.

“I kind of felt Conner was going to win the 100, so I just focused on qualifying,” Howe said. “The 400 is my best race. It wasn’t my best time today, but it was good enough to win. I knew I had a lot of energy (approaching the final 100 meters), and I gave everything I had.”

Notes: State College won nine of the 18 events and won the boys team title. Altoona was second, and Hollidaysburg was third … Adams and Howe were honored as Blair County Outstanding Performers for their schools … Somerset’s Nickolas Hyde broke a 53-year meet record in the shot put with a throw of 61-1. He also won the discus … State College’s Lance Hamilton broke the triple jump record with a distance of 49-8.5 … Mifflin County’s Chayce Macknair won both the 1600 and 3200 runs.

Key, team standings: 1, SC–State College, 216; 2, A–Altoona, 161; 3, H–Hollidaysburg, 110; 4, (tie), SO–Somerset and MC–Mifflin County, 73; 6, B–Bellefonte, 36; 7, CM–Central Mountain, 24; 8, J–Johnstown, 3.

100 dash: 1, C. Adams, A, 10.99; 2, *Howe, H, 11.08; 3, Kripe, SC, 11.32; 4, Zimmerman, H, 11.63; 5, Friedenberger, A, 11.70; 6, Martz, SO, 11.72; 7, Musselman, A, 11.73; 8, Hummel , B, 11.77.

200 dash: 1, Hynoski, SC, 23.33; 2, John , H, 23.77; 3, Grabill, H, 23.90; 4, Lindenberg, SC, 23.99; 5, Musselman, A, 24.08; 6, Zonts, H, 24.20; 7, Domico, SC, 24.48.

400 dash: 1, Howe, H, 51.53; 2, Lindenberg, SC, 51.81; 3, Grabill, H, 53.21; 4, John, H, 53.82; 5, Donlan, A, 54.18; 6, Gunby, J, 54.24; 7, Hockenbury, SC, 54.84; 8, Bechdel, CM, 55.09.

800 run: 1, Phillips, MC, 1:54.97; 2, *Walker, SO, 1:56.43; 3, Allerheiligen, SC, 1:59.26; 4, Ballard, SC, 2:02.96; 5, Summers, A, 2:05.61; 6, Wilkinson, H, 2:07.11; 7, Melius, B, 2:07.40; 8, Green, CM, 2:07.93.

1600 run: 1, Macknair, MC, 4:21.25; 2, Harris, MC, 4:28.79; 3, Melius, B, 4:35.64; 4, Green, CM, 4:38.13; 5, Norton, SC, 4:39.36; 6, Wilkinson, H, 4:41.30; 7, Hatch, A, 4;44.83; 8, B. Love, H, 4:46.14.

3200 run: 1, Macknair, MC, 9:36.09; 2, St. Pierre, SC, 9:42.10; 3, Bigger, SC, 9:44.27; 4, Harris, MC, 9:52.46; 5, Gluckman, SC, 10:10.57; 6, C. Love, H, 10:27.68; 7, Sheaffer, MC, 10:27.87; 8, Kelley, A, 10:31.80.

110 hurdles: 1, Howell, SC, 14.53; 2, *Barnes, A, 15.02; 3, Kravetz, A, 15.68; 4, Andrews, MC, 16.74; 5, Clemson, MC, 17.56; 6, K. Futrell, A, 17.72; 7, Zimmerman, H, 18.49; 8, Sicree, SC, 21.45.

300 hurdles: 1, DeCarmine, SC, 39.49; 2, S. Hamilton, SC, 40.13; 3, Kravetz, A, 42.29; 4, Barnes, A, 43.31; 5, K. Futrell, A, 43.57; 6, Clemson, MC, 43.95; 7, Naspinski, B, 45.12; 8, Grabill, H, 45.78.

400 relay: 1, Altoona (C. Adams, Barnes, VonColln, Lawhead), 42.40; 2, *State College, 42.83; 3, Hollidaysburg, 44.89; 4, Somerset, 46.18; 5, Central Mountain, 47.52; 6, Mifflin County, 47.99.

1600 relay: 1, State College, 3:24.95; 2, Altoona, 3:27.20; 3, Hollidaysburg, 3:30.35; 4, Mifflin County, 3:34.85; 5, Somerset, 3:38.73; 6, Central Mountain, 3:39.;09; 7, Bellefonte, 3:41.11.

3200 relay: 1, State College, 8:20.19; 2, Hollidaysburg, 8:35.05; 3, Altoona, 8:41.76; 4, Somerset, 8:53.59; 5, Mifflin County, 9:11.43; 6, Bellefonte, 10:06.77; 7, Central Mountain, 10:36.34.

High jump: 1, Moore, SC, 6-5; 2, Hayford, H, 6-3; 3, Metzger, H, 6-1; 4, Franklin, A, 5-11; 5, Barnhart, SO, 5-9; 6, Corso, A, 5-7; 7, Bardell, A, 5-7; 8, Dorefice, SC, 5-7.

Long jump: 1, Kripe, SC, 22-4.25; 2, *Hamilton, SC, 22-3.75; 3, *Hefkin, SC, 22-3.25; 4, C. Adams, A, 22-0.75; 5, Barnes, A, 21-6; 6, Fernandez, B, 20-7; 7, Buck, SO, 20-6.25; 8, J. Adams, A, 19-11.25.

Triple jump: 1, L. Hamilton, SC, 49-8.5 (meet record); 2, *S. Hamilton, SC, 46-11.25; 3, *Hefkin, SC, 45-5.75; 4, Fernandez, B, 44-5.25; 5, Friedenberger, A, 43-7.5; 6, Beck, A, 42-11.25; 7, Petucci, A, 42-5.75; 8, Buck, SO, 40-5.5.

Shot put: 1, N. Hyde, SO, 61-1 (meet record); 2, D. Hyde, SO, 49-9.75; 3, Thompson, SC, 48-10; 4, Kroell, B, 46-7.75; 5, Tofano, A, 46-6.5; 6, Renninger, MC, 43-2.75; 7, Boose, A, 41-9.5; 8, Stroup, A, 41-2.

Discus: 1, N. Hyde, SO, 162-10; 2, D. Hyde, SO, 147-9; 3, Tofano, A, 142-7; 4, Mitchell, H, 127-2; 5, Thompson, SC, 123-9; 6, Kroell, B, 122-6; 7, Spratt, B, 119-1; 8, Stroup, A, 117-4.

Javelin: 1, Folcarelli, A, 177-0; 2, Simcox, CM, 149-7; 3, Lawhead, A, 146-9; 4, Otto, H, 144-11; 5, Rios, SO, 144-2; 6, Stroup, A, 141-7; 7, Brininger, B, 135-0; 8, Geary, SO, 132-9.

Pole vault: 1, Knipe, SC, 15-3; 2, *Wasson, SC, 14-3; 3, *Dorefice, SC, 14-3; 4, Flarend, A, 12-9; 5, DeAngelis, A, 12-9; 6, Koelle, A, 11-9; 7, Haduck, H, 11-9; 8, Yearick, MC, 10-9.

*–Met the state qualifying standard

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