Frazier shines at JO event
Other winners include Wilson, Weigand, Vinglish
Hollidaysburg Area High School standout Darcie Frazier is expanding her repertoire in track and field.
The rising junior has made her mark the last two seasons on the scholastic level as a sprinter and long jumper for the Lady Tigers, but she’s using the offseason to show she’s also a more-than-capable thrower, hurdler and middle-distance runner.
Displaying these other talents, Frazier earned three first-place medals at this past weekend’s USA Track and Field Region 2 Junior Olympics at The College at Brockport, State University of New York in Brockport, N.Y.
Competing unattached in the 17-18 Women’s Division, Frazier won the heptathlon, an event that takes the cumulative results of seven individual events, as well as the individual javelin and long jump.
“I enjoy doing other events, instead of just running,” Frazier, a two-time Mirror first-team all-star, said. “I heard about the heptathlon and thought I was capable of doing well in all of those events. I do it more for fun, than to help me with my main events.”
Frazier, who also won the heptathlon at the Region 2 meet last year, was one of four area competitors to earn titles in Brockport. The Mountain Top Track and Field Club, based in Cresson, boasted three individual champions — Ebensburg’s Faith Wilson won the 1500-meter and 800-meter runs in the 13-14 Girls Division, Coupon’s Tyler Weigand placed first in the javelin in the 17-18 Men Division, and Coupon’s Corbin Vinglish won the javelin in the 8-and-under Boys Division.
Those four, along with nine other area competitors who placed in the top five of an individual event, qualified for the 51st USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships, which will be held at the University of Kansas’ Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kan., July 24-30.
The other national qualifiers include eight from the Mountain Top team — Conner Karabinos, second in the 13-14 Boys javelin with a throw of 134 feet, 10 inches; Jacob Weigand, third in the 15-16 Boys javelin with a 135-9; Jerzy Vinglish, third in the 13-14 Girls javelin with an 89-5; Kyra Vinglish, fourth in the 11-12 Girls javelin with a 67-7; Samantha Abbott, fourth in the 11-12 Girls discus with a 47-2; Haden Boutiller, fourth in the 17-18 Men steeplechase with a time of 7 minutes, 39.98 seconds; Santana Wechtenhiser, fourth in the 8-and-under Girls long jump with an 8-6; and Miche Burkett, fifth in the 17-18 Women discus with a 98-3.
In addition, Hollidaysburg’s Aly Snyder, competing unattached, finished fourth in the 17-18 Women 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:13.61.
Not all of the qualifiers will make the trip to compete at nationals — in fact, Frazier didn’t go to the national meet last year in Sacramento, Calif. But she’s planning to make the trip to Kansas in a few weeks to see how she’ll fare against the top athletes in the nation.
“I’m really excited for it — for the experience,” Frazier, 16, said. “I’m hoping for big jumps and big scores. We’re always checking to see who will be competing at the events, and there will be a lot of big competition there.”
Frazier came up big at the Region 2 meet, especially in the heptathlon last Thursday. She won four of the seven events — the 100 hurdles in a time of 18.19, the 200 dash in 27.24, the long jump with a 17-1.25 and the shot put with a 31-2. She finished second in the other three — earning a 4-5 in the high jump, an 89-2 in the javelin and a time of 2:47.90 in the 800 run. She accumulated 3,644 points to beat the second-place finisher by a whopping 935 points.
Frazier came back the following days and won the javelin with a throw of 97-7, finishing 1 foot, 8 inches ahead of the second-place competitor, and took the long jump with a leap of 17-6.75, winning by 10 inches.
Wilson, a student in the Central Cambria School District, won the 1500 run by more than 5 seconds, finishing in 5:05.48, and took the 800 run in 2:32.27, less than 1 second ahead of the second-place finisher.
Penn Cambria School District’s Tyler Weigand and Corbin Vinglish, cousins, have qualified for nationals in the past. Weigand won the 17-18 javelin with a throw of 165-0, more than 15 feet ahead of the next best competitor. Vinglish, who also qualified in the 8-and-under shot put with a second-place finish, won the javelin by 5 feet, 8 inches with a throw of 77-9.
All of the area competitors in the Region 2 meet had qualified from the Three Rivers Association Championships, which were held in California, Pa., on June 24-25. The Mountain Top team sent 26 athletes to Brockport.
“These athletes made us all very proud of them,” Mountain Top longtime coach Lois Smith said. “They go there, they see the competition and perform where they need to be. Many of them set personal records and made a lot of friends.”