Ridge’s Knisely earns silver in 2A discus
PIAA Track and Field Championships -- boys
SHIPPENSBURG — Chestnut Ridge’s Duane Knisely had the best performance of any athlete in the Mirror’s coverage area Friday at the PIAA Track and Field Championships at Seth Grove Stadium.
Yet, Knisely was also the one most determined to better his effort in the future.
“I’m still not content with this,” said Knisely as he held his Class 2A discus silver medal. “I’m happy in one way, because I got it on my last throw. At that point, I was just happy with second. I know I could have done better, though.”
Knisely, who threw 171 feet, 9 inches and finished second behind Hickory senior Brock Grundy’s throw of 183 feet, 2 inches, improved upon a fifth-place finish a year ago.
“It’s definitely going to be all about going for the gold next year,” Knisely said. “Just need to move up one spot. I’ll be going to some camps and getting some competition in. The more competition will be the main thing that will help.”
Knisely said pressure got to him a year ago, but with everything on the line on his last throw, he produced his best effort of the day.
“I didn’t feel too much pressure today,” Knisely said. “But toward the end, it started to show up, so I’m glad I was able to come through.”
Knisely’s Chestnut Ridge teammate, Logan Pfister, came into the high jump as the top seed after finishing 21st as a freshman a year ago. Pfister cruised through his first few jumps before hitting a roadblock and finishing in a tie for eighth.
“I’m a little disappointed coming in as the top seed,” Pfister said. “I’m happy I was able to place with all these great competitors, but it was a lot of pressure. I was very nervous coming in, but I feel like next year, it will be easier. I just started thinking about things too much today, and my technique was off.”
Pfister, a sophomore, will have an opportunity to grow from Friday’s experience much like Knisely did after his sophomore season.
Another underclassmen who earned a medal Friday was Bishop Carroll Catholic junior Kaleb Hilyer, who was beaming while climbing onto the medal stand as he received his seventh-place award.
Earlier this season, he wasn’t sure whether he’d even be able to continue to compete much less earn a trip to states and win a medal.
“I honestly didn’t think I’d make it this year,” Hilyer said. “I pulled a muscle and missed a lot of practice. When I showed back up to practice, I got my technique down, and that really got me going forward.”
Hilyer’s hard work started to pay off when he threw 177 feet and won a district title last week, but he was in danger of not even making the final after his preliminary throws Friday.
After sweating it out, Hilyer’s seventh-place throw of 171 feet, 10 inches came on his final attempt.
“I did pretty well, but hopefully I can come back next year and do even better,” Hilyer said. “We had a really strong headwind.”
Altoona’s 400-meter relay team has guaranteed itself a medal as long as it completes the finals today.
The Mountain Lion team, which consists of Connor Adams, Isaiah Barnes, Kurt VonColln and Mitchell Lawhead qualified for the eight-team final by running the preliminary race in 42.18 seconds, the second fastest time behind Coatesville’s 41.40.
Northern Bedford’s Ian Zimmerman’s qualified for the Class 2A boys 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:24.19. Zimmerman immediately headed out of the sun and off to lunch to prepare for today’s final.
Nathaniel Maxwell is among the final 12 competitors alive for a medal in the Class 2A boys 800-meter run after completing the preliminary race in 2:00.25. Central Cambria’s Corey Roberts was eliminated, finishing in 2:04.18.
State College’s Lance Hamilton (triple jump) and Luke Knipe (pole vault) won Class 3A gold medals as did Somerset’s Nickolas Hyde in the 3A shot put.
n Pfister finished 11th in the Class 2A boys long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 7.5 inches. Cambria Heights’ Liam Wholaver was 19th (20 feet), and Huntingdon’s Owen Lane did not record a qualified jump in the finals.
n Huntingdon’s Andrew Miller finished tied for 18th by clearing 6 feet in the Class 2A boys high jump.
n Jarod Dick of Central finished 25th in the Class 2A boys discus with a throw of 104 feet, 1 inch.
n Bedford’s Elijah Cook finished 12th in the Class 2A boys javelin with a throw of 161 feet, 11 inches.
n Cambria Heights’ Zach Farabaugh (15.65) and Altoona’s Barnes (15.04) both failed to reach the semifinal round in their respective 110 hurdles races.
n Maxwell of Everett failed to make it out of the preliminary round in the 400-meter dash (51.75).
n Jarred Sipes of Tussey Mountain (11.55) did not make it through the preliminary round of the Class 2A boys 100-meter dash.
n Shawn Wolfe of Bellwood-Antis (23.6) and Tyler Rhodes (23.42) were unable to advance into today’s action in the 200-meter dash.
n Bedford and Central Cambria’s boys teams did not move on to the finals in the 400-meter and 1600-meter boys relays.
n Trent Howe of Hollidaysburg (11.12) and Adams of Altoona (11.19) were eliminated in the preliminary round of the Class 3A boys 100-meter dash. Howe was also eliminated in the preliminary round of the 400-meter dash (50.62).
n The Northern Bedford 3,200-meter relay boys team did not qualify for today’s final.