SHIPPENSBURG — District 9’s Class AA contingent will have several athletes gunning for state medals at the PIAA Track and Field Championships held at Shippensburg University Friday and Saturday.
Three D9 athletes are seeded No. 1 going into the two-day event. Elk County Catholic senior Kennedy Weisner, the defending state champion in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs, is seeded No. 1 in the 800 while she grabbed a No. 2 seed in the 1,600.
For the boys, Clarion’s Ian Corbett is the top seed in the 100 dash and the No. 9 seed in the 200 dash. Now a two-time district champion in the long jump, Corbett scratched from the event at Shippensburg.
A top-eight finish in any event guarantees one a state medal and several other athletes have a good chance at that based on the numbers put up at last week’s district meets across the state.
Also for the boys, Johnsonburg senior C.J. Herbstritt will try to repeat as a medalist in the javelin as the D9 champion is seeded ninth. He placed seventh last year. Northern Potter’s 4×800 relay team, sixth last year, is seeded 17th.
For the girls, Johnsonburg senior Gabbi Benninger and Kane senior Morgan Nicholson are also returning medalists. Benninger, a state runner-up last year in the triple jump, was a district runner-up this year to Coudersport’s Jenna Gabreski. They’re seeded fifth and 16th respectively.
Nicholson, last week’s James Manners Award winner for her outstanding performance at districts, was fourth in the javelin last year. This time around, she’s seeded third behind two-time district champion Brooke Hinderliter of Redbank Valley. Hinderliter is the second seed at 139 feet, 9 inches, just behind Fort Cherry’s Jenna Lucas. Nichols, the D9 champ in the shot put, is seeded sixth. She’s also seeded 16th in the discus.
Also for the girls, Johnsonburg’s 4×100 relay is seeded fifth, Elk County Catholic junior Victoria Dippold is the No. 3 seed in the 3,200 run, Brookville senior Brandi Cooper is the fifth seed in the pole vault at 11 feet, 1 inch with four vaulters above her clearing 11 feet, 6 inches at their district meets.
Also in the javelin, Johnsonburg junior Ashley Imbrogno and Clarion junior Jennifer Ochs are seeded seventh and 12th respectively.
For the boys, Brookville senior Braiden Smith, the James Manners Award winner for his outstanding performance at districts, is the No. 4 seed in the 110 hurdles. He’s also seeded 20th in the triple jump and 21st in the high jump.
Karns City’s Logan Moroney is seeded No. 5 in the 200 dash.
In Class AAA, in which District 9 went without a medal last year, the highest girls’ seed is Bradford’s Ann Confer (17th in 100 dash) and boys’ seeds are St. Marys’ Ryan Burns (17th in 110 hurdles) and DuBois’ Matthew Nedzinski (18th in 100 dash).