May 23, 2013
The 2013 District 9 Class AA track and field championships ended as they began on Friday night, with a new Port Allegany High School record clinching a trip to the state meet in Shippensburg. But while the only drama in the first result was whether or not Nick Conway would also break the D-9 high-jump mark on the way to the first of his three gold medals, the last one came down to the final few steps of the final race of the night.
After dropping behind the lead runners at the start of the anchor leg of the 1600-meter relay, and still in fourth coming out of the last curve, Port’s Josh Poorman made his move. Passing runners from Northern Potter and Kane in the final 75 meters, he crossed the line in second place – and a school record 3:34.59, shattering the old mark by a full second – to grab the last PIAA qualifying spot of the meet and set off a celebration with teammates Tyce Miller, Tyler Kittilson, and Sam Kysor.
“I kind of just listened to Coach when he told me to kick it in,” Poorman said. “They tried boxing me in, and you can’t get boxed in or else you’re done. I was like, ‘I gotta go.’ The thought went through my head that the kid from Northern Potter’s beaten me twice and I don’t want to lose again, so I just kicked it in.”
Port coach George Riley, who sprinted across the Kane High School track to join the group hug in the infield, was still on Cloud Nine afterward.
“I couldn’t believe that he fell behind as quick as he did, and I thought, ‘Wow, maybe we’re just done,’” he said. “And then the same Josh we saw last week at the NTLs is the one that came out of the corner and went and got it. It was just impressive. The whole team was impressive. Nobody was at 55 (seconds), they were all below 55 for their splits, which is what we said we had to have for the record.
“Tyce ran a good first leg, around 53 at the exchange. T.K. ran a beautiful – I think his fastest 400. Sammy, who’s only run a couple of 400s, was under 55, which was a godsend. And then Josh finishing strong. He wanted it. He’s got the biggest heart on the team.
“And we’re going to states!”
Kysor, a late replacement, didn’t even know he was running until that morning.
“7:21,” he said with a grin. “Just got out of the shower and I get a call from Mr. Riley: ‘Hey, you want to run tonight?’ So I’ve known about this race for about 12 hours now. That’s got to be a record in itself.”
Earlier in the meet, Conway cleared the high-jump bar at 6 feet, 7 inches – seven inches past Miller, the only other entrant to make it to six feet – to better his own PAHS standard before coming up just short at his attempts to break the 1999 district mark of 6-8.
“I’ve been trying 6-6 for the past couple meets now,” Conway said, “and things just went together, I guess. On that 6-7, they said I could’ve gotten 6-8 or 6-9, but I couldn’t repeat that on the following jump.”
The 1-2 Gator finish earned both seniors a trip to states – Conway’s third, Miller’s first.
“That was nice. We’ve been imagining that all year, and it worked out in our favor,” Conway said.
“It was awesome,” agreed Miller, who also finished fourth in the 400, “and it’s great to be going in the relay too.”
Conway’s gold rush didn’t end there, as the Division I-bound star defended his titles in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and added silver in the 200 to claim the James Manners Award as the meet’s outstanding male athlete.
“Something I never imagined would happen, but it feels great,” said the six-time D-9 champ who, with a decent chance to earn Port’s first PIAA gold since Heather Amell won the 400 in 1991, has opted to scratch from the 200 to conserve energy for his main events.
While no other Gators will be making the long trip to compete in Shippensburg, Rex Windsor (fifth, discus), Lynae Delacour (third, 300 hurdles), Krista Miller (fourth, 800 and sixth, 400), and Rachel Taylor (fourth, shot put) each had their moment on the medal stand, the girls’ 1600 relay team came within two-tenths of a second of yet another school record, and the boys finished second to Kane in team scoring for the second consecutive year. Brookville, led by two-time Manners Award recipient Lanae Newsome, won the girls’ title, while Port’s tie for ninth was the best showing by a North Tier League team.
“I said a week or so ago that one kid could go to states or 11, and we got five,” Riley said. “We didn’t achieve the perfect goal (a team district championship), but we’ve got five kids going to states.”
District IX Class AA Championships
Kane High School, May 17
Boys: Kane 80.5, Port Allegany 61, Brookville 54, Clarion 47, Oswayo Valley 43, Karns City/Northern Potter 38 (tie), ECC 31, Johnsonburg/North Clarion 30 (tie), Union 24, Moniteau 22, Sheffield 15, Redbank Valley 13.5, Coudersport 12, Keystone 7, Cameron County/Otto-Eldred 5 (tie), Allegheny-Clarion Valley 2.
Top-6 North Tier League finishers:
200: 2. Nick Conway (PA) 23.32, 4. Dylan Reynolds (Sh) 23.98
400: 4. Tyce Miller (PA) 52.94
800: 2. Ethan Kibbe (NP) 2:01.60, 3. Matt Morgan (NP) 2:02.59, 6. Spencer Howard (OV) 2:06.03
1600: 3. Spencer Cole (OV) 4:45.09, 5. Gabe Trimbur (C) 4:54.08
3200: 1. Barrett Kemp (OV) 9:38.28, 2. Gabe Rees (OV) 10:03.01, 3. Caleb Byron (NP) 10:14.39, 4. Cole (OV) 10:22.82, 5. Tim Adams (NP) 10:23.92
400 relay: 6. Port Allegany (Josh Poorman, Gage Caulkins, Scott Brookens, Tyler Kittilson) 46.19
1600 relay: 2. Port Allegany (Miller, Kittilson, Sam Kysor, Poorman) 3:34.59*, 3. Northern Potter (Morgan, Kibbe, Aaron Olney, Aaron Schweigart) 3:35.39
3200 relay: 1. Northern Potter (Morgan, Schweigart, Kibbe, Olney) 8:14.04, 2. Oswayo Valley (Cole, Howard, Kemp, Rees) 8:19.98
110 hurdles: 1. Conway (PA), 15.15
300 hurdles: 1. Conway (PA) 39.63, 6. Adam Farmelo (O-E) 43.89
long jump: 2. Reynolds (Sh) 20-1 3/4, 5. Coy Hoffman (OV) 19-6 3/4
triple jump: 5. Ryan Matviichuk (OV) 39-9 3/4
high jump: 1. Conway (PA) 6-7*, 2. Miller (PA) 6-0, 5. Shequan Wright (Sh) 5-8, 6. Adam Higby (Sh) 5-8
shot put: 6. C.J. Markum (CC) 41-5 3/4
discus: 1. Mitch Freeman (C) 156-4, 4. Markum (CC) 127-11, 5. Rex Windsor (PA) 127-9
javelin: 4. Justin Zetwick (O-E) 161-4, 5. Ryan West (OV) 158-3.
Girls: Brookville 98, Kane 73, ECC 70, Karns City 63, Johnsonburg 53, St. Marys 39, Clarion 27, Cranberry 20, Redbank Valley/Port Allegany 16 (tie), DCC/Moniteau 14 (tie), North Clarion 12, Allegheny-Clarion Valley 11, Curwensville 10, Northern Potter 8, Coudersport 6, Sheffield 4, Clarion-Limestone/Otto-Eldred 2 (tie).
Top-6 North Tier League finishers:
400: 6. Krista Miller (PA) 1:03.17
800: 4. Miller (PA) 2:27.42
1600: 6. Ellen Kibbe (NP) 5:45.03
3200: 3. Morgan Soule (NP) 12:01.84
400 relay: 6. Otto-Eldred (Kirsten Hahn, Katie Smith, Ashley Schoonover, Kylie Stuck) 53.62
1600 relay: 6. Port Allegany (Miller, Rebecca Lathrop, Lynae Delacour, Somer Buchsenschutz) 4:18.92
3200 relay: 6. Northern Potter (Amelia Kibbe, Taryn Bennett, Alexis Adams, E. Kibbe) 10:31.93
300 hurdles: 3. Delacour (PA) 49.26
long jump: 5. Jenna Gabreski (C) 15-9 1/2
triple jump: 4. Gabreski (C) 35-7q
shot put: 4. Rachel Taylor (PA) 33-7
javelin: 4. Jen Isenberg (Sh) 127-1q, 6. Mariah Hartzell (O-E) 105-8.
* – PAHS record
q – PIAA qualifier (outside top two)