Brookville advances 7 to track and field states
BROOKVILLE — Heading into the District IX Class AA Track and Field Championships Friday afternoon, both Brookville squads knew they were in the hunt to impress, and they did just that.
One Raider and six Lady Raiders advanced to the state championships this weekend.
In addition, the Lady Raiders won the team title with 108 points and avenged a one-point loss to Elk County Catholic in 2010.
"This year, we thought this was the right time to go for the team title and that we could get the kids to the state meet that we were trying to get there, and they had a huge day," Brookville girls' head coach Doug Roseman said. "It feels good to win comfortably and for it to be a total team effort."
The seven Raiders who advanced to states were Ryan Kerr, Lanae Newsome, Aisha Newsome, Ashley Wolfe, Francheska Smith, Emily Rickard and Brandy Cooper.
For the Raiders, Kerr seriously impressed in the javelin, which he threw 207-2, shattering both Brookville's school record and the D-IX meet record.
"I could tell right when I released it it was well over 200," Kerr said. "I was pretty satisfied right when I released it and knew it was well over the record, so I was pretty happy."
Kerr's throw surpassed a school record set in 1987 by Tom Miller with a throw of 201-8.
Kerr's entire series was very strong with throws of 193-0, 195-6, 191-5 and 197-2, in addition to the winning mark.
"That was the big thing," he said. "When I go and throw, obviously, I'm looking for a big throw, but I always need a good series to back it up. I only had one scratch, and I had several throws over my personal best, so that was the big thing. That's what I'm always looking for."
Brookville boys' head coach Dan Murdock was extremely impressed with Kerr, who has said since his junior year his goal is to have a state title banner hanging in the high school gym.
"Hopefully, Ryan can come out on top again (this) week," Murdock said. "His goal has got to be to win. ... He just has to go down there and make everyone else beat him."
Lanae Newsome took home the most points for the Lady Raiders, earning first in all four of her events: The triple jump, the 100- and 200-meter dashes and as a member of the 4x100-meter relay.
In the triple jump, Newsome had her career best with a mark of 39-9, which broke the meet record and gave her a lot of confidence heading into states.
"My goal at the beginning of the season was 40, but throughout the season, I was kind of having trouble because I couldn't get 39," Newsome said. "But today, my best was (over) 39, obviously, and I jumped it consistently. But 40 has been my goal since the beginning of the season, and that's still my goal at states."
Roseman was excited that Newsome was able to jump that far, considering the state record is 39-5.75.
"When you've jumped farther than the state record, it gives you a pretty good feeling going into the state meet," Roseman said.
In the 100-meter dash, Newsome finished in 12.42 seconds, breaking her own D-IX meet record of 12.55 seconds. She also broke her own meet record in the 200-meter dash, which she completed in 25.26 seconds.
Newsome's final victory was in the 4x100-meter relay, during which she anchored Smith, Aisha Newsome and Wolfe. The team finished in 50.09 seconds.
"She's a gamer," Roseman said of Lanae. "She's had a great, consistent season, and she brought her A-game (Friday)."
In addition to the 4x100-meter relay, Aisha Newsome won both the hurdle races and placed second only to Lanae in the 200-meter dash. Aisha Newsome finished the 200-meter dash in 26.49 seconds to qualify for states.
Aisha Newsome finished the 100-meter hurdles in 15.47 seconds, breaking the D-IX meet record of 15.62 seconds set by Erin Carter of Ridgway in 2002. Newsome also broke a meet record in the 300-meter hurdles, which she finished in 45.40 seconds, breaking the record set by Paula Connor, of Brookville in 1985.
"I didn't know what the times were for the records, so I wasn't going after them at first," Newsome said. "But right before I ran, someone told me what the records were, and I thought I could probably do that."
Wolfe was another asset for the Lady Raiders, becoming an individual district champ in the long jump, where she had a mark of 16-11.25.
"It feels really good to accomplish it on my own and be able to make it on my own," Wolfe said. "I've never done this before. It always just feels like (the girls in the relay) are taking me there, but this one, it feels like I did on my own, so I'm happy."
Wolfe also qualified for states in the 100-meter dash, where she came in second to Lanae Newsome by finishing in 12.96 seconds.
"We're very happy to see her qualify for states individually," Roseman said. "She's gone with the relay a couple of times and set records, but she did this one her own, and I'm very happy for her."
The final two state qualifiers were runners up. Rickard repeated as the runner up in the high jump, where she cleared 5-0.
"I was thrilled to see her qualify for states again in an extremely competitive field," Roseman said. "It can be a head game sometimes, and she pulled it together and came through, so I'm very excited for her."
Cooper also placed second overall in the pole vault, where she cleared 9-6. Roseman was especially proud of Cooper because she is a first-year pole vaulter.
"That's nearly unheard of to come out and have that kind of success that quickly," he said. "We're very, very impressed with what she's done in such a short period of time."
The PIAA Class AA Track and Field Championships will be held Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University. A full schedule can be found online at www.piaa.org.