From staff reports
The North East High School track and field team competed in the PIAA State Championships this past weekend, which was hosted by Shippensburg University. Seven Pickers were slated to compete in the two-day competition.
The competition started on Friday, May 24, with preliminaries for both the boys 3200-meter relay team and freshman Nick Kerner, who ran in the 100-meter dash.
The relay team competed in the second of two heats, where the top four automatically qualify for the finals, followed by the next four fastest times. The Pickers watched closely to see what the times were in the first heat, so they could save as much energy as possible in their own. They did just that, saving energy while still finishing in third place in their heat, running a time of 8:15 and automatically qualifying for the finals.
Kerner hit the track next in the prelims for the 100-meter dash. Being one of only two freshmen in the whole state to qualify for the event, he had an uphill battle in order to make the next round. He finished with the time of 11.8 seconds, which did not move him on to the semi-finals.
“The experienced he gained from participating at the state meet will be invaluable as he grows,” said coach Jamison Drab.
Day two for the Pickers started with freshman standout, Mercede Myers, competing in the girls shot put. She posted a throw of 35 feet, 11 ½ inches but missed out on making the finals. Her throw placed her 11th overall and the second highest freshman in the state.
The final event on the track for the team was the boys 3200-meter relay finals.
Leading off for the Pickers was junior Zane Courtwright, who managed to put his team in second place after the first exchange. Junior Jason Seevers, sophomore Brock Pennington and senior Josh Lewis fought hard as they all held the lead at some point during their race.
The boys ended in second place, finishing with the time of 8:01 and right on the heels of the first-place team from Wyomissing.
“Though the team was slightly disappointed, they were definitely proud of their accomplishment, as all four runners ran their personal bests and knocked off five seconds from their previous best team time of 8:06,” Drab said.