BY JEFF FALK
SHIPPENSBURG – In the grand scheme of time, it is a simple moment. But it is a very special moment.
During that moment, we don’t leave our bodies. In fact, just the opposite. At that moment, our minds and spirits and bodies become one.
It is during that time that we cause our bodies to perform at their peaks, in a way that they don’t at any other moment. The essence of that moment is what distinguishes individual pursuits from team sports.
On Friday afternoon at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium, during the opening day of the 95th annual District Three Track and Field Championships, Elco’s Ryelle Shuey and Annville-Cleona’s Mackenzie Drane commanded that moment. Shuey, a senior, grabbed the silver medal in the Class AAA shot put, while Drane, a junior, took the runner-up trophy in the Class AA discus.
Shuey’s and Drane’s slivers were two of eight earned by Lebanon County student-athletes at the district meet. More are on the way, when the District Three Track and Field Championships resume Saturday morning at Seth Grove Stadium.
“When my name is called, I think of everything I’ve had to work on since my last throw,” said Drane. “Then, I clear my mind. If I think too much, I’ll mess it up. I kind of come back to reality when I see the discus in the air.”
“I always get nervous when I compete,” said Shuey. “When they call my name, I get that little rush of nerves. But I also realize now is the best time to be myself. It’s my time to shine.”
A leader and the consummate teammate, Shuey has uncovered her own personal way to shine in the individual pursuit of shot putting.
Her top heave of 40-11.25 was a few feet off the winning effort turned in by top-seed Keeley Suzenski of Berks Catholic. It was also four inches farther than she threw while winning the Lancaster-Lebanon League championship last week, but about the same distance off a personal best she established at the Lebanon County meet in April.