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 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.

 It was close to being about the best Shuey could do.

  “During the regular season, my teammates were pushing me,” said Shuey, who has become quite adept at deflecting praise. “Now I have to push myself. I was going to be happy, as long as I got over the 40 (foot) mark. I was hoping to qualify for states (which she did). I knew it was going to be great competition, so I had to be at my best.

 “This could’ve been it (the end of her scholastic career),” added Shuey. “But I didn’t want it to be it.”

  Drane took little consolation from the fact that she finished second to a new district record established in the discus. Instead, she treated it like a  learning experience.

 While Greenwood’s Mallory Kauffman was going to great lengths to win it- a new district record of 160-3 –  Drane was reaching 109 with her top throw. Competing at the District Three meet for the third time in her career, Drane was about three feet off the effort she used to capture a similar silver last spring.

 “It was actually good for me,” said Drane of Kauffman’s record. “I thought I could learn a few things. I actually got to watch her. I had two good throws today, but they were out of bounds. I know I have them in me.

 “Being second is better than not finishing on the medal stand at all,” continued Drane. “I’m back in the same spot I was in last year.”

 Meanwhile on the track, Cedar Crest sophomore Gwyneth Young was a rewarding fourth in a Class AAA 3200-meter race in which she came in seeded ninth. Young was clocked in 10:35. 11 and qualified for states in the process.

 In the Class AA 3200-meter run, Annville-Cleona’s Braetan Peters finished fifth. Palmyra sophomore Jackolby Fackler was also fifth, in the boys’ Class AAA 3200-meter run.

 Elsewhere in the field on Friday, Annville-Cleona throwers Daniel Tobias and Evan Heilman, both juniors, finished fifth and sixth in the Class AA javelin. Tobias entered the competition seeded fourth and Heilman was eighth.

Garrett Miller of Palmyra captured seventh-place hardware in the Class AAA shot put, while Brianna Seip of Northern Lebanon was also seventh, in the Class AA long jump.











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