BY JEFF FALK
SHIPPENSBURG – The state meet is a good place to reach a peak, a good place to conclude a season, a good place to end a school year.
And a great place to end a career.
But the perfect place to say, ‘good bye.’
On a clear Saturday at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium, during the second and final day of the annual PIAA Track and Field Championships, Lebanon County student-athletes experienced an entire range of emotions – related to joy and relief, to performance and sentimentality. The locale took home state medals from a total of seven events.
Showing the way for the county competitors was Cedar Crest senior Hannah Woelfing, who topped off her career with a bronze medal in the Class AAA discus. Falcon sophomore Gwyneth Young added to her increasingly impressive resume with a fourth-place showing in the Class AAA 3200-meter run.
Meanwhile, the Cedar Crest quartet of Ryan Scicchitano, William Sheffield, Jake Barrett and Nate Shutter celebrated a friendship which has come to transcend the track by copping fifth-place hardware in the Class AAA 3200-meter relay.
“We’re trying to enjoy the moment,” said Barrett, the emotional leader of the Flying Falcons. “Trying to let it all sink in. This is definitely the best thing we’ve ever done. We really enjoyed this time together.
“We’re all best friends,” continued Barrett. “It’s much more enjoyable when you do it with friends. Sheffield is the best second leg anyone could ask for. Scicchitano is a reliable first guy who puts us in position. Shutter is going to give you whatever he has every time out. This was very special because of Team Tiff (competing in honor of Coach Rob Bare’s recently deceased wife). We ran with a purpose.”
“Last year (at the state meet), I was eighth in 10:55,” said Young. “So I cut my medal standing in half, and I definitely improved my time, by 30 seconds. The goal is to do well each season. I’ve definitely grown my speed.
“I can’t decide which I like best (track or cross country),” added Young. “It depends on how my season is going. You’ve just got to have patience.”
“It’s so emotional,” said Woelfling. “I’ve been crying all day. I’m going to miss everybody so much, especially the coaches.