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Proffitt, Mummau win State medals
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
When South Park senior Billy Stanley unleashed an eye-popping State-record boys javelin throw of 246 feet, 9 inches on his first attempt at the PIAA State Triple-A Championships last Saturday, it was a sobering moment for his competitors.
Stanley’s effort also shattered the National Federation of High Schools record (244-2), previously held by Sam Crouser of Gresham (Ore.) High School since 2010.
"I didn’t even come in looking for gold," Manheim Central junior Cole Proffitt said. "I was looking for silver. After (Stanley) threw his first throw, we all said that. It was awesome — it was crazy watching him too."
Proffitt was actually sitting in the silver-medal position after breaking his own school record with a heave of 200-9 on his second attempt of the finals. But Cocalico senior Kyle Felpel surpassed him on his final throw, reaching 203-0, and Proffitt ended up winning the bronze in his first appearance at States.
"I was definitely happy with it, considering it’s third place at States," Proffitt said.
Manheim Central senior Morgan Mummau also came home happy from Shippensburg University after winning a pair of sixth-place medals in the girls 100 (12.27) and 200 (25.39).
"I’m so excited," Mummau said. "It’s been a goal since I was a freshman to to qualify for States and make the semis and finals and keep going. It’s definitely a huge achievement for me to get a medal here."
In other action, Manheim Central senior Breanna Barber tied the school record that she set earlier this season in the girls high jump, clearing the bar at 5-4. But she finished in a three-way tie for ninth-place — just out of the medal picture. Overall, eight competitors hit 5-4, leaving the medals to be decided by fewest misses. Ambridge Area’s India McCoy took fourth place, followed by Strath Haven’s Rachel Van Metre in fifth, and Solanco’s Emily Allport, Laurel Highland’s Shelby Burns and Butler’s Paige Rittelman tied for sixth place. Upper Dublin senior Taylor Morgan won the gold with a jump of 5-7.
In the boys javelin, with the gold medal decided early by Stanley, Proffitt had one final attempt for the silver after Felpel surged in front of him with his 203-0. He released a solid throw, but it landed out of sector for a foul.
"That was frustrating," Proffitt said, "but if anyone was going to take (the silver medal) from me, I would want it to be Kyle, so that was OK."
A year ago, Proffitt missed qualifying for States by a mere six inches. Last Saturday, he was in danger of not qualifying for the finals after fouling on his first two prelim throws.
It was deja vu from the District Championships, when he needed a third throw of 187-3 to advance. This time, Proffitt fired the javelin 176 feet, which placed him seventh out of nine throwers going into finals.
"It came up to my last throw in the prelims again, so I was nervous about that," Proffitt said. "I was (thinking), ‘It’s like Districts all over again, here we go.’"
Having survived that scare, Proffitt took his warm-ups using a new finish block that he has been practicing, and it was paying off with encouraging results.
"In this new (finish block), I open up and jump to the left a little bit and it opens up my throw for me and it goes toward the middle," Proffitt said. "I decided to use that and in my warm-up throws, I was hitting 190’s constantly."
His first throw in the finals landed in the high-180’s and then he came back on his next attempt to shatter his own school mark with a throw of 200-9, which stood up for the bronze medal. His previous record was 200-7.
"A PR is always something to be happy about and the fact that I got third was also great," Proffitt said. "I wanted second and I wanted to throw 210, but my 200-9 was also a five-step — it wasn’t even off a full run-up. So I have a lot of room for improvement."
Proffitt is hoping to see some improvement as soon as this Friday and Saturday, June 1-2 when he competes with the NSSF team representing the U.S. in the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational in Puerto Rico.
"Hopefully I’ll have a 210 there," Proffitt said. "That’s what I’m hoping for. I plan on using a full run-up the whole time there."
Mummau was seeded 9th in the 200 and 10th in the 100 at States. In her previous two trips to the PIAA Championships, she was progressively better each time, advancing as far as the prelims as a sophomore and the semi-finals as a junior. The MC senior took the third and final step as a senior, running a time of 12.29 seconds in the 100 semis to punch her ticket to the finals.
"I honestly didn’t know if I made the finals because I wasn’t seeded that well from the beginning," Mummau remarked. "I was really nervous because I had never made the finals before."
In the finals, she crossed the finish line in 12.27 seconds — just off of her school record time of 12.18 — for sixth place. Overall, though, the top eight finishers were separated by just 26-hundredths of a second, with Coatesville’s Kenya Woodall (12.07) nosing out Chambersburg’s Jessica Whitmore (12.07) in a photo finish.
"I was just ecstatic when I made the finals and I’m happy with my sixth-place finish," Mummau said. "I’ve been real consistent the past two weeks with my times, and it felt really good."
For Mummau, that was her third race of the day, coupled with competing in the 100 and 200 semi-finals earlier. The fact that they were racing in oppressive conditions could not have helped their times. According to PCN, the temperature at track level on Saturday was 107 with the heat index.
"Actually, I don’t feel too bad," Mummau said. "I did the 200 a half hour ago. I think all of us were a little fatigued from that because I think most of us ran that race. You probably didn’t see the fastest times today because it’s the third race of the day for most girls. I think I recovered well and was still able to put together a good time."
She was able to put together a solid time of 25.19 seconds in the 200 semi-finals — just .07 off of her school-record time of 25.12 — despite not getting off to a fast start. But Mummau closed well in that race to advance to the finals.
"I started off kind of weak, but then I started making up ground and kind of came on strong at the end," Mummau said. "I need to start stronger a little earlier instead of waiting until the end."
Mummau ended up taking another sixth-place medal in the 200 in 25.39 seconds. She was one of four District Three finishers in the top six, with C.D. East’s Deme’shia Davis (24.48) and Red Lion’s Angelica Gonzalez (24.99) finishing 1-2, respectively.
"I was really happy (winning two medals)," Mummau said. "I didn’t PR or anything, but I was pretty close to my personal bests." More STATES, page B-6