Hoag finishes career with two State medals

By on June 1, 2016


A four-time PIAA qualifier in the shot put, Manheim Central senior Tyler Hoag uncorks a throw of 55 feet, 3 inches to earn a PIAA sixth-place medal last Saturday at Shippensburg University. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

A four-time PIAA qualifier in the shot put, Manheim Central senior Tyler Hoag uncorks a throw of 55 feet, 3 inches to earn a PIAA sixth-place medal last Saturday at Shippensburg University. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Knoch junior Jordan Geist was the talk of the State boys Triple-A shot put last Friday.

His eye-popping heave of 74 feet, 3 inches not only shattered the previous PIAA record of 70-0, it also had a ripple effect on the rest of the throwers.

“I know for me, you see somebody throw like that and you kinda want to go up there and throw far too,” Manheim Central senior Tyler Hoag said. “That kinda messed me up a little bit because I was trying too hard. But it was just fun to watch.”

In his fourth year as a State qualifier in the shot put, Hoag ended up reaching 55-3, which was still good enough for a sixth-place finish.

And it was the first of two PIAA medals for the UNC-Charlotte recruit in his final trip to Shippensburg University, as Hoag also captured fifth-place hardware in the discus on Saturday with his throw of 165-2.

“It’s always nice to finish on a high note,” Hoag said. “I was happy … It’s sad (ending my high school career), but I’m excited for the journey after that in college.”

Junior Cole Sunderland still has another year left, but in his first appearance at States, he gave himself a building block by placing ninth &tstr; one spot from a medal &tstr; in the boys Triple-A 800 in 1:55.65.

“I definitely would have liked to medal, but it just wasn’t meant to be today,” Sunderland said.

Hoag took 10th in the State shot put last year with an effort of 50-5 1/4, so his goals were just to improve this time.

“This is the best I’ve done so far so it’s always nice to finish better than last year,” he said. “It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t bad either. I was pretty consistent, like 54 or 55, so it felt pretty good.”

His best throw of 55-3 came on his final attempt.

“It would have been a little nicer to have thrown a little further, but I’ll take what I can get,” he said.

What he got in the discus was impressive. Seeded 20th with his throw of 155-2 at the District Three Championships, Hoag threw 10 feet better to jump into the fifth-place spot. That made him a two-time PIAA medalist in the discus, after placing sixth with a throw of 158-8 a year ago.

“I’m pretty happy with that,” said Hoag, whose best this season was 173-0. “Throughout my season, (165 feet) is pretty much where I’ve been. At the District Meet, I didn’t throw very well, so I was seeded a little lower than what I was hoping.”

Asked if he felt like he had something to prove at States, Hoag said, “A little bit. You’re not very happy coming in as a lower seed than what you think you should be. But that kinda drove me to try to do well.”

Sunderland was driven to get a medal in the 800, and he was on pace to achieve that goal, holding the eighth spot following the first 400.

“The first lap was, like, 56, obviously faster than my PR,” Sunderland said, “so I was struggling to keep up with them.”

He found himself getting boxed in frequently during Friday’s preliminary race, in which he advanced with a time of 1:55.47, more than a second faster than his 22nd-place seed of 1:57.12.

It was a problem again in Saturday’s finals, and in the end, he placed just over a second behind State College’s eighth-place Anthony Degleris (1:54.17).

“It’s an alright time, I guess. Everybody always wants to do better, so it’s kinda hard to just settle down and take that time, especially when I had another chance to improve,” Sunderland said. “But it is the way it is … I knew I was toward the back (after the opening lap). I was trying to count my places, I figured I was around ninth or 10th. I probably shouldn’t have been trying to do that and just racing.”

In all, Hoag and Sunderland were two of five Manheim Central athletes who competed at States.

Senior Derek Adams placed 16th in the boys Triple-A javelin with a throw of 173-3.

On the girls side, sophomore Heidi Strausbaugh finished 15th with a throw of 123-6.

Finally, sophomore Billie Jo Bollinger competed in Friday’s girls Triple-A 300 Hurdles and equaled her seed time of 46.22 seconds, but fell a little bit short of advancing to the finals.


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