MC sends three to State Track

By on May 23, 2018
Manheim  Central’s  Ryan  Carter  clears  the  bar  at  6-0  while  tying  for sixth place in the District Three Triple-A boys high jump last Saturday. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Manheim Central’s Ryan Carter clears the bar at 6-0 while tying for sixth place in the District Three Triple-A boys high jump last Saturday. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Ryan Carter found himself in a good spot heading into Saturday’s competition at the District Three Triple-A Track and Field Championships.

The Manheim Central senior had already qualified for States while placing third in Friday’s pole vault.

Whatever happened in the high jump was a bonus.

“(Ryan) said, ‘This is just going to be a lot of fun in the high jump,’” Manheim Central coach Russ White said, “and I think he went into it with that attitude. And many times when you’re that relaxed going into an event, it makes it a little easier for you.”

Sure enough, Carter punched his ticket to the PIAA Championships by coming home with a sixth-place medal in the boys high jump, tying Ephrata’s Elie Basenga and Milton Hershey’s Jordan Winslow by clearing the bar at 6-0.

“Making it to States in both events is saying a lot for Ryan,” White said.

Carter will be joined at States this Friday and Saturday, May 25-26 back at Shippensburg University by teammates Zach Reed in the boys 300-Meter Hurdles and Billie Jo Bollinger in the girls 100 Hurdles and 300 Hurdles.

As he has done for a long stretch now, Carter capitalized on his consistency while winning bronze in the pole vault at a height of 14-3. A year ago, he took fifth at Districts clearing the bar at 13-9.

“I thought it was a good performance from him,” White said. “(Ryan)’s been very consistent these past few weeks. He’s been over 14 (feet) for about the last five or six times out and I think showing consistency in the pole vault is great. I think it speaks volumes of his chances, maybe, on Friday.”

Being tough mentally didn’t hurt, either. The pole vault competition was moved indoors due to inclement weather, but White said that Carter was unfazed by the change of venue.

“It does affect a lot of vaulters, but he didn’t let that bother him,” White said. “He’s very mentally tough and very competitive. Ryan is always there to do his best and it means a lot to him to be at his best in every competitive situation.”

Ditto for Bollinger.

Although the Manheim Central senior has been battling a strained hip flexor injury, Bollinger said that she is on the upswing.

“I’m not feeling it nearly as much,” Bollinger remarked. “When I run, everything goes away because you don’t think about pain or anything, the adrenaline is there. Afterward is when it hurts a little, but you just keep working it out.”

Bollinger took advantage of her improved health by running season-best times while placing fifth in both the 100 and 300 Hurdles.

“We’ve had modified practices as we go along,” White said. “But she seemed to just take that and forget about it and pretend that it wasn’t there, and it worked out well for her.”

In the High Hurdles, Bollinger punched her ticket to the finals by qualifying with times of 15.19 in the prelims and 15.01 in the semis.

Cedar Crest’s DeAsia Holloman gave her a challenge in the finals, but Bollinger held her off for fifth place in a time of 15.12 seconds. Holloman finished sixth in 15.23.

“I’d still like to break 15, but we have next weekend (at States),” Bollinger said. “I’m trying to think of improvements, and nothing felt out of whack to me, so it felt like a decent race.”

She another decent race in the 300 Hurdles later in the day, earning another fifth-place medal with her time of 46.17 seconds. That was an improvement of 22-hundredths of a second from her 8th-place seed time of 46.39.

“It’s a good time, so I’m happy with it,” Bollinger remarked. “And I’m definitely happy I moved up places, so it felt pretty good. I didn’t set a (goal) time. I was more set on wanting to place and wanting to get to States.”

Qualifying for the PIAA Meet was also a big goal for Reed, and he accomplished it by taking fifth place in Saturday’s 300 Hurdles in 40.04 seconds. That shaved more than a half second off his 14th-place seed time of 44.58.

“Zach always sets goals that are challenging and difficult, but attainable for him,” White said. “And Zach never takes a day off. I mean, he works very hard and very intensely every day, and I can’t think of a more deserving athlete than Zach Reed to make it to States. He was ecstatic, I was ecstatic, his family was ecstatic. We were all really pulling for him. His teammates were ecstatic, and it was a nice celebration when he was done.”

Elsewhere, Manheim Central’s Will Rivers took ninth in the triple jump at a distance of 43 feet, 5 inches, in addition to placing 17th in the long jump at 18-11 1/2.



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