Christina Warren needed a moment.
The Perkiomen Valley junior entered Day 1 of the PIAA Track and Field Championships as the defending champion in the girls’ 3A triple jump and she was carrying all the weight of expectation one might imagine.
Ahead of the finals, Warren found the moment she needed and subsequently made a moment to remember again.
“I was stressed in the (trials), so in that bit of waiting time in between trials and finals I just made sure to calm down,” she said. “There was a moment of calm before jumping.”
It was exactly what she needed as Warren hit a 40-11¼ on her first jump of the finals to repeat as 3A triple jump champion Friday at Shippensburg University.
“I feel relieved to say the least,” she said. “It’s a different kind of relief than last year. You go in expecting to do well because it’s kind of hard to top a sophomore year championship without doing the same thing junior year.”
“Afterwards, when I heard the jump (distance), I definitely felt something release,” Warren said with a chuckle.
Her mark was more than a foot better than the competition with Stroudsburg’s Ayanna Burrell taking second (39-10¾) and Upper Dublin’s Madison Langley-Walker third (38-11¼).
Pottsgrove’s Miazziah Rose earned a medal in the triple jump as well, placing 8th with a 37-3¾. Owen J. Roberts’ Corrin Ferrizzi finished 12th (36-6¼).
Warren was the top American finisher at the Penn Relays and jumped a personal record 41-1½ at the West Chester Henderson Invitational on May 4, but settled for second-place finishes at the Pioneer Athletic Conference and District 1 Championships, elements that made Friday’s performance all the more pleasing.
“It definitely did not help my confidence,” she said of the runner-up finishes in the first two postseason events, “which made it even more of a relief because a three-peat of second place would have been horrible.”
Warren has her sights set on a second gold Saturday after qualifying third in the 100 hurdles. She clocked a 14.36, trailing only Oakland Catholic’s Jayla Ellis (14.31) and Upper Dublin’s Langley-Walker (14.31).
Methacton’s Camaryn Rodriguez and Spring-Ford’s Melissa Israel tied for 10th in the pole vault after clearing 11-0. The event was won by Manheim Township’s Mackenzie Horn, who broke the PIAA record with her 13-3 clearance. The previous record was 13-0½ set in 2008 by Easton’s Abby Schaffer.
Pottsgrove’s Justin Adams placed 13th in the boys’ shot put with a 49-1½. Perkiomen Valley’s Sam Leinhauser placed 19th with a 46-8½.
In preliminaries Friday, Boyertown sophomore Jamison Moccia was third in the 100-meters with a 11.06 to advance.
Owen J. Roberts’ Kyle Malmstrom qualified in 12th with a 4:21.83. Teammate Liam Conway, considered a favorite in the event after winning the event at the PAC and District 1 Championships, finished 22nd (4:29.84) and did not advance.
The Boyertown 4×800 team of Cy Evans, Dominic Derafelo, Josh Endy and Justin Smyth qualified seventh in 7:50.89, less than a minute off the top qualifier Butler (7:59.02).
Norristown’s Jonae Cook was third in the girls’ 100 with a 12.20 qualifying time. Methacton’s Amy Domenick was 18th and did not advance.
The Methacton 4×100 relay – Juliana Keenan, Domenick, Katelyn Evans and Lauren Prusacki – advanced out of preliminaries with the 16th-best time (48.87).
The Owen J. Roberts’ 4×800 relay team – Autumn Sands, Mackenzie Kurtz, Hannah Kopec and Mary Bernotas – ran a 9:28.48 in prelims for the 8th-best qualifying time. Strath Haven was best with a 9:21.33. Spring-Ford’s Brooke Donoghue, Sydney Galster, Emily Smith and Julia Vledder placed 16th in 9:38.43 and did not advance.
Day 2 of the PIAA Championships commences at 9 a.m. Saturday.
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