When West Chester Rustin senior pole vaulter Charley Dever began this spring track season, his goal was to win the PIAA Class AAA state championship and beat the state meet record of 16-4.
That was a realistic goal for the Naval Academy-bound senior, who finished third in the Class AAA pole vault at last year’s PIAA state championships. Three days before the Penn Relays this spring in a dual meet against Unionville, Dever set the state record with a vault of 17-0.
Friday, at the PIAA state track & field championships at Shippensburg University, Dever came up just short of his ultimate goal, finishing second in the Class AAA boys’ competition with a vault of 15-6, behind winner East Pennboro senior Payton Morris (16-0).
“There was a pretty heavy headwind today that I think affected both Charley and [Morris],” said West Chester Rustin boys’ track coach Chaz Brown. “I’m very proud of Charley – he’s a great kid and we’re going to miss him.”
Dever won the District 1 Class AAA championship last Sunday with a vault of 16-4. Originally, the pole vault district finals were to be held last Saturday at Coatesville High School, but inclement weather forced the pole vaulting competition to be moved to Sunday in Conshohocken.
“I was a little disappointed [Friday],” said Dever. “The headwind was kind of rough, but I should have focused on my technique a little more [in the headwind]. I’ll be working on that.”
Dever counts his 17-0 mark against Unionville as the best pole vault of his stellar Rustin career.
“When I vaulted 17 feet, I was very relaxed, and my takeoff technique was much better than it had been up to that point,” said Dever. “I was able to hold higher on a bigger pole that day.”
The PIAA state championships was Dever’s last pole vaulting competition before he enters the Naval Academy June 28.
In other Friday action by Chester County athletes at the PIAA Track & Field Championships:
The Raider 4×100 quartet of Jordyn Worthington, Porsha Miles, Sammie Miller and Arianna Eberly was in top form Friday, advancing to Saturday’s Class AAA finals by posting a mark of 46.83, the fastest time of the day. That mark is a new school record, is ranked No. 1 in Pennsylvania ranked for 2018 and rates fourth all-time.
The quartet of Miller, Patrisha Rokins, Eberly and Miles 3:51.70 advanced to the Class AAA girls 4×400 finals with a clocking of 3:51.70, the third-fastest time in the preliminaries.
Eberly (44.52) advanced to the Class AAA girls’ 300 meter hurdles finals. The fastest time in preliminaries was posted by defending state champ Madison Langley-Walker of Upper Dublin (43.54).
Raider junior Darby Morgan finished 13th in the Class AAA girls shot put final with a mark of 37-11.25.
Coatesville junior Naheem Moore finished sixth in the Class AAA boys’ triple jump finals with a mark of 46-01.50. The winner was Akeem Cooper of Imhotep Institute Charter (48-04.50).
Junior Eric Kirk posted a clocking of 11.25 and became one of the 16 runners who advanced to Saturday’s Class AAA boys’ 100 meter dash semifinals.
Senior Jared Elters posted a time of 14.72 in the Class AAA 110 meter hurdles preliminaries Friday to join the 16 hurdlers who advanced to Saturday’s semifinals.
Bishop Shanahan senior Rick Zink (48.43) was one of eight runners to advance to the Class AAA boys’ 400 meter run finals, and he posted the third-fastest time in the Class AAA boys’ 200 meter dash preliminaries (22.28), becoming one of the 16 runners to advance to Saturday’s semifinals.
Sophomore Josh Hoey was one of 12 runners who advanced to Saturday’s finals in the Class AAA 1,600 meter run with a mark of 4:21.01 in the preliminaries. Last Saturday, Hoey finished second at Districts with a mark of 4:21.04.
Shanahan senior Andrew Puz placed 12th in the Class AAA boys’ pole vault with a mark of 13-06.
Great Valley junior Amy Willig joins the 12 runners who have advanced to the Class AAA girls’ 800 meter finals, posting the fourth-fastest time of 2:15.02. Strath Haven junior Grace Forbes had the fastest time in preliminaries (2:13.48)
Whippet sophomore Ethan Robinson recorded 15.03 in Class AAA 110 meter hurdles preliminaries to advance to Saturday’s semifinals. Robinson had posted a time of 15.26 in placing fourth at Districts last weekend.
Senior Evan Kaiser was one of 12 runners who advanced to the Class AAA boys’ 1,600 meter run finals (4:21.34).
Downingtown West senior Justin Kiefel finished 18th in the Class AAA boys’ triple jump with a mark of 43-08.50.
The Cougars posted the second-fastest time in Friday’s preliminaries among the 28 quartets entered in the Class AAA boys 4×100, clocking 41.61. Last weekend, the quartet of Quaran Brown, Zach DeLone, Dan Andris and Brassir Stocker finished sixth at Districts (43.07).
Junior Meredith Krieger finished 17th in the Class AAA girls pole vault finals with a mark of 10-6. The winner was Manheim Township senior Mackenzie Horn with a mark of 13-03.
West Chester East
Senior Jared Cooper posted a clocking of 22.91 in Friday’s preliminaries to advance to Saturday’s semifinals in the Class AAA boys’ 200 meter dash.
West Chester Rustin
Golden Knight junior Zhayri Washington finished 18th in the Class AAA girls’ shot put final with a throw of 34-09.50.
Pioneer senior Grace Lanouette posted a 12.38 in the Class AAA girls’ 100 meter dash preliminaries to join the 16 runners to advance to semifinals. Last weekend, she finished third at Districts with a time of 12.32.
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