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Perk Valley’s Warren secures gold in 100 hurdles at PIAA Championships

SHIPPENSBURG >> She had a very basic goal Saturday.

But Christina Warren took it a step further — actually several steps further — on the second day of the PIAA track and field championships at Shippensburg University.

Coming off Friday’s gold-medal performance in the triple jump, Warren’s focus was on the 100-meter low hurdles and long jump. The Perkiomen Valley junior was out to increase her medal count in the events, and she did so … particularly in the hurdles.

“I went out in the trial hoping to focus on advancing,” she said. “The rest of the day, I focused on getting a good lane for the final.”

Warren completed the first phase in fine fashion. She ran a 14.36, third best in the field behind Oakland Catholic’s Jayla Ellis and Upper Dublin’s Madison Langley-Walker. In the semifinals, she dropped her time below the 14-second mark — the lone competitor to do so.

That got Warren the lane assignment she sought. In the final, she dropped her time even further down to 13.71 — a comfortable clocking ahead of Ellis (14.03) and Langley-Walker (14.07).

“The start wasn’t what I had wanted,” she said. “But I made up for it the rest of the way.”

“Taking it one hurdle at a time, going nice and easy,” was how PV head coach Joe Petsko assessed Warren’s gold-medal run. “13.71 was her personal best.”

Warren completed her three-medal weekend by placing sixth in the long jump. She hit a mark of 17-9 1/4.

“That was pretty much the plan (two golds),” Petsko said. “Christina had won the triple jump and hurdles at the indoor championship, and she got into it trying to win both.”

The Owen J. Roberts girls 4×800 relay had another high finish among Pioneer Athletic Conference entrants, placing fourth. The foursome of Hannah Kopec, Mackekenzie Kurtz, Autumn Sands and Mary Bernotas clocked a 9:17.34 as they worked their way toward the front from further behind in the pack.

“They were back a bit, around 10th or so,” head coach Tim Marcoe noted. “They picked it up as they went.”

Bernotas proved particularly fleet for Owen J. The senior, who last weekend won District 1’s Class AAA 1,600, got the baton in about ninth place and ran a 2:12 split good for bringing her quartet up well into a medal finish.

“My teammates set me up great,” she said. “I passed three girls early on after getting the baton. Then I passed another three after that. It was a lot of fun.”

The OJR clocking of 9:17.34 — it had run a 9:28.48 in the preliminaries — put it just behind third-place State College Area (9:17.03). Central Bucks West won the race in a time of 9:13.71, followed by Strath Haven (9:16.70).

“I was trying to get as high as I could,” Bernotas recalled. “I didn’t expect it at all.”

The Boyertown boys scored fifth-place medals by Jamison Moccia in the 100 (10.80) and the 4×800 relay of Cy Evans, Dominic DeRafelo, Josh Endy and Justin Smyth (7:50.98). Methacton’s Pat Maloney got a seventh in the discus (158-10).

Just missing the medal podium were Owen J. Roberts’ Kyle Malmstrom and Spring-Ford’s Jacob McKenna. They were ninth in the 1,600 and 3,200, respectively; Malmstrom ran a 4:26.88, McKenna a 9:38.67.

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