Coatesville juniors Arianna Eberly and Porsha Miles, the 2018 Daily Local News’ Girls Track Co-Athletes of the Year, ended the final event of the PIAA spring track season with a bang for the Red Raiders.
In the Class AAA girls’ 4×400 relay, Coatesville was in sixth place at the midway point when Eberly, and then Miles, took over. By the end of the race, the Red Raiders were in possession of the 4×400 gold medal.
This happy ending culminated a spring season in which both Eberly and Miles flashed record-setting versatility for the deep and powerful Coatesville squad, not only in the 4×400 relay, but in the 4×100, 300 hurdles, 100 meter dash, 200 meter run and other events.
At the PIAA Class AAA state championships at Shippensburg University May 26, Eberly and Miles were also past of the Red Raiders 4×100 quartet that finished second.
Eberly also finished fifth in the Class AAA girls’ 300 meter hurdles final with a clocking of 44.56, and both her and Miles recorded 300 hurdles clockings this spring that were among the top times in Pennsylvania.
This talented duo compiled a long list of accomplishments on the track this spring, but let’s start with the ending – the 4×400 finish at States.
Eberly said, “When I got the baton, I just took off until I saw Porsha. By the first 200 meters, I had moved into first place. I seem to run my best races when I can see who’s in front of me – then I can [try to] pick off each person in front of me.”
Miles kept the lead, bringing the title home to Coatesville. She crossed the finish line at 3:46.91, ahead of runner-up Penn Wood (3:50.84).
“My first reaction [when I finished] was, surprisingly, that I wasn’t shocked that we won,” said Miles. “It was more of a ‘Finally!’ feeling. I knew we had the ability and the talent to win. I had a lot of confidence in every single one of [the quartet, which included Sammie Miller and Patrisha Rokins]. I was just really happy that we accomplished the goal that we set.”
Eberly said, “My first reaction when I saw Porsha cross the finish line at states for the 4×400, I thought to myself, ‘Oh my gosh. We did it, we actually did it, no one can take this away from us.’ Being state champs is what we trained all year to be, and to see all our hard work as a team pay off was such an amazing feeling. At that moment I felt pure joy and excitement.”
“I think we got the best of all four girls on the same day,” said Coatesville girls coach Keith Andrew. “Our coaching staff thought they could do 3:47 in the finals, and for them to break that [mark] is great. All four of them gave everything they had.”
Earlier in the day, Eberly and Miles teamed with Miller and Jordyn Worthington to finish second. When Eberly, the anchor, received the baton, Coatesville was behind several teams, but the Red Raider junior put on a burst of speed and finished second.
In the finals qualifier one day earlier, the Raider quartet posted a time of 46.83, the fastest time of the day, which set a new school record, was ranked No. 1 in Pennsylvania for 2018 and rated fourth all-time. In April, the quartet finished second in the Northeast 4×100 at the Penn Relays.
Eberly, who finished fifth at States in the 300 hurdles, feels her best performance in that event was at the Ches-Mont Championships, where she finished 1-2 with Miles and recorded her best time (43.96). At that time, Eberly had the second-best time in Pennsylvania for the event and Miles was third.
“Running that race with Porsha in the lane next to me is what pushed me the hardest,” said Eberly. “That was a big race for the both of us and I’m lucky to have a [talented] teammate to train and run against.”
“Having a teammate like Arianna to motivate you is really a blessing,” said Miles. “Everyone wants to be the best on their team, so by working hard against each other every practice, it sets [us] up for not just being the fastest on our team but being the fastest in the state.”
Like Eberly, Miles captured an individual event at the Ches-Mont Championships, finishing first in the 100 meter run.
“The key for me that day was pushing out of the blocks,” said Miles. “Having a good start mattered a lot to me because my start usually isn’t great, so I knew if I had a good start I had the race.”
Miles’ favorite race is the 400 meter run, and feels it’s a key to her versatility.
“I love it because it’s a long sprint and it’s really anybody’s race,” said Miles. “If you run the 400, your workouts can be anything as high as a 600, and that sets you up for anything, along with hard work and dedication that sets you up for success.”
Eberly credited workouts by Coatesville track alum Terrance Laird, who now runs for Penn State, for preparing the Red Raiders for running in multiple events.
“Terrance Laird would talk to our coaches about his work outs at Penn State and Coach [Paul] Hadzor would bounce those workouts onto us in some aspects,” said Eberly. “We would train with speed work out into our big work outs. For example: if we had a 500 we would follow that with a 150 after, then a 350 with a 150.”
Eberly’s versatility runs in the family. Her mother, Rebecca Grube Eberly, was a track athlete at the University of Virginia, and competed in the 1996 Olympic Trials in the heptathlon.
“I started practicing with my mom when I was first able to run,” said Eberly. “At about age 5, I’d go to her track practices. She taught me so much and gave me my [determined] attitude on the track.”
Like Eberly, Miles’ interest in track grew because of her family.
“When I realized I was fast in fifth grade, that got me started in track,” said Miles. “I would race my big brother, and my dad would always tease him saying that I was right on his heels. My dad looked in to track clubs near me and found West Chester Track Club. My favorite race back then was the 800, because I was young and had a lot of endurance and just loved running laps around the track.”
Eberly, whose parents are teachers at Coatesville – her father, Rob, teaches gym and martial arts; and her mother teaches history – would like to become a pediatric nurse.
Miles is currently thinking of majoring in education and becoming an elementary school teacher.
FUN FACTS – ARIANNA EBERLY
Favorite TV show: Greys Anatomy.
Favorite movie: Four Brothers.
Pre-race pump up song: Superbase, by Nicki Minaj.
Favorite place to visit: Duck, N.C.
Pre-race preparation on the day of an event: “On the day of a meet I like to visualize my events on the track – what I’m competing in, how I’m going to run, and what I need to do to be successful. I like to tune out to music while I’m warming up to focus on what I need to accomplish. Throughout a meet I stay loose, hydrated and make sure I’m eating right.”
Favorite running shoe: “My favorite type of shoe to compete in are my Nike Zoom spikes, they are light and flexible so it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing anything on my feet. To do work outs on the track I train in my Asics flats, they give me support and don’t feel bulky on my feet when I’m sprinting.”
Favorite track venue: “The Armory in New York, it is such a fast track. You run against top athletes from other states, so you know you’ll be pushed no matter what you’re running that day.”
Person I most admire: “My mom, Rebecca Grube-Eberly. I hope to reach her successes in her past track career. She inspires me to never give up and to keep pushing with determination.”
Family members: Rob Eberly (dad), Rebecca Grube-Eberly (mom), siblings Makayla, Lorelei, and Blaedyn Eberly.
FUN FACTS – PORSHA MILES
Favorite book: Things Not Seen.
Favorite author: Andrew Clement.
Favorite TV show: Icarly.
Favorite movie: Happy Gilmore.
Favorite athletes: Allison Felix, Stephen Curry.
Favorite pre-race pump-up song: “Any song by Drake.”
Favorite teams: Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia Eagles.
Favorite place to visit: Florida.
Favorite pre-race meal: Burrito bowl from Wawa.
Pre-race preparation on the day of an event: “I love to get ice baths and massages before races because it relaxes your muscles and just brings your nerves down a little bit.”
Favorite running shoe: “I like training in my indoor flats. I don’t have an arch on my foot, so those shoes help a lot.”
Favorite track venue: “Penn Relays! The crowd, colleges, and running with your teammates at a big stage like that is amazing.”
Person I most admire: “My parents, they taught me everything, and they make sure they do everything to make me great.”
Family members: parents Frank Miles and Shannon Miles, siblings Aliyah Boggs, PJ Miles, Tyrell Boggs, Careon Boggs and Aneisa Boggs.
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