GLENOLDEN >> Davante Harris faced quite a dilemma when he arrived at Interboro’s South Avenue Athletic Complex for the Delco Championships Thursday afternoon.
The senior from Academy Park was entered in both the discus and javelin. Since the two events were scheduled to run simultaneously, Harris had to decide whether to throw the discus first and then the javelin or vice-versa.
Harris went with the discus first and it turned out to be a winning decision. He took first in the javelin and third overall in the discus, but first in the American Conference. He won the javelin with a personal-best throw of 158 feet, 11 inches and took the American Conference title in the discus with the second-best throw of his career (133-1), according to pa.milesplit.com.
“I was a little tired from the discus,” Harris said. “I was so tired that I wasn’t even sure I was going to throw the javelin, but decided to give it a try.”
His first attempt was over 140 feet and hit his personal best, and the winning mark, on his second try.
“I’ve been throwing pretty good,” Harris said. “The tough part was that by the time I got to the javelin I had to throw back-to-back because I was the last thrower left, but it worked out well.”
In some other standout performances from the first day of competition at Delcos:
There was no question as to when Cardinal O’Hara’s Rob Morro would make his move in the 3,200-meter championship race. The plan was to go in front with about 1,000 meters to go.
It worked two months ago when Morro, a senior, won the 3,000-meter run at the indoor Catholic League championships, so why not take the same approach at Delcos?
“That’s usually the plan in the longer races,” said Morro, who plans to walk on at Villanova next fall. “I don’t have the wheels as some of the other guys, so I like to get out front so I don’t have to sprint those last 200 meters.”
Morro made his move exactly as planned and went on to win his first Delcos title with a personal best time of 9 minutes, 25.87 seconds. Morro was second to teammate Kevin James a year ago. This time, he had to hold off teammate Ryan James, Kevin’s younger brother, to win the county title in the 3,200.
“It’s nice,” Morro said. “Ryan got the (county) cross country championship and I got this one.”
Something just wasn’t right during Dennis Manyeah’s first two tries at 6-6 in the high jump. The Penn Wood senior did not come close to getting over the bar and then he remembered the advice his coach, Len Jordan, pounds into his head constantly.
“He always tells me to stay focused and count my steps in my head,” Manyeah said.
Manyeah followed those instructions to the letter and made it over the bar in his final attempt to win the county title.
“My goal is to go 6-8 or 6-9,” Manyeah said. “The school record is 6-8 and I would really like to get that.”
Manyeah had to make several adjustments, first with his shoes and then with his approach. Since he was starting on the grass and then running onto the tarmac Manyeah decided to start the competition wearing his spikes, but quickly switched to his flat shoes.
“I usually do better in the flats,” Manyeah said.
He also could not take as wide a turn as he normally does because the soccer goals were being stored on the infield of the facility.
“It took a little getting used to, but once I was able to get my steps down I was fine,” Manyeah said.
The dreary weather made the throwing area in the discus a little slick and it didn’t take Penncrest’s Mike Arndt long to realize that he had to make some adjustments.
“I fouled on every single one of my warmup throws,” Arndt said.
Although he likes to start in the middle of the throw circle, the slippery conditions forced Arndt to move to one side. He also slowed down his pace and the result was a winning throw of 143-7.
“I just had to take my time,” Arndt said. “I had to be really patient.”
Upper Darby’s Marcques Gibbs also found the damp conditions tough to handle, but he managed to win the triple jump with a leap of 42-7½.
“The toughest part was staying loose,” Gibbs said. “You would warm up and then as soon as you took off your sweats you would tighten up right away.”
That wasn’t the only issue Gibbs had Thursday.
“I felt a little twinge in my right knee after my first jump,” Gibbs said. “I took it easy after that.”
NOTES >> Tyrique Lyons was second overall and the American Conference champ in the high jump (6-4). … Anthony Harper of Bonner & Prendergast was the American Conference title winner in the 3,200 (9:52.95). … Upper Darby’s Nick Staniscia was the National Conference champ in the discus (141-9). … Marple Newtown’s Mike Levengood won his heat in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter trials. Levengood goes into Saturday’s finals seeded third in the 200, fourth in the 400 and eighth in the 100. … The field finals begin at 4:30 Saturday. The track championships start at 5:30.