SHIPPENSBURG >> Springfield’s Philip Shovlin pumped his fist after he crossed the finish line in the boys Class 3A 100-meter dash final at the PIAA Track & Field Championships Saturday.
Normally, a fifth-place finish in an event where the winner breaks the meet record that was held by an Olympian does not elicit such an expression of joy. It did, though, in Shovlin’s case.
“I didn’t have the best start. I didn’t have a good start in the semis, either. In the prelims, I should not have made it to semis because I had a really bad race.”
Shovlin fought his way through to the final, where he was fifth with a time of 10.77 seconds. It was .01 of his personal best, which he ran at Delcos.
“I’m just so happy I’m here,” Shovlin said. “I hope to go higher next year.”
Shovlin was part of history. Journey Brown of Meadville won the event in 10.43 seconds to break the 32-year-old record that was held by Penn Wood great and University of Houston coach Leroy Burrell.
“That’s crazy,” Shovlin said.
Keon Rantin of Glen Mills finished third in the Class 3A 200 as a junior. He wanted to at least match that accomplishment as a senior.
Rantin claimed bronze for the second year in a row at the PIAA Track & Field Championships. His time, 21.73 seconds, wasn’t a personal best, but more than enough to accomplish his goal.
“It means a lot to come away with a state medal two years in a row,” Rantin said.
Ethan Cook of Bonner & Prendergast was equally pleased with his performance. He was eighth in the same race in 22.22.
“I’ve worked hard all year for this,” Cook said
The only thing missing from Ryan James’ track and cross country resume was an individual medal from the outdoor state championships.
The senior from Cardinal O’Hara scratched that off his to-do list Saturday. James ran a determined race to place seventh in the boys Class 3A 3,200-meter run. His time, 9:09.68, was a personal best by 11.12 seconds and the third best time in Delco history, according to O’Hara coach Tom Kennedy. Only James’ older brother, Kevin, and Interboro great Bo Smart have a better time in Delco history.
“I felt great,” James said. “I like it a little cooler like this, and I don’t mind running in the rain. I run better in the rain.”
James took advantage of the conditions to close out his high school career on a high note.
“I was really determined to get that medal,” James said. “I had to make sure I found the right spot where I could make a move. That’s why I kept going in and out of Lane 1. I really wanted that medal.”
After the awards ceremony for the 3A 800, Radnor’s Peter Cooke took a moment to inspect the seventh-place medal he just received.
“This is my first time getting one of these,” Cooke said. “I never knew what was on it.”
Cooke finished in 1:54.30, one-tenth of a second out of sixth place.
“Winning this medal means a lot,” Cooke said. “I always wanted one since I ran for the first time here as a sophomore. It was the last thing on my list. I always wanted a state medal and I was glad I was able to get it.”