CALN TWP. – Upper Darby’s Lavar Jackson stood on the medals stand with a huge smile on his face after winning the boys Class 3A 100-meter dash at the District 1 Track & Field Championships Saturday.
A year ago, Jackson ran the sixth-fastest time in the qualifying round but never got to show what he could do in the final. He pulled a hamstring in the preliminary heats of the 4 x 100 relay. He was able to appear in the 100 final but jogged the race to finish eighth in 21.10 seconds.
“This year, I was a little nervous coming in,” Jackson said. “I didn’t want the same thing to happen. I wanted to redeem myself and put some smiles on my coaches’ faces. I wanted to let them know their hard work paid off.”
Jackson did that and more. After breaking the school record with a time of 10.83 seconds in prelims Friday, he came back and claimed gold, betting his mark to 10.77. Jackson also took second in the 200 with a PR of 21.67.
“My goal at states is to go 21.4 mid to high,” Jackson said. “I’ll be running my college track at Shippensburg so I’m looking forward to that.”
• • •
Until this season, Penn Wood’s Kivaleon Clarke was football and basketball player. This year he decided to expand his athletic horizons and explore track. The question is what events would he try?
That was easily resolved, thanks to his dad, Vance Clarke, who was a jumper at Mississippi State.
“I said let me try triple jump and see if I get the hang of it,” Clarke said. “If not, I’ll do sprints. I took a liking to the jump, and here I am.”
In two months,Clark went from newbie to a state qualifier in the triple jump. He leaped career best 44-4 ½ to take second and punch his ticket to Shippensburg. That topped his previous best by 16 inches.
“I’ve really taking a liking to the jumping,” Clarke said.
Jackson and Clarke will be joined in Shippesnburg by a number of Delco athletes, including six from the Central League.
Haverford’s Patrick Lawson, Penncrest’s Gavin Mogck and Radnor’s Luke Bodden finished second, fourth and sixth, respectively, in a fast 3,200 to punch their states tickets. The top 10 runners in the final bettered the state qualifying standard of 9:31.71.
Strath Haven’s A.J. Glavicic took second in the 400 and teamed with Emilio Hooper-Erades, Dan Wuenschel and Jack Shronk for seventh in the 4 x 400. Emerson Hull was seventh in the 110 hurdles and advanced on time (15.10) for the Panthers, Noah Price took fourth in the pole vault (13-0). The top five finishes in each event automatically qualify for the state championships.
Chester’s Walton Garnett was fifth in the 400 and anchored the team of Jayden Bantum, Quamere Cosby and Zion Spotwood to fifth in the 4 x 400. Penn Wood’s Terry Dweh was in the hurdles and will join Clare at the state meet.
• • •
It was a good day for Chester Charter Scholars Academy in Class 2A.
Zachary Howard won the 110 hurdles and finished third in the 300 hurdles. Teammate Malachi Holmes took second in the 100 dash.
Delco Christian received gold-medal performances from C.J. Simbiri and Josh Colonia. Simbiri won the triple jump with a leap of 46-6 ½, the second best effort of his career. It was just two inches off his best. Colonia won the shot put.
“I’m ecstatic with that,” Simbiri said. “The thing I’m happiest about is my consistency. With consistency I’ll definitely PR soon. I’m hoping it happens at states.”
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