TROY – Raiph LeVan didn’t set a personal record on Friday at the Division III regional track and field championships, but he did enough to make sure he punched a ticket to the state meet next week.
LeVan, in his first year running track, finished second in the 400-meter run with a time of 50.49. The top four athletes or teams in each event moved forward to state.
“Raiph has only run the 400 for about half of the season, which makes his run to state even more impressive,” WL-S Boys Coach Joe Taylor said. “He has kind of the prototype 400 runner look to him, so we we stuck him in it and he’s been dropping time ever since. I like his chances to make the state final, as I think he still has some room to improve.”
Competing in finals for the Tigers on Friday but not qualifying for the state meet were Christian Parker in the 100 (seventh, 11.60), the girls 4×200 relay of Payton Umphries, Taylor Lauck, Janie Kopus and Lydia Moell (seventh, 1:53.25), the girls 4×100 relay of Umphries, Lauck, Moell and Kopus (seventh, 51.70), Reghan Bieleski and Grace Adams in the 3,200 (eight and ninth, 12:04.84 and 12:08.88), Noah Smith in the 3,200 (14th, 10:50.43), the girls 4×400 relay of Lauck, Moell, Umphries and Kopus (fifth, 4:06.56) and Moell in the pole vault (seventh, 10-0).
The 4×200 relay team dropped the baton on the exchange from Umphries to Lauck, forcing Lauck to return for it and scramble ahead.
“We’ve had clean handoffs all year. Stuff happens. No one did anything wrong, it just wasn’t meant to be,” WL-S Girls Coach Ann Vogel said. “They bounced back well. I thought they came out well and competed. You’ve got to keep your head up and move on. They didn’t give up and we’ve even practiced and visualized what happens if you drop the baton, and they executed that. That’s just how the baton bounces, I guess.”
Eli O’Brien competed in the 200 for Triad, finishing eighth in 23.52.
Emily Wilson competed in the long jump for Mechanicsburg, finishing 12th with a leap of 14-11.00.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.