Donahey medals in indoor pole

UNIVERSITY PARK – Despite a weather-shortened regular season that saw numerous postponements and cancellations – something more likely to be associated with spring track and field that the indoor variety – Mifflin County’s indoor squad was able to qualify two of its own for the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association championships that were held Saturday at the Horace Ashenfelter III Complex located on the Penn State campus.

The Huskies’ biggest success of the day was pole vaulter George Donahey, whose fifth-place finish was good for state hardware.

Nate Baumgardner’s first run in the 60-meter hurdles was good, but not good enough to advance in the field.

“We thought coming in we had a good chances coming into this meet that we would leave with at least one medal. Of course we were hoping for two,” Mifflin County coach Scott Gantz said. “George really stepped it up today. He’s been consistent all year. He has been right around 14 all year and we had a feeling he would be in contention for a very high placing. He held things together and finished fifth. We couldn’t be more happy for him.”

In his first appearance in states, Donahey was right in the thick of things all through the competition, only being out jumped by two others who finished with a top height of 15 feet even. Winning the pole vault was Chris Stone of Springfield Township, one of two who hit the mark.

With a top leap of 14 feet, Donahey finished fifth on criteria among four who were at the same height. Nick Anderson of Kane and Stephen Minto of Hershey tied for third by making the height on fewer attempts; North Allegheny’s Bobby Upton was sixth at the same height.

“I was really nervous to start off. I had a really bad start and things didn’t look good as I missed the first two opening heights but I just had to do and get over the last ones,” Donahey said. “Then I got up and kept going. This was my first time at states. I was expecting better and I didn’t do as well as I wanted to but it was all right.”

In the third heat 60-meter hurdles, Baumgardner just missed moving onto the semi-finals, finishing with a time of 8.57 seconds, good for fifth in his heat, but not fast enough to get to the semifinals.

“I have been battling injuries and I didn’t know if I was going to participate in the last race before states and I didn’t know if I would be able to qualify or not,” said Baumgardner, who qualified in the final meet of the season not quite two weeks ago. “Not that I’m here I ran well and the time is a personal best for me – what more can you ask for?