Hurdlers split showdown

From staff reports

SHIPPENSBURG – Juniata County’s two top hurdlers faced off for the third time in 10 days Saturday, splitting the 110- and 300-meter races for the second time.

Both East Juniata’s David Brantley and Juniata’s Nick Gilbert found themselves in an uncomfortable position – following the leader.

Still, Brantley and Gilbert were among the big winners for the three local schools – including Greenwood – who took part in the 88th running of the Jack Roddick Invitational meet at Shippensburg University.

Gilbert got the best of Brantley in the 110 hurdles, the same race he won when the two squared off in Mifflintown. Gilbert, who finished third, had a 0.17-second edge over fifth-place Brantley in that event.

Brantley was the bronze medalist in the 300, in which Gilbert finished sixth. Austin Shupp of Palmerton was first to cross the line in both races, one of two to run under 15 seconds in the short race and the only hurdler to break 40 in the 300.

Brantley managed to get hardware two more times – the top eight in each event scored for their team, but only three receive medals; boys and girls are also separated into Class AA and Class AAA – by finishing third in both the long jump and the high jump. Gilbert added an eighth place in the high jump.

Just one other individual – Juniata’s Jonathan Hummel – medaled, finishing third in the discus, outperforming teammate Neil Bodley, who competed here in states last spring. Greenwood – which got points from all three of its relay teams – placed third in the 4×400.

Lakeland won the boys team title by a point over Bishop McDevitt, 64-63. The local schools were packed together in the middle of the 28-team field: Greenwood 12th (27.5 points), Juniata tied Fairfield for 13th (24) and East Juniata was 15th (22).

There were plenty of strong performances, but not a single medal among the three girls teams.

Juniata’s Lexie Zimmerman went 9 feet event to take fourth in the pole vault, 6 inches below her best effort this year. Greenwood got a pair of fourths from thrower Emily Fisher – a state placewinner in the discus a year ago. She was just off the medal pace in both that and the shot put.

Hurdlers Jordyn Sorber (Greenwood) and Megan Hart (East Juniata) finished 5-6 in the 100-meter event. Hart was the highest-placing finisher for the Tiger girls.

Carly Burns was the only Juniata athlete to score in multiple events; she was part of the fifth-place 4×800 relay and was sixth in the javelin.

Boiling Springs won the team title with 101 points. Greenwood was 13th (16), Juniata 19th (12) and East Juniata (7) 25th out of 30 entrants.