SPORTS

Yoder leads Blue Devil tracksters at districts

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Alex Yoder takes the baton from Denver Cordell in the 400 relay.

Anyone who follows Greencastle-Antrim track and field knows that Alex Yoder is fast. The Blue Devil senior showed everyone in District 3 just how fast he is Saturday with a remarkable performance at the championship meet held at Shippensburg University.

Yoder not only claimed one district gold, but two in Class AAA competition. And both were new school records.

In the marquee event 100 meet dash, Yoder got faster each time he ran the straight race and finished with a gold-medal 10.86 second time. His first 100 of the weekend in the preliminaries was a 11.06, good enough already to qualify for the state meet. Yoder ran a 10.97 in the semifinals. He won both preliminaries to the final, where he was .17 better than Ricky Bruno of Exeter. Yoder was the only sub-10 second 100 runner for the weekend.

The G-A senior, who will run at Messiah College, didn’t stop there. He claimed his heats in the preliminary and the semifinal races of the 200 meters. Again his preliminary time of 22.42 was already good enough to qualify for state competition. But that wasn’t enough. He went on to win his semifinal heat in 22.02. And perhaps to no one’s surprise by this point, Yoder captured the final in 21.99. No sprinter had gone under 22 seconds on the competition.

Yoder will have company at next weekend’s PIAA State Championships as he leads the G-A 400 relay team, which finished fourth in the district meet. Yoder anchors the relay with the team of Denton Cordell, Austin Scott and Trentin Dixon. While the quartet’s time of 43.16 was about a second off the winning pace of Susquehanna Township, it was under the state qualifying standard.

G-A had another medalist at districts as Greg Boyer followed up his bright conference championship performance in the 300 hurdles with a sixth-place at districts. His time of 40.18 was off the automatic state qualifying standard of 39.80.

Yoder and company earned the Blue Devils a tie for sixth place in the team competition with 28 points. Hempfield won with 51 points. G-A was the highest scoring team in the area. Chambersburg and James Buchanan tied for 19th with 18 points.

In the girls’ meet, Blue Devil sophomore Ashton Rockwell had put herself in fine position for the semifinals, qualifying with a 16.06 third-place in her preliminary heat. The semis weren’t as kind as a fall put her out of the competition.

Other G-A district competitors were Nakita Gearhart, who was 10th in the javelin with a 114-2; and Ben Leitzel, who was 18th in the discus with a throw of 123-2. Gearhart also competed in the high jump.