SHIPPENSBURG — The PIAA Class AA Track and Field Championships open Friday at Shippensburg University with girls competitors from the Tri-County Area seeded to medal in five different events.
Athletes that finish in the top eight of each event earn a medal.
Elk County Catholic’s Taylor Newton is the highest seeded Tri-County Area athlete at the meet, as the sophomore is tied for the top seed in the high jump with a height of 5-6.
Clarion’s Lexi Lauer is tied for the eighth seed in the event at 5-2, having qualified for the event by clearing that height — the state qualifying standard — at districts.
Lady Cat teammate Laken Lewis is tied for the seventh seed in the pole vault with a height of 11-0, which is four inches behind the fourth-place seed. Lewis is seeded two feet lower than Richland’s Morgan Gossard, who holds the top seed.
Brookville’s Mattisen Drake is the 13th seed in the pole vault with a height of 10-6.
The Tri-County Area will be represented by two athletes in the girls javelin, both of whom are seeded to medal.
Johnsonburg’s Skylar Sherry is the fifth seed with a distance of 133-5, while Elk County’s Alicia Fritz is the seventh seed with a qualifying distance of 129-3.
Sherry is the only returning medalist from the Tri-County Area from last year’s state meet. She placed second in the javelin last season as a sophomore.
Five of the top nine seeds in the state in the javelin are athletes from District 9. Kane’s Trinity Clark is the top seed with a distance of 150-8, Moniteau’s Cambrie Campbell is the second seed at 145-5 and North Clarion’s Tori Obenrader earned the ninth seed with a throw of 126-6.
With four athletes seeded to medal, several other athletes are just outside of medal position in regards to their seeds entering states.
Johnsonburg’s 4x100 relay team of Madeline Cowan, Cassidy King, Evelyn Cobaugh and Amanda Williams earned the 13th seed with a time of 50.62 seconds. The quartet is just .52 seconds behind the fifth seed and 2.20 seconds behind top seed Athens.
King also is seeded 11th for the long jump with a distance of 17-2. She is two inches behind the sixth seed in the event, while Athens’ Breana Gambrell is the top seed with a jump of 20-03 1/2.
Brookville’s Brooke Quairiere will compete in the 100 hurdles as the 26th seed with a qualifying time of 16.65 seconds. Quairiere is seeded 1.12 seconds behind eighth place for a shot at a medal.
ECC’s Olivia Sorg earned the 27th seed in the 100 with a time of 13.06 and is .59 seconds behind a medal position in the eighth seed. Sorg will also compete as the 26th seed in the 200 with a qualifying time of 27.14.
In the 1,600, ECC’s Hannah Lenze qualified with a time of 5:38.84 to earn the 22nd seed.
Brookville’s Dani MacBeth will represent the area in the 300 hurdles with a time of 48.58 seconds in the 26th seed.
A pair of Tri-County Area athletes will compete in the 800, as Amanda Williams from Johnsonburg and Clarion’s Phylicia Hockman will both compete. Williams is the 23rd seed with a time of 2:27.32, while Hockman qualified with a time of 2:27.60 and is the 24th seed.
In the 4x400 relay, Brookville’s team of Rylee Stancliffe, Madison Johnson, Morgan Johnson and MacBeth are set to compete as the 15th seed after posting their season-best time of 4:10.35 at the district meet.
The team is seeded just 3.48 seconds out of a medalist position for eighth place.
Action gets underway Friday at 9 a.m. in Shippensburg.