By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
Shikellamy’s Ryan Wary toed the line for the 55-meter dash and exploded out of his stance toward the finish line.
A few seconds later, he had set two bests — both a personal- and school-best time — in the event finishing with a time of 6.76 seconds.
Wary already owned the school record in the 55-meter dash with a 6.84 posted two weeks prior but nearly shaved one-tenth of a second off of his time against speedy competition at the Susquehanna Indoor High School Classic Sunday.
“With my dad not being here and in the hospital, (the school record) was definitely something I want to do for him,” Wary said.
Wary repeated his 55-meter time in the event final to grab fourth place.
In addition to lowering his record at 55 meters, Wary showed the versatility that earned him a trip to the PIAA state championship in three events last year by running the first leg for the Braves’ 4x200 boys’ relay squad.
While some teams with a new lineup may struggle to find consistency at first, the Braves had no such trouble.
For the Braves 4x200 relay, their adjustment period took all of three days.
“We just threw (the team) together two, three days ago,” Braves coach Jim Bell explained.
The Braves showed few signs of a necessary learning curve between their foursome, with the Braves blasting through their heat with a 1:38.59, finishing nearly four seconds ahead of second place.
The time, which Braves coach Jim Bell simply described as “pretty good,” was fast enough to beat nearly all of their competitors with the Braves finishing in third overall.
“We’re very happy with the times that they all ran,” Bell said. “We got off to a good start.”
After the traditional staggered start, Wary drew nearly even for first as he handed the baton to his brother, Cale, who stormed in front as the Braves opened a large lead before Nate Shrawder and John Schaeffer brought home first in the heat.
“It felt really good to actually be able to run like we did,” Cale Wary said.
Shrawder added that the members of the relay team have all been working hard and that their efforts came together to produce the third-place finish.
Last year at the same event, Ryan Wary and Schaeffer ran the final two legs of the Braves’ 4x200 squad that finished eighth.
Bell said that the main purpose of bringing runners to the Susquehanna Indoor High School Classic is to evaluate them for the upcoming season, and Bell’s boys’ relay team gave the long-time coach reason to smile.
Bell said that Schaeffer caught the attention of the Braves coaches, running the anchor leg of the Braves’ relay in 24.3 seconds.
“We’re happy to have (Schaeffer) performing like that,” Bell said.
“I feel like Coach Bell put some trust in me with (the anchor leg),” Schaeffer added. “He knew that with my speed and the way my team was going at the time that we would just pull through and it would help us a lot.”
Schaeffer’s teammate, Kurstyn Pfleegor, leaped 15 feet and seven inches in the girls’ long jump to finish in fifth place.
In the boys’ mile, Danville’s Tyler Vella finished in 4:35.13 for third place in his heat and third place overall. Vella came out of the fastest-seeded heat in which the top four final times were posted.