The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

April 17, 2014

Todd Hummel's track column: Southern's Rarig sets hurdles school record

Sometimes life intervenes in unexpected ways and that’s the best way I can explain the last couple of weeks. As vague as that sounds, it’s the simplest explanation on why there was no track column last week and why you haven’t seen me at a track meet yet this season.

However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been paying attention.

Southern Columbia standout Luke Rarig has already packed an outstanding season into one week.

He set the Southern Columbia school record in the 110 hurdles, running a 14.4 against Midd-West, which set the Southern Columbia stadium record as well. When you’re bringing up the name of former Selinsgrove graduate Mike Fahnestock, whose stadium record Rarig broke, that’s some pretty exclusive company. Fahnestock has held the 100, 110 hurdles and 300 intermediate hurdles records at the District 4 meet for nearly 40 years.

Rarig took advantage of the best day weather wise so far this track season on Saturday at the Susquehanna Invitational — adding the long jump title with a leap of nearly 22 feet.

Milton’s Norman Whaley kicked his season off in style with an impressive triple jump, breaking 45 feet and winning the gold by more than three feet.

Two names also announced themselves on Saturday at Susquehanna on the boys side. Bloomsburg freshman Jahvell Hemphill broke 11 seconds in winning the 100 in 10.95, beating the top two sprinters from last season — Shikellamy’s Ryan Wary and Milton’s Chris Reuss.

Jacob Shaffer of Midd-West won the discus throw with a toss of 163-9, over 20 feet longer than the next competitor.

Milton’s Josh Brown also made a name for himself statewide on Saturday. His javelin throw of 200-2 is the longest in the state so far this year, according to milesplit.com

Selinsgrove’s defending gold medalist in the shot put — Courtney McCartney — is the only other local athlete to appear on the list. Her throw of 45-11¼ earlier this season is the longest shot put in the state on the girls side.

In my last column, I mentioned the amount of girls track athletes returning in the area. I made a few omissions, forgetting a core group of girls from Central Columbia, and Colleen Troutman, a Line Mountain High senior who runs for Upper Dauphin in a cooperative agreement between the two schools.

Troutman, who has dominated the Tri-Valley League sprints for the past three seasons, didn’t win a race at Susquehanna, but certainly showed she belonged in the talk of possible state medalists in May.

Troutman ran a 13.08 in the 100, good for third place, just six hundredths out of second. Central Columbia’s Ellen Shepherd, a fourth-place PIAA medalist last season, won the race in 12.56. Troutman finished second in the 400 to Shikellamy standout Kurstyn Pfleegor and second in the 200 to Williamsport’s GeZoria Amos.

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