By Todd Hummel
For The Daily Item
SHIPPENSBURG -- There isn't a school in Class AA girls track and field that may be more synonymous with the 3200 relay then the Lewisburg Green Dragons.
From 2001 to 2010, Lewisburg finished in the top five nine times, capped by three consecutive gold medals from 2008 through 2010.
So two years without even an appearance in the 3200 relay was a veritable drought for the Green Dragons.
Saturday afternoon at the PIAA Meet at Shippensburg University, the Lewisburg 3200 relay team found its way back to the medal podium.
The team of Emily Maxwell, Allison Graham, Maddie Scarr and Jenna Farmer finished fourth in 9:40.23.
"I'm proud that we placed," Maxwell said. "We didn't even make it here last year and to place this highly, we are so proud and excited."
Selinsgrove's Courtney McCartney was the only other medal winner from the area, claiming a fifth-place medal in the discus to go along with her gold from Friday in the shot put.
Maxwell ran the lead off leg for the Green Dragons and is the lone senior on the squad.
"This is actually the first time I've run at states because I've always been the alternate," Maxwell said. "It's so great for this to be the last race (of my career) and to medal."
The Danville and Selinsgrove teams had battled to be the top 3200 relay team in the area for most of the early part of the season, but the young Green Dragons (Graham is a freshman, while Scarr and Farmer are sophomores) came on at the end of the season, including an area-best 9:34.33 in winning the District 4 meet last weekend.
"We owe that to the coaches," Maxwell said. "We've been preparing for the end of the season and we peaked at the right time."
Maxwell battled with the first runner for defending state champion St. Basil for the lead on the opening leg and the Green Dragons were near the front for the whole race.
Farmer lost some ground on the anchor leg early, but rallied in final 300 meters to put Lewisburg in fourth place.
McCartney, the Seals' sophomore, threw 123-4 in finishing fifth. Though the weather was better Saturday in Shippensburg, a gusty wind still played havoc with the jumps and throws.
"The wind affects the flight of the discus," McCartney said. "I thought my form was good, it was the wind (being) a little harsh on the disc."
McCartney's throw had her third until the final flight until throwers from North Pocono and Southwestern pushed her back to fifth.
"I came in seeded fifth and I just wanted to match that and take it from there," McCartney said. "I just wanted to throw like normal and make it just like any other day."