Holy Redeemer’s Spade Advances In 3 Events At State Track
SHIPPENSBURG — For the second meet in a row, Holy Redeemer’s Karissa Spade pulled off a sprinting hat trick.
Spade won last week’s District 2 Class 2A titles in the 100 and 200 dashes, and she anchored the Royals to a meet record in the 4x400 relay.
She was nearly as dominant during Friday’s opening races of the PIAA Track & Field Championships. Spade qualified for this morning’s state semifinals in the 100 and 200, and she later ran the last lap as the Royals’ 4x400 relay won their heat and qualified for today’s final at Shippensburg’s Seth Grove Stadium.
“It feels really good to be here. It’s my first time here and I’m just proud of myself,” Spade said. “I’m proud of everyone who pushed me to be here where I am today.”
Spade highlights a handful of semifinalists and finalists from the Wyoming Valley Conference. Coughlin’s Rafael McCoy also starred for the league by qualifying for the 100 and 200 semifinals, breaking his school’s record in the latter with a 21.90.
Meyers senior Nazir Dunell can still repeat as 110 hurdles champion despite the move to Class 3A if he gets out of today’s semis. Dallas sophomore Alondra Church is a semifinalist in the Class 3A girls 200, too.
In the Class 2A girls 1600, Lake-Lehman’s Abby Paczewski reached the finals, which is also where Redeemer junior Cameron Marcinkowski starts and ends her meet in today’s 2A girls 3200.
Spade returns to the track today with a legitimate shot at three PIAA medals, awarded to top-eight finishers.
Her preliminary time in the 100 is tied for third at 12.42. She took advantage of getting to run alongside Girard College’s Thelma Davies, who owns the PIAA record and won their heat in 11.88.
“She pushed me really hard to go faster,” Spade said. “I tried catching her. I really did.”
Spade’s 200 time, 25.83, ranked sixth overall.
She didn’t slow down in the 4x400, closing out a win with teammates Abby Lapinski, Anna Capaci and Madison Dewees in 4:01.69. They enter the finals with the second-best prelim time after dropping more than two seconds off last week’s district performance (4:04.15).
“It’s God’s gift. It’s a god’s gift to be able to get two (individual qualifications),” Spade said after her 200. “That means I pushed myself really hard today.”
Among other medal possibilities, Dunell ran the fifth-best 110 hurdles prelim. McCoy was seventh-fastest in the 200 — fourth in his heat, which advanced everyone — and 12th in the 100.
Though they didn’t advance to today’s 4x100 relay finals, Lake-Lehman’s girls also had a memorable preliminary race. Kitt Patla, Gabby Shonis, Keera Naugle and Natasha Mihalko ran a 51.80 to break the school record set in 2009 at 51.84 seconds. The Black Knights nearly took out that record last week at districts when they brought home gold in 51.85.
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