SCRANTON – Injuries kept Abby McMinn from competing in the 100-meter hurdles at the District 2 Class AAA Track and Field Championships as a freshman and sophomore.
The Abington Heights junior made the most of her first chance in the event Monday night, reaching the state championships by meeting a qualifying standard.
“It’s nice to have other people pushing you,” said McMinn, who set a personal best by finishing in 15.55 seconds, one-tenth below the standard needed to qualify for the May 23-24 PIAA Championships at Shippensburg University without winning a state title.
Wilkes-Barre Coughlin’s Tamar Bourdeau won in 15.30. West Scranton’s Sarah Williams finished third in 15.66, missing the state meet by one-hundredth of a second.
McMinn was the only Abington Heights individual athlete to make the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Championships and was also part of the school’s only relay team to qualify.
While advancing in the hurdles represented success in a first attempt, one of the keys to Abington Heights making it in the girls 400-meter relay was the same lineup working together throughout the season to steadily improve.
“We practice it all the time,” McMinn said of the team on which freshman Alysson Derry passed the baton to her before sophomore Ally Christman and senior Isabelle Clauss ran. “We went over everything; the smallest details.”
As a result, the Lady Comets finished in 49.55 seconds, only one-hundredth slower than the previous district record set by another Abington Heights team in 2010. Coughlin, however, rallied behind anchor Nathaniela Bourdeau, Tamar’s sister, to win in a record time of 49.22.
Abington Heights finished seventh out of 18 in the girls team scoring.
Pittston Area won the championship.
McMinn also finished third in the long jump.
Jenn Burke placed fourth in the 1600 and eighth in the 3200. The top six in each event earned medals and the top eight scored points for their teams.
Alyssa McMinn was fourth in the shot put.
Erin Jaeger finished sixth in the 800 and anchored the fourth-place 3200 relay team that also included Carly Danoski, Emma Henzes and Tiana Yarns.
Clauss was sixth in the 200.
The Abington Heights boys finished 11th out of 19 teams.
Delaware Valley won the team title, 88.5-75, over Wyoming Valley West. Scranton Prep was third with 64.5 points with the help of titles from Nick Solfanelli in the javelin and the 3200-meter relay team.
Jonathan Galyadick led the Abington Heights boys. He finished second in the 300 hurdles, fifth in the 110 high hurdles and was part of the eighth-place 1600 relay team.
Jake Henzes was fourth in the long jump and eighth in the 200 along with running on the third-place 400 relay.
Jacob Ross took sixth in the 3200.
Nate Hollander was part of both the 400 and 1600 relays.
Nathan Langan was eighth in the javelin.
Matthew Barrett was eighth in the 1600 and part of the fourth-place 3200 relay team with Matt Molinaro, Evan Phillips and Pat Stoughton.
Phillips was also on the 1600 relay.
Colin Ruby and Nick Ksiasek were the other 400 relay members.
In the Class AA Championships Tuesday, Lackawanna Trail scored just one point when the boys 3200-meter relay team of Matt Kinback, Lowell Phillips, Devon Clarke and Nathaniel Barbolish finished eighth.
Lakeland swept both team titles.
Holy Cross finished fourth in the girls meet with help from Abingtons resident Zoe Haggerty, who qualified for the state meet while finishing second in the 3200-meter run and was also part of the second-place, 3200 relay team.