High School Sports

High school girls track and field: Penns Valley’s Andrus runs to district title in 200

Penns Valley's Destiny Andrus celebrates after winning the girls’ 200-meter dash at the District 6 Class AA Track and Field Championships on Tuesday in Altoona.
Penns Valley's Destiny Andrus celebrates after winning the girls’ 200-meter dash at the District 6 Class AA Track and Field Championships on Tuesday in Altoona. CDT photo

Penns Valley’s Destiny Andrus had a day to remember Tuesday at the girls’ District 6 Class AA meet.

She won the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.35 seconds and finished second in both the 100 (12.72) and 400 meter relay (51.29).

“All of my dreams have come true in one day,” she said.

Andrus was the lone Centre County girl to earn a spot in an individual event at the PIAA Championships at Shippensburg on May 22-23. Andrus will be joined at states by her teammates on the 400 relay.

Before winning the 200, she was nervous.

“When I went up I started to get really shaky, I was just thinking ‘Alright this is my race, I cannot screw up on this.’” Andrus said.

As it turns out, nerves weren’t needed. The junior, who was seeded first after the preliminaries, got the lead quick and beat runner-up Tahlyn Miller of Bishop McCort by 0.23 seconds.

“I went from getting a sixth place finish last year to first this year and I can’t believe that, that just happened,” Andrus said.

Andrus also contributed to the 400 relay team’s second-place finish with Lady Ram teammates Valerie Kubalak, Valerie Hosterman and Maci Ilgen. This will be the first state meet appearance for Kubalak, Hosterman and Ilgen.

Before Kubalak raced, she was told that she missed going to states for the high jump by two places due to misses. She took fifth with a jump of 5-0.

She was ready to redeem herself when she led off the relay. She then made the handoff to Ilgen.

“It was pretty perfect,” Kubalak said. “We’ve been working on our handoffs a lot, so we’ve got those down pretty well and we definitely needed that perfection to get to states.”

Other Penns Valley top finishers included the 3,200 relay team, which was eighth with a time of 10:54.87, Kylie Orndorf, who was seventh in discus (96-5) and Alyssa Limbaugh, who finished seventh in the 3,200 with a season-best 12:09. Ilgen was also sixth in the triple jump with a jump of 34-2.

Overall, Penns Valley finished eighth out of 29 teams with 38 points. Forest Hills won the team title with 69.5 points.

Lady Ram coach Lynda Federinko was proud of her team.

“It is so satisfying too see our athletes reap the rewards of all their hard work over a long season,” Federinko said.

Philipsburg-Osceola had place winners in Jamie Watro, who was fifth in discus after a throw of 97-07, and Salena Garcia, who was seventh in pole vault, clearing 8-6.

Kate Ott was the top finisher for St. Joseph’s, taking eighth in the 1,600 with a time of 5:52.38. The 3,200 meter relay team of Jordan Wiser, Grace Cousins, Ott and Jordan Dawson was sixth with a time of 10:41.5.

Though Bald Eagle Area did not produce a place winner, Maddie Cingle came close with a ninth-place finish in the 1,600. She finished in 5:54.44.

Four Penns Valley girls will represent the county at the state meet.

Kubalak is excited to end her high school track career on a high note at states with the rest of her relay team.

“I’m so excited, it’s great that I get to close out my senior year there,” she said.

However, Andrus will look at things differently, with this being her second state appearance and first year as an individual runner. She has high expectations.

“Before, I was just a freshman and no one really expected much, but now I’m a junior so people are going to expect more out of me, and I expect more out of myself too,” she said. “I just want to keep getting better, I don’t want to lose all that I’ve worked for.”