Veronika Karpenko is the woman to beat in the triple jump, according to the seedings for the PIAA Track and Field Championships released Sunday.
The State College junior had the top jump among all Class AAA girls at district championship meets around the state last week, and her mark of 39 feet, 9 inches is also the best triple jump in the state this season. She will chase a gold medal at the state championship meet when she competes at 9 a.m. Saturday at Seth Grove Stadium at Shippensburg University.
The meet begins at 9 a.m. Friday.
Karpenko also will compete in the long jump, in which she is seeded 21st. She finished third in the triple jump at last year’s state championship.
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Seeds are based only on district championship performances, and no other performances are factored into the seedings.
State College’s Megan Fry is the No. 3 seed in the pole vault, based on her 12-0 clearance on Thursday. However, her school-record 12-9 posted earlier this month at the West Central Coaches Invitational is the top pole vault mark in the state, and is a mere 31/2 inches off the state championship record set in 2008.
A handful of other performers also earned top-10 seeds. State College pole vaulters Lucas Gray and Griffin Thompson are among a group tied for seventh on the boys’ side, with both clearing 14-3. Also, the Lady Little Lion 400-meter relay team is eighth, while a member of that relay team, Haley Crawford, is 10th in the 200-meter dash.
Also, the State College boys’ 400 relay team has earned the No. 12 seed, and Lady Little Lion Rachel Wylie better hope the number 13 is lucky for her, drawing that seed for both the 100- and 300-meter hurdle races.
Penns Valley’s Destiny Andrus also struck the same number for her two individual races, as the No. 15 seed in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes in Class AA. Andrus and the Lady Ram 400 relay team is 21st.
Drawing the top seeding among Centre County’s Cass AA runners is Penns Valley’s Gino Nicosia, who is 14th in the 800-meter run. Teammate Collin Egelhoff is 20th in the discus.
Bald Eagle Area’s representative, Nathan Styles, is 17th for the 400-meter dash.
Leading St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy is the 3,200 relay team, which is seeded 17th, while Eli Urban is 20th for the 3,200 and Brian Hackman is 23rd for the 1,600.