SHIPPENSBURG — Neither Taylor Shriver nor Scott Benco reached the medal stand last year, but the Waynesburg Central duo both earned some hardware during last weekend’s PIAA Class AA Track & Field Championships.
Shriver, a sophomore, finished in a two-way tie for third place in the pole vault on Saturday after she cleared 12 feet.
“It was decent. It didn’t go as I planned, but it was a lot better than last year,” said Shriver of her bronze-winning performance.
Vaulters had to deal with a headwind.
“It feels like your slowing down and have no power. That’s how I felt,” Shriver said of the wind.
Benco did not advance to the javelin finals last year, but did so in his second state meet and ended his career with a fifth-place medal with a throw of 179-4.
The first heat of the javelin had to contend with a crosswind. The final two heats dealt with a headwind.
“You pretty much had to hit it at the right angle,” Benco said. “Throw too high, and (the javelin) stalled out. Too low, and it drove it to the ground.”
Benco had one of the top throws in the state, 192-3, earlier this spring, and the senior was hoping to top that mark in the finals.
“I wanted 195-9. I look at (the school record board) every day. I wanted a PR and the school record,” said Benco. “I knew coming into today I wasn’t an underdog by any means.”
But, the Kent State recruit appreciated how far he’s come along in only two years of track.
“It’s cool to make it here and make the medal stand,” said Benco.
There were several other area athletes who competed in the state meet but came up short of winning a medal.
Waynesburg Central’s Caleb Blair did not advance to the Class AA 400 finals, finishing fifth in his heat with a time of 52.33.
West Greene freshman Brooke Barner did not advance to the Class AA 400 finals, placing fifth in her heat with a time of 1:01.44.
Waynesburg Central’s Bree Echegaray finished tied for 12th place in the Class AA high jump after clearing 5 feet. Teammate Juliana Fowler was 14th in the Class AA long jump with a top effort of 16-4¾.