Trojans cap season with successful state meet
The Parkland Track and Field team had over 100 athletes on its roster at the beginning of the season.
At the end of it there was one Trojan standing at the top of the podium donning a state gold medal.
Nolan Hay was head and shoulders above the rest last Saturday afternoon at Shippensburg University as the senior jumped a 24 feet, 2 inches in the long jump and took first place in in Class AAA on the second day of the two-day state track and field meet.
Hay, who will be attending Oklahoma University in the fall, described his feelings after being told he was the victor.
"I was in total disbelief," he said. "I knew I had a chance at winning, but it still felt unreal. It took a couple days to set in and for me to realize what I actually did."
The district and state champion said earning gold was better than any other way that he dreamed about finishing off his track career, which was only three years long.
"I started in tenth grade knowing nothing [about track and field]," said the two-sport athlete who also is a member of the soccer team. "With the help of my coaches, Will Robertson and Ryan Kleintop, I was able to improve my technique which allowed me to medal at states [this year].
"It was a fantastic ride that I could not have done without the help and support of my coaches and teammates."
Hay also thanked his soccer coach, Patrick Birns, for believing in him and his talents before he ever did himself.
Parkland's Kelly Robertson earned a medal in girls' triple jump where she took fifth place. The senior jumped a 37-3 1/2 in the preliminaries to get in to the finals. She increased that distance with a 37-9 1/4 in finals.
Despite her tremendous talents in track and field, Robertson will head to Penn State where she will be a part of the prestigious Nittany Lion women's' volleyball program.
The Trojans were a force in the field at states. Oksana Wittbrodt competed in discus at states. The senior threw a 112-11 to earn ninth place. She took district gold in the event this spring, which was the second of her career.
Her throw was short of personal record of 113-7, which she set in districts. That wasn't her last throw as she continue her career in the collegiate ranks at DeSales University.
The freshman phenom for Parkland, Mikayla Stoudt, was in the mix at states as well. She qualified for multiple events, but scratched herself from the 1600 field to save for other events, such as the 3200 meter run where she made the finals.
Stoudt crossed the finish line in the 20th place with a time of 11:11.64 in the 3200, a great accomplishment for a freshman.
Parkland junior Stephen Laird finished 26th in the boys' javelin throw.
His throw of 151-6 was low in comparison to his previous throws this spring, most likely attributed to the cold, rainy weather that day.
Laird threw a 179 in the district meet where he finished second.
Parkland's Jack Walton competed in state pole vault, but did not make a height.
The Trojans also sent two 4x800 relay teams to states.
The girls realy team, including Stoudt and seniors Kayla Tracy, Nicole Albertson and Cassidy Newman, placed 19th at states with a time of 9:54.76.
The boys 3200-meter relay team of seniors Steven Guetzlaff, Will Nemeth, Darren DaSilva and Jeremy Motsko ran to 25th place in 8:39.22.
Parkland had a successful spring as a whole. A few shining stars shone brighter than the rest, but the teams also earned dual meet victories along the way on their path to the state meet which they hope the be returning to in 2014.