Eleven Parkland athletes compete in Shippensburg
Franco Perinotti took advantage of his first appearance at the PIAA Track and Field Championships last weekend at Shippensburg University. The Parkland senior had a top-10 finish in the pole vault, leading a group of 11 Parkland student-athletes at annual meet at Seth Grove Stadium.
Perinotti cleared a mark of 14-0 to place ninth in his first ever state competition, one place away from earning a medal.
“I am very happy to be in the top-10 for the state competition,” said Perinotti. “But I always strived for my school’s record of 15-5. This was my first time at the state competition, and it honestly was one of my most fun experiences. I didn’t reach my personal-best of 14-3, which I actually set at districts, but it was a great experience overall.
“Due to the heavy headwind of this competition I only started at 13-6, trying to minimize the amount of jumps I had to take. Also, it took significantly more tries than I intended, and I cleared every height at my last attempt.”
Perinotti can thank his brother for some of his success, as he was a catalyst in introducing him to the field event.
“I first started pole vaulting because of my brother,” said Perinotti. “He told me that if I wanted to excel at track and field, I would have to stand out from everyone else, and try an unusual event such as the pole vault.”
Perinotti, who took first place at this year’s Allentown School District Invitational, qualified for states after second-place finishes at both the league and district meets, the latter meet being his most successful this season.
“My favorite part about this season was the district competition,” Perinotti said. “I got my personal record at that meet of 14-3, and had to compete against my rival Ryan Fox from Nazareth. We both got the same height, and had to go to sudden death. Even though he won after five rounds of sudden death, I still feel as though it was one of the most exhilarating experiences I have ever had with this sport. I also lost to him at leagues and got second, which is one of the major reasons for our rivalry.”
Perinotti hopes to continue his successes at the pole vault next year at Bucknell University.
Other Parkland competitors at states included Sam Morgan, who finished 12th in the 800 at 11:56.69, and Jacob Ringer, who was 28th in the 800 at 12:01.13. Shelby Staib was another individual competitor. She placed 15th in the triple jump at 36-3, and finished 17th in the javelin at 116-6.
All three Parkland boys relay teams competed at states.
Seniors Habeeb Salau and Julian Colon, and juniors Ese Duke and Sebastian Suriel of the 4x100 had the best finish, crossing the line 14th at 42.66.
Morgan, Ringer, Colon and Douglas Marone of the 4x400 team placed 20th at 3:33.76.
The 4x800 team of Morgan, Ringer, Nathan Reimer and Mustapha Salau finished 25th with a time of 8:38.99.