Braves, Defenders impress at Lock Haven

Apr. 19—LOCK HAVEN — To suggest it's been a huge week for Aurora Cieslukowski would be an understatement.

After the Warrior Run senior received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, Cieslukowski has been continuing to dominate at the pole vault. In her second attempt during Friday's Bald Eagle Invite at Lock Haven University's Hubert Jack Stadium, Cieslukowski cleared a height of 11 feet, 6 inches to win first place by more than a foot.

Cieslukowski's performance in the pole vault was a part of a dominant showing by both Warrior Run and Shikellamy at Friday's invite. The Defenders girls squad finished second in the team standings with 76 points while the Braves came in fourth with 62.2 points.

In the boys competition, Shikellamy ended up in third place with 77.33 points. Both teams saw fellow District 4 squad Williamsport ran away with the team titles. The Millionaires boys earned 162.83 points while the girls collected 101 points.

"I'm happy, but I was also a little disappointed," said Cieslukowski, who won the title at the Don Wilhour Invitational with a height of 11 feet on Saturday. "I'm looking for some bigger and better things this year, and they're definitely coming."

Cieslukowski also placed fourth in the long jump with mark of 16-7. In other field events for the Defenders girls, Cieslukowski's teammate, Alivia Ritenour, earned fourth in the pole vault after clearing 9-6. Amara Bieber picked up a silver medal in the shot put after throwing 34-71/2.

Warrior Run also had a banner day on the track. In the second event of the meet, the Defenders' 4x800 relay consisting of Raygan Lust, Natalie Hall, Sienna Dunkleberger and Claire Dufrene dominated the field with a time of 9:44.63, setting a new meet record.

Warrior Run and Shikellamy also went 1-2 in the 4x400 to end the night.

"This was the first time us four girls ran together in the 4x8," Lust said. "So to be able to pull that off here at a big invite like this is great."

Later in the meet, Lust won the 400 finishing neck-in-neck with Williamsport's Elizabeth Shultz. While Shultz crossed the finish line in 57.67 seconds, Lust barely finished ahead of her in 57.48 seconds. Lust's time set personal and meet records.

"I watched Shultz run at Selinsgrove, super windy, and she still ran sub-60," Lust said. "So I knew it was going to be tough with her on my inside.

"My goal was to break 59, but I broke 58 too."

Shikellamy girls left Lock Haven with two golds. Jilly Deivert won the 100 title after clocking in a time of 12.62 seconds.

Deivert was also a part of the Braves' 4x100 relay squad that won first in 49.22 seconds. Lily Persing, Emma Koontz and Elli Ronk rounded out the quartet. The Braves bested two-time defending state champion Central Columbia by more than a second.

"It feels good considering how much time we put in at practice," Ronk said. "Like over half of our practice is 4x1, and so with the amount of focus we've had on it, it feels good to see the determination to come out on the winning end."

"You run faster when you run against people that are better than you," Deivert added. "So you just want to push harder."

Some other notable performances from Braves girls include Carly Harter finishing second in the 300-intermediate hurdles, Aly Bingaman taking home third in the pole vault and Olivia Solomon finishing in the top five in the 800 and 1600. Solomon also set personal bests in both the 800 (2:26.06) and 1600 (5:23.16).

Shikellamy also saw plenty of success from its boys athletes. The Braves were led by sophomore Hunter Bordner, who a gold medal in the high jump after clearing 6 feet.

"It feels really good actually," said Bordner, who also set a personal record in the triple jump with a mark of 41-8 for third place. "It's my first time winning an invite, so I mean I'm proud and my hard work is paying off."

Sam Hennett also collected a gold in the 3200 with a time of 9:50.21, which is a new personal best.

Ryan Williams and Derek Turber-Ortiz both took home silver medals in the 800 and shot put, respectively. Williams clocked in a time of 2:01.64 while Turber-Ortiz hurled a throw of 49-3 in the shot.

Andy Hallman also finished as a runner-up in the pole vault after clearing a height of 12-6. Hallman tied with Warrior Run's Isaac Butler. Butler's teammate, Judah Kennel, finished fifth after clearing 12 feet. The Braves also won the bronze in the 4x400 with a time of 3:33.87.

Midd-West, Meadowbrook Christian, Mifflinburg, Milton and Southern Columbia also competed at Lock Haven on Friday. Mifflinburg's Collin Dreese, a Saint Francis University pledge, finished second in the boys 1600 with a time of 4:31.89 while Jude Sterling finished in third place for the Lions. Sterling also finished second to Hennett in the 3200 after clocking in a time of 10:10.01.

Jayda Tilghman collected a bronze for Mifflinburg girls after crossing the finish line in 16.72 seconds.

In the throws, Midd-West's Ryland Portzline set a personal record in the boys discus (130-1) for fifth place. Milton's Amelia Gainer finished fourth in the girls javelin with a toss of 104-9.