Diaz pockets 4 golds; Mount Carmel wins Class 2A boys title

May 18—WILLIAMSPORT — Saturday's District 4 meet was a complete 180 for Mount Carmel senior Xavier Diaz compared to last season.

Right before taking the track for the 100-meter final, Diaz strained his right hamstring, which forced him to bow out of the meet.

This season, Diaz made up for it in a huge way by helping Mount Carmel to four gold medals, and the Class 2A team title on Saturday at Williamsport High School. The Red Tornadoes accumulated 93.5 points, blowing out the competition with Danville in second with 71 points.

Diaz won the 100- and 200-meter finals while also propelling the 4x100 and 4x400 relays to gold medals.

"It feels great because I just know all the hard work I've put in to strengthen my hamstring," Diaz said. "It was a lot of ups and downs, a long road, but I'm just happy. Happy for myself, proud of myself. Still got one more meet left though."

Diaz was the only sprinter to run under 11 seconds in the 100 with a 10.92. In the 200, Diaz set a new personal best with a time of 21.89 seconds.

Diaz, along with Andrew Lukoskie, Cole Spears and Cooper Karycki, won the 4x100 in 42.54 seconds. Diaz, Lukoskie, Spears and Billy Rishel closed out the day with a 3:25.74 in the 4x400 to help the Red Tornadoes to first.

"I thought I ran pretty good," said Diaz, a Bloomsburg University football recruit. "The conditions weren't the best, but can't complain. It is what it is — everyone else had to run with it."

Hobi Forti also took home a gold medal in the triple jump for the Red Tornadoes. Forti recorded a mark of 43-5 1/4 to clinch is first trip to Shippensburg.

Southern Columbia senior Louden Murphy, also qualified for states in the 100 and 200. Murphy, another Bloomsburg football signee, ran times of 11.15 and 22.64 seconds in the 100 and 200, respectively. Murphy had never ran track before this spring.

Murphy also helped the Tigers to second place and a spot in the state meet in the 4x100. Kyle Christman, Jaymen Golden and Carter Madden rounded out the Tigers' quartet and ran a 43.30.The Tigers will be sending two relays to Shippensburg after their 4x400 squad finished third and beat the qualifying time.

Danny Marzeski, who was a part of that relay, will also run in the 300-intermediates after taking bronze and running a second under the qualifying time. East Juniata's Josef Book won the event with a time of 37.89, which broke the district record of 38.91 previously held by Central Columbia's Jeff Baird in 2001.

Book also claimed first in the 110 high hurdles with a time of 14.49 seconds. Book took eighth in the 300 hurdles and didn't make it of the preliminaries in the high hurdles at the state meet last year.

"This district is such a competitive district," Book said. "All I can do is thank my competitors because without them, I wouldn't have been able to run a time like that (in the 300). The competition's just amazing. I'm excited for states to see what happens there with all of them."

After winning the district team title last season, Danville still saw plenty of success to take second in the team title. Dane Spahr won the 3200 with a time of 9:28.71 and met the qualifying time in the 1600 for third place. Adam Gallo will run with Spahr in the 3200 after getting a 9:45.13, good enough for fourth place.

Gavin Holcombe will return to Shippensburg after winning gold in the pole vault. Holcombe cleared 14-6 to best his previous record by three inches. Holcombe earned fourth in the state meet last season.

"States should be awesome next week," Holcombe said. "I'm really excited to be there with all of my vaulting friends. Didn't get the district record (15-0) this year — there's always next year, and I think once I put everything together it should come pretty easy."

Midd-West took three of the four spots in the 800. Wyatt Nelson (first), Anden Aitkins (second) and Ben Hummel (fourth) will all compete at states after running under two minutes. Nelson won the event with a time of 1:55.15.

Nelson, Aitkins, Hummel and Connor Stoltzfus will also run in the 4x400 after taking second and clocking in a time of 3:26.33. The same four qualified for the state meet in the 4x800 on Thursday.

"We just wanna run as best we can," Nelson said. "Our confidence is absolutely through the roof right now. We're looking to either win states or get close."

Mifflinburg had a successful meet on Saturday after Bryant Groff (third in the high hurdles) and Collin Dreese (sixth in the 1600) beat the qualifying times. The Wildcats will also bring their 4x100 team to Shippensburg after it ran a 44.05 for sixth place.

Meadowbrook Christian's Jude Sterling will run in the 1600 at states as well after clocking a time of 4:26.86, which landed him in fifth.