Kraniak strikes gold in javelin; 3 records fall in district meet

May 16—WILLIAMSPORT — Just before they stepped off the medal podium at Williamsport High School, friends Bronson Krainak and Lincoln Huber shook hands and congratulated each other on a job well-done.

Not only are they District 4 javelin throwers, but they also train together at the Javelin Factory in Tamaqua. By qualifying for states, Krainak and Huber will get one more opportunity to turn their friendship into competition at Shippensburg.

Krainak got the best of his Central Columbia counterpart and the friendly rivalry with a throw of 215 feet, eight inches to win the Class 2A gold medal for the second consecutive year. Krainak also broke the district record set back in 2011.

Krainak's performance was part of a record-setting first day of the District 4 meet. Both of the Class 2A 4x800 relay winners — Midd-West boys and Warrior Run girls — also shattered meet records.

"Really fun day — it was a great throw," said Krainak, who earned silver at states last season. "Just a great feeling.

"It's gonna be a competition at states — the more the merrier, I guess."

In the 4x800 relays, the Mustangs boys and Defenders girls set district records with times of 7:49.17 and 9:27.93, respectively. The Midd-West quartet of Anden Aitkins, Ben Hummel, Connor Stoltzfus and Wyatt Nelson are looking to improve upon last year's eighth place medal at states.

Danville's team of Wyatt Brady, Sam Nied, Adam Gallo and Dan Spahr came in third, and also punched its ticket to Shippensburg with a time of 8:14.09.

In the girls Class 2A race, Warrior Run's squad of Natalie Hall, Sienna Dunkleberger, Claire Dufrene and Raygan Lust clocked in at 9:27.93, which was nearly 12 seconds ahead of second-place Athens.

Lewisburg won both of the Class 3A relays. In the girls race, Jenna Binney, Lauren Schwartz, Katherine Batkowski and Baylee Espinosa qualified for states with a time of 9:34.48.

The Green Dragons' quartet in the boys race led three Valley teams that clinched their spot at states. Eli Kalberer, Justin Nolt, Kieran Murray and Jonathan Hess propelled Lewisburg to a 7:58.89. Selinsgrove and Shamokin's squads are also going to Shippensburg after they finished in third and fourth with times of 8:00.21 and 8:00.70, respectively. Williamsport was the runner-up.

Also for Selinsgrove, Colin Melhorn is making a return trip to states after throwing a mark of 153-7 in the discus, good enough for first place. Melhorn only threw in the shot put at Shippensburg last season. Melhorn will throw at Shippensburg next season, so he'll have a chance to showcase his talent at his future home stadium.

"There's no meet quite like the state championship meet," Melhorn said. "So I got a little bit of experience, a little bit (of) what to expect is gonna be helpful going down again."

Shikellamy's Jayden Packer and Milton's Charles Wright were the other two male athletes from Class 3A to qualify for states. Packer is making a return trip in the pole vault after clearing 15 feet, which was 13 inches ahead of Logan Steele (Shamokin) and Indigo Koch (Williamsport). Packer, a senior, is seeking to finish better than sixth at states he earned in 2023.

Wright, who's new to track and field this season after moving to the area from Florida, won the high jump after clearing 6-3. Wright will try to qualify for states in the long jump on Saturday.

In the girls field events, Lewisburg's Teagan Osunde is making her second consecutive trip to states after striking 136 feet in the javelin to win back-to-back district golds. Her throw was more than 20 feet ahead of second-place Dayanna Baines (Williamsport).

Osunde didn't medal as a freshman in last year's state meet.

"It feels like a relief — I needed this very much," Osunde said. "Especially coming into states. I obviously knew that I was seeded first by a lot. So my goal coming into it was just to throw as far as I could, which didn't happen. But, it's O.K. It showed me what I can become more consistent on, so take it as a win."

Aly Bingaman (Shikellamy), Carly Nye (Shamokin) and Shakiya Stapleton (Selinsgrove) also punched their tickets to Shippenburg by winning first in their respective events. Bingaman won the pole vault after clearing 10-6. Nye took first in the triple jump with a mark of 34-8 while Stapleton took the gold in the shot put with a toss of 38-1.

In the 2A discus, Mount Carmel's Liv Kopitsky will be making the trip to Seth Grove Stadium after heaving a throw of 114-8. Kopitsky was second to Montoursville's Anna Baylor.

In the 3A 100-meter girls preliminaries, Shikellamy's Jilly Deivert set a new school record by running a 12.29, besting Selinsgrove senior Carly Aument's 12.41. Deivert previously set the school record with a time of 12.51 in the Braves' meet against Central Mountain earlier this month.