D2 TRACK AND FIELD BOYS NOTES: West Scranton's Manley three-peats in hurdles; Western Wayne sends two to state meet

SCRANTON — Colin Manley made a late push over the final barrier, leaned in, and made it three-for-three.

West Scranton’s dynamic senior raced to his third straight gold medal in the Class 3A 110-meter hurdles at the District 2 Track and Field Championships on Tuesday at Scranton Veterans Memorial Stadium.

His ascension to the top performer in the hurdle events established him as one of the all-time best in the history of District 2 and the Lackawanna Track Conference. Now he sets his sights on the PIAA Championship meet next weekend at Shippensburg University.

In his final race on his home track, Manley put in an inspired effort.

He won a gold medal in the 300 hurdles on Monday with a time of 40.26 seconds. He also qualified for the final in the 110 hurdles, but he had the second-best time as Delaware Valley’s Charles McClain looked strong.

The two LTC standouts were in sync; they appeared over the hurdles through the first eight. Then Manley pulled ahead and won with a time of 14.69. McClain finished second in 14.83 seconds, and both qualified for the state meet.

Manley also won the 110 hurdles in 2022 with a time of 15.96 and in 2023 with a time of 15.39.

His career-best time of 14.63 at the Robert Spagna Championships is among the top 10 all-time in the conference.

“I am ecstatic,” said Manley, who scratched from the 300 hurdles to concentrate on the 110 hurdles at the state meet. “I have worked all year for this. I was definitely nervous coming into the race because there are some really good runners out there. I put in the work. My coaches believed in me, my family believed in me, and I knew I could do it.”

Rising to the occasion

Western Wayne is a Class 2A program in boys track and field that competes in the LTC Division II with four Class 3A teams. This season, the Wildcats did not win a dual meet, but they have a couple of athletes headed to the state meet as gold medal winners.

Evan Dean captured first place in the shot put with a mark of 45 feet, 5 inches. The junior, who finished third at the Robert Spagna Championship meet, hit his winning put on his third attempt after fouling on his first.

“The throw felt really good,” Dean said. “It wasn’t my best, but it came off my fingers, right. My coaches always tell me in clutch situations to fall back to your technique, and that is what I did.”

Robert Carrelle added a second gold medal to his haul. He won the pole vault with a height of 12-6. Mid Valley’s Jordan Chmielewski also cleared 12-6, but Carrelle won by having fewer attempts. He entered the competition at 11-0, and Chmielewski came in at 10-6.

On Monday, Carrelle won the 300 hurdles.

Keeping up with the Joneses

Elk Lake’s Kendel Jones held up his part of the deal and added to his family’s distance-running legacy.

A sophomore and the final sibling of outstanding runners, Jones won the 1,600 with a time of 4:28.24 in the Class 2A meet. His brother Luke is a past state-medal winner, and his sisters Kenzie, Keri, Peyton, and Krista are all district medal winners.

Luke won a fourth-place medal in the 3,200 at the PIAA Championship meet as a senior; Krista earned a District 2 gold in the 1,600 in 2021 and won a sixth-place medal at the state meet in the 1,600 (5:07.89) in 2022; Peyton won a district silver in the 3,200 in 2018 and a bronze in the 3,200 in 2019; Keri won a silver at the district meet in the 3,200 in 2016; and Kenzie won a pair of district medals in the 1,600 and 3,200 in 2014.

“I am so proud,” said Kendel, who also qualified for the state meet in the 3,200 on Monday. “I watched all of my siblings run as a kid, and that really inspired me to do it. Now, I am living the dream. I am happy to be back from the 3,200. I had a good pace and held it until the last lap, when I gave it my all.”

Big leaps

Holy Cross sophomore Kevin Vincent had high expectations for the District 2 Class 2A Championship meet.

He fulfilled one goal by popping a personal-best distance of 44-3½ on his first run through to seize the early lead, then held on after sustaining an injury that forced him to pass his last four jumps.

He beat his previous best distance of 43-2 from the regular season.

“I was not expecting 44-3,” Vincent said. “It was a full foot better than my PR (personal record). I am shocked by that. Now, I have to get healthy and prepare for the state meet.”

Elk Lake senior Wyatt Johnson, the defending champion, did not relinquish his title without a fight. He marked 44-0¾ on his second jump, exceeded the state-meet standard, and will return to Shippensburg.

Gold standard

Abington Heights junior sprinter DJ Rogers made quite a first impression.

A transfer student from South Carolina in his first season with the Comets, he leaned into the finish to win gold in the 400 in the Class 3A meet. His time of 50.76 edged Pittston Area’s Jalen Moore (50.85).

Rogers also won a sixth-place medal in the 200 and teamed with Jack Sorensen, Hamza Mirza, and Sean Rooney to win gold in the 1,600 relay with a time of 3:28.29.