Krainak closes out career with gold medal in javelin

May 24—SHIPPENSBURG — Bronson Krainak knows all too well about losing a state title on the last throw.

Wanting to avoid what happened in last season's javelin final, Krainak came out firing on Friday. He broke 208 feet on his first throw, then launched a throw of 215 feet, 7 inches on his second attempt.

That toss eventually gave Krainak his coveted gold medal at the PIAA Class 2A Track and Field Championships on Friday at Shippensburg University's Seth Grove Stadium.

A year ago, Krainak was on his way to winning a gold medal until Southern Columbia's Tyler Arnold bested him on his final attempt. This time, Krainak left little doubt winning by more than 20 feet to become Danville's third state champion in the javelin, joining Chad Foster in 1992 and Travis Miller in 2006.

"It felt really good, especially with the distances I threw," Krainak said. "It felt really nice. Just a great day."

Krainak made it clear from the start that he was hunting for gold. Krainak uncorked a throw of 208-11 on his first attempt before his 215-7 on his next try. Krainak's first two throws were the only ones of the entire competition to go beyond 200 feet. It was the second week in a row that one of Krainak's throws exceeded 215 feet after he broke the District 4 record last week. He had the three longest throws of the competition.

Krainak, who will throw at Wichita State next season, won the state title by more than 20 feet. Central Columbia's Lincoln Huber, who trains with Krainak at the Javelin Factory in Tamaqua, took the silver after hurling a throw of 193-9, also on his second attempt.

"It was kinda the game plan coming into it," Krainak said. "Try to get out in front of everyone, make people chase me.

"It's really fun every time," Krainak said about getting to compete with Huber one last time. "Always a good competition. You can't ask for much more."

Krainak wasn't the only Danville senior to win a medal on Friday. Dane Spahr won his first state medal. He was fifth in the 1,600-meter race with a personal best time of 4:19.29. Mifflinburg's Collin Dreese came in 33rd after clocking in a 4:40.27.

Another 2A boys senior who won a state medal was Warrior Run's Chase Beachel, who finished tied for sixth in the high jump after clearing 6 feet, 2 inches on his first attempt.

"It's pretty exciting," Beachel said. "Up to this point, my season's been pretty OK. I would get 5-8, 5-10, a bunch of 5-8s and then 5-10. I mean I was confident coming in. I felt like I could do good and I could definitely almost place.

"The whole season I put a lot of pressure on myself, and I kind of stopped. I got overconfident. I was able to stay relaxed throughout my jumps, and that was what helped me. I would really tense up earlier in the year, and I couldn't really jump that well. But as the year went on, I just got looser and looser. I just peaked at the right time."

Greenwood's Waid Gainer also cleared 6-2, but ended up in 11th place after he didn't clear it until his second attempt.

A few more 2A athletes secured their spots on the medal podium during Friday's preliminaries. East Juniata's Josef Book finished in the top three in both of the hurdle prelims. Book took third in the 110-meter high hurdles with a 14.56 while earning second in the 300-intermediates with a 38.71. He will run in the final in both events today.

Mount Carmel's Xavier Diaz finished second in each of his two preliminaries. Diaz ran a 10.91 in the 100 while clocking in a 22.29 in the 200.

Diaz also helped the Red Tornadoes' 4x100 relay, which also consisted of Cole Spears, Andrew Lukoskie and Cooper Karycki, to today's finals. The Red Tornadoes finished second in its preliminary in 42.84 seconds. Mount Carmel's 4x400 squad, which included Diaz, Spears, Lukoskie and Billy Rishel, was one spot short of the final after placing in ninth with a time of 3:26.03.

Midd-West's 4x400 team, which ran Connor Stoltzfus, Wyatt Nelson, Ben Hummel and Anden Aitkins, qualified for the final after finishing in fifth place with a 3:24.01. The same four Mustangs will also run in today's 4x800, where they are the top seed.

Plenty of other 2A boys competed on Friday, but failed to make it to the finals. They are Rishel (400), Greenwood's Riley Barr (400), Southern Columbia's Louden Murphy (100 and 200) and Danny Marzeski (300 hurdles) and Mifflinburg's Bryant Groff (110 hurdles).

The Tigers also failed to advance their 4x100 and 4x400 relays to today's races. Mifflinburg's 4x100 squad was eliminated in the preliminaries as well.